documentary photography

Van Dusen Gardens Cambodian and Vietnamese Wedding

Van Dusen Gardens Cambodian and Vietnamese Wedding

FIRST: Huge thanks to Jumi Story for having me on as a secondary photographer for this wedding.

I won’t say much about this wedding other than I learned a little bit more about Cambodian and Vietnamese customs for weddings. The early morning tea ceremony was a bit different from the usual with the way it was done and there was an aspect of red string being tied to the bride and groom. I’ll let the photographs do the talking :)

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Lonsdale Quay North Vancouver Family Session - Wendy and Family

Lonsdale Quay North Vancouver Family Session - Wendy and Family

Capturing life as it happens is such a joy to see. It’s pure smiles and true interaction. A lot of it happens spontaneously and moments go by so quick but people, like Wendy, hire me for these types of photos and they love them.

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2018 Year End Review - My Documentary Photography Comes Home

2018 Year End Review - My Documentary Photography Comes Home

How do you even begin to encapsulate a year? It’s 365 days of living and being and breathing and it all goes by so fast. As a photographer, the photos I take are not only momentos of the little moments that went by but also memory place holders that let me look back and recall a time in my life: the smells, the sights and even the sounds.

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Chinatown at Night

Chinatown at Night

It’s been a while since I blogged about Chinatown… or blogged at all for that matter. Life keeps getting busy and taking the time to sit down and write stuff to a general internet audience sometimes (in all honesty) ranks a little lower on my list of priorities. Lately, I’ve taken to exercise more and stay in shape, I’ve attempted to learn to dance a bit, I’ve been catching up on personal film work from the last year and a bit and I’m trying to finally put together that Chinatown book I’ve been meaning to do.

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Photographs from a Ferry Ride

Photographs from a Ferry Ride

Recently I was telling a group of photographers at the ARC Conference that “you are not a ‘photographer’, you are more than that.” I really believe this to be true. While we are passionate about our photography work (weddings, family photographs, long-term projects), we are so much more than just a camera person who takes these photos. We are human beings: artists who create with our cameras. And sometimes, this creating leads us to explore other areas other than those that we would normally do in our line of work.

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Welid and Savannah's Backyard Wedding - Seconding for Stefanie Cepeda

Welid and Savannah's Backyard Wedding - Seconding for Stefanie Cepeda

Welid and Savannah's wedding was one of the first backyard weddings I had photographed. While I thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere and the revelry of larger weddings, I also love the intimacy that comes with small weddings as well. It was a bright sunny day and lended itself to a great day followed by a reception in a hall in the evening.

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Brix and Mortar Wedding - Shu-Hyun and Tyrrell - (Seconding for John Bello)

Brix and Mortar Wedding - Shu-Hyun and Tyrrell - (Seconding for John Bello)

I really enjoy photographing at Brix and Mortar and around the Yaletown area. So when John Bello called me up to be his second shooter, I was very much inclined to join the party. 

Regardless of whether I'm a primary photographer or second photographer, I always go into a wedding with the same determination to create true and authentic moments and beautiful photographs that the couple will remember.

Thanks again to John Bello for giving me the opportunity to second shoot!

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Newborn Documentary Photosession - Zee, Eee and Cee

Newborn Documentary Photosession - Zee, Eee and Cee

Yes, their actual names are not Zee, Eee or Cee but this is a special for a good friend :)

I've known Zee and Eee for a while and they've been great friends. When they asked me to take photos of their brand new baby Cee and they wanted it in a documentary approach, I was more than delighted to spend some time with them and take their photos. The day I arrived, Cee was about 2 weeks old so he was pretty new to the world at that time. 

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Westwood Plateau Wedding - Stanley + Jen

Westwood Plateau Wedding - Stanley + Jen

It's funny how sometime time repeats itself. It was only 6 years ago when my wife and I were married in Burnaby Alliance Church and had our reception at Westwood Plateau golf course. I was pretty stoked to get to document Stanley and Jen's wedding but even more so when I realized they'd be getting married in the same places we did! In some ways, I got to re-live the experience of my own wedding day through them. 

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Documentary Family Session - Dana and Family

Documentary Family Session - Dana and Family

Being a documentary photographer means being a part of people's lives. I've found out over the years that cameras, film, technology and other things really have little to do with a photo... although, of course, you need these items to actually make a photograph. Yet, much of it is about connecting with your fellow human and relating on a personal level. Too many times I find myself hiding behind a camera to take photos only to realize that the best ones I take (at least to me) are ones where I've connected with people.

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