THOUGHTS, STORIES and IDEAS

Focal Blog

Learn more about Focal and our mission to make the photography industry a better place for customers and photographers alike

October 23, 2020

"Photography is the way I communicate": Meet Marlboro Wang

A wedding and family photographer based in Victoria, BC, Marlboro Wang has established a reputation for his grandiose, cinematic approach to capturing couples. You'll notice it in his wedding and engagement photos: breathtaking; each one carefully-staged, not a hair out of place. We caught up with Wang—a longtime Focal user—to hear more of his story.
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October 22, 2020

Q&A: Scottish ceilidhs and safe spaces with Sarah Murdoch (Calgary, AB)

A Calgary-based photographer, Sarah Murdoch has been photographing weddings since 2006. A product of the film era, Murdoch cut her teeth in the darkrooms at the Alberta College of Art and Design. It's that same handcrafted approach she carries into her shoots—"the biggest goal in my business is to create photos that are timeless," she says. "I want realness, I want authenticity, and I want to tell people's stories."
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September 9, 2020

Q&A: Astros and hip-hop photography with Todd Spoth (Houston, TX)

A self-described punk rock kid from Houston, Todd Spoth's high school photography course was “literally the only class I’ve ever failed,” he says. Today, Spoth is a Gold Remi award-winning documentary film producer whose photographs have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and ESPN.
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August 25, 2020

Q&A: Chasing summer with photographer Rob Wilson (Victoria, BC)

Victoria-based photographer Rob Wilson is obsessed with "that feeling — like a late summer evening." It's there in the photos he captures, whether he's shooting weddings, portraits, or his travels. Raised in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, Wilson is the co-founder of Arcas Media, a production collective specializing in photography, videography, and graphic design.
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August 21, 2020

How to: Use golden hour

How do you use golden hour? What is it? When is it? What types of settings should my camera be set to? Golden hour is a fantastic opportunity for photographers to learn how to utilize natural light and be creative. Before you can have fun though, it is important to learn the what, when, why, and how's of this magical time. Read on for the answers!
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August 12, 2020

6 places to go for your next photoshoot around Victoria, BC

Need a bit of inspiration before you head out the door with your camera? Looking for the perfect place in Victoria for a family or engagement shoot? We’ve got you covered with a list of stellar options in and around the city that will bring your next photoshoot to life.
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July 2, 2020

Headshots vs. personal branding photography

A common mix-up for customers looking to hire a professional photographer for self-portraits is the terminology of “headshots” and “personal branding” photography. We've covered everything you need to know in order to choose the right one for you.
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June 10, 2020

Best family photography locations around Victoria, BC

With summer's arrival on Vancouver Island, it's the perfect time to gather your family for a morning, afternoon, or evening and make some memories! Discover the best locations for family photoshoots in Victoria.
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June 10, 2020

How to choose the perfect wedding photographer

With so many wedding photographers out there, each with their own plethora of packages and options to choose from, it can often be daunting to tell the difference. Thankfully, Focal is here to help!
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April 29, 2020

Top outdoor elopement locations in Victoria, BC

Love isn't cancelled due to COVID-19. Every day, our team is surprised by the beautiful and incredible ways that couples are finding to forge ahead and celebrate their love. Looking to ditch the big ceremony? Discover the top outdoor elopement locations around Victoria.
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April 22, 2020

Victoria, BC takeout inspo

Staying home doesn't have to mean cooking during COVID-19. In the spirit of supporting our beloved friends in the food service industry, the Focal team wanted to share some of our favourite places for takeout in Victoria. (Don't blame us if you get hungry.)
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April 20, 2020

Why Apple’s Keynote is a super awesome design tool disguised as presentation software

Our Focal team just finished an eight-month software development project building the latest iteration of our e-commerce and marketplace platform. We designed our whole project without any designers or UX developers. The magic tool? Apple’s Keynote.
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April 12, 2020

