This month, we’ve teamed up with a young contributor who has an impeccable eye for visuals and is already carving her own path. Sharing her life in pictures, Winnie hopes to inspire. And, as a student (yes, she’s still in school), photography and travel are her loves. Having just returned from trips to Los Angeles and Toronto, she will have you falling in love with every corner of our hood.

When did you know that photography was something you might want to do professionally?

My passion for photography stemmed from when I first started to travel, when all I wanted to do was to capture what I saw of people and places with an expensive camera my dad brought home one day. Since then, my family and friends started to say, seriously and mockingly – ‘wow so professional!’ After hearing that so many times, I began looking for clients actually got some. 

You had an opportunity to work with a renowned photographer in the UK, what was that like?

Tony Ellis is the single most influential person to me. He taught me the ropes of street photography, strengthened my take on portrait photography, and pushed me to find different perspectives. Cambridgenwas also the perfect place for all of that training. I was surrounded by wonderful peers, and lovely spaces to explore. 

You also had the chance to shoot at We Day. Cool?

I’ve shot at We Day twice now and both times were exhilarating experiences. To be able to be up close and personal with some of my personal heroes such as Craig and Marc Kielburger, Kofi Annan, and Macklemore, would have only been a dream had if I hadn’t pursued professional photography. And that’s the thing for me when it comes to photography, it’s brought me closer to so many great people, and I hope that never stops. 

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Where in Gastown do you go to find inspiration?

Gastown, the entirety of it, is inspiration for me. Whether I’m munching on bread at Nelson the Seagull, or looking through the racks of Nouvelle Nouvelle, or reading the greeting cards at Litchfield, there’s just inspiration everywhere, both for my photography and my overall being. 

Best place to window shop – or spend some hard earned cash?

I’d have to go with M0851. I love leather goods and I certainly don’t own enough of them. 

How about when you need a jolt of caffeine?

The friendly baristas at Coffeebar have got my back. The iced London Fog there is a work of art. 

WinnieSun-4Any other advice you want to share?

I do recommend this to fellow students, or anyone who is feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work they’ve got. Take a deep breath and walk outside with an open heart and open eyes. Unplug. Don’t read those emails. Just walk. Observe. Breathe. Look up. Listen to the birds chirping. Feel gratitude for something. Anything. You’ll feel much better. 

Winnie will be sharing her POV this week on our feed at @MyGastown. You can also find / follow her on Instagram @winnie.sun and connect with her through her web site here.

We’ll have our next profile up in May, so be sure to check back for more. And if you’re an insider with a unique perspective on the neighbourhood, head to our Instagram feed at @MyGastown and tag your photos. You might hear from us!