Our Blog

Four Rainy Day Engagement Ideas

We live in the great pacific north west in a magnificent city called Vancouver where you can have a mix of rain, sun and snow all in one day! Here are a few tips on what to do if it’s looking a bit gloomy on your engagement day:

1.)  Run for the trees

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0001

This is my number one rule. We pretty much live in the middle of a temperate rainforest, which means there is coverage to find wherever we look. The thick canopy of the trees is usually enough to turn a downpour into a drizzle. The ground can get pretty mucky in the forest so make sure to wear some boots or shoes you don’t mind getting dirty. Most of the time, we can hang out in the forest until the rain subsides, but if it doesn’t? Oh well!

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0002

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0003

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0004

2.)  Have a lifestyle shoot at home

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0008

There’s nothing like kicking back and relaxing in the comfort of your home. Brew up a pot of coffee or put the kettle on the stove. Have some fun in the kitchen and whip up your favourite dish! I’m here, but I’m *not* here so just be yourselves and let me capture your personalities. We can make it as fun and silly or as intimate and romantic as you want.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0007

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0005

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0006

3.)  Grab an umbrella and embrace the rain

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0009

That’s it, just straight up grab an umbrella and go outside! Sometimes, you just can’t get around it. Maybe the your wedding day is creeping up on you and you just don’t have the time to reschedule or maybe you’re visiting from out of town and this is just as good as it gets. Whatever the reason, let’s make the best of the situation and have some fun. It might be cold and you will get wet, but not as wet as me! Don’t worry about me though; my camera gear can handle the punishment and I’ve put myself in much worse situations when hiking with my dog.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0010

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0011

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0012

4.)  Go UP

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0014

If it’s raining in the middle of winter and the temps are hovering a few degrees above freezing in the city, chances are, it’s dumping snow up on the mountains. Take advantage of this weather phenomenon and come join me for a snow-filled adventure! Don’t have a vehicle that can make it up to the slopes? No problem – just hop into mine and I’ll give you a ride up. I prefer carpooling anyways, it’s better for the Earth!

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-rainy-day-engagement-forest-indoor-engagement-snow-mountains_0013

So there you have it! A few things to do if it’s raining on your shoot date. It may look miserable outside, but that doesn’t mean YOU have to look miserable! If shooing in the rain is not in your forecast, no problem! We can just reschedule!

Read more →

Rainy Day Adventure in Lynn Canyon

So what do you do when you have an engagement/proposal session scheduled and Environment Canada has issued a storm warning with 300mm of rain and winds exceeding 80km/hr? You go out and shoot anyways!

This was Leah and Julia’s first trip to Vancouver and to make it extra special, Leah proposed! I drove over to Lynn Canyon a few days prior to the shoot to scout out the perfect location for Leah to pop the question. It was a nice secluded spot at the bottom of the canyon right on the beach… keyword here being was. Remember that 300mm of rain in the forecast? Well, that turned the quiet tranquil stream into a raging river of death!

Nonetheless, we had a grand time getting soaked by the rain and dodging falling trees. Oh, and Julia said YES! I’m not even going to bother writing about how happy the two of them were – I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves.

Enjoy!

Read more →

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

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_0009

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!

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_02

2.) Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver_art_Gallery_Engagement_Photographer_Photography_David_Tam_matdivad_Stanley_Park_0001

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.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_01

3.) Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_06

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 :)

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_07

4.) Iona Beach in Richmond

Iona Beach Engagement Photography Vancouver Wedding Photographer_0016

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.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_04

5.) Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_05

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.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_0008

6.) Capilano Suspension Bridge

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_0011

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.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_0012

7.) Grouse Mountain

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_0013
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!

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_0014

8.) Spanish Banks Beach

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_0015

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!

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-amazing-engagement-locations_0016

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!

Read more →

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

Read more →

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:

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_001

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_002

 

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_005

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_006

1.)  Make it intimate

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0010

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.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0007

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0019

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!

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0018

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

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0020

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.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0021

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0022

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0023

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0024

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

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0012

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.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0014

5.)  Do it yourself!

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

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0015

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.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0016

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-how-to-save-on-your-wedding_0017

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!

Read more →

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!

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0034

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0035

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0036

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0037

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0038

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0039

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0040

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0041

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0042

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0043

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0044

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0045

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0046

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0047

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0048

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-mother's-day_0049

Read more →

Bishop, California Climbing Road Trip!

I’ve been going on road trips since I was a little kid. My family didn’t get off the continent together very often, so we did the next best thing – shoved everyone into the Van and drove across the country (or south of the border). 20 something years later, I’m doing the same thing, but with my friends instead! In 2013, I made my second trip to Bishop, California. I had been there a year earlier for my first bouldering road trip and there was so much unfinished business, I just had to come back.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0001

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0002

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0003

We drove down near the end of October after a very busy wedding season for me so I didn’t have a lot of time to train for the trip before hand. Therefore, coming back to Bishop this year was more about enjoying the company of my friends rather than sending some sick projects.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0004

On our first day, we decided to go and climb in an area called “The Happy Boulders”. Access to these boulders requires a short hike up some sandy switchbacks and into a rift in the volcanic table lands. The first day of climbing is usually a write off because 1, we’re all exhausted from the drive and 2, we’re reminded that elevation sucks the energy out of you.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0005

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0006

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0007

One of the things I love most about these road trips is just being outside for 24 hours of the day. After a long day of climbing, the sun always tips its hat to you as it sets over the mountains to the west.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0008

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0009

As sunny and hot as it is most days, the clouds can quickly roll in and dump a bunch of snow on you the next day. These are the joys of climbing in the mountains… and why you should always pack a puffy jacket with you.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0010

And just like that, it’s sunny and we’re lounging around resting our fingers and goofing around on a slack line.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0011

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0012

I mentioned earlier that we went on this trip at the end of October, which means… Halloween. We didn’t bring any costumes with us so we decided to dress up as women in the boulders. We bought these dresses for 99 cents each and altered them to suit our “personalities”. There are tons of funnier and more revealing photos, but I wont share them here. Ask me about them in person and I’ll show you 😉

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0013

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0014

On one of our rest days, we decided it would be a good idea to drive up to 10,000ft elevation to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0015

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0016

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0017

This national park is home to some of the oldest specimens on the planet. The oldest living tree is found up here and dates back over 4800 years… pretty amazing stuff.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0018

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0019

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0020

I started my photographic career after my first visit to Bishop so it’s a place that I hold very near and dear to my heart. It’s a place full of beautiful climbs and beautiful scenery – I can’t wait to come back again and again throughout the years.

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0021

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0022

Matdivad-vancouver-wedding-photographer-travel-rock-climbing-bouldering-california_0023

Read more →

Rocky Mountain Bride Magazine Feature

Having your work published is always an exciting part of your career as a photographer, but it’s not something I ever actively pursued. I’ve always thought that if you just put out consistent and compelling images, they’ll do the work for you and people will notice. Throughout the years, I’ve had images published in magazines for advertisements as well as for many other articles and even a cookbook that was done by Penguin Random House Publishing! However, this was the first time any of my wedding photography had been published! Take a look below to see the full feature! If you’re interested in seeing the original blog of the wedding, click here!

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 9.20.27 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 9.21.02 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 9.21.21 AM

Read more →