Places to go in Vancouver | Through the Lens

Local perspective: Rishad Daroowala, photographer.

Places to go in Vancouver | Through the Lens

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Photos: Rishad Daroowala

Looking for places to go in Vancouver? One of the best ways to discover a city is through the eyes (or the lens) of a local. So with that in mind, we’d like to introduce you to Vancouver photographer Rishad Daroowala.


When he’s not behind the camera, you’ll find Rishad Daroowala producing photo and video campaigns.

Rishad works full time as a photographer, freelance content producer and creative director who helps brands tell their story through visual artists and online personalities.

He balances his freelance work with a fast-growing Instagram account @freerishad (93,000 plus followers).

Born in Hong Kong, Rishad grew up in Vancouver (read to the end of his interview for his tips on where to go in Vancouver) and has travelled to almost all provinces and territories in Canada.

Here are his insights into creativity, photography and Vancouver.

How do you spend your day?

Places to go in Vancouver

My days can look pretty different.

Sometimes I’m behind the computer endlessly for days (the real life of a photographer) and other times I can be on the road for photo gigs.

Some days I’m directing or producing behind the scenes and other days I’m the photographer.

I like the diversity of working on both sides of the business. Right now I’m working independently, but it was only recently that I was working full time for Destination Canada (@explorecanada) producing photography and social media travel campaigns where I gained my experience on the business side of photography and video.

Are you a professional photographer?  

I started taking photography seriously before I got on Instagram. I was actually a Flickr nerd before Instagram came around. I’ve been on Instagram for maybe three years now.

Can anyone become a successful photographer?

I think to be successful at anything you need to love what you’re doing.

If photography gives you that feeling, go for it and pick up a camera. Start taking photos often and play with your creativity.

Everything you need to learn on the technical side of photography is online and free; the rest requires practice and just shooting.

I believe if your quality is strong and you consistently put out images you will be seen and rewarded for it.

Yes, anyone can do it, but I suppose being talented doesn’t hurt.

How would you describe your photography?

Places to go in Vancouver

I like to convey a sense of mood or calm in my images.

I think a good photo gives a feeling and creates a story in the viewers mind.

I like shooting in overcast or soft light.

What photography gear do you use?

I primarily use a Canon 5D Mark III. My go-to lenses in order are: 35mm 1.4, 70-200mm 2.8 II and 16-35 4.0 II

Has Instagram helped your career?

I’ve met a lot of my clients and colleagues through Instagram and it has been a nice avenue to showcase my images.

I don’t know if I’d call it work but I do put effort in the images I post.

I generally like to post on Instagram four to five times per week.

What are your favourite seasons in Vancouver?

Fall and winter.

Places to go in Vancouver

Places to go in Vancouver

Best place to take your friends on a 10-day road trip?

I recently visited Newfoundland Labrador, which was pretty special.

Some of my favourite areas in the province were St. John’s, Gros Morne and Battle Harbour off the southern tip of Labrador.

Although you could cover this in 10 days, I’d recommend staying longer. The province is quite large and there’s a lot to see in each location.

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Best time of year to visit Vancouver?

It depends on what you’re into.

I would say Fall for the foggy landscapes and nice colours.

Favourite restaurants in Vancouver

Marutama (ramen), Miku (sushi), Ask for Luigi (Italian).

Best places to go in Vancouver?

Sea to Sky Highway, Deep Cove and Golden Ears.

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Favourite places to go in Vancouver to escape?

Iona Beach, Quarry Rock and Golden Ears.

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Best places to go in Vancouver for photograph?

Downtown Vancouver is a great place to start.

Within walking distance you visit Stanley Park (one of the world’s top parks), English Bay (great for sunsets), False Creek and Gastown.

If you can make it out to North Vancouver, you can visit Cleveland Dam, Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and Deep Cove all in one day as well.

Places to go in Vancouver

Places to go in Vancouver

Three places on your bucket list 

Torngat Mountains in Labrador

Baffin Island in Nunavut

Fogo Island in Newfoundland

Rishad Daroowala is a photographer and freelance creative director who lives in Vancouver

Discover Canada

Looking for more places to visit in Vancouver? Check out Explore Canada’s website for top destinations, Vancouver events and activities. Explore a little further afield and visit Penticton BC for wineries and farms.

Places to go in Vancouver


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