British Columbia

Seasons of East Van: Street fashion photographer tries to capture neighbourhood's diverse style

Does East Vancouver have a signature style? For Mike DiPietro, it's a question he confronts through art: The unique look of East Van is a source of inspiration for his street fashion photography. 

Mike DiPietro's images also aim to freeze moments of a rapidly changing area

Three of the subjects captured in Mike DiPietro’s photo project. (Mike DiPietro/Seasons of East Van)

Does East Vancouver have a signature style? 

For Mike DiPietro, it's a question he confronts through art: The unique look of East Van is a source of inspiration for his street fashion photography. 

"It's tough to really put a term to it," he said, trying to define the area's style. 

"It's just the culture in the neighbourhood and, through clothing and fashion and a little bit of community stuff, I've just started to put together what's going on in the neighborhood."

There's no one look that stands out for him and he says that's the best part: the diversity he sees on the streets. 

"It's just the fact that someone woke up in the morning and consciously put an outfit on — I feel like I can tell that sometimes so I try to nab those people," he told Stephen Quinn, host of CBC's The Early Edition.

By day, DiPietro teaches chemistry at a South Surrey High School. 

On the side, he spontaneously captures the changing seasons of East Van through his camera lenses.

Most people on the streets are receptive to his requests to snap their outfits and add it to his growing catalogue of images online. 

Mike DiPietro has been photographing local artists as part of his Seasons of East Van project. (Seasons of East Van)

For DiPietro, he's not just capturing a place. He's freezing time.

"With everything being developed, you just don't know how a culture will shift, so it's cool just to take this snapshot right now," he said, referring to the rapid redevelopment of many parts of the area. 

"There's so many artists and clothing designers and just different people in the neighborhood."

Check out Mike DiPietro's photo essay featuring the artist community at Slice of Life, an art studio holding an open house on July 20. 

With files from The Early Edition

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