Pristinely Blessed

By Charelle Evelyn on June 17 2013

It was a match made in heaven – if you count a second-floor space on Third Avenue as close enough. The joint studio space was something Rayven Ward had her eye on and when a spot opened up last July, she jumped on the chance to establish her new photography business downtown.

The former makeup artist had her interest in taking pictures reignited after a maternity shoot with her sister who wasn’t feeling very attractive during her pregnancy. “When she saw the pictures, she cried,” said Ward, who had helped to open her sibling’s eyes to the beauty everyone else thought she was. “I started thinking, ‘oh, this could be fun.’”

Ward dabbled in photography as a hobby, taking classes to brush up her skills. But after her own daughter was born she sustained a back injury that made her work as a makeup artist difficult.Supported by Community Futures and the government, Ward was able to take more classes and jump in to starting up Pristine Photography Design.

By September, professional artist Crystal Desharnais snapped up a vacancy in the Third Avenue space as well for her Blessings Studio. Collaboration wasn’t far behind. The wife and mother of five has her hands in a variety of artistic pies, painting shoes, canvasses or faces and even staging homes. Desharnais has an associate degree in fine art from Kwantlen College and has taught art at the elementary and high school level.

“I use a makeup artist a lot for photoshoots,” said Ward, “and I really liked what she did.” The two found a synergy in their style and approach from painting pregnant bellies to styling couture looks. “We share thoughts and play off each other,” said Ward. “I trust in her.”

And with Desharnais and Ward working together, it helps create a unique experience for clients. “We’re helping them to make a day of it instead of coming in, snapping a few shots and it’s done.” Find out more about Ward and Desharnais’ work online at



Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.

A2013Norm Coyne