Anthony and I went to high school together. He’s a visionary, do-er and achiever. The Saleh’s were one of the only other ‘ethnic’ families in our high school, so naturally, we gravitated towards each other. I’ve seen Anthony’s evolution from a high school photography volunteer to a successful business owner and world traveler. He has an incredible work-ethic and manages to weave travel into his work seamlessly. It’s an honour to share some of his journey on my blog.
Name: Anthony Saleh
What is your business/project?
Production Company and World Travel
What made you take the leap into your project/business?
When I was in my youth my parents worked as many hours as humanly possible to pay off their house. Watching my parents work overtime instilled a value of dedication toward their work. They persevered day and night and earned double time and a half on holidays.
Their work ethic inspired me to work as hard as them, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was older.
I didn’t know what I wanted to eat for dinner. The uncertainty was real.
When I was younger I wasn’t a strong academic. You wouldn’t think that I would end up going to work in Academia. You wouldn’t think that I would attend college and then university. If it wasn’t for the two good teachers in high school who inspired me to learn more about the relationship between creativity and technical skills I would not be a business owner or a world traveler.
Can you outline a basic timeline of how you got to where you are now?
The year was 2011 and I was in grade 11. I had no idea what I wanted to do after high school. I volunteered my time to teach grade 10 students photography in the dark room. Volunteering boosted my confidence and encouraged me to develop my knowledge about the process of image-making. In addition, collaborating with others exposed me to different aesthetics within the practice of image-making.
I volunteered my time to teach photography in grade 12, which put me in touch with more students and more teachers. I created life long friendships and became more personable. I graduated, but I decided to do a victory lap in high school to determine what College or University I would invest my time and money in. I knew I wanted to be an artist, but I couldn’t explain why. The expressive motive that I exuded when I created work was the feeling I enjoyed most. I expressed myself through music and image-making. Next, after doing a victory lap at Waterdown District High School I decided that photography was the next step.
I applied to Sheridan College for Photography, which was the best institution for photography in my region. I won’t bore you with the details of how I got to the portfolio critiques a month early. I’ll skip to my rejection. The program coordinator, Rafael Goldchain, stated that the program wasn’t right for me. He said that I knew too much to enter the program and I’m better off at Humber College.
I applied to Humber College and attended the portfolio interview. I met with the program coordinator and he told me that this program is intensive. He put the fear of God into me. I said I could handle it.
I was the only student that passed the hardest theoretical test by our Swedish instructor, Johan Sorenson. I aced the theory classes and kept in touch with my professors. I won’t bore you with all their details, but eventually, I was gifted a scholarship from the camera store, Henrys. I quickly became friends with the Vice-President of Academics and he taught me how to fly his aerobatic airplane. We created aerial imagery together.
The following year I set course to travel the world. My first country was South Korea. It’s all history now!
What do you know today that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I knew that I would need people to come to me to be successful. Chasing down people for work is not sustainable. You need to create a product that people will want and you have to be the business they go to because of your dedication to said niche.
Where can people learn more about you?