cait +tiff


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T / all the pairings

Photo Credit: Tiffany Tsang

I’m listening to the Thomspon Twins as I write this.  You know the song, right?  The one you love to hate from that Adam Sandler movie?  It’s been in my ears all month.  The Psychedelic Furs too.  What can I say? I should have been a teenager in the 80s.

Over the past six weeks, I’ve had the chance to shoot couples. Three couples to be exact.  One newly engaged, another’s wedding, and a ten year anniversary.  Basically, all the best moments.  It was like a biweekly dose of all the oxytocin.  Because you can’t help but get dragged into all the warm feelings.   They should really bottle that and it would fly off the shelves.   I can’t believe these three wonderful sets of people invited me to shoot them at their most private and happy moments.  Can you imagine how awkward it is to shoot people making out?  I even told Corbett and Keiko that I felt like I was an intruder into their space.  It all felt so special in the most creepy way possible.  Cuz, you know – that’s apparently my style.


Patrick and Rose are newly engaged.  They American, but came together on a tiny, far off island in the South Pacific.  Not Fiji, not Micronesia.  Smaller.  A few years, countries and graduate degrees later, they’re killing it and there’s a ring on Rose’s finger.  So on a Sunday afternoon, I got them tipsy on G&Ts and captured all the most wonderful moments.  


You must remember Jojo and Jerome and their gorgeous lives and space in Yangon, Myanmar, right?  Over a year after we met, they wanted me to photograph their wedding.  In Kep.  I couldn’t say no.  And I felt so incredibly honoured that they even asked me, the novice with no wedding experience, to capture this incredibly special moment.  I did it.  I was so relieved to have happy clients.  Their wedding weekend was so fun, special and gorgeous.  I learned so much about what I did right and what I could do better.  And I got to put a wedding on my portfolio.   


I respect and have the utmost admiration of Corbett and Keiko.  So when Corbett, who has the most discerning of tastes, asked me to photograph them to celebrate their 10 official years together, all the feelings happened.  I was mostly terrified.  Would I screw it up? Would the photos turn out too twee?  All of those anxieties turned out to be false.  I could have spent all afternoon with them.  More than 12 countries, three cats, two very successful businesses later, and countless mixtapes later, these guys have it great.  


All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use.  Cait + Tiff are not liable for any sudden desire to snuggle.


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T / happy monday / le weekend

Photo Credit: Tiffany Tsang

The easy post to do would have been an easy share of this (because I’m at that age where my favourite band now reunites).  But instead I made this over my lunch break.  I had a busy weekend.  But a really great one.  Even if a big ol’ tropical storm got in the way of one of my four photoshoots.  I managed to squeeze in some video of intrepid and amazing Kate (and her tuk tuk!) as well as my friend Adilson and his capoeira partner Ricardo playing their instruments along the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh.  Basically, I had a bunch of curious onlookers for both shoots.  Who be this barang lady driving a tuk tuk? And these ridiculously handsome gentlemen and their fancy fighty moves.  More photos this week. I’ve been shooting everyone.  It’s been a bloody mess.

A Weekend from Tiffany Tsang on Vimeo.


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T / touch me baby

Photo Credit: Tiffany Tsang

So I’ve taken a bajillion photos now.  No I’m serious.  They’re on three different very large capacity hard drives that I’m more than protective about.  My preciouses.  And I’m always telling myself, MAKE PRINTS.  And sure, I’ve given a bunch out as gifts.  But seriously – I haven’t had the time to go and make a collection of the favourites.  Because there are a bunch.  And isn’t it a completely different feeling to look at a photo that’s in your hand or on a wall?  I just love how photos develop so uniquely on different media.  You could even print them on a leaf if you wanted! So when I saw this little video on Artifact Uprising’s new recycled paper printing option, I thought – okay I should probably get printing.

So while I’m at it, I thought I’d share some of my favourite photo printers out there. Printing is hard.  There are so many things to consider and I’ve definitely failed at it before.  These guys are pros, but not just that.  They’re definitely not your drug store nor your big box. They have something to offer for everyone.  I get asked about printing a fair bit, so I thought I’d share some faves today.

Photo Credit: Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo.

Pinhole Press is my favourite for families.  As Cait likes to say, I shoot a lot of babies, so I love that these guys offer board books! Cuz, you know…drool.  I love Jo’s idea of putting all the family members in them.

Photo Credit: Casey Broadley for Oh Joy (here and here).

Artifact Uprising is for the VSCO generation.  Slightly more discerning.  Lots of curation.  This is exactly where I’d put all the life photos.  But that’s just me.  I dig AU’s attention to detail.  How high quality each production is.  And they do everything from prints to cards, calendars and books.  All with a minimalist and clean aesthetic.

