Meet the Team: Tony

December 12, 2018 Kristal 0 Comments

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! 


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

November 01, 2018 Kristal 0 Comments

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, 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 Congratulations to all the 2019 grads  we can't wait to photograph you!


Artona in the Community: Scholarships, Bursaries and Mentorships

March 27, 2018 Kristal 0 Comments

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

March 13, 2018 Kristal 5 Comments

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

February 28, 2018 Kristal 2 Comments

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 


How Did We Do? Help Us Make a Difference

January 08, 2018 Kristal 0 Comments

How was your Artona experience? Tell us about it! We currently have 32 reviews on Yelp and 312 reviews on Google. For each new review posted in the month of January 2018, we will donate $5 to Covenant House Vancouver.
UPDATE: Dates extended! We will donate $5 for every review posted between January 2018-March 2018.

For over 20 years, Covenant House has been a safe haven for homeless and at-risk youth in Vancouver. Now in the 20th year of providing care to Vancouver’s street youth, they do so with the strength of over 130 volunteers and 57,000 donors.

To learn more about Covenant House, please click here.

To learn more about Artona’s involvement with the community, please click here.


Envision 2018: How to Make a Vision Board

January 05, 2018 Kristal 0 Comments

At Artona, we know how powerful images can be. For us, what we capture is not just grad photos but all the feelings that come with such an important milestone. Graduation isn’t only about finishing school it’s a coming-of-age celebration of all you have accomplished and for the future ahead. These are the photos that are hung on the wall or displayed on the mantle, bringing tears of joy and a sense of pride for years to come.

Visuals can do more than evoke emotion. We can even use them to help us create what we want for the future. With a new year here, now is a great time to reflect on the last 12 months and set some goals for 2018. One way to do this is through making a vision board! This can include both images and words that serve to remind you of how you want your life to look and feel. You can read more about the science behind visualization here.

To make a vision board, start by asking yourself these questions: What did I accomplish this year? What am I proud of? How did 2017 make me feel? What am I looking to bring forward in the new year? What am I hoping to leave behind?

After reflecting on the past year, you can set some intentions for 2018. How do you want to feel this year? Are you planning any new projects? Places to go? Things to do? Once you’ve had some time with these questions, it’s time to start making your board.

What you’ll need:

  • Poster board, scissors and glue
  • Magazines to cut images, words or quotes from
  • If you’re feeling decorative, you can use markers, stickers or washi tape to jazz it up
  • Quiet time without distractions

As you look through the magazines, cut out any images or phrases that represent how you want to feel or what you want to achieve. There are no rules here, just let your creativity flow. Once you have a good amount of clippings, you can trim them up and place them on your board as you like. When you’re happy with how it looks, glue it in place and add any decorative elements, if that’s your thing. Once you’re done, hang it in a spot that you will see often, like on the fridge or beside the bed. Throughout the year, use your vision board as a reminder of your goals and for how you want to feel. But don’t sweat it if you go off track. As long as the intention is set, you’re halfway there.