View the personal work and passion projects of Boston wedding photographer Nicole Chan. She has a passion for humanitarian efforts, women’s rights, and rescue animals.
It’s been quite a year.
I got married.
My team and I photographed 40+ weddings, 50+ families, 10+ marriage proposals, and 50+ portraits.
It was cold, but it was snowing and beautiful, so we braved the cold for winter portraits for Julianne and Michael.
We broke in our new gold sparkly photobooth background with our sister video company, Promessa Studios.
During our Trapsgiving celebration, Hayley and Micha helped me break in the winter background that I purchased, but never used for any of my actual clients.
I don’t know when this was, but it pretty much happens at every wedding. Me, light testing for the cake cutting.
This photo is actually from the 2016 NCP + Promessa Studios Japanese dinner. It doesn’t include Hayley or Rio, the newest adds to our team.
This is from my wedding reception in Boston. <3
In early January, I partnered up with the filmmakers at Promessa Studios, talented makeup artist, Anita Chu, and the brilliant hair stylist, Jenny Luu, to provide an empowering photographic experience to the women at the Women’s Lunch Place. The WLP is a day shelter that helps homeless women in the greater Boston area get back on their feet by providing healthy breakfasts and lunches, medical care, and support for women struggling with domestic violence, addiction, mental illnesses, and other stresses of being homeless. “At Women’s Lunch Place, we care for Boston’s most vulnerable women with dignity, foster their resilience, and empower them to pursue their dreams.”
After the makeover and photoshoot, we spoke with each woman about their story and gifted them a print of their portrait. Some laughed, some cried, and some reacted somewhere in between, but all of them loved their portraits. Stated by one woman upon seeing her portrait for the first time, “This is the new me!” What really blew us away is what happened a couple months later. We called some of the women to see how they were doing. Watch the video below to hear how the photographic experience impacted their lives.
- Fergburger – THERE IS NOTHING SPECIAL ABOUT THIS PLACE. We have great burgers in Boston (and in the US as a whole). So underwhelming.
- Sunset paragliding – Excellent. Two thumbs up. Ask your guide to go crazy. We did some insane flips, and it was awesome.
- Bungee/Skydiving – We skipped this, because we’ve done it before. Had we not, we’d be all over this.
- Lamb leg – We picked up a lamb leg from the grocery store (as well as some fresh rosemary, garlic, potatoes, and olive oil). Over several hours, we roasted it and made everyone in our hostel insanely jealous. We roasted several lamb legs during the trip.
- Milford Sound – We took the cheap JUCY cruise. Though it was cheap and a cloudy day, the views were tremendously awesome.
- Te Anau – Fiordland National Park is beautiful. We also did a short excursion to the glowworms. I’m pretty sure they just put a whole ton of Christmas lights on the ceilings of the cave.
- Wanaka / Arrowtown – Definitely my favorite city – chill, down to earth, quiet.
- Fox Glacier / Franz Josef – If you’ve ever seen a glacier before, skip this. We were going to heli-hike, but for three days in a row, it was cancelled due to weather. Be sure to book with the company so that you can get a refund.
- Greymouth / Punakaiki – Felt similar to the Great Ocean Road! We wandered everywhere, stopped many times, and all stops led to a memorable mini adventures. Motukiekie beach and Punakaiki pancake rocks.
- Canyoning in Abel Tasman National Park – This is probably the most fun thing I’ve ever done. Zip lining, abseiling, cliff jumping, swimming, rock slides, and general frolicking.
- Rotorua – I don’t usually buy stuff, but there were some beautiful dark green pieces of carved jade that I thought were beautiful. The entire city smells like sulfur. The natural hotpsrings are pretty cool for a quick feet soak. Zorbing was pretty fun. We jumped into a giant plastic ball and rolled down a hill. Highly recommend to go in the ball by yourself, unless you’re super comfortable getting squished to the person in the ball with you. Also, because of all the swishing and sliding in the ball, swimsuits easily come off. You’ve been warned.
- Auckland – Eh.
During the off-season, my routine is vastly different than the summer. Lots of friends come over for board game nights and hot pot dinners. I try to convince everyone around me to go skiing. I bundle up in flannel and fleece all day long. This year, I spent a couple weeks exploring on my Australia travel photography road trip for 2 weeks. Here are my highlights:
- Opera House – We went early to catch the beautiful morning light and to escape the crowds. From here, we guided ourselves on a walking tour around the Botanical Gardens, Hyde Park, The Rocks, and Darling Harbour. Sydney fish market – I love markets.
