P.E.I. photographer named one of Canada's 'most inspiring'

Brady McCloskey of P.E.I. has been named one of Canada's "25 most inspiring photographers" for 2017 by Weddingbells magazine.

Islander makes top-25 list by Weddingbells magazine

Brady McCloskey shooting one of about 30 weddings he photographs each year. (Cheryl Perry Photography)

Brady McCloskey didn't go to photography school — he graduated a few years ago with a degree in business from UPEI — but that hasn't stopped him from being named one of Canada's "25 most inspiring photographers" for 2017 by Weddingbells magazine.

Editors approached the self-taught McCloskey last fall, asking him to submit wedding photos for their spring/summer print issue.

"I picked one of my weddings that showcased P.E.I.," McCloskey said. "From there, I was in the running for the yearly list that they put out."

You can see photos of that wedding here, and see the complete list of 25 photographers from Weddingbells here.

"At the end of the day, it's how happy my clients are with the work that I'm putting out — but it is pretty cool to be recognized in the industry."

Going pro

McCloskey has been a full-time photographer for four years now — one of only a handful on the Island. 

'We love the crisp and clean quality of his photographs,' says Weddingbells of photographer Brady McCloskey, who shot this photo in 2016 of Hannah O'Donnell. (Brady McCloskey Photography)

He got started about seven years ago while he was still a university student.

"It was a hobby for years," McCloskey shares. "Someone asked to do their family photos and I said no — I wasn't a photographer and I didn't know how to do that."

He was eventually convinced to do the shoot, and had so much fun he thought he'd like to do it again. 

More family photos and a wedding ensued, and "snowballed" into a job at a photography studio in Banff, Alberta after graduation where McCloskey gained a lot of experience. 

'Laid back and chill'

Now, McCloskey shoots about 30 weddings a year as well as family portraits and commercial work — a career that's slower on P.E.I. in the winter months, allowing the 27-year-old to indulge his passion for travelling.

Brady McCloskey didn't go to photography school — he graduated from UPEI with a degree in business. (Applehead Studio)

He shoots two or three weddings every weekend in the summer, he said, adding "I feed off the excitement and the busyness of it, and I just love it."

"I have a pretty laid back and chill personality, so when people realize that working with me is pretty easy and laid back, it brings out the best in them as well," he said. "When they're relaxed they look good, and when they look good they love their photos." 

"It's always a lot of fun," he said. 

One of Canada's best

"We always have our eye out for great talent," explained Alison McGill, editor-in-chief of Weddingbells. "Our editors are always online and social media looking for the best of the best in the wedding industry in Canada."

McCloskey shot the wedding of 'Kaitlin & Adam' last fall. (Brady McCloskey Photography)

"Weddingbells selected Brady for our 2017 list because we love the crisp and clean quality of his photographs as well as the emotional connection you can clearly see he has with his subjects." McGill added. 

The incredible scenery in P.E.I. in summer makes his job easier, McCloskey said.

"P.E.I. is an awesome spot to be a photographer, so I'm pretty lucky with what I've been given here," he said. "It doesn't hurt to be in an amazing spot like we are." 

'Friendly competition'

Because of the nod from Weddingbells, McCloskey said he also came to the attention of a popular photography podcast which featured him. 

'Erin, Nick & a PEI Summer,' McCloskey titled this wedding shot from fall 2015. (Brady McCloskey Photography)

"You work so hard day in and day out, it's always nice to get recognition for that effort that you put into it," he said. 

"It's almost like a bit of a friendly competition in the industry — who can create something that we love? It's cool whenever other wedding industry people recognize what you're doing." 

McCloskey has just hired his first full-time employee to help with chores like editing.

'We always have our eye out for great talent,' says Weddingbells editor-in-chief Alison McGill of Brady McCloskey's award-winning photos. (Brady McCloskey Photography)

About the Author

Sara Fraser

Web Journalist

Sara is a P.E.I. native who graduated from the University of King's College in Halifax. N.S., with a Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) degree. She's worked with CBC Radio and Television since 1988, moving to the CBC P.E.I. web team in 2015, focusing on weekend features. email sara.fraser@cbc.ca