VI Kids: First Class

 urban kids photography, vancouver kids portrait, kids photography, children portrait, children photographer

It was 2011 when we photographed our first class with Kids by Design pre-school in Maple Ridge. We planned for an outdoor theme. But it rained out. So we improvised and used a section of the unfinished basement. Despite the weather tossing us a curve ball, the resulting images were fantastic giving a stylized gritty look (Check it!). Over the years, we have been blessed with amazing weather for our school shoots and therefore utilized outdoor park setting. But we never forgot about that rainy day years ago. We often mused wouldn’t it be great if we can photograph some urban style portraits?

One day Regent Christian Online Academy approached us to photograph their super cool children. However they informed us of a lack of park land location which might be a challenge. Returning from our scouting trip, we were pumped that RCOA’s school location provided just the ingredients for an urban themed portrait. In addition these home-educated kids were just…. first class!

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Wong Family @ the 100-Year old Carousel

family photography burnaby lake, portrait burnaby museum, burnaby family photographer, vancouver family photography

Whoa! This is faster than I thought. I vaguely remembered this 1912 carousel was pretty fun when we visited Burnaby Museum for Christmas years ago. A tad fast compared to the regular country fair merry-go-rounds. But a thrill nonetheless. Well we’re here with the Wong family. We arrived at the C.W. Parker Carousel just a few minutes before closing. The conductor was kind enough to let us hop on. He even invited me to get on for some carousel action photography. What that’s such a nice man. Did I detect an evil smile? Too late, it’s moving.

Unlike last time where I could go “Whee!!!” with my 5 year old, this time I was trying to stabilize myself with camera gear as Mr. Conductor turned up the juice. Whirl! Whirl! Whirl! Time to bring out the Kung-Fu Panda stance!

“Faster! Faster!” the two Wong boys gleefully screamed!

Soon everything became big blur… Buffeted by the gold wrapped posts and colourful wooden horses, I felt like a spinning pinata.

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Sony Professional Imaging Vancouver


Admittedly, I am a bit of a photography gear snob many years ago. It first started with my steadfast (err… stubborn) mindset on film as the valid photography medium. (Cue Kodak Reminder) Heck I still have a few old film cameras in my arsenal that see occasional use including a Canon EOS 3 that my dad gave me.  When I finally adopted digital medium it was Canon no less. Years ago when my cousin showed off her Sony Cybershot 3MP, I would laugh at her. After all, I enjoy Sony for many things like the Discman (ahem…even Walkman), Bravia TVs, Playstation and even their VAIO laptops aren’t bad. But camera? Really?! You got to be joking. Sony makes toys… not tools!

Well fast forward today, I am eating my own words with extra spicy sauce. You see, over the last decade or so, Sony has been steadily improving upon its imaging technology to the point where Sony is one of the main image sensor provider for many camera manufacturers including the likes of Nikon and selected Canon equipment. So sometime last year, Sony Canada in conjunction with Broadway Camera invited a bunch of photographers (and skeptics) to evaluate their latest products. This by invite only event was held at a derelict warehouse in of all places the notorious East Vancouver. Mmmkay.


Well they certainly trotted quite a bit of Sony Alpha professional bits including their A-Mount and E-Mount lines. Honestly, I really have no idea why Sony is keeping the A-Mount. I asked the nice Sony rep about it and Judy in her most wonderfully polished PR-ness told me while the E-Mount is enjoying a strong uptake and R&D investment, there are no plans to retire the A-Mount. Uh, OK that’s informative. Time to check out the pretty model who is getting a bit ignored thanks to the parade of sexy α and Zeiss lenses.

Without further ado, I’ll unpack the event experience and thoughts about Sony as a maker of professional imaging equipment.

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Behind the Scenes and Bloopers

behind the scenes
    Time flies and here we are staring at 2016. A few weeks ago while visiting our local library, I came across a photography magazine article titled “What kind of photographer are you?“. This really got me thinking. After five years, who have we become? Did we set out to become the photographer that we wanted to be? Did we stay true to our photography calling?
     When Anne and I started our journey into portrait and wedding photography in the Vancouver region, we knew it would be hard work. Nothing comes easy. Compounded by the fact that we are both consummate artists. After all these years, we get the jitters every time we begin a shoot. From the beloved children photography to weddings, we still get butterflies in the stomach! Because we want so much for clients like yourself to have not just our very best but also uniquely yours. The goal is and always have been about relational artistic photography.
     We have since traveled to different cities, folks traveled from different cities, photographed hundreds of people resulting in terabytes of images. Vanity. Ego. So what. Honestly they don’t mean anything if it weren’t for all the support from you. Friends and families who propel us with the confidence to move forward. This is a humbling experience for me personally. Skills are one thing, but gaining your Trust is what allowed us to strive for better. So a big THANK YOU! for believing in us. Sorry for the long-windedness, we just want to unpack what’s in our hearts.
    Breaking from the traditional year in review video, we want to invite you to check out some of the wacky moments.
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Marina & Jay Wedding at the Burnaby Village Chapel

Burnaby Wedding, Vancouver Wedding, Burnaby Village Wedding

How ya feeling? Hot! Hot! Hot! Temperature in the Vancouver area was hovering about 34C. The city average about 25C this time of the year. And we’re about to shoot a jam packed Burnaby Village Chapel wedding in the afternoon. This is going to be an interesting one for sure. Hmm… so how are we going to combat the heat?…. in a century old chapel?

Never fear! Slurpee and ice slushies to the rescue!

Marina & Jay gang simply didn’t let the heat bother them. In fact this has got to be one of the funnest weddings we got to shoot. Everyone was just having a ball of a time! Check out this sizzling hot couple’s wedding photos.

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