20 Questions with Tyler Ingram

Tyler Ingram answers this week’s 20 Questions instalment. 20Q profiles bloggers, creators, artists, inspiring people, innovators, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs. Don’t miss these past features.

 

20 Questions with Tyler Ingram

Change is the name of the game in Tyler Ingram’s world. When I first met him years ago, he was, like many others his age, a single guy working in Vancouver’s tech industry with an aspiring passion for photography. Fast forward many years, and Tyler is now a proud husband, prouder father, world traveller, and accomplished photographer. Subscribing to the suburban lifestyle, his family of four keeps him on his toes on a daily basis, but he somehow manages to capture it all on film – and beautifully so. Tyler is also an engineer, dad blogger, BCIT graduate, travel dreamer, and lifelong learner, and today answers 20 Questions.

1. What are you really excited about these days?

Watching my two kids grow and experience the world around them. A has started preschool this year and W is closing in on her first birthday

tyler ingram

2.What was the last picture you took on your phone?

A photo of the gate that leads to the Forest School my son does for preschool.

3. Making your photography accessible through social media opens the door to admiration but also criticism. How do you handle criticism?

I find that with photography, at least in my experience, I haven’t seen much criticism. Everyone has a style of photography that they like and they also have styles they do not like. Not everyone is going to like your work, but you hope there are people out there that do. There are some whose work I do not like and I don’t understand how other people can like it or call it photography. It ends up more being on the Fine Art spectrum I think. I find most people tend to not voice their opinions, or at least to the photographer’s face.

4. What’s an exciting project you’re diving into at the moment?

I’m currently on parental leave! My wife had to end her maternity/parental leave short by 10 weeks but that made me eligible for it. It’s a bit hard on the wallet but being at home with the kidlets and my wife for these 10 weeks has been an experience I wish more fathers would take or even could take. I started a blog about my experiences being a Dad too. I meant to start it when A was first born but I never got around to it, but being on parental leave with W, I have jumped into it.

5. What’s one piece of indispensable advice you’d give to an aspiring photographer?

Just one? Learn all you can about your camera/lens to its maximum. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get awe-inspiring photos. You just need to learn what you can do with the tool in front of you. Once you’ve found your equipment’s limitations then should you look at acquiring more.

6. The Breakfast Club featured a rebel, a princess, a brainiac, an outcast, and a jock. Who were you in high school?

I don’t think I fit into those categories exactly. I’d lean more towards Brian, the brainiac. Though my grades wouldn’t say so. I liked to be friends with everyone but at the same time I did not go out of my way to hang out with many people outside of school. I was also into school sports: volleyball, basketball, those things. They need to add a “computer geek” if they ever make a reboot of it.

7. If I gave you $50,000 to expand your business, what would you do with it?

I would invest in some camera gear of course. Definitely get into full-frame and seriously get more into family lifestyle photography. Ever since having children I find that I like photographing other families – especially those with kids around my kids’ ages. Help create memories in which families and look back upon years down the road. Normally when families take their own photos, someone is usually missing – the one taking the photo. Though with me in tow, I can capture all the members doing what they do best: being a family together and having fun!

8. What’s your all-time favourite jam from the ‘80s or ‘90s?

I don’t have a favourite one, but many, I like a variety of different music and I’m horrible at knowing which artists do which songs, especially older ones. I can’t tell you one specifically. Weird, eh?

9. Considering how much your life has changed in the last five years, where do you see yourself in 2021?

Where do I see myself in five years? I have a hard time to trying to figure out where I will be in one or two years. The kids will be eight and six, respectively, and I am sure we would have had more adventures together as a family.

tyler ingram

10. Pretend I’m a fantastic bartender. What drink are you ordering from me?

I don’t drink much, but if it were to be a slightly more sophisticated beverage. I would have to say “7 and 7.” I’ve had waitresses do a double take, as it’s not often people request it by that name.

11. It’s now 2:00 a.m. and I’ve served you half a dozen of those. Where are you going for your greasy food fix?

Around where I live there isn’t anything open that late.

12. In White Rock, what’s the one restaurant that no one has heard of but everyone should eat at?

I would say the WAG – or Washington Avenue Grill. Food is good, atmosphere is good and, if you get a window table, the view is spectacular.

