Caitlin Cronenberg has managed to hit the sweet spot in her career. The artist has photographed some of the biggest names in the world (most notably the cover and artwork for Drake’s highly acclaimed 2016 album, Views) and her art graces the covers of Vogue and W Magazine. She was also able to use her talent and recognition to pursue more creative projects, including recently an NFT short film in collaboration with well-known Toronto horror filmmaker and her father, David Cronenberg.
But Cronenberg says it took her some time to get to the point where she could do the kind of work she was passionate about.
“First I paid my dues. I spent a lot of time doing things that were outside of my comfort zone and not really where I saw myself, ”she explains, referring to the event photography she started with Hello Canada. “I didn’t love it, but I took a lot from it. I got to know a lot of interesting people and had experiences that I wouldn’t necessarily have had otherwise. “
Cronenberg says when she finally quit event photography for good, she knew she had developed enough confidence to pursue this career the way she wanted.
“I think taking steps to only do the kind of jobs you want to do is telling yourself that you feel safe, there are only certain types of jobs you can do,” she says.
She started doing film stills, which she says was an “incredibly busy” field, but it allowed her to shoot full-time.
Cronenberg says she always knew from childhood that she wanted to do something creative for a living, and she was influenced by a family full of creative people. At Bishop Strachan School high school, Cronenberg remembers installing a darkroom in their senior year.
“I basically just moved into the darkroom,” she says. “It made sense to me. I wanted to capture pictures and create art that way. And somehow everything came together. “
Cronenberg has certainly fulfilled this dream, although she would say that she has not yet felt as if she “did” it. But you’d think she did, considering her previous credits: she’s photographed everyone from Megan Markle to Robert Pattinson to Jennifer Lopez, and has published two photo books. Your second, The ends, with the likes of Keira Knightley and Julianne Moore, resulted in a director’s credit when Cronenberg turned the book into a short film that debuted at TIFF in 2018.
She hopes to take that further and direct film features and says there are some “great projects” on the horizon.