Photo Credit: Chatbooks

Chatbooks is the new kid on the blog.  And I’m telling everyone to get them made.  These guys are for all the photos on your phone or Instagram.  And with prices as low as $8 for your first 30 photos? Of course!

PS – here’s a brilliant tip from the ladies at A Beautiful Mess on how to blow up your prints if you wanna make that pineapple HUGE.


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T / happy monday / blank canvas

Photo Credit: Tiffany Tsang

This past weekend, I got to visit a place which is about to be turned into something spectacular. I can’t really talk about it in detail now, but I wanted to talk about all the feelings that came with having a a blank canvas right in front of you.  Invited as part of a group of interested persons; stakeholders, creatives, investors, techies and innovators, my ever entrepreneurial, community-building friend wanted us to see all the potential that was just a 10 minute drive from our bubble, in a part of town I rarely, if ever, have been down.

I’d heard about it, whispers, glimpses on social media, for the past couple of weeks.  But then it was, right in front of me.  Asking, begging, waiting to have paint splashed all over it, photoshoots, trampolines, speakers blaring all the beats and creative production.  It reminded me of growing up in Toronto, which, like any post-industrial city, has a bunch of old and abandoned buildings.  It made me think of all the re-purposing that the fossils of industry have undergone of some of the world’s hippest cities.  Not only that, but past sites of conflict, sites of desolation.  Isn’t it disruptive?  The ultimate rebellion to create beauty out of something previously deemed as inconsolable?

Getting to see a place like this opened up all the feelings I needed to keep moving and getting all the work done.  Because once I get rid of this To Do List, I can start playing again, and I know exactly where I am going to do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So in celebration of place and spaces that beg to be splashed upon.  I give you this white space.  I hope it inspires you to fill it with colour, noise, people and ideas. Because that’s exactly what I wanted to do this weekend. Have fun.


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T / on quiet time

Photo Credit: Alexandra Roberts for She Explores.

Today I did something unprecedented.  I went quiet.  For only ten minutes.  And it was exactly what I needed.  Professionally-diagnosed adult ADHD notwithstanding, I also suffer from millennial noise, side hustle fatigue and chronic sprinting.  The internal chatter is nuts.  And the fatigue is all too real.  So spurned on by Cait’s amazing words on meditation and equanimity, I did it.  I meditated.  I should also mention that I’m the least likely to do this.  Ask my mom.  Calm, cool, collected child I was not.  Even in my moments of rest, there’s a podcast on.  There’s always something.

I am an extrovert with introvert tendencies that I’m not always aware of.  I said yes to too many things in the past month and tried to find quiet time while still doing things.  My favourite is cooking dinner.  But my mind is still running then.  The wonderful ladies from My Favourite Murder are providing me entertainment.  I am simultaneously chopping, cooking and cleaning.  I always have a TV show on while I’m editing photos.  I tell myself I totally have a relaxing pre-sleep routine of silence and reading.  But that’s completely untrue because I’m on Instagram, reading the news and trying to plan a trip.  At the same time.  My brain generally looks like this:

Yup. My brain is your desktop with too many windows open.

It’s probably why I feel exhausted.

And that’s when I was confronted with the best idea ever: extreme quiet.  It means you’re going beyond the noise.  Restoring all the systems and getting your energy back.  And there’s no expensive retreat involved.  It’s like that cabin in the north I’ve always wanted to own. Ever since I started this desk job, I found myself without my beloved nap.  Geez Louise do I miss my nap.  But the moment, I turned on Calm.com, got my breathing under control (I sometimes forget to breathe, which is a recent revelation), and obeyed that Zen of a voice telling me to tune out, I got there.  I felt like I was asleep at my desk without pulling a George Costanza (been there, done that).  It’s a weird feeling.  You’re literally going dark for a little bit.  It felt amazing.  Like I said, I don’t regularly meditate.  Savasana and I are like me and green smoothies.  But I can see myself doing this every day.

Even if you’re not a desk monkey, I recommend it.  I can’t change how I am living at the moment.  But I can at least make it better.  Calm.com even has a series on anxiety, which I cannot wait to dive into.  And in between I can go back to back to all the things, until they get too much.  And then rinse, repeat.  Try it sometime.

 

 


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T / happy monday / hot thoughts

Photo Credit: Feist.

Some really good albums from a couple of my all time favourite bands came out over the past month.  And I got to spend a lot of time in a car with them this past weekend.  These bands were the soundtrack to my late teens and early 20s and are so telling about my early millennial status.  I discovered Spoon while watching The OC.  Then I found The Shins when I fell in love with Zach Braff and his Garden State.  I met Dirty Projectors when I moved to Cambodia and met all the young things from Brooklyn.  And the story of Tennis fell into my lap while I was living the hipster wannabe story in London.  Don’t you love it when music comes with a time and a place?  True story: I catalog all of my music by the month and year it came into my life.  There is indeed a soundtrack to my life.  Not joking.  I might actually be John Cusack from High Fidelity in the multiverse.  Or Kevin Smith.

