All posts in Interviews

Local Lens: Tina Albrecht

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Friends! I am so excited to share with you the work of Tina Albrecht, a designer/photographer residing in Vancouver, BC. This particular collection of hers captures the stunning climatic range of British Columbia. From dense fog to abundant snow to effervescent sunlight filtering through the clouds, the face of BC shifts dramatically as the seasons fold into one another.

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The lovely Tina sat down with us to chat about her creative background and where she gleans her day-to-day inspiration.

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Q&A with Tina Albrecht

1. Please name three things you are currently into:

  • Anything with gold plating
  • Creating an amazing cocktail bar at home (I already have a bunch of lovely gold trimmed glasses)
  • My patio. I have big plans to create a lush, green, outdoor living space to spend my summer evening relaxing in. If only spring would hurry up and get here!!

2. You are a communications designer by trade. How did you get into photography?

I started taking photos in high school with my dad’s film camera. I would lug around the camera and a suitcase full of lenses, making my sister and friends pose for me. When I went to university at Emily Carr, I took photography as a minor and have been dabbling in it ever since. I have always been drawn to photography and sometimes I think that if I hadn’t gone into design, I probably would have chosen photography as a career.

3. Was there a defining moment / turning point in your life when you realized what you wanted to do for a living?

When I was in my early teens I loved to draw, I would cut photos of my favourite baseball players out of the newspaper and sketch them. I had a whole binder full of drawings. It was around that time when someone suggested that I should think of becoming a commercial artist, as we were called in those days. I think that was when I first realized that there was more out there than just becoming fine artist.

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4. Your work always seems to capture a strong sense of place. What do you love about the region you live in?

There are so many things that I love about Vancouver. The snow capped mountains, our four seasons, the ocean, the fact that we have so many natural wonders within such a close proximity, but most of all I love the amazing connections and friends that I have here.

5. What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a collaborative project with a very talented local food photographer @sliceofpai, I’m really excited about it. Keep an eye on our feeds to find out more!!

6. Tell us about a typical work day in the life of Tina Albrecht.

My work days are pretty structured. I’m off to the office first thing in the morning and then home by 5. On the weekend I treasure my morning coffee in bed. Sometime before noon I usually head out for a long run. Right now I’m training for a half marathon. My afternoons are spent doing something photography related, usually it is a photowalk with my partner in crime @othellonine.

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7. Where is your favorite spot to shoot in Vancouver?

I really love shooting downtown, it is the best of both worlds. You can walk across the whole downtown core in around 30 minutes and you can have your pick of grungy old alleys, sleek glass buildings, the ocean, forests, beaches and the north shore mountains. There is such amazing diversity in a compact space.

8. What are your simplest daily pleasures?

Running is an almost daily pleasure for me. I love to come home from work lace up my shoes and hit the road. There is something so cathartic about the rhythm of running. It is the perfect way to unwind, work out your problems and stimulate your brain. I can’t tell you how many times I have come home from a run with a great idea for a project.

Cooking is also a big part of my life. Scott and I cook together most evenings; the time that we spend choosing a recipe, picking up ingredient and then preparing our meal is something that I always look forward too.

My most simple pleasure of all is our cat Charlie. He is such a little character and I just can’t imagine our home without him in it.

9. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I kind of don’t want to think of myself at that age!! Eek. In 10 years I will have either won the lottery (totally wishful thinking) or I hope to be perusing projects that really allow me to push my creativity and travel. I would love to be doing lots of traveling.

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To explore more of Tina’s work, visit her website or her stunning Instagram feed.

Photo Credit: Tina Albrecht

Local Lens: Laura Bancroft

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Laura Bancroft, known by many as Piper Winston, is a true denizen of Vancouver, BC. A biologist by training and photographer at heart, she is an eclectic mix of linear logic and creativity. Her work masterfully captures the quiet grandeur of British Columbia by paying homage to the delicate geometry manifest in its scenery. Laura was kind enough to sit down and share her story with us.

