The 10 Best Lifestyle Photographers in Vancouver
What defines Vancouver’s character? Its people, of course! Specifically, it’s what they do and the lives they live. Fortunately, we are now in an era where the tech has enabled us to easily photograph ourselves, our ways of life, our lifestyles. We are just as fortunate that professionals—like those in this collection of some of the best Vancouver lifestyle photographers available—are now lending their talent to help folks capture and share their stories with the rest of us, and in really amazing ways!
1. Holly Galpin of Holly Gal Photography
We’ll start with Holly Galpin, a lifestyle and portrait photographer. A North Shore resident, she comes first because her online galleries are full of what essentially are the quintessential images that pop into our head when we think, “young BC carefree healthy family unit enjoying the fresh, clean, great outdoors of Canada.” Galpin captures this Canadian ideal perfectly, picture after picture, drawing us into this idyllic, and clearly beautiful, way of life.
“Personal Documentary Lifestyle” photographs is what Leah Villalobos calls one of her offerings. Part of the pool of professional Vancouver lifestyle photographers, she has cleverly started providing picture series “packages” that tell a client’s special life moment story—first child, child’s first steps, first dance, etc. These image documentaries aim to tell a better story than a single image can, which is something that will be really cherished. They’re heirlooms in the making.
3. Josh Yong
Many of the lifestyle images in Josh Yong’s portfolio are related to enjoying nature and the outdoors. Clearly it’s a popular lifestyle choice for the locale. It’s worth noting, however, that Yong often stylistically tends to show more of the larger environment in which his subjects find themselves. The people in his photographs draw your attention, of course, yet they sometimes aren’t the overwhelming focal theme. Instead, Yong seems to show how they are part of the grandness around them. The effect can be powerful.
Another who enjoys photographing “living life in the great Canadian outdoors” lifestyle, Kristen Borelli differentiates her work largely through her personal color preferences. Borelli’s images employ an abundance of very warm, neutral, muted tones of browns, reds, and similar hues. The effect prominent without being overpowering. This perfectly demonstrates how the artists behind the cameras will very much influence how the results feel, even with similar subject matter.
A professional photographer, it’s Gallia Thomson’s personal online gallery that grabs our attention. Amid the many charming family photographs, we also learn that Thomson is a new mother. And we also learn something else very important about her way of life: She’s also a competitive powerlifter. Now calling herself a Postpartum Powerlifter, Thomson visually documents her journey of using powerlifting to not only get back into the shape she desires, but also as a means to help handle the pressures and chaos of motherhood. It’s totally intriguing.
Melanie Katcher’s bread and butter is wedding photography, and she brings those stylistic sensibilities to her lifestyle photography. It often takes the form of engagement photography, though it could just as easily be commercial or editorial—her work is widely appealing. We love her hip, stylish editing work, with emotionally-charged color selection that would be right at home at the top of any popular Pinterest board or Instagram feed.
“I’ll be your paparazzi/bestie for the day,” promises Laura Berkenpas, and who can resist an offer like that? A professional who actually promotes lifestyle photography front and center on her site, Berkenpas’s undeniably friendly and wholesome vibe could readily explain why her portfolio seems comparatively heavier with client family lifestyle photographs.
She directs her subjects expertly, capturing them in a variety of ways, taking classic portrait arrangements to spontaneous high activity candids. Her results are remarkable; we really don’t have to think too hard to figure out why families seem to really like her!
8. Kaitlin Day
As a wedding, couples, and lifestyle photographer, Kaitlin Day’s documentary film industry background has served her and her clients well, with photographs that “tell your true love story.” Her portfolio reveals the quality you’d expect from innate talent bolstered by experience.
And it also reveals something else—a significantly high number of LGBTQ+ clients—not commonly seen in those numbers in the portfolios of other Vancouver lifestyle photographers, particularly those who aren’t established to specifically serve this niche community. That Day is perfectly fine serving a diverse clientele is obvious; that the LGBTQ+ community is very comfortable with having Day responsible for photographing one of the most special moments of their lives. Now that is truly noteworthy.
9. Kathy Lui
If there’s anything that will really affect anyone’s lifestyle, it’s having a baby. Like many other photographers, both amateur and pro, Kathy Lui knows how important it is to visually document the newborn’s first few hours and days of being welcomed to the world. But from her own personal experience with her first child, she realized something just as important was missing from her daughter’s photographic record: They had a lot of wonderful pictures of her alone, but none with her new parents.
The opportunity to capture the stories of brand new motherhood and parenthood were missed, and sadly, of course, could never be recovered. These vital pictures, she concluded, was one of the services she could offer brand new parents, and it truly is rewarding to see Lui succeed at delivering that, with all the heartwarming images of happy clients and their newborns in Lui’s portfolio.
10. Shelly Fey
What do top athletes do when they aren’t on stage, so to speak? Shelly Fey shows us. Her images dramatically capture her athletic clientele’s lives off the battlefield, superbly telling us their stories of dedication, discipline, and incredibly hard work. These aren’t just some uninspired snapshots in some warehouse-looking gym; Fey comes up close and personal, showing us perfectly timed effort, sweat, concentration and determination—powerful visual insight into what makes her clients tick. Brilliant work!
Diversity as a lifestyle.
Despite the fact that Vancouver has the densest population in Canada, as we can see through all these photographers’ work, people’s lives and their interests are as diverse as ever, and always will be. And that’s a great thing! Each Vancouver resident has a story to tell. May each get the opportunity to tell theirs and show us what Vancouver truly is all about. The most outstanding Vancouver lifestyle photographers are visual storytellers of the highest order, and we’re crazy about their work.