Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival: A Photographer's Guide to Navigating the Best Locations

April 28th, 2024

Discover Vancouver's Best Cherry Blossom Spots

Capturing the beauty of cherry blossoms in Vancouver is a must for locals and visitors alike. The ultimate tool for planning your cherry blossom photo shoots is the Cherry Blossom Finder. This interactive map shows all the cherry blossom spots across the city, complete with bloom statuses, making it perfect for scheduling shoots on specific days.


Timing Your Visits for the Best Light

Visiting your chosen cherry blossom location just before sunrise is probably the best strategy to avoid the crowds. This timing allows you to capture people-free shots, providing a clear view of the blossoms. If you can't make it for sunrise, aim for just before sunset instead. This period, known as the golden hour, offers softer light, making your photography sessions much easier and the results more visually appealing.


By choosing these times for your photo shoots, you not only benefit from the best natural lighting conditions but also enjoy a more  enjoyable experience, perfect for taking stunning cherry blossom photographs without the distraction of a busy background.


Photography Tips for Capturing Cherry Blossoms

  • Angle and Composition: In crowded spots, shoot from a lower angle with a telephoto lens. This helps focus on the blossoms overhead and minimizes distractions.

  • Posing Tips: Have subjects lean slightly forward to correct for any distortion from the low angle. For groups, encourage closeness to convey connection.

  • Lighting: Opt for backlit compositions in midday sun to prevent harsh shadows. On cloudy days or during golden hours, position subjects towards the light for stunning catchlights in their eyes.


My go-to spots that are free in Vancouver

  • Queen Elizabeth Park:
    One of my favorites is Queen Elizabeth Park. They have a variety of cherry trees that bloom at different times, throughout the season.  My go to spots at Queen Elizabeth Park are Kanzan grove near 37th, the Akebono trees near the 33rd and Cambie entrance, and the 'Umineko' trees by the duck pond in Riley Park. The diversity of blooms here guarantees stunning photo opportunities and makes it an ideal location  for cherry blossom photos!

David Lam Park:
Located in downtown Vancouver, David Lam Park is renowned for its 100 Akebono cherry trees. This park features excellent waterfront views of Granville Island. The best time to visit is early in the morning to avoid the crowds, as it can become quite busy! The cherry blossoms here tend to bloom a bit earlier in the season.

  • Mount Pleasant:
    China Creek South Park Playground, particularly along E 10th between Glen and St Catherines, is a lesser-known spot. It has a row of beautiful Kanzan cherry trees that bloom later in the season, ideal for those who miss the initial blooms. While the street setting may pose some photographic challenges, the area is less crowded, offering a more relaxed atmosphere for photography!

Why Hire a Professional Photographer?

Professional photographers do more than just take photos. They work as a director paying attention  to posing and lighting to get the best out of every photo. They guide you in a way where you feel both  naturally candid and make the photo experience effortless and seamless. Especially if you have younger children and pets where it's hard to get the perfect photo or if you're just a couple who wants some beautiful photos together, but feel awkward in front of the camera. That's a great time to hire a professional that helps you feel  authentically you in the photos.


What to Wear for Cherry Blossom Photoshoots

Light pastel colors to complement the soft tones of the cherry blossoms. Comfortable, form-fitting clothing works best! Vancouver's unpredictable weather means a clear umbrella can be both a practical and stylish accessory for your photoshoots


Exploring Beyond Vancouver: Cherry Blossom Locations in Richmond

Garry Point Park, Richmond:
This is Richmond's most popular cherry blossom spot and is renowned for its beauty during cherry blossom season, featuring over 100 Akebono cherry trees that bloom early. The park's popularity can lead to crowds, making it challenging to get the perfect shot. Consider hiring a professional photographer during peak times. If visiting, plan for street parking since the free parking lot fills up quickly. For optimal photography, visit at peak bloom and use lower angles and a telephoto lens to simplify crowded scenes.

  • Larry Berg Flight Path Park:
    This park offers shorter Akebono cherry trees, making it easier to photograph smaller children and  pets. Located near the airport you might hear and see planes while you're there. Parking can be limited during busy times.


  • 5888 Dover Crescent, Richmond:

5888 Dover Crescent features Kanza, Ichiyo, and Shogets varieties along its scenic pathways. The low-hanging Umineko blossoms are ideal for photography under harsh light. Consider visiting around 6:00 p.m. when it’s less crowded. This location is also perfect for pet owners seeking a calm environment  that is less crowded!

Final Smartphone Photography Tips

  • Use your telephoto lens to emphasize the cherry blossoms above.

  • Position subjects with their faces towards the light during softer light conditions to create beautiful portraits.

  • Engage your subjects in conversation or jokes to evoke genuine expressions that make photos memorable.


By following these tips and visiting these recommended locations, you can capture the stunning beauty of cherry blossoms in Vancouver. Whether you're a professional photographer or a hobbyist, these spots provide  amazing opportunities to create lasting memories. Enjoy the cherry blossom season while it is short-lived. It is a spectacular time of the year to capture amazing photos with loved ones that last forever. and if you're looking for a professional to photograph you and your beautiful family please feel free to reach out to me at any time for a complimentary consultant about your next photoshoot!