13. What’s the biggest misconception people have about you in real life?

[People don’t think] that I can play sports. This geeky exterior has grown up playing soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball, golf, and I can throw a mean spiral. I have no fear when it comes to snowboarding either.

14. If you could star as any character in the remake of any movie, which famous role would you reprise?

I’ll have to go out on a limb here and say Hayden Christensen and redo him as Anakin Skywalker to ensure I somehow “accidentally” killed Jar Jar Binks. I’m totally okay becoming a Sith lord too.

15. If you could learn a new skill, language, or hobby, what would it be?

I want to learn Spanish. I love visiting Costa Rica and being able to speak Spanish would be wonderful. Actually, it was something I disliked about [BC’s] education system at the time. Our schools only taught English and French. It wasn’t until after I graduated high school when they brought in other languages, Spanish being one of them. I want to explore more of the Central and South Americas, and knowing Spanish would help set my mind at ease as the language barrier sometimes gives me anxiety.

16. Who are you most proud of?

Is it wrong to say myself? I always wanted to further my education, and even if I went back to school 13 years after I originally wanted to, I did. I upgraded my courses to meet the requirements and I went back for two years. Of course, none of that would have happened if it wasn’t for the full support of my wife!

17. Who is (or was) the single most influential person in your life?

Again, I sort of have no answer for this one either. There isn’t a single person, nor could I name multiple people. I want to be the best husband and father I can be on my own terms. For photography, there isn’t really any one photographer either as there are many out there whose work I like and I try to figure out ways to incorporate their ideas.

18. I’m throwing a dinner party next weekend. You’re invited and can bring three others with you (dead or alive). Who should I set the table for?

My wife and two kids! Don’t worry, it won’t be that messy!

tyler ingram

19. What’s the one question you wish someone would ask you?

Can I please pay generously for you to go out on the open waters, in our boat, and photograph the various Orca pods you encounter?

20. If I asked you that question, what would be your answer?

When do we leave?

Meet Tyler Ingram:
Blog: A Dad’s Adventures
Facebook: /TylerIngramPhotography
Twitter: @TylerIngram
Instagram: @_tyleringram_

All photos are provided courtesy of Tyler Ingram.

Breaking Out Of Your Comfort Zone

It does more than just help you feel better. Breaking out of your comfort zone has a ton of proven benefits!

I recently had the chance to participate in a Green Screen Filming Workshop at Vancouver Film School. When our group was asked who’d like to volunteer to act, against all my instincts, my hand shot up and I gladly volunteered. It wasn’t “me,” and it certainly wasn’t something I would normally feel comfortable doing, but I felt it was something I had to do for myself.

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Photo: Vancouver Film School

You see, I’ve lived the majority of my 30-something years safely cocooned in the warmth and stability of my comfort zone. I know what to expect of myself; it’s my MO in dealing with challenges I may face. Conflict is not my friend, and I’ve always tended to stay well within my comfortable confines in order to keep the peace. However, staying in the comfort zone can also foster a lot of negative self-talk and it prevents one’s self from reaching their true potential. The comfort zone can suffocate who we truly want to be. And when we stay within that comfort zone, we often create an internal conflict.

Have you seen the diagram below before? My supervisor recently showed a version of it to our team as a means to inspiration. I found it downright mind-blowing! We bounce around in our comfort zones, floating through whatever circumstances we’re currently in, protected and safe from the unknown. But the reality is that the unknown could be (and probably is) far more awesome than we can dream of!

comfort zone

Recently I’ve forced myself to pop the proverbial bubble and explore new territory, and the results have been truly encouraging. But more than just feeling great, breaking out of my comfort zone has come with benefits that might just inspire you to pop your own bubble!

  1. Productivity – Comfort and routine are the killers of productivity. Push yourself to try new things in new ways, and you’ll gain the drive needed to explore uncharted territory!
  2. Flexibility – Lao Tzu said that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” With each step, the journey gets easier and we get closer to our goal. The more frequently you push yourself out of your comfort zone, the easier it will be the next time you’re presented with an opportunity to do so!
  3. Creativity – New experiences and new skills can, understandably, pave the way to new ideas. If we do the same things in the same ways we have always done them, we’re bound to get the same results. Try a different tactic, reap a different outcome!
  4. Adaptability – I won’t even try to deny it: sudden and unexpected changes S-T-R-E-S-S me out! However, the more frequently I experience life outside of the comfort zone, the more likely I am to be able to better handle curve balls thrown my way.

