May 2016

Eight Amazing Engagement Photography Locations in Vancouver

There’s only one reason why I love living in Vancouver and affordable housing is not it. I love living here because it’s absolutely beautiful. Sure it rains 9 months of the year, but when it’s nice out… it is NICE out. I’ve taken some time to put together and tell you about some of my favourite places in the city to photograph engagements! Some are well known, some are not… I hope you all enjoy!

1.)  Dyke Road in Richmond

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This road stretches along the south side of Richmond and follows the Fraser River until it empties into the Strait. It offers amazing water views and fields of tall grass. Head over during low tide and you can make your way onto the beach of old logs and tree stumps. Richmond is as flat as can be so you’ll get that unobstructed golden hour light and it will actually last an hour! Stevenson is near by as well as the Britannia Ship Yard if you’d like to get heritage looking structures in your shots!

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2.) Vancouver Art Gallery

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The VAG is known for its iconic cylindrical columns, grand staircase and neoclassical design. It’s a great location for a fancier engagement session, but can be pretty busy at times. It’s best to come here later in the day as there are generally less people in your way and events usually pack their bags when the sun goes down.

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3.) Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver

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The Cleveland Dam is located just before Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. It’s a great spot because it’s generally not too busy and the scenery is amazing. There’s a huge grassy mound right beside the parking lot which overlooks the Capilano Reservoir and a forest full of trails which lead you to the bottom of the Capilano River. I love this spot because it gives me a chance to explore the trails with my couples and take photos at the same time! Remember to bring your walking shoes or a pair of flats as these trails will be difficult to navigate in a pair of heels :)

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4.) Iona Beach in Richmond

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Do you ever wonder why Richmond smells like sewage sometimes? Well… it’s because of Iona Beach. There’s a pipe that extends 5km out that dumps sewage water out into the ocean – I call it the poo pipe. Just Kidding. Richmond smells because of all the fertilizers being used on all the farmland. I assure you that all the water being dumped from the poo pipe has been treated. This spot runs along the North Arm of the Fraser River. It offers the same amazing water views as Dyke Road, but it’s close the Vancouver Airport so if you’re into airplanes, you can sit and watch them as they land and take off. And don’t worry, I won’t make you walk all the way to the end of the poo pipe.

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5.) Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver

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Whytecliff Park is such an amazing spot that just screams, “Welcome to the West Coast”. Located on the edge of West Vancouver, it offers sweeping views of the Strait of Georgia and a beautiful (but rocky) beach. At low tide, you’re able to walk across and scramble up to the Whytecliff Islet. If you’re not that adventurous, we can stay on the beach or explore the coves on the mainland side.

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6.) Capilano Suspension Bridge

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Imagine navigating along granite cliffs on top of the canopy of our temperate rainforest, then walking across a suspension bridge that stretches 450 feet across and 230 feet above a raging river. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Well, that’s the Capilano Suspension Bridge and it’s awesome! This place is crawling with tourists though and you have to pay an admission to get into the park, but it’s definitely worth it! I would try to arrive early to avoid the crowds. If this isn’t for you, there’s a smaller free version of the suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon that is equally beautiful, but it requires a bit of a trek to get to.

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7.) Grouse Mountain

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This place is just beautiful and is advertised as The Peak of Vancouver. A bit pricey to take the gondola up, but you receive a free admission if you make a reservation at their award winning restaurant, The Observatory. This is a great spot in the summer as it really is the peak of Vancouver. You can get amazing views of the downtown skyline as well as wander around in the trails at the top of the mountain. If you’re looking for some snow, this is your winter wonderland!

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8.) Spanish Banks Beach

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If you’re looking for a spot that’s on the water and offers views of the North Shore mountains as well as an unobstructed view of the downtown skyline, then this is it! Spanish Banks can get REALLY busy during the summer months, but it’s really quiet during the spring months. UBC is nearby if you’d like to throw some interesting architecture into the mix and Pacific Regional Park is just across the street if you’d like to go for a hike through the forest. Spanish Banks is great for portraits, but we could also bring some props for a styled shoot as well!