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Q&A with Laura Bancroft

1. Please name three things you are currently into:

  • Design with an emphasis on form meeting function. Architectural, fashion-related, interior related, I’m intrigued by all of it.
  • Decaf Earl Grey tea with Bailey’s – I don’t really drink, but this combo has me by my sweet-tooth.
  • Meeting new people to adventure with. Sharing spots and taking photos with someone new is always inspiring.

 
2. You are a “biologist by training” — please explain.

In what seems like a previous life, I received my degree in Biology – Animal Biology. I’ve always been fascinated with life and the factors that drive and explain how things come to be. I’m about a 50:50 split between creativity/expression and logic.

3. How does your interest in biology inform your photography?

Though I have left my scientific background behind (for the most part), my sense of curiosity and intrigue plays a role in how I see the world (and photograph it). When you study the complex details that are required to make everyday occurrences possible, you realize everything you see is an amazing, physical expression of a delicate balance. This awareness makes me fully present in the moment, and drives me to want to capture every minute detail of life in front of me.

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4. Your work always seems to capture a strong sense of place. What do you love about the region you live in?

Born and raised in the PNW, the roots of my identity are defined by this place. That being said, my family raised me to have a lust for adventure, road trips and discovery. Both of my grandmothers drove the California Coast before it was common. They, and my parents, filled me with dreams of travelling the world by car. From mountains to oceans, deserts to forests, my passion is being outdoors. Lucky for me Vancouver offers almost all of this within a 6 hour driving radius.

5. Tell us about a typical work day in the life of Laura Bancroft.

My typical wok day is probably much like many others’. I work for a small company to get by, but my 9-5 job doesn’t define my identity. My off time is really where I spend my energy – trying new projects, seeing new things and sharing it with others via social media/blogging. You can normally find me trying to convince friends to join me on last-minue adventures, turning down roads that seem to lead to nowhere and pouring over the heaps of photos after. Following a long day at work and an evening of adventuring, I am normally curled up on my couch with a movie sipping, as mentioned above, Earl Grey tea with Bailey’s.

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6. Where is your favorite spot to shoot in Vancouver?

Howe Sound is this vast, untouched space where mountains and ocean meet. It’s beautiful in the rain, on a boat in the sunny summer or viewed by car on the way to Whistler. No matter how many times I visit this space, it always makes my heart sing. There’s always a new spot to discover and a different photo to take, and it changes its face completely from season to season.

7. What are your simplest daily pleasures?

  • Discovering new music to fall in love with.
  • Cooking for others.
  • Watercolour painting.
  • Binge-watching TV shows (guilty pleasure when I have the time).
  • The golden hour in our home, amazing light at the time of day when you need it.

 
8. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Ha! ….. Good question. I hope to make my off-time, creative hobbies, align with my 9-5 work. I would love to be entreprenuerial at some point. But, you can live your life lusting for the future, and even though I keep mine in mind I don’t want to spend today fretting about tomorrow.

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Laura currently lives in Vancouver with her musically talented other, Tyler Bancroft. She dreams of one day embarking on an endless roadtrip with a boler trailer in tow. Want to learn more about the beautiful Laura? Visit her website or follow her on Instagram.

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Photo Credit: Laura Bancroft

Local Lens: Ben Giesbrecht

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Pristine scenery and rugged terrain – both of which are beautifully abundant here in British Columbia – breed ardent photographers. One such photographer is Ben Giesbrecht, a videographer/photographer hailing from Kelowna, BC.

Ben and I met while I was feverishly recruiting photographers for Verily Magazine last summer – his short and sweet correspondence tinged with a delectable West Coast hospitality was a sure treat amidst the piles of business emails I was receiving back then.

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His photography is as fresh and approachable as his demeanour – Ben masterfully captures smaller, understated subjects lost in the expanse of Pacific Northwest scenery, as well as wistful moments camping, road-tripping and attending music festivals with close friends. He documents Vancouver and its hinterlands with measured accuracy and grace, which, without fail, puts a satisfied grin on my face.

