Meet the Team: Tony



Everyone, meet Tony! He’s one of the newest members of our photography team and he’s already made his way to a supervisor role. How did he get there? We sat down to talk to him about his experience at Artona so far, and he had some interesting things to share. 

Tony considers himself a hobbyist when it comes to taking photos. He started out shooting street photography and has only just begun exploring the industry. Although he had some self-doubts when he first started working with us, he says the experience of being around other photographers has been really inspiring. 

We think it’s more than that. Tony has something special to offer that we really value at our studio — he understands the students: 

“I remember when I came in for my high school session. It was like stepping into a strange land where I didn't know the customs. I felt out of place. I remember feeling so awkward in my body and in my clothes. I really feel for those kids who might share those sentiments. That experience motivates me to try to put them at ease."

Photos by Tony

Tony had some words of advice to share with students coming in for their session: don’t be afraid to let us get to know you. Tell us about your hobbies and interests so we can create images that represent who you are.

Despite being new to the field, we think Tony is on his way to becoming a great photographer, and we're so glad to be a part of his journey! 



What to Expect at Convocation - Vancouver Community College


The time has come to officially graduate! You've waited years for this big moment and we can't wait to capture it for you. Here's what you can expect from us at your convocation ceremony on November 20, 2018:

1. We take two photos during the ceremony

The first photo we take is on-stage when you receive your degree (finally!) and shake the President's hand. We'll also snap a quick photo backstage:

Cost: No sitting fee required

How to register: No need to register. You opt-in to receive emails from us when registering for convocation.

How to order: After convocation, we'll send information to your student email address on how to access your online gallery and create your order. We sell both digital and printed images and most orders start around $50.

2. Want more photos? You can sign up to do a mini session called "4 Pose"

These sessions are similar to what we offer in our studios but it's at your school! You'll take 4 unique poses in your cap and gown with our backgrounds. You can even take a friendship or family photo, too!


Cost: $60 deposit - if you choose to order any photos, the deposit is applied to your order; if you don't order any photos, you can return the photos within 30 days for a refund.

Where to find us: Main lobby in front of the library before and after the ceremony; pop-up studio will be available from 10:00 am - 12:15 pm and 3:30 - 5:30 pm

How to register: There's no need to make an appointment - students can register on the day of convocation on a first come, first served basis. Registration will stop at 12:15 and resume after the ceremony. Once you register, you can return for your photo session after the ceremony.

How to order: About a week after your 4 pose session, you'll have access to a private online photo gallery so you can create your order and the $60 deposit will automatically be used as a credit. We sell both digital and printed images and most orders start around $50.
Can't make it on the day of convocation? No problem! You can book a full session at our studio in Vancouver by clicking here.

Congratulations graduate! We can't wait to see you on the big day. 

What to Expect at Convocation - University of Calgary


The time has finally come to officially graduate! You've waited four (or more) years for this big moment and we can't wait to capture it for you. Here's what you can expect from us at your convocation ceremony on November 16, 2018:

1. We take two photos during the ceremony

The first photo we take is on-stage right after you receive your degree (finally!) and shake the Dean's hand. After you cross the stage, we'll snap a quick photo off-stage:
Cost: No sitting fee required

How to register: No need to register. You may opt-in to receive emails from us with student services.

How to order: After convocation, we'll send information to your student email address on how to access your online gallery and create your order. We sell both digital and printed images and most orders start around $50.

2. Want more photos? You can sign up to do a mini session called "4-Pose"

These sessions are similar to what we offer in our studios but on location! You'll take 4 unique poses in your cap and gown with both our library and composite backgrounds. You can even take a friendship or family photo, too!

Cost: $60 deposit + $15 sitting fee to support student services

Where to find us: Olympic Oval observation deck. We will be ready to go at 8:15 am.

How to register: There's no need to make an appointment - students can register on the day of convocation on a first come, first served basis. Sessions will stop 30 minutes before each ceremony and resume after the ceremony finishes. Once you register, we'll hold your spot.

How to order: After your 4 pose session, you'll have access to a private online gallery so you can create your order and apply the $60 deposit like a credit. We sell both digital and printed images and most orders start around $50.
Can't make it on the day of convocation? No problem! We will be doing full graduation portrait sessions from November 19-30 on campus. The cost is the same as a 4-pose session and you can book an appointment here.

Congratulations graduate! We can't wait to see you on the big day. 

You told us, we listened. Here are 3 big changes we've made at Artona



We can officially say that the #grad2019 season is well underway! We've been busy photographing a whole new graduating class and can't wait to see more grads in our studios over the coming months.

We worked hard throughout the summer to get ready for this season by looking at what's been working, what hasn't, and how we can make the Artona experience even better. We take our customers' concerns very seriously and have been listening to your feedback. Here are the three big changes we've recently made to make it our best season yet:

1. New Backgrounds

Do you remember our old fireplace? It was nice, but...it was time for an upgrade. Our new fireplace is modern, sleek and will make the perfect backdrop to complement your casual look. In addition to the new fireplace, we've added some other new backgrounds that we think you're really going to love.





