These days everyone can take an iPhone photo, but not everyone can craft a photograph to creative mastery and competence like many photographers can.
Photographers are constantly elevating our sensory and creative experience, showing us sights we may have never seen before or capturing perspectives we may have never thought of before.
These Vancouver photographers continually impress us with their dedication to excellence, creative competence and passion for the art of photography. We are so proud to have them represent our city and for the distinct work they deliver to the scene.
So shower them with support and love on Instagram for these talented local photographers! And there are many more talented Vancouver photographers that we couldn't fit in this article. This list is in no particular order.
Rachel Barkman // @rachelbarkman
Rachel has been making serious waves in the Vancouver photography scene and Instagram community with her next-level pictures. "I stumbled into photography while I was finishing my degree in education. My brother gave me a hand-me-down camera and suddenly I was photographing everything I could. Before long, friends were asking me to shoot their weddings and I quickly realized how much I loved the idea of doing this for a living," says Rachel.
Her nature and lifestyle photographs are picture perfect representations of the Pacific Northwest and her wedding photos are tremendously magical and romantic. "It started with weddings, but when I began bringing my camera with me on hikes and adventures, I noticed a big response to the images I posted. Before long, landscapes and commercial shoots became a regular part of my work, too. So many parts of who I am are woven together through my camera. It’s been the most rewarding journey!"
Will Selviz // @willselviz
Will is a seriously talented and dedicated photographer that is always delivering next level creativity with his work. "I think everyone's an artist in their own way, it's more about finding the right medium to express it," says Will. "I discovered drawing and painting in my early teens and transitioned into music in high school, finally sold my electric guitar for a DSLR in Summer 2010. This was when I still lived in Kuwait, where concerts and parties were forbidden by Islamic laws. I then moved to Vancouver and discovered music photography, which allowed me to merge everything I knew about art to this date."
His photography of festivals and music concerts is mesmerizing and original, transporting you to a dreamy world. Will's advice for creatives? "You may not know where your passion will take you next, but all the skills you gain along the way will add up when you do. Find a medium, find your way."
Alia Youssef // @aliayphotography
Alia is a highly talented portrait and editorial photographer, filmmaker, and artist with a pertinent purpose behind her work. She boasts a wide range of creative skills and started her photography journey at a mere 14 years old. By high school, she was already working professionally and in grade 10 she began entering her work into fine art photography competitions. Her university education was an extension of her creative endeavours. "In grade 12, I was accepted into the Ryerson University Photography program in Toronto, ON and was thrilled to take my work to new heights," says Alia. "The four years during my BFA were extremely meaningful, but I really began making important work during my fourth year thesis project."
Her project helps bring crucial contributions to diminish the void of media representation of Muslim women. "As a Muslim girl growing up post 9/11 I was tired of the lack of media representation of Muslim women, and the misrepresentation of us. I decided in December 2016 to make a portrait series that showcased the diversity of Muslim women called 'The Sisters Project'", says Alia. This series features portraits of women in locations that have personal significance, which is accompanied by a caption explaining the things that are important to those women. This project is bringing groundbreaking work to the media sphere. "'The Sisters Project' aims to use visual storytelling as a way to humanize and bring empathy and understanding to my community," says Alia. "My work with 'The Sisters Project' led me to discover how much I love storytelling through portraiture and now I do editorial photography when I am not working on my personal art projects."
Alia's work has even gone past national borders. "In 2017, I was flown to New York City to photograph the Muslim Girl x Getty Image collaboration (the image I selected is from that photoshoot) in an effort to bring positive and fun photographs of Muslim women to stock image catalogues." Alia is now photographing portraits for magazines, newspapers, and individual clients. She has also been working on new projects. "Recently, I completed a different series called “Like a Sister,” it was exhibited at the Ryerson Artspace at the Gladstone Hotel for International Women’s Day," says Alia. "This new project explored what sisterhood looks like in contemporary Canada, and asked us how we can better support the women around us. In the upcoming months, Alia will be busy doing exhibitions across Canada. "I will be touring Canada for “The Sisters Project”, to give a national perspective on Muslim women’s stories and experiences," says Alia. "I will be exhibiting the photographs from the project at the Ryerson Image Centre Gallery in Toronto September 2018." So if you are in Toronto in September, you should definitely check it out!
Ed Lau // @exploredventure
Ed is a 21 year old psychology student at the University of British Columbia and he is already delivering incredible photographs and videos both as a hobby and professionally, despite being a busy university student. "My hobby is capturing beautiful moments through my photos and videos, where I feel like I can truly express my creative side," says Ed. "It all started when my parents bought me a GoPro for my birthday. I brought that little thing around with me wherever I went. I couldn't put it down, and that feeling has stayed with me ever since." His photography is seriously creative and breathtaking.
Anna Hers // @annahers
Anna is a highly talented photographer with both the expertise and heart for the craft."I think I just fell in love with always looking out for beautiful things," says Anna. Both her story and photography is inspirational. "Part of my photography story is that years ago I got sick with chronic migraines and was deeply disoriented, overwhelmed and just perpetually brokenhearted that I wasn’t getting better," says Anna. "One summer, almost by accident, I wandered into a forest and ended up falling for the deep, slow magic there. I found something like sanctuary and refuge. And ever since then I’ve been learning how to translate that feeling into photographs."
