Our social media accounts regularly get accused of only showing the best parts of our lives and making it seem like we don’t struggle, look tired, or miss out on exciting activities because of not-so-fun responsibilities — work, am I right?
But if you pick up a photo album IRL and flip through the pages, do you see pictures of your parents at work or your grandparents’ kitchen sink full of dirty dishes? Nope, because no one wants to relive a boring workday or messy kitchen, and they certainly don’t want to share that with friends and family.
Your Instagram profile isn’t a gritty documentary, it’s a living photo album, and it should be filled with fond memories the same way an analog photo album is. So, don’t hold back from posting flattering photos of you and your crew having a good time, and get snapping!
Better yet, take advantage of some of the gorgeous holiday lights on display during the winter around the Lower Mainland, including at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Their Canyon Lights celebration sees the entire park (treetops, bridge, and all) lit up with over 1,000,000 spectacular lights. To help you get the best shot during your visit, we asked some prominent Instagrammers for their tips and tricks to nail that perfect pic.
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“It can be tough to get a clear shot of the Suspension Bridge during the peak seasons since the bridge itself is such a spectacle,” says photographer David Beck. “Everyone wants that clear shot, which means thousands of tourists and creators will be visiting each year, so here is my tip. You MUST be one of the first ones at the park when it is open if you want a shot like the one I took.” As with so many gorgeous landscapes, it’s not always easy to look like the only visitor, but the early bird (usually) gets the worm.
“Since the bridge is so massive, people tend to spend a lot of time lingering on it taking selfies and pictures with their families, so get there as early as you can and plan ahead,” he says. “Weekends are going to be the busiest times, so potentially plan to visit during the week where you might have a better opportunity. If the bridge is super busy, you might need to get creative with your shots, but there is always a way to get the shot you came for.”
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a popular spot. In fact, it’s the most popular paid attraction in the Lower Mainland and you can learn all about its 130-year history while you take in the stunning natural surroundings. Can’t get enough of playing tourist in your own province? The CSBP rewards you for it! Locals can get an annual pass for the price of a regular admission, so a visit in the summer means you can come back for Canyon Lights during the holidays as many times as you want, guaranteeing you’ll nail your suspension bridge selfie.
“My tip is to try and go during the week or on days that are cloudy or a bit rainy,” says Kiki Jiang. “There will be less people and it makes it easier to get photos. Also, go an hour or so before sunset and you get to experience the lights both during the day and at night.”
A weekday is a calm time to visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, clearing the scene for the perfect shot. And while a little rain and some clouds might keep other patrons away, these conditions can actually add some magic to your shot. The rain gives the trees and wooden surfaces a dewy look with all of the twinkling holiday lights, and a bit of cloud cover can soften light and glare in your pictures.
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“Visiting the Canyon Lights Festival at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park was a highlight of our trip to Vancouver,” says Akela of the Travel Couple. “Not only do you get to explore the canopy of the incredible Vancouver rainforest, but you also get to experience an amazing, unique display of Christmas lights on the bridges and in the trees. Seeing all the lights in the park really added to the magical feeling of Christmas.”
Her best tip?
“For photographing a festival like Canyon Lights, we use a tripod if possible. This allows us to keep the shutter open longer, which is very important to capture those beautiful Christmas lights in low light situations.”
With these photographers’ tips and tricks for nailing your perfect pic at Canyon Lights this season, you’re ready to pack your Instagram feed with envy-inducing photos. And yes, the park is even dog-friendly, so leash up Fido, charge up your phone, and head out on your next North Shore photoshoot adventure.
When: November 22, 2019 to January 26, 2020
Where: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver