Kevin O'Leary - The Mean Dragon?

I was a little nervous about photographing Kevin O'Leary, the business tycoon and television personality best known as the "mean Dragon" from CBC's Dragon's Den.

I had just come off of a weekend of 2 minute portraits with celebrities at TIFF and I was tired of prickly star handlers who were generally rude and I just assumed (unfairly) that the shoot with O'Leary would be more of the same.

So I was pleasantly surprised when O'Leary graciously gave me a great deal of his time. An avid photographer himself, who originally wanted to be a professional shooter but was told there was no money in it (good call Kevin!), he was excited to show off his vintage Leica and Hasselblad. When questioned about the row of guitars hanging on the wall of his new Yorkville apartment, he picked one up and played it. I was surprised at how friendly he was.

All this being said, my impression of O'Leary was recently changed for the worse when I saw him on a clip making the rounds on the internet where he calls a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests a "left-wing nutbar" for no apparent reason. I respect his right to have a differing opinion, but nothing was served by him resorting to name calling. So unfortunately he will once again be the "mean Dragon" in my books.