- Sydney rock oysters were delicious. The meat pies were fantastic, too.
- Taronga Zoo – Our awesome local friends bought us tickets to the zoo and it was such a cool half day activity. There are a slew of animals specific only to Australia (platapus, wombats, kangaroos, quokkas, giant Pelicans, etc.) The best thing we did was sign up for a Koala encounter ($24.95) and chatted with some of the zookeepers about their diet and lazy lifestyle. Ding Tai Fung – It’s my favorite soup dumping chain. I was super excited this was here.
- Ferry ride to Manly beach (35 mins) – People watch, pretty beach. Picturesque Barbour boat ride. (Tip – there are discounts in hostel brochures if you book ferry and zoo tickets together)
- Hostel – Wake Up! Sydney Central (509 Pitt Street, Opposite Central Railway, Sydney, Australia)
- Hopped a quick flight from Sydney to Townsville, because it’s the closest airport to our dive site. We grabbed groceries at a local fish market and drove 100km south to Ayr.
- Weather got in the way, so our dive trip to the SS Yongala was cancelled. We entertained ourselves by visiting The Strand, Castle Hill,
- Flinders Street, and Saunders Beach. We stayed for another night at a nearby trailer since there wasn’t space for us at the dive site lodge.
- SS Yongala shipwreck dive – It was the most turbulent boat ride any of us had ever taken. The dive site strongly encouraged us all to take medication prior to the trip. We did. It didn’t matter. We still vomitted our guts out… multiple times. We departed at 7:30am and returned by 2:00pm for a BBQ lunch.
- After consuming delicious Asian food and wandering around a dozen cute boutique shops, we rented our car and headed off to the Great Ocean Road for three days.
- Great Ocean Road spots: I wish I zoomed by the first portion and spent more time starting at the Twelve Apostles and Port Campbell.
Stuff I wish we did faster:
- Bells beach – So many tiny little dots in the ocean. All little dots are people on surfboards! Lots of hot men.
- Point Addis Marine National Park – Pretty beach. Pretty cove. We stopped here for our lunch. Anglesea – Morning coffee and wifi break
- Carisbrook Creek – So many stacked rocks!
- Lorne – Fried fish and chips lunch!
- Teddy’s lookout – Cool view of the St. George’s River
- Kennett river – They say this spot was a good area for koalas, but I feel we just added on a hour to an already long drive. Plus, the koalas were so high up and far away. After seeing them within inches of my face at the animal encounter exhibit at the Taronga zoo, seeing them as tiny little specs just wasn’t that impressive. Otways National Park – Eh.
Stuff I really enjoyed:
- Twelve Apostles /Gibson steps – We went midday and decided that we were going to hit up this spot again at sunset. Both were beautiful an 100% worth it.
- Loch Ard Gorge Take a picnic and your bathers (if summer) as you will want to stay at this amazing place for a while. It was like entering another world, secluded from well, everywhere.
- London Bridge
- Bay of Islands
- We found a map of “Port Campbell food tour” and spent the day on a self-guided driving tour. We visited a French lady’s home and ate the most delicious escargot. I started with a dozen and quickly ordered another. She showed us her spacious backyard, where she had her snail farm, herb garden, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. She grows all of the vegetables that the snails eat (boy choy, spinach, kale, etc.) and says that when she eats an apple or a peach, she throws the pit in her backyard and magically a tree grows the next day. Other highlights of the food tour included cheese, honey, ice cream, whiskey, and a dairy farm.
Hostel – GOR – Port Campbell Hostel (18 Tregea St. Port Campbell, Australia) – Highly recommended!!
I’m thankful to have been raised in a wonderful community that has taught me to embrace the uniqueness in all people. On Friday, January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day), I will be offering charity portraits sessions.
Advocate Love is an organization focused on equality, love and hope for all people of the world. On January 20, Inauguration Day, the team at Nicole Chan Photography will be offering portrait sessions for same-sex, ally, and other vulnerable couples, families, and individuals to celebrate each other.
“I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours.”
– President Obama
Advocate Love photographers are photographers who cherish diversity and celebrate love, life and equality. We want to give our time and artistry while raising money for organizations who are advocating love by making an impact in our communities. A big shout out to Julia Goss, a passionate and talented human who started this brilliant movement.
The portrait session is $50, all of which will be donated to non-profit (of your choosing) that aligns with Advocate Love‘s vision. Subjects will receive one digital negatives with the option to purchase additional prints, wall art, and digital negatives.
Let’s be the change.
If this date isn’t ideal for your schedule, let’s talk. I’ll do my best to accommodate.