Vancouver Family Photographer – Scotland

I am a Photographer in Vancouver, British Columbia. My family and I travelled to Scotland to learn more about our family history and roots.

Welcome! I am so glad you are here. Getting to live and be a Photographer in Vancouver BC on the traditional unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations is such a great honour for me.

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by my Ancestry. Growing up in the interior of British Columbia to a family who immigrated to Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries my eagerness to learn more about where my family came from started at a young age. When you visit my grandma’s house, you walk down a hall lined with black and white photographs of great grandparents, uncles, and aunts.

Each image tells a story that you can’t help to want to hear more about. My grandmother tells stories of her birth, attended by an indigenous midwife, highly respected by their community in northern Alberta and the memories she has of her great grandfather, Dougall McLean who immigrated from Scotland in the late 19th century. There is one photograph that is held dearly in our family, a black and white image of my grandmother’s great uncle standing outside the house in which his brother, my great-great-grandfather was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland.

After beginning my work photographing families and taking part in documenting their growth and memories, I came up with a project linking my work as a photographer with my passion for my own family history. The project originated with the idea that four generations of women, my grandmother, mother, sister, daughter and myself would travel to Scotland to visit the places many of our family came from, and a few spots we had documents and photos linked to.

Our trip began in Vancouver BC and took us through Glasgow, Oban and onto the Isle of Mull where our clan, clan McLean, originated from. We went on to drive across the country in search of the house built by my great-great-grandfather. For me getting to not only see the country and places my ancestors came from but to experience it with the women who are just as close to that history as I am left me completely frozen in a puddle of emotions. It’s such a great privilege to know where I came from and an even greater to witness my family reconnect with ancestral land.