Easier said than done, right? Wrong! Breaking out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to happen all at once. Take a Rubik’s Cube, for example. To complete the puzzle, you make just one move at a time. But what you don’t realize is that everything else is also shifting, even if it’s unseen. A few quick ideas you can implement today include:

✔ Take baby steps instead of giant leaps.
✔ Change one thing about your daily routine.
✔ Avoid snap decisions – take even just five minutes to give something consideration when you normally wouldn’t.
✔ Do you tend to overthink? Then instead just say “Yes!” and figure the rest out later.
✔ Instead of asking yourself “Why?” flip the question and ask “Why not?”

When those opportunities arise, grab them with both hands, shut your eyes, scream if you have to, but don’t let go. Enjoy each experience for what it is, consider or meditate upon what you can get from each opportunity you have, and be gentle with yourself. Take that journey, but begin with the smallest first step.

Richmond World Fest: Photo Highlights

Richmond World Fest was a day to celebrate the city’s cultural diversity!

At the end of the summer, Richmond rocked out on Labour Day weekend with a cultural celebration to highlight the incredible diversity that reaches each corner of the city. Featuring live music, performances, food trucks, a global village, culinary demonstrations, and so much more, the day was an adventure-filled way to end the sunny days of the season.

Richmond World Fest

When I found out that Delhi 2 Dublin was playing the main stage, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take my niece and her dad. She’s loved D2D’s music since she could walk, and I knew she’d be excited about all the fun, kid-friendly features of Richmond World Fest.

Richmond World Fest

Richmond World Fest

Richmond World Fest

Richmond World Fest

Richmond World Fest

Richmond World Fest

Richmond World Fest

Richmond World Fest

Richmond World Fest

Richmond World Fest

See you next year at Richmond World Fest!

Don’t forget to follow the festival’s updates on Twitter and Facebook, and stay in the loop for next year’s event on the official website.

20 Questions with Rachel Thexton

Rachel Thexton answers this week’s 20 Questions instalment. 20Q profiles bloggers, creators, artists, inspiring people, innovators, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs. Don’t miss these past features.

 

20 Questions with Rachel Thexton

Rachel Thexton and I started showing up on each others’ radars a handful of years ago as it quickly became apparent that she and I share a passion for rescued animals. Rachel has a dog and a cat of her own – both rescued – and her love for them has spurred her on to being an advocate for the adoption of other animals. Originally from Toronto, Rachel’s home base has been Vancouver for many years. She’s one of this city’s most innovative PR pros and recently founded Thexton PR. Rachel is an entrepreneur, pet parent, bookworm, beauty-ista, traveller, sister, advocate for mental health, and friend. She’s also a vibrant woman who, I suspect, has many beautiful layers to her, so I was excited when she agreed to answer 20 Questions.

1. What are you really excited about these days?

I’m excited to be able to connect with all kinds of people who have amazing personal stories to share, but likely don’t have the communication experience, or the budget, to hire a PR team. Being able to find these individuals and volunteer time to help them to tell their story to media is so rewarding and it can result in change. Right now, I am especially passionate about looking for those who want to tell their stories about addiction and mental health. We need to understand more about these topics and we need to create change in this country – urgently.

Rachel Thexton

2.What was the last picture you took on your phone?

My dog Bandit and cat Elvis exploring our new loft. I recently moved, and instead of taking pictures of the condo features, of course I’m taking photos of what they are doing in the home!

3. Making yourself accessible through social media (and/or PR) opens the door to admiration but also criticism. How do you handle criticism?

It doesn’t come often but it’s definitely there, mostly when I speak my opinion on an issue. This can be frustrating because the online community is a great place to discuss different perspectives on an issue. I often want to respond instantly with a heated and “intelligent” response to this criticism, but my role in PR reminds me to pause, wait and consider if I am comfortable with my response being on a large city billboard the next morning for all to see. If the answer is yes, I respond once, but I never engage in an online argument. Those are never productive.

