Portrait Photography

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

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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!

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2.)  Have a lifestyle shoot at home

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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.

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3.)  Grab an umbrella and embrace the rain

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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.

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4.)  Go UP

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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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Vancouver Family Portrait Photographer

I get a request to photograph family portraits from time to time, but I don’t really put them up into my portfolio because it’s not really an area of photography that I focus on. I’m primarily a wedding photographer, but in all honesty, all I really do is just take photos of people! My approach may be different that a traditional family photographer, but I guess this is what makes my style unique.

My brother and his family live in Toronto and unless I go out to visit him, the only time I get to see him is during the holidays. He and his wife Grace just recently had their first baby boy and this Christmas was the first time I ever saw him in person! This little guy is SUCH a ball of happiness! He’s the perfect union of Sam and Grace and his name is Oliver!

I had so much fun photographing these guys. My sister’s kids, Nova and Maddox, joined in for a few frames as well which was super fun.

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