Oh right, Feist is coming out with her new album next month.  22 year old Tiff is going nuts.   Here are the faves from everything I am spinning this week!


Spoon – Hot Thoughts, from their album of the same name.

The Shins – Name for You, from Heartworms.

Dirty Projectors – Cool Your Heart (ft. Dawn) from their self-titled album.

Tennis – Ladies Don’t Play Guitars, from Yours, Conditionally.

Feist – Pleasure, from her forthcoming album of the same name.


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T / how i’m eating 2017 / ARTillery’s magic menu

Hello Quinoa Rainbowl! Nice to meet you!.

This week, a red headed birdy sent me a bit of magic!  Jen, whom you previously have known as coffee Yoda and professor of beans, is also a doctor of menus!  (Could mother of dragons be next?)  Over the past few months, she’s been working with ARTillery Cafe in Phnom Penh to give their menu a facelift, and what a great job she’s done!

When it first arrived on the scene in 2012, ARTillery was pretty much the first restaurant in Cambodia to enter the realm of the healthy that went beyond salads.  All of a sudden, raw, paleo, and gluten free, were buzzwords that became part of the Phnom Penh lexicon.  I loved their menu!  And it was a go-to for healthy fresh salads and fun plates.  But like all good things, I overdosed on things.

This is where Jen comes in.  She’s all about flavour, and has a genetic lineage to the healthy, nutritious and delicious.  ARTillery’s new menu is still incredibly healthy.  But it got kicked in the nuts.  Kimchi quesadillas!  Fa-waffles!  Every single macro bowl you could imagine!  And the dish that made me go a little nuts: paleo Disco Fries!

Fa-waffle!

So off to lunch I went today to deep dive into Jen’s garden of fun colourful things.  With a couple of fellow foodies, we went a little nuts.  Sadly not pictured are the Jump Start avocado, coffee, raw cacao and cashew milk smoothie I may or may not have devoured in one slurp.  Nor the Cachata (cousin of horcata of course), or Chunky Monkey (we were obviously in the mood for chocolate).  But I did get a snap of Jen’s amazing green fa-waffle with hummus and garlic tahini sauce (above).  It’s officially my new happy place.

I also learned that I couldn’t tell the difference between jackfruit and chicken today.  These tacos (below) were perfect.

Not your grandma’s tacos. These babies are jackfruit.

It’s healthy with a bit of a whimsy and magic.  Fully customizable bowls.  Protein, gut health, fermented things to your heart’s content.  I like the good things and the healthy things.  It’s exactly how I want to eat this year, and now that I’m desk-bound, my lunch hour just got a little more exciting.  I can’t wait to try that cauliflower bun.  If you’re in town, do wander down a certain brightly graffitied alley and give these guys a try.


All photos by Tiffany Tsang for cait+tiff. Please request permission for use.


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T / happy monday / the hustle is real

Photo Credit: Create & Cultivate (another great resource for ladies who #werk)

How do I say this?  Life is busy.  I have battened down all the hatches. There is no chances of this ship sinking.  Deadlines are being reached, sort of.  I have clients now!  Which is something I would never have thought would happen if you asked me three years ago.  These are all obviously good things because, you know, #makingit.  But I can’t wait for a break (I’ve got a month left before I get one).  Being stuck at this desk job probably isn’t helping.  I’m also working on weekends.  To deal with it all, I’ve definitely been picking three.  Which means that some things have gotten voted off the island.  But call me a masochist, I don’t necessarily mind it.  Though I won’t say no to a Sunday morning off, either.

I’m not complaining, but the last few weeks have really made me realize the importance of flexibility.  How privileged I was to work as a freelancer for a whole three years that let me learn, practice and prepare for the gig I really wanted.  And likewise, the privilege of falling back on a really well paying job when I realized my bank account needed a boost.  I’m also starting to think about what I need to do to make it all happen, like boundaries, rules, and the power to say ‘no.’  While also being a good friend and partner all at the same time.  And how does being a woman fit into all of this?  These are the things when you’ve got a side hustle going.  And they’ve all been swirling around in my head lately.  Then International Women’s Day happened.  And naturally, I wanted to share some of the things that have kept me chugging along over the past few weeks and helping to get all those things done and living a well designed life.  Oh right, and these all come from ladies.


Photo Credit: Kate Arends.

Community is a wonderful thing.  I have the community in front of me.  The incredibly inspiring and wonderful women who exist in the real space and sweat, and the friendships who might be over a significantly large body of water.  These women all keep me afloat. And then there’s all the women who are letting their voices out on the web.  Kate Arends is one of these women and I’ve been really getting into all of her monthly themed and incredibly honest essays.  This month, it’s Women Who #Werk, and it couldn’t come at a better time.  And it’s all so real.  Definitely pay attention to her space if you’re needing some reads on it all.

