So Canadian, eh?: Tracey Ayton Photography

This week I am thrilled to have a photographer who is a rising star in the design world.

She is a born and bred Vancouverite living in the heart of one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods of Vancouver.

Tracey Ayton is so..

Tracey Ayton is a beautiful and talented photographer who not only takes amazing photos but also has joined the blogging world with a delightful blog. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Tracey for lunch a while back, she is one of the most sweetest people I have met. We hit it off right away, sharing a passion in design. We talked non-stop for several hours {which isn't hard for me to do, just ask my family} and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Tracey. 

She felt like a kindred spirit.

Tracey is fortunate to live in one of Vancouver's oldest {and my favourite} neighbourhoods, a neighbourhood that is undergoing change, not necessarily for the better. She is dismayed that the older homes full of character and history are being torn down to make way for new builds. What you may not know is that she has been salvaging bits and pieces from those homes to save the bit of history of those homes.  She admitted she is a bit of a hoarder, having a hard time letting go of those pieces. I can see why, she was raised in Vancouver and has grown to love the history and character of the homes that are uniquely west coast, to watch them being torn down, it is like a piece of who you are going with them.

What I love about Tracey is her amazing talent in photography. She is so incredibly modest and humble about her talents. Most recently she landed a job photographing the DIY projects of Carol from The Design Pages {my thrift store buddy}for Dabble magazine, a Canadian e-zine spearheaded by design goddess, Kimberly Seldon.  She is also the talented photographer behind the newly launched website of local designer, Andrea Johnson Design

Tracey's work is simply stunning. The photos speak for themselves.

Photos courtesy of Tracey Ayton Photography

Tell us a bit about yourself? What is you background? Your education? Did you study photography? Have you always wanted to be a photographer?

I am a 4th generation Vancouverite and very proud to be one.  It's funny, whenever you meet another person that was also born and raised here you always feel a sense bonding.
I guess you can say I fell into becoming a professional photographer.  Coming out of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do.  In a way I grew up believing that creativity such as drawing, photography or any kind of art was just a pastime and that you had to find something "business-like" for a job.  So I went to school to be a legal assistant ....... don't ask??  Turns out that I failed miserably and dropped out.  I then picked up a part - time job working for a production company that filmed short movies, music videos etc.  I was hired to work as a production assistant and do much of the work nobody really wanted to do.  I didn't mind because the people I worked with had such wonderful personalities and there was always things to learn on set.  A few weeks into the job it was recognized that I had a creative eye when pulling out props so  I worked along side the set designer and helped design  the sets. Which to me at the time was a dream job.  One of my favorite shoots was a fifties themed music video and some of the decor and props that we got to work with were so cool.  One of the gentlemen who worked on the sets with us, owned a 50's style bungalow and that is where we shot the video.  The 50's style decor and feel that we created was fantastic.  Unfortunately, the production company moved on and all of the closely knit crew had to split up into new productions.  I decided not to continue as much as I loved the job, I knew that working on set meant working close to 15 hours everyday.  So went back to school recognizing that I had a creative side and embracing it.  I decided to try out graphic design ...... after getting flustered with no ability to draw very well, one of my class mates mentioned that I should take some photography courses.  The desire to create a picture was there but I simply could not draw, so photography made a lot of sense.  After two years at Focal Point (a local school here in Vancouver) and five years at Langara College, I knew that photography would play some role in my life.  I remember thinking early on that as long as I had a camera, I would never be bored.  I was asked to shoot a friend's wedding and after that, the jobs came in and the job was pretty lucrative.  After 12 years of shooting weddings/portraits, I knew there was something more I needed to do with my photography.  After taking a few part-time courses in interior design at Vancouver Community College, I knew that combining my skills at photography and my passion for interiors/architecture/gardens would finally be what I was born to do.  I feel blessed knowing that I am able to do a job I truly love.

What made you decide to start blogging?

Being a "newbie" at blogging, I'm still learning a lot.  In this day and age if you are running any kind of business, networking is the way to go and being a photographer, I felt that blogging would go hand in hand.  It gives me the opportunity to tell simple stories using my photographs.  My photographs say much more than my writing skills when it comes to blogging!!!

What have you enjoyed about blogging and what has surprised you along the way?

I love the fact that blogging has made me feel like I have a sense of purpose.  Somewhere to share my interests with people that have similar ideas and goals.  I am amazed at how many people I have met since I started blogging back late last December.  It's important to me to surround myself with successful people who are not only passionate about what they do but also move forward with their goals using blogging as a tool.

Do you find having a blog has helped your photography business?

Since I started blogging, the audience that I have attracted, consists of people I like to surround myself with and work with.  They are all such a wonderful assortment of talent and inspiration.  One aspect as to why my photography business has been successful is by referrals.  Working with people that have similar goals, values and ideas is what helps attain the end product.  I think part of success is attracting the people you look up to, to work with you and that is what blogging has done for me.

Any tips for aspiring photographers?

I would say that if  I can give any tips to the many aspiring photographers out there it would be to never give up.  Make sure you stay true to what you really want and work hard to get it. Try not to get swayed by keeping tabs on what everyone else is doing.  Sure, its good to get inspired and watch what everyone else is doing but try to stay on track and believe that whatever you are doing, is the right way to go.

What would be one must that each amateur photographer should have or learn?