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Ben was kind enough to answer a few burning questions about his path as a videographer/photographer and where this journey will take him. I hope that we can all live vicariously through his eloquent lifestyle and his notably organic development as a photographer.

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Q&A with Ben Giesbrecht

01. How did you get into professional videography/photography?

I started taking photos very casually around 6 or 7 years ago. I would mostly try to document short weekend trips I would go on when I was out snowboarding with my friends. I’ve only started to develop a more serious interest in photography/filmaking in the past couple years. I wouldn’t call myself a professional, but I keep getting offered more and more jobs which is nice.

02. Your work always seems to capture a strong sense of place. What do you love about the region you live in?

I love everything about living on the West Coast. We’re so lucky to have access to epic beaches, majestic forests and breathtaking mountain ranges all within a few minutes from downtown. It seems like there are endless new zones to explore and discover.

03. What are you currently working on?

I just finished up shooting a few photo essays and some portrait work that should be out soon. Other than that, I’m just trying to keep busy planning out some trips for later this year and working on a couple personal projects.

04. Tell us about a typical work day in the life of Ben Giesbrecht.

I don’t really have a typical work day. That’s the beauty of it, everyday is a little different.

05. Which websites do you visit for inspiration?

I try to check Flickr, Tumblr and Instagram everyday, there are a ton of amazing artists on there that are constantly putting out inspiring work. The guys at Great North Collective are also doing some pretty cool things.
 

To see more of Ben’s work, visit his website.

Photo Credit: Ben Giesbrecht

Interview: The Feeling of Home

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Friends! I am taking a pause from my regular culinary musings to share with you a topic I am passionate about.

It is no news that industrialization has had a profound impact on the human soul. Our bodies have become increasingly commodified through eight hour work days. The increasing capacity for mass production and economies of scale has rendered handmade artistry and craftsmanship a financially difficult pursuit. We have prioritized the accumulation of objects over the appreciation of objects and transfixed ourselves on a steady trajectory toward permanent insatiability. I too have found myself in the thick of this condition – in fact, often when I am feeling disappointed or underwhelmed with myself, it is usually because I have convinced myself that I don’t “have enough” or, even worse – am not “enough.”

It took me the better part of 22 years to understand this concept – that the vague futility and depletedness I have been feeling during my young adult life was in part due to this looming manufactured notion of “not enough.” Hence during the summer of 2013, I decided to shift my focus. Instead of chasing that career “benchmark,” I decided to invest in a company that I believed in. Instead of yearning for that perfect relationship, I decided to cherish authentic moments. Instead of seeking fulfillment from life opportunities, I decided to seek fulfillment from menial tasks like arranging flowers and cooking a savoury meal. And instead of accumulating numerous instantly gratifying goods, I decided to surround myself with quintessential wares that were as authentic as they were utilitarian.

Thus begins my first instalment of the Artisan Chronicles. I am delighted to reserve this small corner of the internet to feature artisans, local shoppes and collectors that have guided me through my personal mission to live a more simple and humbled life. I sincerely hope that the forthcoming coverage of handmade artistry and craftsmanship fills your day with warmth and happiness. I also hope that it inspires people to revel in the beauty of authentic craftsmanship and human touch rather than acting as mere vessels of material consumption.

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I came across photographer and vintage collector Marianne Brown’s online shop The Feeling of Home when I was looking for – of all things – a vintage goblet to use for a styling project. As soon as I entered her shop, I quickly became acquainted with her vast chair collection, accumulated over time via flea markets and estate fairs throughout Denver and the surrounding areas. Each piece epitomized a different composure – the 1940s French style tufted chair, for instance, evoked a sense of gilded stoicism while the curvaceous 1950s accent chair evoked a sense of fluid confidence. Quite inevitably, Neil and I decided to purchase a small moss green tufted chair which currently sits daintily in a sunlit corner of our apartment. So much for that goblet.

