My story begins having a childhood of travel, from Ottawa all the way west by air and road. Growing up the majority of my life in Winnipeg, I was inspired at age 10 to become a photographer. Taking a road trip from Toronto to Winnipeg, I was given a Crayola camera. I snapped hundreds of images… and not a single one worked. From that point on, I knew I had to recapture all those beautiful moments.
I focused my entire life around photography, attended specific schools and studied in and outside of classrooms, leading me west to Squamish. Here I became a photographer for a reputable snowmobile and dogsledding outfitter and fell in love with the sport and one of its workers, so much that we moved to Golden to start our own dogsledding outfit together.
Until a year ago, I spent seven days a week dog sledding, photographing, working hard and in a partnership. But one sudden decision ended it all. At that moment, I decided to leave an entire life – my life – behind so that I could really live.
Our relationship was full of the love, passion and turmoil that many relationships face, but it also came with abuse in every form. This was something I didn’t fully comprehend until I left for safety and decided to get counseling to better understand what I had been through, which were some of the worst things another human could do to another.
When making the decision to leave after 5 years together, I knew I would have to let go of everything: my 16 dogs, my business, my home, what I thought was my love – really, my entire life. But I did it and drove the 9.5 hours from Golden back to Squamish. As I pulled into an old farm in the Squamish Valley in the pouring rain, the sun was setting. I hopped out of my jeep, pulled out my tent and felt freer than I had ever felt in my life. Though I was soaking wet and setting up what was to become my home for 7 months, I had a giant smile on my face the entire time.
And now here I am.
One year ago I felt I was leaving my life behind, but now I know I have actually found my life – a newer, happier one where I’m determined, driven, passionate, and destined again to rediscover my passion.
My name is Jillian Brown and I am a Canadian photographer. My passion comes along with many goals that all derive from one simple but huge one: to document Canada. This is my home, our home, people and wildlife alike.
I truly began my journey many years ago, but starting on March 27 this year, I decided to follow my heart and set out on to the road again. With my Canon cameras in hand, ‘96 Jeep Cherokee on the road and Necky Kayak strapped to the roof, I left Squamish and began to document this gorgeous country of ours.
This is my story, my dream, my life. Join me and my life on the road, and know that despite what may seem like insurmountable odds, you too can lead a life of passion, exploration and rediscovery.
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