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 

How Did We Do? Help Us Make a Difference

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

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.

What to Wear for Grad Photos

We get a lot of questions about what to wear for Grad photos, so we’ve put together this list of suggestions and outfit ideas to get you inspired. Please know that no matter what you choose to wear, you and your academic achievements are what matters. You’ve worked really hard for this moment and you should be proud of it. That’s what Grad photos are intended to capture. Buying an “Artona Dress” might be an option for some, but it’s not a necessity. Your outfit doesn’t have to be trendy or brand new just wear something that reflects who you are.

That being said, since Graduation is such an important milestone, it is a good idea to dress up a bit. It really is up to you how fancy you want to be, but keep in mind that this is a formal occasion.

For your individual session, don't worry about bringing the cap and gown we have you covered. The only thing to keep in mind is the V neckline. Wearing a collared shirt or a high neckline will show when wearing the gown. If you don't want anything to show, you can wear a V neck shirt.

The Casual photos are much more personal. This is where you get to show off your style and any props you might bring along. We’ve put together some common looks to give you some ideas:

Classic Black
Lots of students choose to wear black and for plenty of good reasons. It’s a timeless, classic look that won’t date your photos in the years to come. It also really makes you stand out in the White Room!

Suit Up or Suit Down
Suits are great for formal occasions but that doesn’t mean you have to wear a full three-piece to your Grad photos (but if you do, you’ll be extra sharp). If you don’t have a suit, dress pants and a crisp shirt will do perfectly.

If you want to keep your outfit simple, add a pop of interest with accessories. This could be a statement jewelry piece, a hot pair of shoes, a bright bow tie or maybe a bold mani. But even with these, your best accessories are going to be your smile and confidence.

Don’t Be Afraid to Wear Patterns or Colour
Even though we say dark colours are a good choice, that doesn’t mean you can’t go colourful. If colour is your thing, go for it! Your photos will shine as bright as you are.

Congratulations graduate! Smart looks really good on you — it really doesn’t matter what you wear.

#2018 Grads! Have you booked yet?

Now that we are settling in to the new school year, you're probably starting to prepare for graduation. This includes taking your grad photos!

Here’s how to book an appointment with Artona:

  1. Indicate what school you are from
  2. It will ask what event you are looking for, click “Graduation”
  3. This will bring up the information for your school’s graduation portrait sessions. Click “Book this Sitting” under Individual Photo Session to reserve your spot. You will need your student number (Note: If you are looking to book a group photo, please book under Group Photo Session. Not sure what the difference is? Click here)
  4. Once you’ve entered all your information, you can select an appointment time
  5. You will receive an email to confirm your booking. Now all you have to do is pick out an outfit!

Don’t see a date or time that works for you? Let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Not sure what to wear or what to bring? Check out this recent post for some ideas.

Still not sure how to book? Have another question? Get in touch we are happy to help!