4. Without giving away more than you’d like to, what kind of projects are you diving into at the moment?

I am working to start a creative writing class in January at UBC. I would really like to dedicate some time to writing non-fiction. There is a specific project that I have in mind and I hope to be able to share this one day. I have always loved writing and, although it’s a part of the work I do, I would like to be able to focus on my own personal writing.

5. What’s one piece of indispensable advice you follow for loving yourself?

I find that taking care of myself with regular exercise and good food helps me to feel better about myself, but to be honest, this is an area that I am still figuring out. As women, there are so many expectations as to who we should be, how we should look and act, and I tend to want to rebel against those norms. My challenge is really sitting with myself and finding out who I really am, and then working on habits like journaling and meditation.
This question is timely because this is truly something I am currently working to figure out and master… I’m not there yet.

6. The Breakfast Club featured a rebel, a princess, a brainiac, an outcast, and a jock. Who were you in high school?

I was the princess, mixed with a bit of jock. High school was a fun time for me. I loved playing on the basketball team but also participated in school theatre. The small private school I attended didn’t have the typical “cliques” but I remember having lots of confidence in high school!

7. If I gave you $50,000 to expand your business, what would you do with it?

I would invest in professional development and learn new skills that I think are important as PR continues to evolve. I would also use some of this money to fund the project on storytelling that I describe above — a volunteer arm of Thexton PR that would focus solely on helping to tell important stories around issues that matter to me. I would also treat my team and my network of contacts to a fabulous dinner… the success of my business relies on a great team and a strong network.

Rachel Thexton

8. What’s your all-time favourite jam from the ‘80s or ‘90s?

Hard question since there are so many. “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak was always a favourite, especially after it was featured in an episode of 90210. Wow!

9. Entrepreneurship has its fair share of ups, downs, and bumps along the way. Where do you see yourself in 2021?

I would really like four things to happen:

1. I would like to have the success and freedom to be able to work remotely around the world. I love travel and I would love to share my skills and areas of expertise with clients in different markets, worldwide.
2. I would love to have a book published, authored by me. This is something I have wanted to do since I was a child.
3. I would love to continue to grow the part of my business dedicated to telling stories for those who are not being heard.
4. I would like to have a family and somehow balance this business and travel thing with an amazing husband and kids!

10. It’s girls’ night in – sweatpants and wine included. What are we watching?

Watching old movies — maybe Dirty Dancing or Heathers. I love ’80s and ’90s movies.

11. It’s now 2:00 a.m. and we’ve had half a dozen glasses of wine. Where are you going for your greasy food fix?

Ordering Dominos pizza! It’s not fancy, it’s not the best pizza, but after a night of drinking, it’s the best. I could eat a whole pizza on my own!

12. In Vancouver, what’s the one restaurant that no one has heard of but everyone should eat at?

There is a small and simple sushi place on Robson street, between Denman and Bidwell, called Sapparo Sushi. The quality is amazing, good service, the food tastes great, and you can always count on the basics for a perfect sushi meal.

13. What’s the biggest misconception people have about you in real life?

People think I am an extroverted PR gal that loves parties and attends all the top events. In facts, I am an introvert and I am most comfortable at home, with my animals and a book, with a vinyl playing, a glass of wine and lots of fruit to snack on. I love people but I find the social events exhausting and it takes lots of energy for me. People often wonder how an introvert can work in PR and I guess it’s because I am able to do the social part but balance this with lots of time on my own: writing, developing strategies and materials for clients, reading, and re-charging for the more social parts of my job.

Rachel Thexton

14. If you could star as any character in the remake of any movie, which famous role would you reprise?

Dirty Dancing, but it would never be the same unless Patrick Swayze could still play his character! I also love the role of Jenny in Forrest Gump.

15. If you could learn a new skill, language, or hobby, what would it be?

I would learn piano and master Spanish. I took piano lessons as a child and always skipped lessons… how I wish I could play now! It’s such a beautiful instrument. As for Spanish, I have been studying through Rosetta Stone but the best is being in a Spanish speaking country where you can really learn. Maybe I will pack up and move to the Dominican Republic for a few months!

16. Who are you most proud of?

My Mother. She has had to fight her way back from some hard places and I admire her for that.

17. Who is (or was) the single most influential person in your life?

My Grandmother. She took a large part in raising me. My Grandmother was the kindest, most patient, loving, special person. Whenever I do something, I wonder if she would be proud. I have my Grandmother’s sensitive heart and although it can be hard at times, I am proud of the love that it produces. I miss her every day and she still inspires me.

