Garnet McPherson was born in Pickering, Ontario and spent much of his childhood exploring the nature surrounding his home in Ajax, Ontario. In school he worked for the school newspaper, was a member of student government, and president of the camera club. At 16, McPherson was hired by a local newspaper as a photojournalist and was freelancing for two national journals. By 18, he worked regularly for the Toronto Star.
McPherson graduated from the Commercial Photography program at Sheridan College in 1974. He then returned to freelancing and began working in aerial, editorial, landscape, and commercial photography. In 1975, he started a photography studio on Champlain Avenue.
Between 1975-1990, McPherson’s studio grew into a group of companies that included Insight Photo-Graphics, Vision Photo Labs, Aerial Photographics of Canada, a local paper called Entertainment Calendar, and Cinema Whitby, a movie theatre which regularly held screenings and workshops with local filmmakers. His company Insight Photo-Graphics created a photographic slide “film” about the town of Whitby, Ontario that screened at Cinema Whitby in 1987. While the master film has been lost, the photographic slides of which the film is comprised were donated to Archives at Whitby Public Library. Besides photography, Garnet loved sailing and flying. He kept his sailboat in Whitby Harbour, and his aerial photography aircraft at Oshawa Airport.
Beginning in the 1990s, McPherson closed his studios in Whitby, and began focusing on environmental sustainability. He wrote and edited for various magazines about the topic and produced documentaries about the impacts of sustainability. He also acts as a keynote speaker about environmental issues and has worked with David Suzuki and Al Gore. He is now semi-retired and resides in Victoria, British Columbia where he continues to support the eco film industry through a new film studio.