The Decisive Moment: Ema Peter
Ema Peter, Full House, 2021 (designed by Leckie Studio, Interior Designer Galie Guevara Studio, 2019), 61 x 91.5 cm, giclée on Dibond, Vancouver. Courtesy of Ema Peter Photography.

The Decisive Moment: Ema Peter

Curated by Alison Powell

About the Exhibition

Architectural photojournalist Ema Peter has documented some of the most significant contemporary buildings in West Vancouver, the Lower Mainland, and around the globe for the past 15 years, garnering awards for her images and collaborating with top local and international architects.
Born in Bulgaria, Peter spent much of her youth on set with her father who worked as a cameraman for major Bulgarian film productions. Interested in documenting life as it happens, she became a presenter for Bulgarian TV, eventually leaving Bulgaria to pursue an internship in photojournalism at the Magnum photo agency in Paris. Peter’s love of modern architecture was ignited by her visits to the Corbusier Villa La Roche building. Inspired by its clean lines and Corbusier’s visionary thinking, she drew from her training in photojournalism to document the architectural world around her.
This exhibition features architecture at the forefront of West Coast Modernism in West Vancouver and coastal British Columbia, with selected images of her renowned international projects. The images illustrate Peter’s unique ability to catch fleeting moments: figures moving through space, a cloud tracing the sky, or a rare quality of light.

About the Artist 

Ema Peter holds a master’s degree in art and applied photography from the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria (2000). Principal of Ema Peter Photography, she has worked with some of the most prestigious architectural, interior design, and engineering firms in North America. Her images have been featured in publications, such as Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Wallpaper, Dwell, Wired, and The New York Times.

Ema Peter has received numerous awards, including the 2018 Canadian Architect Inaugural Photo award of excellence, the 2022 Dezeen Architectural Photograph of the Year Public Vote, Architizer’s 2022 award for Architecture + Photography + Video, as well as the 2020 and 2022 Createur Design Best Photography Awards. She currently lives in North Vancouver and works both locally and internationally.


The art museum was pleased to partner with the School of Motion Picture Arts at Capilano University and students Dom Bergeron, Alexis King, and Malina Mudjei to make this film about the exhibition.

Art talks

Ema Peter in discussion with Alison Powell, presented with the West Vancouver Memorial Library.

This exhibition is part of the 2023 Capture Photography Festival Selected Exhibition Program.

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Generously sponsored by Tricera Print.

Events and guided tours

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