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Two adults pose outdoors with their smiling baby.
Delilah was the winner of our 2019 Baby Photo Contest – she was born at McMaster Children’s Hospital last year. She is pictured here at the Guelph Arboretum with her parents Danielle and Ryan. HHS photographer Josh Carey selected this series as one of our top images of the year.
December 3, 2020

PHOTOS: Josh’s top picks of 2020

As we look back on 2020, we would like to celebrate the top images and stories captured by talented multimedia specialists at Hamilton Health Sciences. They have taken thousands of striking photographs this year — you have likely seen their work here on our website, on our social media channels, or printed in our hospitals and centres.

We’re grateful that the stories we share can be accompanied by original photography. Seeing the subjects of our stories — whether it’s a patient, family member, community member, or staff — is an important part of storytelling that allows us to make a bigger impact. Photography gives us the opportunity to meet and connect with our subjects, and in turn, our readers can better connect with them, too.

Take a look through the lens of HHS photographer Josh Carey as he shares his top ten photos of 2020 in the gallery below.

Josh Carey’s top ten photos of 2020

Baby Delilah

Delilah was the winner of our 2019 Baby Photo Contest. My own daughter was born in December of 2019, so I felt a special connection when taking these photos of adorable little Delilah and her family. It was so nice to explore the beautiful grounds of the Guelph Arboretum while swapping stories about being new parents.

Crane outside in snow at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre

I’m not the biggest fan of heights, but it was well worth braving the wind and snow on the hospital roof to capture this massive crane lifting one of the new generators for the, then in progress, Stem Cell Transplant Unit at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

Rob MacIsaac and Employee Health Services nurse out of focus, holding the flu vaccine up close

Coming from a background in Fine Art, I’m always drawn to photos that look at things from a unique and creative perspective. The flu shot is such a simple way to help protect yourself and others, so I decided to only focus on the needle itself for this particular shot to stress its importance.

Ras with arms spread out, outside McMaster Children's Hospital

GPS volunteer, Ras, exudes joy and has one of the most infectious personalities of anyone I’ve ever met. I’m used to photographing people who are uncomfortable being in front of a camera, so it was such a pleasure to capture real, candid moments of someone who is so comfortable in their own skin. We are very lucky to have such fantastic volunteers like Ras!

Hyperbaric chamber at Hamilton General Hospital with Charge Respiratory Therapist, Claudia Poulin

Although my background is in the arts, I’ve always had a real appreciation for, and interest in, science and technology. It was fascinating to learn a little bit about being a respiratory therapist and the use of the hyperbaric chambers at the Hamilton General Hospital with Charge RT, Claudia Poulin.

Pharmacy Technician, April Shaw, in the new Stem Cell Transplant Unit pharmacy at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre

One of my favourite things to photograph is architecture. I’m always looking for compositions that take advantage of pre-existing lines that draw your eye to the subject. I had the exciting opportunity to photograph the progress and construction of the new Stem Cell Transplant Unit at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre over the last year, which allowed me to experiment with a mix of architectural and portrait photography.

Patient Robb Bendus sitting on the stairs with his dog, both looking out the window

Photographing people in and around their homes is a very special experience. It tends to be where they are most themselves and where you can see them really come alive. As an introvert myself, I am often most proud of the portraits where I’ve been able to make my subject feel comfortable enough to show their true personality. Patient Rob Bendus and his foster service dog were a pleasure to photograph.

SteriRight mobile mask reprocessing and decontamination service set up outside with truck and table

My true passion for photography comes from a love of observation and documentation. This is where my inner introvert gets to come alive, as I get to observe the world around me and look for unique and interesting moments in time that I can capture. Learning about and documenting the new SteriRight mask cleaning process was a truly exciting experience.

Staff pose with awards received from the Trillium Gift of Life Network on the helipad at Hamilton General Hospital

As a native Hamiltonian, I always enjoy finding interesting places that offer new perspectives of the city. When photographing some of the team involved in the work that received awards from the Trillium Gift of Life Network, I had the opportunity to visit the helipad at the Hamilton General Hospital. The nearly 360° view of the city made for a truly unique backdrop.

Wilson the volleyball from Cast Away, wearing a mask

Although there is a lot of emotion and storytelling that can be shown through portraiture, I really enjoy looking for ways to use inanimate objects and non-human elements to add to or tell a story. When photographing HHS’ temporary PPE warehouse, I just had to get a “portrait” of retiree Joe Makadi’s gift from his wife (a volleyball named Wilson – a nod to the Tom Hanks movie, Castaway, and Joe’s similarly isolated situation).

How did you get into photography?

Josh Carey headshot

Josh Carey joined the Hamilton Health Sciences Public Affairs and Communications department in August 2019 as a Multimedia Assistant. He’s been capturing special moments in our organization ever since.

I developed an interest in photography at an early age. My family and I always spent a lot of time outdoors, so I always had a fascination with nature, and documenting and observing plants and animals. I bought my first camera when I was about 14, and took it with me everywhere I went. I fell in love with the immediate nature of photography and the ability it offered me to capture moments in time, and explore the world around me in a whole new way. Photography has transformed the way I see the world – it is how I see the world. My favourite living photographer, Annie Leibovitz, perfectly described this when she said, “One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time.” It’s a beautiful, amazing and wonderful world we live in, and I never tire of trying to capture it, one photograph at a time.

What do you love about your job?

I’ve experienced what it’s like to have a monotonous job, so being able to have a career where every day is different is truly a blessing. My favourite part of my job is meeting and interacting with such a wide variety of people. As a relatively new employee with HHS, I’ve been blown away by the kindness and generosity of the staff, physicians, volunteers and patients that I’ve had the pleasure of photographing this past year. I’ve also found it fascinating to learn about many of the roles within the organization and how they all function together. I consider myself to be something of an optimist, but it’s always nice to have your faith in people reaffirmed through constant positive interactions with so many different people.

What’s your favourite thing to photograph?

I became a new father in December, 2019, so my favourite subject is easily my daughter, Ember! As far as genres go, however, I love photographing both nature and architecture. I am fascinated by the dichotomy of the natural and man-made worlds and believe you can find beauty in anything, if you look hard enough. I tend to be more of a reactionary artist, and am most creatively on fire when I get to wander and explore a new environment, be it urban or rural. In 2019, I had the pleasure of working on a personal project, photographing Hamilton in black and white. Exploring my home town and finding interesting ways to highlight its unique beauty became a real passion project. It was particularly rewarding to print my work, some of which you can see in the Hamilton Family Health Team lobby on James St. N.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My wife and I love to spend time exploring all the trails in and around Hamilton. I definitely wasn’t built for the heat of our summers, so we especially love to be outside through the autumn and winter months. Aside from immersing myself in nature as much as possible, I’ve always had a passion for art. I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember and even studied Fine Art in University. I love illustration and watercolour and would love to one day write and illustrate a children’s book.

What are three fun facts about yourself?

1. I’m a huge book worm! I probably have more unread books sitting on my shelves than read ones, but I’m happily working my way through my collection. I believe the Harry Potter series is literary perfection, but I will read just about anything.

2. My wife and I are obsessed with Disney, and even went to Disney World for our honeymoon and Disneyland for our 2nd anniversary.

3. I’ve been playing the piano since I was 5 years old. Although I stopped taking lessons when I was 17, I continue to play for my own enjoyment, and particularly enjoy sitting down and making up the music as I play.