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photographer Sandra Russell

by Martha Russell | June 27, 1997

Sandra is the Ontario Government's photographer for Royal visits to Canada. She photographed The Queen, Prince Philip and officials on Sunday, 29 June 1997.

For the past eleven years, Sandra has photographed all of the royal visits to Ontario. That means she's met, talked with and photographed:

  • The Duke and Duchess of York - Prince Andrew and Sarah, July 1987
  • The King of Norway, November 1987
  • The King and Queen of Sweden, March 1988
  • Queen Beatrix and Prince Klaus of the Netherlands, May 1988
  • Anne, The Princess Royal, November 1988
  • The Duchess of Kent, March 1991
  • The Prince and Princess of Wales (Charles & Diana) October, 1991

Sandra also photographs many other public figures, including Hilary Weston, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario at the Ontario Medals for Good Citizenship awards, and Pauline McGibbon, Canada's first woman Lieutenant-Governor.

Sandra studied photography at the Ontario College of Art from 1981 to 1985, graduating with honours. She has participated in international photography exhibitions and won adjudicated photography awards. Shortly after graduating, Sandra started working for the Ontario Government as Official Photographer for the Legislative Assembly. She was responsible for photographing all official visits and acted as House photographer.

Sandra works freelance now, as her first child was born in 1989. Sandra juggles her career with 5 kids, a husband, a house renovation, the organization and administration of a Children's Liturgy Program and a university course! Who says women don't do it all!

Sandra finds media photography is very competitive. There are so many photographers representing every newspaper, magazine and television station. Photographers must stay ahead of the crowd to get the best photo – or be small enough to slip through to the front.

Sandra's advice to up-and-coming photographers is, "Do it because you love it; very few photographers make enough money to live on. Take a course, focus on themes, take photos in series and take lots of them. Visit galleries to explore others' works, and, above all, have fun."

Click on the external links below to explore some well-known Canadian photography courses.

This feature was first published on's predecessor site CoolWomen.


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