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Extreme Family Photographer – Julie Cole’s Family

Ottawa Extreme Family Photographer JVLphoto - Julie Cole and family

Social Media is a beautiful thing.

I can probably attribute 95% of all of my business to twitter, the other 5% are almost direct referrals from friends – which I’ve likely made through twitter – or facebook. Julie Cole is a great example of both fusing together.

Last year, just about this time, I did a family photoshoot for Katharine Cornfield aka @girlaboutOtown. We had a great time trying to manage logistics of a larger family shoot, location etc, and shared an equal passion for coffee and chatting. We connected again this year just to catch up and it was great… time goes on…

Meanwhile, in Burlington, Julie Cole, of Mabelhood & Mabels Labels fame but, more importantly, of having six freaking kids, was gushing over an amazing piece of digital art and photography by 11dy studios over a fellow mom-blogger type lady. Go ahead, click that link, it’s compltely worth it. I’ll wait.

Good right? I’ll be the first to admit these guys are out of my (current) league, but it’s a style and direction that I’m aiming to take my own work so I’m mucho impressed. Anyways. Julie posts to her facebook that she wants a photo like that. Katharine, who coincidentally knows Julie from some point in their youth… maybe they can correct me here… says, well I know a guy who does photos like this.

So yeah, the Stay At Home Dad (SAHD) series I had been working on was kind of what she wanted too, we talked, I went out to Burlington with my dutiful colleague Lee. We stayed overnight, we shot all day Saturday and came back to Ottawa. It was great, Julie and her family were incredibly easy to work with. I know I bemoan my two things children but six is more of a handfull by anyone’s reconing. and you know what? It takes a hell of a lot of patience & love and a whole lot of humour to get through your days with 6 just like it does two, or one or whatever.



Shooting amidst six wiley youngsters certainly has it’s compliations, things you’d rather not move, move; lights that were on, are turned off without you noticing; naked babies come to play on your tethered laptop – that sort of thing… still, it was exhausting.



If you’re interested in the technical details of this image, I posted lighting info over on Flickr.

4 thoughts on “Extreme Family Photographer – Julie Cole’s Family

  1. Danielle says:

    YAY!! Great portrait and SO glad that people are finally seeing the crazy great (and fun!) work you are doing with these. VERY excited to see where this road takes you my friend!

  2. Anna says:

    Fabulous Justin! Cheers went out in the crowded room when she showed us all the photo and I know Twitter went all a flutter because she put your handle up on the screen for a really long time. I do hope there was a little fun in there for you!

  3. Shrued says:

    Not as extreme as previous shoots, but still quite lovely. The only thing really throwing me off is the unexplained light source on the girl's back (the one hanging from the cabinet). I don't see how the recessed light would throw off that much light on her back and wrap around her.

  4. DaniGirl says:

    You know I love this image, and frankly, like it better than the one you referenced. But dude: "11 source images, 215+ photoshop layers, and roughly 22hrs of post." OMFG – is that how much it takes for you to make one of these? Props.