Vancouver Family Photos - Food, it's a Chinese generational thing.

Just the other day I had an inquiry from parents that are flying into Vancouver so that they can introduce their baby boy to his great grandmother and grandmother. We chatted about how important this moment is going to be for everyone, but especially for her son when he gets older and can understand the significance of this meeting.

Then she asked, do you think we can keep documenting afterwards, when the rest of my family gets together to have a big dinner, because this is what we do in our family. We laughed, because being Chinese, I get how (re)unions with extended family are often gathered around food. Likely many courses and dishes of food. Grandmothers can often be seen feeding the little ones, chasing after them as they toddle around or readying for the next bite right by their little mouths, making sure their grandchildren are well fed. Those mothering instincts…they don’t cease to exist after decades of not doing these tasks.

Parents guiding their daughters with baking muffins at the kitchen island.
Three generations of women’s hands cleaning and trimming spot prawns at the kitchen sink.

When I get to experience the love of food and how meals bring family together, especially through my own culture, I love it. This mother’s joy of cooking can be experienced through her daughters’ ease around the kitchen and preparation of baked goods. I also found comfort and familiarity while listening to the kitchen banter between her and her mother about the appropriate amount of water absorption in the sticky rice.

And then they pulled out the spot prawns. I can get on board with that tradition!

a girl shows off her flexibility to her baby cousin on the living room floor.
School aged sisters play with and take care of their younger cousins.
A portrait of a mother with her girls at the Jericho Beach in Vancouver.

After some beach time down the street, some cousin shenanigans with toys, and a hide and go seek game in their heritage home with lots of nooks for hiding, dinner is served!

Baby boy kisses his mom on the lips.
Auntie makes silly faces and mom smiles at a crying toddler in a high chair at the dinner table.
It is spot prawn season and an extended family gathers around the dining table to share a Chinese meal between grandparents, parents, and grandchildren.

Yendi, thanks so much for spoiling me and understanding the value of my making photographs for your family. I can’t wait to spend time with your family again next year! Until then, here is your family film!