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'What I love about sport is the story': Candice Ward shares photography journey

Last Updated May 13, 2021 at 6:43 pm MDT

Photographer Candice Ward at the Saddledome ahead of action between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks on May 13, 2021. (Photo by Jenn Pierce)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Next time you see an iconic Calgary sports photo, look at the caption.

You’ll likely see Candice Ward’s name there.

She’s been shooting our city’s sports scene for years.

“I think I always had a love for photography, but I just didn’t really know what I wanted to do with it,” she explained of her journey. “I started messing around with cameras when I was a kid but didn’t really fall in love with sports specifically until second year of college.

“When I started at SAIT, and we had to do sports assignments, I loved that.”

Ward worked in editorial to start, freelancing for Metro News and the Calgary Sun for a number of years, and that’s when she saw herself gravitating to sports assignments and decided to steer herself in that direction.

“I wanted to take the things I loved the most about editorial and pull those pieces out and guide my career that way,” she said. “I am invested in our teams here in Calgary because I do have so many relationships within most of the teams.

“What I hope people recognize from my photos is the story or that there’s some level of emotion behind it, and that it’s telling them a story and taking them to a place they don’t necessarily always get to see.”

Looking back, she tabs the Calgary Hitmen’s outdoor game in Regina last year as one of her career highlights.

“It was really cold,” she recalled with a chuckle. “Just such a cool, fun experience.

“Something about junior hockey — I love it so much. You get invested in their journey and watching their growth and their career blossom. That’s what I love about sport is the story and the joy that comes within.”

Ward, who hails from northern Alberta, started shooting professionally in 2008 and hopes others are willing to take the plunge into sports photography.

“Take as many pictures as possible,” she offered. “Get people to pose for you with whatever piece of sports equipment they have. Make portraits. Build relationships. It’ll eventually start to get noticed.

“At the end of the day, nobody can tell who took a photo. They can’t tell if it was a man or a woman. Opportunities should be equal because if you just look at a picture, you can’t tell if it was a man or woman who took it.

“There really should be no barriers. Obviously, there are, but if you push and you work, and you grind, you can make it happen. Doors will open because you work hard and you’re talented, or you have an eye for it.”