bridal portraits at the mental hospital

This past weekend I got to shoot my friend’s bridal portraits. It was quite an adventure! (I would post some pictures, but I don’t want the groom to happen upon them before the wedding, so I’ll wait until after they’re married.) We wanted to get some shots at River View Hospital in Port Coquitlam. It used to be a mental hospital but has not been in service for over 20 years. According to Brian, that was my first mistake, going to an abandoned mental hospital. But it has such beautiful landscaping and architecture. There are actually brick buildings with white columns; a rarity in these parts. Here’s a collection of photos to give you a feel for it.

Well, the bride was all decked out in her dress, hair done, vail on, shoes shining. We start walking to a building and a security guard comes out of no where and in broken English explained that we weren’t allowed to take pictures on this part of the property. When we asked where we could take pictures his response was, “Maybe down closer to the hospital.” Sign number two that this might not work out.

So we drove a bit further into the property and parked near some cottages just above the hospital (where they are filming something… I have a feeling they’re filming a scary movie or Smallville or something). We walked over to the cottage, found some nice shade, and snapped a few pictures. Then as we were walking back to the car, two more security guards pull up, one behind my car and one beside my car. Sign number three. One guard steps out of his car and is wearing rubber gloves. My camera is already in its bag and I’m putting it in the back seat of my car. But I think to myself, “He’s either going to take my camera or make me delete the pictures… Oh boy.” But the bride was very amicable, explaining that she had spoken with so-and-so in the offices about taking photos and was under the impression that it was okay. The guards were both kind, but firm, explaining that it was not allowed. “This is a private property. There’s no harm in walking around, but you’re not allowed to take photos.” Our reason for being there was very obvious, which wasn’t for the bride to take a stroll or break in her dress. So with a “Congratulations, but you’re not allowed to take pictures…” we got in the car and drove off, camera and pictures in tact.

It was a fun day with beautiful weather, albeit a bit harsh for portraits but great for capturing the beautiful landscape of BC.

That’s another thing that makes me happy, when I can see all of the beautiful mountains around here, capped in snow, against a bright blue sky. :o)


2 thoughts on “bridal portraits at the mental hospital

  1. Not in service for 20 years? I'm pretty sure they're still using it… or did, when I was growing up.Not that I've ever visited it, though. Just driven by.

  2. i think it's been a while since they have used any of the buildings facing the main road for patients. i know they still have patients somewhere… just on a different property from what i understand. back in the 40's and 50's it was used mostly for veterans of the world war going through what we know as post traumatic stress syndrome. the patients would work on the farmland that used to be in the valley around it. pretty interesting i think.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s