Mattie Chan // @hopelessromantic.co
Mattie's photography is dreamy and romantic, a perfect balance of pretty and creative. She is a full time photographer specializing in weddings, editorials and portraits. "As a hopeless romantic, I have an unrivalled passion for beautiful storytelling. Greatly inspired by impressionist artists, I combine my love for photography with art," says Mattie. "Working with light and nature are essential to my work—I capture the momentary effects of light, what the eyes see in a fleeting moment."
As for her inspiration? "I take inspiration from my favourite artists: Monet, Van Gogh, Camille Pissaro, Auguste Toulmouche, Claire Basler, etc," says Mattie. "Their teachings on composition, colour, lighting, and style are foundations to my work." Looking forward, Mattie has some exciting plans ahead of her. "Planning a few editorials at the moment, I am designing shoots that explore topics close to my heart. As a challenge to myself this year, I hope to create photos with an extra layer of depth and a connection to art history, culture and heritage."
Isaac Sim // @isaacseemstohave
Isaac is a creative and talented wedding and portrait photographer. "I love the outdoors and going on adventures/travelling incorporating that into both weddings and portraits," says Isaac. "I got into photography first about 5 years ago from a mutual friend who was photographing bands and concerts. I first started out with that and have been discovering what I really like and want to photograph: Weddings and portraits." His wedding pictures are moody yet so romantic and absolutely picture perfect. "This is my second year photographing weddings and it’s been amazing documenting couple’s love story and big day."
Tamara Osseiran // @tamaraosseiran
Tamara has a unique and captivating feel to her photography. She is from Lebanon, but grew up in Saudi Arabia and now calls Vancouver home. "I tend to take photos of landscapes and cityscapes, with the objective of capturing a calm aesthetic appeal. My aim is to capture subtle and calming beauty through the juxtaposition of urban and rural life," says Tamara. "Looking at photos should be soothing."
Her start in photography was by accident, but her creativity is compelling and her work is no mistake. "I started off taking photos through my iPhone, though now I also work with DSLR — perhaps even a little combo of both," says Tamara. "My landscape and cityscape photography is primarily an expression of artistic interest, but on occasion I do headshots for organizations that may need help with that."
Ricardo Seah // @ricardography
Ricardo is a creative self-taught photographer originally from Singapore and currently based in Vancouver. His photographs are stunning and he has a wide range of pieces. "I got into photography at a young age and a couple years after starting, when people started asking if they could buy my prints and I had one of my pictures published in National Geographic’s Daily Dozen, I knew this was something I was meant to do," says Ricardo. "My photography aims to inspire viewers and bring them into a scene as if they were sharing a moment in time with me" – and he is definitely success with this aim.
"I like to keep things true to the way I saw them and as such, I do as little editing as possible making adjustments only to reflect more accurately the feel and aesthetic the way I witnessed it to be." And as for what he's been doing in the industry lately? "I’m kept busy with photoshoots ranging from events, portraits and engagement shoots to travel and commercial work," says Ricardo. "I also sell prints on my website and do photography lessons privately and through Vancouver Photowalks."
Annalise Macdonald // @annalisemacdonald
Annalise is a talented photographer from the North Shore that takes total insta-goals pictures. "I love photography because it allows me to essentially freeze time," says Annalise. "I am able to capture memories, which to me is something very intimate and special." She takes a variety of photos, but portrait photography is her passion. "I especially love taking portraits because I get to remind people of how beautiful they truly are. Every one is unique and photography lets me really showcase beauty while telling a story."
Steve Kim // @stevekinsung
Steve is a talented creative with extensive experience with photography. "My start in photography goes way back into my childhood, when I had cameras all around me because my father is also an avid photographer," says Steve. "However, the move to becoming more serious about photography happened when I moved to Ottawa for a short internship in my third year of university. I took loads of photos on my phone, just to remember the moments in that season of my life, but I felt like it was too limiting. A month later, I bit the bullet and bought my first DSLR, taking it out on photo walks whenever I had the chance. I taught myself through articles on Google and YouTube videos." His photography has expanded to a wide range of styles. "I began capturing candid moments when spending time with friends, but also grew a fondness for landscape and cityscape, says Steve. "I kept pursuing photography because I was drawn to it. There was this virtuous cycle of enjoying the process of capturing moments, and having people affirm me that they love what I do." He has now started to pursue photography professionally as well, landing shoots for weddings and engagements. "The professional side is simply upon request of my services, but most of my photography is personal and casual," says Steve. "I enjoy being free of the pressure of photography being my day job, and I try not to compare myself with other more experienced photographers."
Ryan Walker // @shootfirstryan
Ryan captures the outdoors beautifully and his photos will make you want to go out and explore. "I've been seeking out new hikes every weekend, and love trying to capture the beauty I see," says Ryan. "Adventuring around BC, and exploring further come spring."