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Editorial Photography: Nancy O’Dea for Boom!


Part 4 of 6

Nancy is a successful Ottawa realtor, but her claim to fame nowadays is chairing “Women for Mental Health” at the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. Struck by the closeness of a local teenage suicide in age to her two daughters, she took to fundraising to raise awareness.

Nancy was a little harder to schedule, since she’s still pretty busy with her real-estate work. Originally her people wanted to schedule this at the office, but I knew the article wasn’t about her day-job. Shooting at the Royal Ottawa was also likely off-limits since getting permission to shoot in and around a hospital can be tricky. I was finally able to coordinate a time where she’d be at home which ended up being this incredible condo overlooking the Ottawa river and, in the distance, Gatineau Hills. There werea lot of great spots to take a portrait, but I really wanted to make the connection between her and her daughters. The Piano was already filled with family portraits so that was the clear spot to work.

What you don’t see in the image is the windows extending up another 15 feet – the room was simply swelling with natural light. Of course, i wanted to shoot INTO the light source which meant setting up strobes in a way that complimented the scene. With a giant pane of glass in front of me, I had to try to keep my strobes from casting reflections back towards the camera. We used a 135cm Elincrhom midi octa at camera left as our main with a 1/4CTS gel to warm it. A gridded quadra was outside the patio doors at camera right, no gel, to give her a slight edge light and fill in the left side of her blouse. Finally, we added a gridded 28″ Apollo softbox behind the camera to fill in the family photographs on the Piano.

Our second shoot of the day, thanks to Chris for assisting and eating doughnuts all day in-between shoots. You can see this image larger on Flickr.

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