18. I’m throwing a dinner party next weekend. You’re invited and can bring three others with you (dead or alive). Who should I set the table for?

Author Jeanette Walls — her memoirs are brilliant. Dr. Martin Luther King — I would love to discuss his thoughts on race in the world today and how he would help lead us to an even better place as a diverse community. My Grandmother, of course.

Rachel Thexton

19. What’s the one question you wish someone would ask you?

Why do you have such a passion for animals, especially dogs and cats?

20. So why do you have such a passion for animals, especially dogs and cats?

I will shorten this answer because I could go on forever. Animals are the purest of souls. I learned to walk with a dog and have had one in my everyday life ever since. Not only are dogs loyal and loving, fun and intelligent, but the way that they help people amazes me. The work that dogs do to help the disabled, sense and alert of seizures in patients before they come on, work on rescue teams, help law enforcement, relieve stress, provide companionship – it all amazes me. Also, I see the look on people’s faces when I walk my dog Bandit down the street. They smile, even if they would not have smiled at me alone. Animals bring such joy and happiness. Their loyalty is beautiful. When someone says, “It’s just a dog!” my blood boils. “It” is so much more.

Meet Rachel Thexton:
Website: Thexton PR
Facebook: /ThextonPR
Twitter: @rthexton and @thextonpr
Instagram: @rthexton and @thextonpr
Huffington Post: Author

All photos are provided courtesy of Rachel Thexton.

Comox Valley Pumpkin Patch

The one and only original Comox Valley Pumpkin Patch, a visit to Shamrock Farm each October is a Halloween tradition!

Each year I eagerly anticipate the month of October for a cornucopia of reasons: falling leaves, flickering jack-o-lanters, brisk autumn mornings have my heart, but a visit to my favourite Comox Valley Pumpkin Patch, Shamrock Farm, is what truly thrills me! I’ve been taking my niece each year since she was only a toddler, and every October we look forward to our visit together. I’ve even started “dragging” my husband along too. The truth is that he enjoys it just as much as we do!

Comox Valley Pumpkin Patch

Comox Valley Pumpkin Patch

For nearly 20 years, Shamrock Farm has opened up its gates for their annual Halloween festivities, a family-friendly event has become a memorable tradition for locals. “What we love best about opening our small pumpkin farm to the public is watching families return each year,” enthuses my friend and co-owner/operator Shannon Farrell. “We have made lifelong friends through this farm. Returning to the Shamrock Farm pumpkin patch is not only a tradition for them, it’s a tradition for us.

Comox Valley Pumpkin Patch

From October 1st through to the 31st, visit the farm and choose from over two dozen varieties of pumpkins, 100% of which are grown at Shamrock Farm. Carving pumpkins, sugar pumpkins, and even the aptly-named Goosebumps variety are just a few of the gourds you can choose for decorating your front porch or Thanksgiving table this season. It’s not unusual to encounter one of many Comox Valley school groups on a field trip while romping through the pumpkin patch!

Comox Valley Pumpkin Patch
With that many pumpkins, hauling them out of the patch can be quite a feat of strength!

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Children will enjoy meeting the farm’s resident goats, miniature horses, and free-roaming chickens. Hay rides out to the pumpkin patch are offered on weekends, and for the sixth year in a row, a corn-and-hay-bale maze has been designed to wander and wonder. Let your taste buds be tempted with hot chocolate or hot apple cider (made from Shamrock Farm’s own apples!) in the Haunted Barn, or take home a pumpkin pie tart, chocolate-dipped farm apple, or pumpkin pie gelato created by Benino Gelato.

Comox Valley Pumpkin Patch

Comox Valley Pumpkin Patch

The farm is open every day during October, including Thanksgiving Monday, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. On October 22nd and 29th, the farm is open until 8:00 pm for a spooktacularly fun time with a bonfire and illuminated jack-o-lanterns. (Children attending must have flashlights.)

Admission is FREE (as always) and all are welcome. For more information, visit Shamrock Farm’s website or call 250-339-1671. Shamrock Farm is located at 2276 Anderton Road in Comox. Follow the updates from Shamrock Farm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.