“A Day in the Life” with Vancouver Photographer Emma Tsui

Based in Vancouver, Emma Tsui is a Taiwanese-Canadian lifestyle and brand photographer. Originally inspired to capture the history and beauty surrounding her while working in Thailand, Emma’s passion for photography combined with her drive to continuously perfect her technical skills has led her to partner with iconic global brands such as Valentino, Michael Kors, and Louis Vuitton.

For as long as I’ve known her, Emma has never settled for good enough. Instead, it’s easy to see through Emma’s work that she continuously hones her craft. She is adamant in constant self-improvement, learning new editing techniques, different styles of photography and even videography. In turn, Emma’s portfolio impressively ranges from fashion photography at Vancouver Fashion Week to photojournalism for The New York Times, with a mix of portraits and even weddings. Regardless of the project, Emma handles the process – from day of to editing – with meticulous care and delivers only work that she’s proud of.

– Written by Julia Anderson (Tsang)

Emma Tsui
Start off with a picture of me taken by my friend Ken during an indoor studio shoot of trying out different cameras, lenses, and lightening. Sometimes I like to be in front of the camera at the end of the shoot or before a shoot, this way I learn what to tell models or subjects on how to pose.
Emma Tsui
Behind the scenes of a wedding shoot on the wedding day. When it’s wedding season, I’m almost always in this outfit with the same gear every weekend.
Behind the scenes of the Valentino event shoot, a selfie I took at the end of the event to capture this memory that I shot for Valentino one day in my life.
At the end of the day, I always find myself in front of my desk and iMac to edit photos. This is a daily ritual by now, weekdays and weekends. This picture was taken by my model friend Zee who is in the picture that I am editing here.
These are some of the gears I typically use as I get ready and prepare for a photoshoot. Minimum is 2 digital cameras, and not pictured here are the 4 lenses that I usually bring with me. Always need to back up with additional memory cards and batteries. You never know what would happen on a shoot…
During the day, when I can, I like to grab a quick coffee and go for a walk to relax, preferably by the water or in the forest. Here it is me walking by the ocean, taken by my friend Ken.
Emma Tsui
Most of my days I am either doing a photoshoot, preparing for a photoshoot, editing after a photoshoot, or travelling. Travel has become a big part of my life now. This was taken by my friend Ken as well. We travel a lot together.
Emma Tsui
Again, traveling. Tons of travel photos but I think I’m only going to pick 2 for this article. Here is me lying on the ground of the rainbow crosswalk, taken by myself on the drone (if you can see my right hand is controlling the drone).


Which ‘hood are you in?

I live in the Brentwood area in Burnaby, the city where I grew up. It is also a city that I always come back to regularly to compare how I have changed over time when I lived abroad in the past.

What do you do?

I am a freelance portrait photographer by night (and after normal working hours), and a tech product manager by day as I am currently working for a Canadian airlines company. Will I ever do full-time photography? I do ask myself that question a lot, but right now the answer is… probably no.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on several things, but the major one right now is improving my wedding photography skills to enhance the artistic look of capturing a couple’s intimate moments, while maintaining the natural colours of the environment, so that those photos can last forever for my couples.

Where can we find your work?

You can find my work on my website Emma Tsui Photography, the New York Times, UBC alumni magazine Inside, and several other local small businesses socials or eCommerce websites 🙂