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So there you have it! There are 8 fantastic locations in Vancouver for engagement photos. I’ve got a few more spots up my sleeve that a bit less known to the public. If you’re looking for a unique location for engagement photography or are interested in having a session with me, feel free to contact me and we can find a location that suits your personality the best!

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Simon and Pamela’s wedding at Westwood Plateau

Surprise!  Here’s another slideshow from Pamela and Simon’s wedding last weekend.

Pam and Simon got married at the Westwood Plateau Golf Course in Coquitlam.  We were blessed with clear sunny skies and an unadulterated view of Mount Baker in the background.

Take some time to watch the slideshow of their beautiful wedding!

Pamela and Simon | May 7th, 2016 from David Tam on Vimeo.

Music purchased and licensed through www.themusicbed.com

Rebecca Roubion | Sleepless Nights

Marie Hines | This Love

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how to save on your wedding, but still have beautiful images

Let’s face it. Weddings are expensive.

Not everyone has family to help them out with the bills and I know there are many people out there, myself included, who don’t feel comfortable with accepting hand outs either. But what if I told you that it’s possible to still have a beautiful stress free wedding and breathtaking photos without breaking the bank.

Here are 5 ways to save for your big day:

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1.)  Make it intimate

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I mean, make it really intimate.  Elopements are an easy way to save big on your wedding day while still making the day all about you.

Amy and Adam are outdoorsy people. They spent their honey moon hiking the West Coast Trail (for the 3 time). Their Facebook and Instagram accounts are littered with photos of their latest trekking experiences and mountain summits. There wasn’t a single doubt in their minds when they set their hearts on a mountain top elopement  in Whistler.

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Meghan and Michael flew over to Vancouver from Fort McMurray to elope.  The staff at The Opus Hotel in Yaletown took care of the whole wedding package for them – their wedding and event coordinator even signed and witnessed their marriage license! After a short stay in Vancouver and honeymoon in Hawaii, they celebrated with friends and family in Alberta.

2.)  Grow your own flowers!

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Easier said than done, but if you’ve got a green thumb, this will be a cinch! Rachel had a beautiful and fragrant bouquet of lavender she grew in her backyard and Matt’s boutonnière was made of the same lavender tied together with some twine. Amy’s bouquet was made of some wildflowers she’d gathered on a hike earlier in the day. Both these arrangements were inexpensive and really express their personalities and lifestyles!

3.)  Prioritize your budget

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Not everyone NEEDS full day photography coverage. Having beautiful photos is important (and a must in my eyes), but for some, decorations are just as important. Gary is an interior designer so it was really important to have a beautifully decorated venue. He and his wife Alice decided to only hire me for a portion of the day so they could put their wedding dollars towards decorations. Be careful when you go this route though. You want to hire a photographer whom you trust to still take fantastic photos. In Gary and Alice’s case, they went with quality over quantity when hiring me as their wedding photographer.

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4.)  Have a small celebration then take photos another day!

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Some couples choose to have a simple celebration with their friends and family on one day, then pick a separate day to take their wedding photos. This not only saves you ton on your wedding day coverage, but gives you a fun and relaxing time to make some beautiful images. You can make your session as casual or as fancy as you see fit.

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5.)  Do it yourself!

This is super cliché, but it’s true! If you want to save some money, just do it yourself!

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For Wayne and Grace’s wedding, they had a small and intimate gathering in the backyard of their own home. They rented a tent, chairs and high top tables locally and set them up themselves. Decorations were simple and elegant, made up of potted plants, mason jar arrangements and stringed up photos of their childhood moments.

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So that’s it! There are 6 ways you can save big on your wedding day. If you have any other tips and tricks, feel free to comment below!

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear Moms,

Thank you for being there for us through thick and thin. Thank you for raising us and loving us unconditionally. Thank you for feeding us and making sure we never go hungry. Thank you for the sleepless nights, waiting for us to come home, and putting up with our shenanigans.

Throughout our lives, we ask and we ask, and you never stop giving. We fight against you, but you never stop loving us. You’ve won many battles for us and have probably dug us out of an insurmountable number of holes and for that, we are forever grateful.

To all the beautiful mothers out there, young and old. Happy Mother’s Day! May you be loved and cherished, not just today, but for all the days of your lives!

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