David Crewe: “I loved my time at SMU”

DavidCreweDavid Crewe BComm ’01 grew up with music. His father played with the likes of Elvis and Buddy Holly, and David himself learned to play 10 instruments. No one would have been surprised if he’d become a professional musician, but David’s path shifted when his best friend, Andy, died in his teens. “We found out later that no one had taken any photos of Andy. There were no pictures to remember him by,” says David, who took the money he’d been saving for a car and bought a camera. He spent the next few years, and about $800 worth of film, shooting family, friends, and anything that caught his eye.

He took his camera and this passion with him to SMU in 1996, right out of high school, where he immediately became involved not only in student politics—he was first year rep on the Board of Governors—but also many activities of the Student Association. Delighted by the sheer number of people and events, David can remember telling his mother on the phone during first year that there were more girls living in residence than people in his entire home town! “I loved my time at SMU,” he says. “It was like a light switch got flicked on and it hasn’t been shut off since.”

After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 2001, David took various entry-level jobs in marketing and web design in Ontario. He was eventually recruited to the IT field, where he still holds down a day job in San Diego, California, in addition to running his own photography business. David J. Crewe Photography specializes in event coverage, including the ECMAs and American music festivals, and dramatic portraiture in the entertainment industry.

A passion for photography

The 34-year-old has never taken a course in photography but his dedication to the craft is unrivalled. “The first time I shot a wedding and the bride started crying when she saw the photos, I knew that was what I wanted to do. I love creating beautiful images that move people.” After carrying a camera around since he was 16, he now owns 13 cameras and is entirely self taught, often staying up at night to read books, watch photo tutorials, and learn new techniques.

Recently, he attended a major photography conference in Las Vegas and met with some of the most talented and creative photographers in the world. “It was very humbling, but also so motivating and inspiring to be able to learn from these people and see behind the curtains of the professional photography scene.”

Although he created his company in Halifax, shot for The Coast, and was hired by many local companies including LunaSea Theatre and Turbine Fashion, it’s in California where his photography business has really exploded. On top of having a full-time job and running his own company, he also finds time to be the Chief Marketing Officer for a Photoshop educating group called “Phlearn,” sit on the Boards of various professional organizations, and donate his talents to charities, such as Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

You might be wondering where he finds time to sleep and that’s another good news story: David needs less sleep than most and would rather be doing the things he loves. “That old adage is so true for me – when you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t feel like working. I’m having the time of my life!”