I take Chinese New Year very seriously – i love chinese food, love Jackie Chan, love the clothing, art and furniture, and – in fact – my grandma grew up in Tientsin and my mother was born in China. Besides – living in the Vancouver area – embracing chinese customs is part of being Canadian (along with the other cultures that thrive in our wonderful city).
So I decided that celebrating Chinese New Year allowed me a bit of grace when it came to selecting & publishing some of my favourite photos from 2011. Besides – its still January – that counts – I still have our Xmas tree up – that counts (ok counts for a bunch of stuff – not necessarily all good!) – and some parts of the day still resemble winter – that counts too.
So over the next few days I hope to post some of my favs from 2011. How do I pick them?
Im picking them for their impact on me – did I grow, learn, change, celebrate, come to terms with, impress (me that is!)? These photos have changed me somehow as a photographer and a person. But to make things simple – Im also just picking one per month….hahaw!
January BC Scotties Women’s Curling Championship
It was a priveledge to be the photographer for the BC Scotties Women’s curling championship held in January 2011 in Cloverdale, BC. The top photo is of course the winning team – Team Scott – the two photos below capture the seconds of time that changed their fate: assuming the game was decided – they stand off to the side – and then – holding their breath – one change of the rock – and the winners switch side. It was exhilirating to watch these women perform with passion and team spirit.
BC Scotties Women's Curling Championship
February Valentine’s Marshmallows
I started working with Kimberley’s Kitchen in 2010 – these exquistely delicate rose-flavoured heart-shaped marshmallows are part of her Valentine’s day line of products. Of course, they are also the perfect, locally made, unique wedding favour. The best part of being a product photographer is that nothing goes to waste – after the photosession – I get to eat what Ive photographed.
February Valentine's Love Marshmallows
Spring Portraits In Studio
Working in my studio, I had a fun afternoon working with these two best friends. We had a million costume changes and attitude changes that included Canucks Shirts, Wigs, flowers, and more! Its the start of my studio sessions and I continue to renovate my mini-studio to add more backdrops, props, and other features! Working in such a limited amount of space – Im thrilled with how well these full length laying down images turned out!
Best Friends Portrait Session
Spring Portraits Outdoors
These warm spring photos were done in April when the ground is still a little wet, the weather unpredictable, and the grass still tall & dry. We explored riverways, train tracks, bridges, and fields. The natural light that day was fabulous and it glows from Bahare’s face. I love how this could easily be a spring or fall portrait in Vancouver – you can sense the chill from her jacket, but feel the early warmth of a spring sun.
Fort Langley Spring Portrait
May Pre-Wedding Portraits In Studio
Prior to their wedding, Michelle came by the studio with her fiance and had some engagement style photos taken. These images would be used at their wedding – its a nice touch – often couples use these photos as their Guest Book. Studio shots are coming along nicely – yeah!
Pre-Wedding Formal Portraits
June Wedding Photos at Stewart Farm
This couple decided to hold their formal wedding photos a few days in advance of their wedding. All dressed up – we met at Stewart Farm, White Rock and caught the wonderful warm glow of a summer sunset. Claire & Martin explored the farm, the barn area, the dock, and the apple trees all the while I caught their love, laughs, and silliness. For this shot – I had the bride getting ready for one shot when I walked around her and found the sun shining through her veil – BAM! – it was like she was floating towards the sky on golden wings.
Stewart Farm Wedding Photography, White Rock
July Wedding Photos at Queens Park
A wonderfully hot summer day caught Cindy & Kevin sharing their marriage with their children. The boys had been patiently waiting for the girls to arrive in their limo – a private moment of support & cheer – and the wedding took place in the Rose Garden. Afterwards we zoomed down to Starbucks, shared their favourite drinks, and then came back to Centennial Lodge for the celebration & crazy dance party! This photo is just one that shows how much support, fun, and love this family had for each other.
Queens Park Wedding, New Westminster
August Engagement Photos at Stanley Park
A few weeks before their wedding, Amy, Adrian & I all met for drinks down at Coal Harbour before starting our multi-hour, super fun trek around Stanely Park. We wandered around the city skyline, every beach along the way, trees and grass and rocks and even a few animals! We had a mini-kissing session where they practiced how to kiss for a camera – I dont think they minded doing homework – and ended our evening just around sunset back around Denman & Davie. It was so easy to work with Amy & Adrian because of their own self-confidence and deep love for each other. To me this photo appears as tho Ive snuck upon these two lovers in the forest and her expression is one of “He’s Mine!”.
Stanley Park Engagement Photos
Fall Engagement Photos at Whytecliff Park
These two are getting married in Sechelt 2012 so we planned their engagement photos for an early fall shoot and luckily we had great weather. Down at Whytecliff Park, West Vancouver, we explored the rocks, found a salmon, climbed mountains, and trees. I love this photo – its all about the love Nicole has for Ivan, and how goofy Ivan can be (oh and a little shy in front of the camera). Looking forward to their wedding this summer!
Whytecliff Park Engagement Photos
October Halloween Sugar Skull Makeup
This past Halloween, I worked with Kyla Charney (MUA/Stylist) and Christina Hall (Model) to create a Sugar Skull . The cape is gold & white and not at all suiting the makeup – but in my mind’s eye – i knew a cape was the right choice for the last set of photos in our session – so I used what I had. By switching the photo into Black & White and adding some additional texture to the image – I created the moody mystique that I had felt that night. Improving on my photoshop skills this year has allowed me to take great images and turn them 180 degrees. I love that this photo feels like both an elegant portrait of a woman and the haunting stare of something darker. (woops – thats the poet in me!)
Sugar Skull Image Magna Vita Photography 2011
November Wedding Kisses
Minh & Alex were wed on a blustery day in November at Cecil Green House, UBC Vancouver. The CGH is a gorgeous location with deep rich browns, classic architecture, elegant furnishings, and the perfect spot for rainy day weddings with ample outside covered spaces and conservatory. With a tight schedule for wedding photos – we took all the family and group photos straight away after the ceremony. Then after the lunch reception – I spent about 30mins outside with the bride & groom and captured their quiet moments of love. From this photo – you would never guess what the weather was like – but its really obvious how much love these two have for each other!
Wedding at Cecil Green House, UBC Vancouver
December MUA & Model Headshot Portfolio
In December, I was working with Nikki Ali (MUA/Stylist) and 12 models. We created headshots for each model for Nikki’s portfolio – but, as a bonus, each model received a CD of images that I took in addition to the regular makeup / hairstyle poses. Working with 12 models in my tiny studio, until late on a Sunday, taxed my creativity, my skills using my lighting setup and my organization skills keeping all the model releases in order, the photos catalogued correctly, and final images sorted, grouped, and presented. Highlighting the natural beauty of each model and the skill of the MUA was fun and relatively easy. But to create a handful of creatively different and yet flattering poses for each of the 12 models under such tight photographic constraints (15 mins each) was thrilling. I love how this photo exudes personal confidence in her sensuality – almost a moment of voyeurism – a stark contrast with how nervous and shy the model was actually feeling during the shoot. This photo is proof of her potential (grin! and of mine).
Model Headshot Image Magna Vita Photography 2011