Following a passion for truth in storytelling, Hilary graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and then from Sheridan College with a post-graduate diploma in Journalism.
After graduation, Hilary took a full-time position with the sales team at Labatt Breweries of Canada. She fell in love with corporate sales, enjoying the relationships she formed with her clients. She was quickly recognized for her outstanding communication and interpersonal skills and was elevated to the position of Territorial Manager for the Kitchener-Waterloo area. She excelled in this role, winning Top Sales Representative in Ontario for 2007. After eight fulfilling years, she decided to leave the corporate world in order to nurture, guide and cherish her two daughters.
Though she treasured the time with her children, it took only four weeks for Hilary to realize how much she missed the daily interaction with clients and colleagues. After some deliberation, and acknowledging her aptitude both with people and with a camera, she launched a family portrait photography business. In December 2008, One for the Wall Photography was established.
Photography became Hilary’s new storytelling tool, allowing her to weave tales of individuality and relationships through impactful imagery. With her keen business skills and passion for outstanding client service, One for the Wall quickly flourished into a successful full-time enterprise and continues to become stronger with each passing season. In the last ten years, Hilary has been privileged to photograph over 3,000 families.
In 2011, she began to branch her business into commercial and corporate photography, creating imagery for promotional and marketing purposes, as well as executive and professional profile portraits. Hilary has quickly become known in the thriving local business community as the first choice for both natural light and studio light photography. Alongside her corporate work, she has also created a strong portfolio of actors, singers, speakers and other arts and entertainment professionals, who are drawn to her dramatic lighting and creative composition.
A proud supporter of the arts, Hilary works with KW Glee, making the amazing young singers feel like the rock stars they are, with creative headshots, concert stills and backstage action shots. Hilary is also the official photographer for Drayton Entertainment in Cambridge, Ontario. She photographs each show for archival purposes and to provide images for promotional and media distribution.
For the past three years, Hilary has poured her boundless energy into creating an annual series of images for the Waterloo Region Down Syndrome Society. Her projects ’31 Days, 31 Faces’, ‘See Me’, ‘Better with You’ and ‘Who do You Love?’ have been featured by local and national media, spotlighting these wonderful children and adults and their families and their beautiful and unique perspectives on the world. Her commitment to social change through photography is also reflected in her most recent photo series ‘Boxed’, a collaboration with photojournalist Hannah Yoon that brings attention to transgender and non-binary youths in the KW region.
Hilary was awarded the Rogers K-W Oktoberfest Woman of the Year in the Arts for 2018. In May 2014, she was awarded Photographer of the Year by the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP), earning one of her winning images a place on a Times Square billboard in New York City. She has received international acclaim for her colourful and emotion-filled work, having images that have been selected in the Rangefinder Portrait Competition 2017, VOICE Collection 2015 + 2016 and the National Association of Professional Child Photographers’ International Image Competition.
Hilary has become a respected entrepreneurial educator sharing her passion for photography and enterprise, offering individualized Business Mentoring to photographers throughout Canada and the US. She also offers photography courses for kids sponsored by Nikon Canada, who provided cameras for the children to use during the course. She is committed to giving children a positive first experience in the world of photography and to inspiring and valuing their unique eye for the world around them.
Hilary loves living in the dynamic community of Waterloo Region and is proud to share her passion for entrepreneurism, volunteerism and community involvement with her two beautiful girls, while being wonderfully supported by her husband of seventeen years.
Family Photo: Mandy Blake
Awards & Recognition