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100 Vancouver Memories, Part I – Leah Nilson
Leah Nilson
Portrait & Lifestyle Photography

100 Vancouver Memories, Part I

For fun I decided to do a super intensive #tbt. The following are 100 memories from Vancouver, 2009-2011. I lived in Vancouver BC from 2003 until 2016. I first moved out to attend art school at Emily Carr University, but despite dropping out sometime in 2006, I hung around Vancouver, and spent a decade bumming around, working in coffee shops and retail stores, going to shows, making friends, falling in love and trying to do art. Although we eventually became priced out, and the lustre of this gem of the Wet Coast began to fade away, I was heartbroken to leave the city where I “found myself” and became a grown up, when we moved back to Kenora, Ontario last year. I miss my friends, the mountains, the ocean, the moss, and especially the food. I even miss the rain! I am so happy here in Kenora, and in many ways it has been one of the best choices we’ve made as a family. But I sure hope to revisit Vancouver someday soon and find some semblance of the city of my dreams and memories.

In January of 2009, my sweet mum gifted me an entry level digital SLR – the Canon Rebel Xsi. Up until that point, I had made do with a circa 2003 Olympus c5050, a “pro-sumer” level point and shoot, which happened to have a tack-sharp lens and made some beautiful images (which sadly have been lost to the ages). The Rebel was my first foray into an interchangeable lens system, and I soon ventured into a daily photo project, and took it with me everywhere I went. Later in 2010, I upgraded to the same Canon 5D mark ii I use to this day, and began to curate my arsenal of lenses (very quickly became a fan of the prime, or “fixed focal length” lens, and using those guys to shoot wide open).

It was super fun to look back on these images, an re-edit them to my current standards/tastes. It’s funny the things that tickled me then, and still tickle me today; the quiet city at night (especially shooting into empty restaurants), neighbourhood cats, back alley beauty, subliminal light and directing my husband to take portraits of me, because it’s no fun always being the one behind the lens. I received that first DSLR right around the same time that my husband and I started dating, so these images track the trajectory of our relationship, from the giddy heights of new love, to our Christmas 2011 engagement.

Please click through for the slideshow and take a walk down good ‘ol memory lane with me, and stay tuned for part II!

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Leah Nilson

About me

Leah Nilson is a portrait & lifestyle photographer based in Kenora, ON. She chases light and hunts the spectacular with her camera