Photo Credit: Jessica Murnane.

I’m being a heck ton better about everything I put into my body.  This past month, my pod-crush Jessica Murnane released One Part Plant.  Her podcasts have helped get me through things before, but now she has a cookbook that can help my insides work better. Lena Dunham even wrote the foreword.  After the holidays, my body had taken a literal beating.  I wasn’t feeling great.  Bloated was just the start of things.  Even though I was working out nearly every day of the week, I knew I needed to make changes beyond a single month of clean eating.  And I’m glad I made some new rules for myself: more home cooked meals.  More plants.  More good things.  And since then, I’ve never felt better.

GIF Credit: Libby VanderPloeg

Werk landed into my Inbox the other day.  Right after a conversation with a bunch of multi-hyphenate ladies as we were discussing all the things they do to make things happen.  And what gets left behind.  Ever wanted to know where the flexible jobs were? You know, the ones with the opportunity to work remotely? On your own time? So you could also do all the other things that were important to you?  They’re at Werk waiting for you.


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T / bags without a name

Photo Credit: Cuyana

Photo Credit: Cuyana

When you live in a part of the world filled with emerging economies, everything is all about the flash.  The cars, the bling, it’s all name name name.  The louder the better.  Let’s show off how powerful I am .  All of this makes me want to run and hide under my bed and wait until the glaring brightness of it all dies down a a notch or several.  Or find a bucket to wretch into.  Of course, I inherited all of these feelings from my mother.  Her mantra was understated elegance.  Small and simple things.  No names.  Great build.  That’s what mattered.  So when I revisited Garance’s article on the new cool, I came across these great words:

“the need for a bag without logo, without adornment, but with the determination to be both chic and reliable,”

I thought to myself, yes – that’s exactly how I should be buying this year.

I’m coming to the end of my three-ish months of not buying anything.   I’m so proud of myself.  But I’ve also been thinking of how I should be buying this year.  I’ve got this new job that’s paying for all the new equipment. But lenses aside, I’d like to pick up some nice things.  And that’s when I realized what I needed: a bag without a name.  Great build.  No adornment. The kind of thing I’d hand over to the next generation.  So I thought I’d share the four bags that I’d add to my collection.  I’d never have to buy another bag again if I had these guys.  Overstatement, probably.  But it’s worth a shot.


A no-name Mansur Gavriel bucket bag is at the top of my swoon list.  It’s pricey, for sure.  But just look at how freaking gorgeous and simple they are.  I’d be happy with their bucket bag, but that backpack and Lady Bag are pretty darn cute too.


My pal Sarah has this bag and every time she takes it out, I will tell her a) I love the bag and b) where did you get it.  So I’ve entered it into memory: Matt and Nat, proudly Canadian, vegan leather.  And I can’t wait to get those words into your brain.

Cuyana somehow entered the market through the early days of style blogging and social media.  So I’ve come to associate it with everyone who’s found success.  I dig the custom gold overlay personalisation they offer.  It just screams “PERSONAL BRAND ME!” does it?  Besides style blogging aspirations, I just dig how simple these bags are.  I’d probably still be using their classic leather tote or this cinch bag to carry my life at age 50 and I’d completely be happy to.


I’m such a huge fan of this family run biz.  I’ve been using their OG bag as my default carryon for years.  And then they came out with a camera bag.  Not just any camera bag.   One that you could take your honker of a full frame DSLR out in and not scream “I’m carrying $1500 in camera equipment around, ROB ME.” The Claremont is probably the prettiest camera bag ever made.  I’d be happy to carry other things in it too.  Like my life and a smaller camera.

 

 


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T / happy monday / cool your heart

Photo Credit: D. Morrison.

Photo Credit: D. Morrison.

When a song features the lyrics: “gonna cook you with pepper and lime,” I know it’s going on heavy rotation.  That would be from Paris chanteuse Mai Lan.  And then there are all the new things from Dirty Projectors and their collab with Solange.  Good music is blowing up right now.  And with efforts like the 100 First Days, I cannot wait to see what the subversives come up with.  Also, Moonlight just won Best Picture at the Oscars. I don’t care what people say, the arts are responding.

Hearts are ALL on fire right now.  And it’s definitely not from all the good heat coming from Valentine’s Day.  So I thought I’d put together a playlist of some very new faves and some old spins that have kept my cardiac sounds in check.  New faves like Bay Ledges, and stalwarts like Animal Collective, Clap Ya Hands Say Yeah, Spoon (because I’m a 39 year old guy who went to school in Austin at heart) and Sondre Lerche all have new tunes the kick the year off with.  So this playlist is mostly filled with some old geezers.  But I’ll get the babies to you soon.