“A Day In The Life” with Vancouver Writer and Photographer Tamea Burd

Tamea Burd is a very talented writer and photographer who has been part of the arts community in Vancouver for over 25 years. Her love of photography began at a young age when she was given her first camera as a Christmas gift. She knew right away that it would be a part of her for the rest of her life.

In the ’90s and early 2000s, her deep connection to the arts led to her work as an assistant at the Canadian Actors Equity Association, the Characters Talent Agency, The Feldman Agency, CBC Radio, and at several live music venues. Musicians, authors, artists, and performers are still her very favourite subjects to photograph.

Tamea’s always had a genuinely warm and friendly personality, a way with words, and an exceptional ability to capture the essence of people and moments. Since she was a teenager, her friends, co-workers, and even acquaintances would request her photography skills on a regular basis. Eventually, the requests became so frequent; she realized she could turn her passion for photography into a full-time career.

Since 2007, Tamea has used her skills, her dedication, her artistry, and her wonderful way of interacting with people, to become one of Vancouver’s favourite portrait and headshot photographers.

Written by Cameron Rowe – Lifelong friend, musician, and former Director at the Vancouver Symphony

Tamea Burd
Portrait of the artist as someone well overdue for a haircut. Photo by Taylor Smits.
Tamea Burd
Packing up gear for an on-location headshot session.
I’m self-employed, but West Coast weather is the actual boss of me. As the majority of my shoots are outdoors, this is the view I check every morning.
Over the years, I’ve been given a few rare vintage cameras and cases as gifts. Every time I look at them, I’m reminded of the people who gave them to me, and of the amazing invention that cameras are.
Tamea Burd
As this feature is called ‘A Day in the Life’, I thought a lot about which elements of my life are consistent, every day. The love I have for my friends, and they love they have for me, is the one perfect, beautiful, constant.
The love I have for my kitties, and the occasional, conditional love they have for me, is another part of every day. Here they are studiously ignoring me. Because you know, cats.
Most days, I look at this part of my home and think, “I really enjoy doing those things. Am I going to give them my time and energy today?” Sometimes it’s yes. More often it’s, ‘But there’s a new series I want to binge.’ ‘But I really should finish that book I haven’t picked up in days.’ ‘But there’s a bunch of gardening I want to do in the narrow window of decent weather we’re having.’ ‘But I think I might start replaying ‘Witcher Wild Hunt’ today.’ ‘But I suddenly have the overwhelming urge to reorganize and clean every single thing in my kitchen cupboards’. Because you know, procrastination.
Tamea Burd
Any time of year, in any weather, my neighbourhood is a wonderful place for an evening walk. When I’m needing to be consciously grateful, I often think about how fortunate I am to live in such a lovely part of the city. Since I was very small, no matter how hard things maybe, when I’m looking at, and deeply appreciating something beautiful, I feel calmed and thankful and energized. Which is one of the reasons I became – and remain – a photographer.


Which ’hood are you in?

I live in Mount Pleasant, but my work takes me all over the Lower Mainland. One of the many things I love about my job, is that I get to see so many buildings and public spaces I would never have known about otherwise.

What do you do?

I’m a writer and professional photographer. My photography work is personal and family portraits, online profile portraits, entertainer and corporate headshots, and small, intimate weddings.

What are you currently working on?

Mindfully trying to stay sane, compassionate, and positive through this incredibly bonkers and difficult time. For the first two years of the pandemic, photography work – as with most arts related work – was not in demand at all. Travel restrictions, gathering restrictions, and mask-wearing, nearly eliminated available work for photographers (and performers and creatives) all over the world. For my sake and everyone else’s too, I’m relieved and happy to say that circumstance is finally starting to change. Since the beginning of Spring, I’ve been getting many more opportunities for photoshoots with entertainers and creatives, corporate clients, families, engagements and weddings.

Where can we find your work?

My photography website is where my professional portfolio is.

To see random interesting things I occasionally take shots with my phone. My personal Instagram.

I write under the pseudonym TK Brass. My writing work is available on Patreon and Instagram.