New Westminster Quay Portrait Photography Session – Nicole Archer

 portrait - photography - new westminster - quay - model

The first two weeks of February was the usual rainy season that you come to expect when living in Vancouver and I had assumed that it would be the same when I had arranged to meet model, Nicole Archer for a photography shoot. Little did I know how lucky we would be as the weather gods graced the day of our shoot with some amazing sunshine, albeit cold weather. 

I connected with Vancouver model, Nicole over Facebook so that she could update her photos. Nicole just got back from a long trip to Brisbane, Australia and i’m so jealous because who wouldn’t be? It’s summer down there right now while we’re still freezing and not to mention their cool accents. Nicole decided to spread her ‘travel wings’ and worked as an Au Pair for a few months towards the end of last year and she told me it was the most rewarding and challenging experience and that she would definitely consider doing it again and maybe in Greece next time. I couldn’t argue with her, my love for Greece is well known. Another awesome fact about this gorgeous woman is that she works full time as an Early Childhood Educator in Vancouver…oh and she’s also a part-time photographer. What doesn’t she do?

The goal for our shoot was to produce some new images for her portfolio and mine as well. Nicole mentioned to me that this year is all about challenging her creative side with both modelling and photography which made me especially excited for our planned photography shoot. Nicole had her hair and make up professionally done and she looked absolutely amazing! Our photography shoot was planned for 2pm which unfortunately gave us some of that midday sun that is so hard to photograph in. (Read my blog on Difficult Lighting Conditions if you’re wondering why). To add another challenge I had forgot my scrim and reflector at home, but we made it work thanks to the amazing photography locations in New Westminster, B.C. New Westminster has several amazing locations all within a short distance and is littered with gorgeous backdrops; brick walls, boardwalks, colourful murals and hidden alleys. 

To begin, we started in the shade by a brick wall and the shallow depth of field allowed for great fall off and isolated Nicole’s lovely eyes. I used one of my favourite portrait lenses, the Nikon 58mm f/1.4 which produces amazing blur in the background which can be seen in the photos below.

 portrait - black and white - brick wall - new westminster

Next, we moved to the boardwalk on the New Westminster Quay. It was a Saturday so it was quite busy with locals and tourists alike but that didn’t bother us at all. I started by putting Nicole’s back to the sun and photographers her backlit. I used a flash to fill in and balance the lighting and properly expose her. I also used a longer focal length to isolate her as the subject and keep some of the environment out of the photographs. The photos below are the product of the backlighting effect.

 new westminster - boardwalk - vancouver - model - portrait - photography

The next location we shot at was simply but edgy. We found a fenced off area located close to Columbia street in New Westminster and we were able to shoot with some direct side lighting that allowed for the edgier looks. Have a look at some of the images from this location, below.

The final location that we used for the day was an empty alley that was located off a side street in New Westminster’s downtown area. We found a vibrant red mural and used that as a background along with the alley way. Nicole was in even shade but the white and grey of the alley and buildings were lit and this caused Nicole to be isolated as the subject and produced these amazing photos, below.

 downtown - new westminster - model - red wall - alley - portrait - photoshoot
 new westminster - alley - Vancouver - model - lighting

It was a great day and I want to thank Nicole for spending the time with me and giving me the pleasure of being the photographer for her modelling portfolio images. I cannot wait to see more of her work in the future. 


Keep up with us on social media:

Model: Nicole Archer @nxarcher

Make up: Ankita @makeupbyankita

Photography: Lisa Lander @lisa_lander_photography