Starling Lane Vineyard wedding venue photo walkthrough

Timeless elegance meets natural beauty at Starling Lane Vineyards where you’ll be transported into a fairytale world filled with antique buildings and blossoming flowers. Just outside Victoria BC, this gorgeous venue offers a tranquil setting for your ceremony and is only a short drive away from town should you desire a lively reception.
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April 10, 2020

How I learned to code: 8 lessons from a non-technical founder

Since I can remember I always dreamed about building an iPhone app and launching it on the App store. But I always just had one little problem...I didn’t know how to code! Here are my 8 lessons for learning to code as a non-technical founder.
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April 9, 2020

How working for a startup was invaluable to my education: The top 5 things I've learned working at Focal

Like many University students, I finished my schooling for the year in April and was eagerly hunting for a summer Co-op. I hunted and hunted for Co-ops but everything that interested me was either too far away or required more education than I had at the time. Just as I was considering moving back home and re-applying for one of my previous jobs. I received an email advertising a summer position with Focal...
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April 5, 2020

Merridale Cidery and Distillery wedding venue photo walkthrough

If the idea of getting married in front of a castle or at a fancy hotel strikes you as a touch over the top, then the Merridale Cidery and Distillery might be the perfect venue for your wedding. This secluded cidery & distillery is just a little ways up Vancouver Island from Victoria in the area of Mill Bay.
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March 30, 2020

Introducing the new Focal marketplace platform

We heard photographers wanted their own branding and control over managing their portfolio and packages. They also wanted the ability to talk to customers directly. We put those things at the top of our development list. This isn’t just a new website and some software. It speaks to our responsibility to always improve, our value for art, and our never-ending commitment to our photographers.
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February 28, 2020

Focal photographers' most Instagramable locations in Victoria, BC

We teamed up with our photographers to come up with the most instagramable locations in Victoria, BC Canada!
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February 28, 2020

What to expect when you're expecting: a newborn photography shoot

Having a baby is a huge lifestyle change and the last thing you want when you’re a new parent is unnecessary stress. That’s why we sat down with Focal Photographer Christin to answer some of the most common questions she gets asked from new parents booking their child’s first Professional photoshoot!
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February 28, 2020

Bat Mitzvah Bash!

Coming of age is a truly unique point in any young person's life and it was our pleasure to capture this special memory together. Being apart of an event that brings family and friends from all over the world is something that we love to capture. Have a look at this beautiful Bat Mitzvah down below!
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February 28, 2020

Destination pre-wedding featuring horse and carriage

This shoot saw the Focal team travel around Victoria with an amazing couple starting from Schwartz bay at 9 am and finishing up at parliament just after sunset capturing pre-wedding photos the entire way.
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February 25, 2020

Focal on Beers With Entrepreneurs

Listen to our appearance on Beers with Entrepreneurs a podcast that explores up and coming startups!
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February 25, 2020

Don't make these 7 mistakes when booking a wedding photographer

It’s always sad to see couples disappointed by their wedding photography and it seems like it happens far too often, so the team at Focal has created a quick guide to avoid some of the common pitfalls of hiring a wedding photographer. Here are 7 common mistakes to avoid when choosing your wedding photographer!
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February 25, 2020

5 reasons you need a 2nd photographer for your wedding

As if choosing the perfect wedding photographer wasn’t too much work! Now your photographer is asking if you’d like to add on a 2nd shooter! You’re probably thinking - I just spent all this time finding someone with the style I like, is a good personality match and fits my budget! Why on earth would I need a 2nd photographer?
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February 24, 2020

How to choose a newborn photographer

Newborn photography can be a big investment. Doing your research and asking the right questions is extremely important — especially when you are going to be trusting someone with your baby. Here are ten things to ask potential newborn photographers, and the types of answers you should look for.
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February 24, 2020

You aren't just buying photos!

To compare photographers based solely on the number of photos they offer is like comparing houses based solely on their square footage, or two meals based on their size. You're missing the good stuff!
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