Meet the Ontario photographer who will capture Trudeau's White House visit
Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, March 8, 2016 8:35AM EST
An Ontario photographer has won the opportunity to join Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, and capture the historic meeting from the White House's South Lawn.
Taylor Jones, from Kitchener, Ont., was selected to document Trudeau's trip as part of a White House initiative inviting social media "influencers" to attend the ceremony.
To earn his invite, Jones says he had to fill out an online application, submit a short blurb about himself, and provide links to his various social media pages, including his Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts.
A week after applying, the photographer says he got a reply.
"I woke up one Sunday morning and had the official invite in my inbox, which was absolutely incredible," he told CTV's Canada AM. "It's such an honour."
Jones said he plans to head down to the U.S. on Wednesday, before his day of photographing officially begins at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday.
Then, it'll be up to him to record and share his experiences.
"What they're asking us to do, really, is just share our experience about what we're going to be seeing while we're at the White House," he said. "I'm just looking forward to capturing the moment from my own perspective."
Jones told CTV Kitchener that he first started taking photos as a hobby about ten years ago.
Since then, he's captured a variety of Canadian-inspired images of the hazy Toronto skyline and towering Rocky Mountains.
"The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides." -Audrey Hepburn I cannot thank this beautiful girl enough for everything she has done for me lately. Even though we are a few thousand kilometres apart @portiaxtara will continue to inspire me everyday. Can't wait to see you next ❤️ #explorealberta #lakelouise #explorecanada
Jones is also the founder of the popular website Dear Photograph, where visitors submit images of old photographs held up against present-day scenes.
Jones told CTV Kitchener that he thinks his successful website may have played a role in landing him the White House gig.
As he gears up for his big trip to the U.S., the photographer says he isn't allowed to bring his drone or a tripod, but he will be accompanied by a friend who works as a videographer, and he's bringing a new tuxedo.
And if the images turn out, Jones has plans to showcase his White House photographs when he returns to Canada.
"I hope that I can get some good photos," he said. "If I do, then afterwards I'll be throwing one of my first photography shows … and I plan on sharing some of the proceeds with Syrian refugees who have recently come to Canada."
In the meantime, Jones says he's focused on making the most of the "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
And, while he doesn't know if he'll actually get a chance to meet Prime Minister Trudeau or President Obama, he said he'll be honoured just to attend the event.
"It's an honour just to be able to stand on the grounds of the White House," he said. "Let alone being encouraged to take photos."
With files from CTV Kitchener