2. Dedicated Live Chat Support

Have a question? The days of waiting on hold are over. Our online customer service team is available to live chat on our website from 8 am to 10 pm seven days a week. You can ask them anything from how to book an appointment, how to track your order, or if you can bring your pet rabbit to your photo session (which you can do, by the way).  Just in case you are wondering  yes, we have  actual humans replying to you!

3. Less Appointment Wait Times

This season, we are working extra hard to prevent appointment delays. One of the ways we are doing this is by booking less appointments every hour. This allows our students to get the attention they deserve and keep our studio flow as stress-free as possible. There may be delays here and there and in those cases, we really appreciate your patience. Let us grab you a cup of coffee while you wait!


Let us know what you think! Leave a comment here or send an email to social@artona.com. Congratulations to all the 2019 grads  we can't wait to photograph you!


Artona in the Community: Scholarships, Bursaries and Mentorships


Did you know that Artona offers scholarships and bursaries to students across the lower mainland? Each year, Artona provides thousands of dollars in awards to deserving students, helping them achieve their academic goals. Over the past year, Artona has given over $150,000 in support to 85 local elementary schools and high schools, as well as a number of universities. 

In addition to these awards, Artona also offers a co-op mentorship program. Both high school and university students interested in photography, digital imaging, graphics and accounting/finance work closely with our staff and are given first-hand experience, training, and even future employment opportunities. We usually have a new face in the studio every other week with about 35 students every school year.

We get a lot of great feedback from our award recipients and co-op students. In fact, we need a 10-foot bulletin board to display all the wonderful messages! Here's a look at some of the messages we have received over the years:






Have you applied for an Artona scholarship or bursary this year? You can find the application deadlines for these awards on your school's website. Good luck to those who applied — we are looking forward to seeing you at the awards ceremony!



Parking at Artona


Let’s face it, parking in Vancouver is tough. Unfortunately, we don’t have a parking lot at our studio (if we could find a place to put it, we would) which can make our guests feel stressed or frustrated. Here are some parking tips and tricks to make your Artona studio experience a little more parking-pleasant:

1. Check out Parkopedia


This is a great resource for finding free parking throughout the city, as well as rates for the meters and parkades nearby. Even though we don’t have a lot of free street parking, we are close to a number of parkades. The closest is the Rise (under Save On and Home Depot) located at 485 W 8th Avenue. It’s a 2 minute walk to our studio and only $6 for two hours.

2. Drop off the kids and go shopping


The Broadway/Cambie area is full of great shops and restaurants. If you’re a parent with errands to run or are in need of some retail therapy, why not park at Winners or Whole Foods? You can go shopping while your student has their photo session*, all with validated parking. It’s a win-win!

*Keep in mind that taking a family photo is included with each graduation portrait session, so you might not want to miss out.

3. Don’t park at Solly’s


Solly’s Bagelry is known for their bagels, sandwiches and delicious cinnamon buns — and it’s right across the street from us! We highly recommend stopping in for a quick nosh and coffee (my favourite is the veggie sandwich with edam on sesame), but please, don’t park in their lot. Let’s keep those spaces for the patrons who are actually there for lunch.

4. Park the car at home and take the train


Don’t forget, we're only a 6 minute walk from the Canada Line.It might be easier to leave the car at home, jump on the train and walk over. It’s not the most ideal option when it’s raining (don’t ruin the hair!) but at least it’s affordable. You can walk downhill from Broadway - City Hall or uphill from Olympic Village.

What are your thoughts on parking in Vancouver? Do you know any other good parking apps?


Top Photos of 2017 at Artona


We have some pretty amazing photographers working with us. Each member of our photo team is skilled in portrait photography, also bringing their own unique skills and styles to the studio. With awards season upon us, we thought we should highlight some of our best photos of 2017 and give a shout out to the photographers who took them.


1. Photo by Dawson

This one's a framer. The shapes and composition of this portrait make it absolutely perfect. 


2. Photo by Jono

We love it when suits fit just right. We also love a good smoulder. 



3. Photo by Gus

We can't even with this one--the colours, the shapes in the dress and hands. This portrait is a total treat for the eyes!


4. Photo by Kenny

Part action shot, part formal portrait. This graduate is rolling on to do some big things.


5. Photo by Alex

An Artona classic. This grad's youthfulness and beauty are so authentically captured, we're obsessed.


6. Photo by Kenny

It's pretty hard to capture that "school's out forever" feeling. This one totally nails it. 


7. Photo by Coleen 

Smize goals right here. The contrasting details and gorgeousness of this graduate are almost too much.


8. Photo by Riz

When hair, makeup and outfit are totally on point. The different lines, bold colour and composition make this portrait technically flawless.


That's it for 2017! Big congratulations again to our top photographers and graduates! 

Think we missed a good photo? If you think you should be included in a future Top Photos post, get in touch with us by emailing kristalm@artona.com