There are many things that each amateur photographer should have and learn.  Not only the technical aspects of photography, having an "eye" for photography is important.  But in order to be successful at photography, you must work with your client.  The relationship between the people you work with and work for is the key to success.  Confidence and leadership is so important.  For me, throwing in a bit of humor to the whole mix is epic.

What goals or aspirations do you have for your photography business?

My goal as a photographer is to continue working in the editorial side of the business.  Home and garden photography is my passion.  The recognition I get for doing my passion is such a thrill.   I would love to spend some time in New York to do some shooting.  Oh..... to shoot some of the homes in the Hamptons would be a real treat!!

What do you like to do in your free time?

What girl doesn't like to shop in her free time?  Spending time with family is huge on my list and taking quick trips down to Seattle is a favorite past time for my hubby and I.

Where do you go for inspiration for your photography work?

I find that now that I am a blogger, I have the opportunity to see what others post on their blogs.  Some of the images I see are so inspirational.  Heading down to Seattle for a change of scenery is definitely inspirational.   The lobby at the W Hotel in Seattle was a nice source of inspiration for me.  Anthropologie is a source of inspiration for me. ........... I must mention this because I am so excited we are getting one here in Vancouver.  More than anything else though, I have to say that New York City is my hugest source of inspiration.  

Is there any one accomplishment that you are proud of?

Quite recently, my favorite store here in Vancouver called LIBERTY has started selling my artwork.  I've created these photographs over the years using a technique called "Polaroid Manipulation"  Having people like my artwork enough to buy it is so rewarding.  To see my work up in Liberty right beside one of Sarah Richardson's designed couches is so cool. {I am a lucky owner of her artwork!}

What are your favourite subjects to photograph?

I love to photograph little vignettes of things.  Whether its a grouping of beautiful peonies in a vase or chocolate chip cookies, cooling on an old fashioned rack.  I think the details are my favourite subjects.

If you were given the opportunity to meet anyone or do anything, what  
would it be and why?

I'd have to say that meeting Matha Stewart would be a hoot.  She is to me, hands down one of the most creative, intelligent and inspiring people out there.  Her homes are beautiful, and her gardens are lovely.  I tend to be very domestic when it comes to the home-front,  she has single handedly perfected domestication.  Cleaning with Martha's suggestions and techniques  is even a beautiful thing.  BUT if I can say ANYBODY, dead or alive,  I would've like to have met JFK Jr.  To me he was the most adorable thing, he had a place in Martha's Vineyard, a place in NYC and a beautiful wife that knew style just as good as Jackie Kennedy.  Apparently their loft in the city was pretty nice too.  Yeah, I could definitely hang around those two for awhile.  Nothing but style, grace and good taste, right there.

What are your views on the role Canadian design plays in the world design scene? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style and design, and if so, what is it that you think sets us apart?

Canada is still a young country compared to the rest of the world so we tend to adopt a lot of what the rest of the world as done.  The fact that multiculturalism plays a big part in Canada keeps things interesting.  You have such a wealth of different cultures, beliefs and tastes that when you have a combination of the different worlds come together as one, in Canada it makes for interesting style.  Canadians are always looking for new ideas and are more receptive to change, I think that encourages unique styles and designs.   I am so proud to be a Canadian!!!

Thanks for sharing Tracey, I can see great things around the corner for you! 
If you ever feel like parting with any of your treasures, you know who to talk to *wink*wink*!

XO Barbara


  1. Wow - you are super-talented, tracey! Congrats on Liberty, I love that store! As always, Barbara you have found some amazing talent!

  2. Tracey is so talented, off to check her site!! Thanks for featuring her barbara1

    Art by Karena

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  3. Thanks for showcasing another amazing (and Canadian!) talent! Off to check out her website.

  4. Barbara,

    Thank you again for featuring me and all of the kind words from all that visit Barbara's beautiful blog!!!

  5. Great interview Barbara!! I am so happy with the photos Tracey did for me. She showcased my work so beautifully and I can't wait to use her again for future projects. She is a talented lady:)

    Andrea xo

  6. I love the journey you took to get to your passion Tracey. Looking forward to lots and lots of work together:)

  7. Loved the interveiw. I agree that you have to stay true to who you are and what you want to get out of life.

    Good luck to you Tracey.


    The Simply inspired Home

  8. Thanks for the great read, Barbara, a very talented gal, Tracey.

  9. Another great interview Barbara! You just keep them coming. : ) Tracey is amazingly talented!

  10. Love your interview Barbara, so many talented Canadians! Tracey, wonderful images, so inspiring.

  11. Thanks for visiting my blog today! What a great interview here and she has such talent. So happy to be your newest follower!

  12. Tracey, your work is gorgeous and I really enjoyed this interview. Can't wait to meet you, hopefully soon!
    And Barbara, as always, your questions are spot on!! Hugs,
    Nancy xo

  13. Another great interview Barbara! Martha is the one person I would like to meet too. Tracey's photos are beautiful.

  14. I love this series, Barbara! Canada has some awesome talent, that's for sure! I will be checking out Tracey's Polaroid manipulations next time I'm at Liberty. Thanks for letting us know her better. Tracey, love your photos!

  15. Okay, this is very cool. I just met Tracey the other day, she came over to scout my house. AND we used to live in the same neighbourhood. In love with your blog…off to check out more.
    Jamie @


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