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As a college student who previously stocked up her living space with fold-up futons and $16 IKEA lamps, ‘sitting’ was never more than an unproductive and mildly uncomfortable proposition. But ever since getting that chair, I have made a conscious effort to scour some five to ten odd minutes in the morning to look out the window or read paper-bound books (remember those?), all while sitting in that dearest chair. It has helped me settle into my own skin before the busy work day and – ironically enough – increased my productivity to notable proportions.

Little did I know that a single chair can have a profound impact on my mental state and lifestyle. Marianne was kind enough to share with us how her beloved pieces have evoked similar sentiments and how she came about starting her business.

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Q&A with Marianne Brown from The Feeling Of Home

01. Can you share with us your philosophy and how The Feeling of Home was born?

To be honest, there was no real philosophy when I started The Feeling of Home. I had just moved into a new, bigger apartment, and had become somewhat obsessed with home decor, especially furniture. Before moving to Denver, I had never lived in a city, and I was devoted to making my old apartment into a comfortable, urban, vintage style living space. I started buying and trading out new pieces like some furniture crazed maniac. I like for my space to be pretty open and clear, and it suddenly became crowded and cluttered. Chairs being the main culprit. I think the perfect chair can serve as the perfect accent for any room, however it doesn’t quite have he same effect when you have a dozen! On top of that, my sister and I had started a food blog, so I also had the fever for food props and cooking utensils, causing complete pandemonium in my kitchen cabinets. During my search for new items I had frequented Etsy, and I though,’ I have got to minimize, why not open my own shop? ‘ I also love the fact that ‘vintage’ is in style. I think that it is a wonderful practice to reuse and recycle what we can, and many times antiques and vintage items are often better quality than what we can by today. I enjoy that this shop allows me to provide just such items.

02. What evokes “the feeling of home” for you?

I have always, and continue to identify strongly with my Southern upbringing. For the first half of my life, I grew up in an old farm house in rural South Georgia. The women in my family, my mother, grandmother, and aunt, certainly enjoy a good antique shop, and that is putting it mildly. I have always been conscious of, or perhaps made to be conscious of antiques since a child. The women of my family are wonderful Southern women, and have always cared about their homes, but not in a materialist way. In the same way that I am just trying to create a certain feeling for myself, I think that they are doing them same thing, whatever that feeling is for them. There is something about older vintage items that have a story too. The ‘feeling of home’ for me is a little of nostalgia, an antique, or a unique piece that literally reminds me of home, the farm, and where I grew up. Coincidently, at 90, my grandmother still has the biggest chair fetish of anyone I know!

03. Where do you go to find your beautiful pieces?

Estate sales. Garage Sales. Thrift shops. Living in the city has really allowed The Feeling of Home to take place. There are just so many people, and so much stuff! Honestly, a lot of stuff that you probably don’t want. It can be a little overwhelming at times. I definitely have a sense for what I am looking for, and I love the search!

04. Describe the first antique piece you ever bought:

The first real antique piece I ever purchased for myself was actually pretty recently. It is a wood china hutch with claw feet. It’s not huge like some hutches can be, which is why I like it. It is now the home of many pieces and props for the food blog.

More so, the first real antique that was given to me in my adult life, was my dining table and chairs. My grandmother gave it to me and the set was the one thing that I brought from Georgia when I moved to Colorado. It is the same table and chairs that she had in her bay window, where we ate most every Sunday lunch my whole life. It has ‘From Belgium’ stamped on the bottom of the chairs, and she and my grandfather bought the set on the way back from a road trip to California. The end chair has worn spots on arms from my grandfather’s hands, and there is a faded burn spot from a hot cast iron skillet in the middle of the table. It has two leaves, and can seat four to eight people. It is a beautiful piece, a gathering place, and very sentimental to me.

05. Describe your home in one sentence:

An old apartment building with creaky wooden floors, big windows, wide molding, and vintage charm.

06. If you weren’t a vintage collector, what would you be?

If you are asking “What do I want to be when I grow up,” I have wanted to be quite a few things. A marine biologist, and I also want to literally be Anthony Bourdain, but who doesn’t. Maybe a little more realistically, a wine connoisseur or sales person, or just a taster, that would be fun!

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