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Editorial Photography – Ottawa Magazine May 2014

Ottawa Editorial Portrait Photographer - Justin Van Leeuwen - Sarah Mercer

I received some exciting editorial photography assignments from Ottawa Magazine this past spring. First, I was privileged enough to work with the lovely and talented Sarah Mercer. Suffering from chronic health conditions, the feature story by Roger Collier covers Sarah’s transition from the “All-in-one” healthcare environment of the Children’s Hospital, to the fragmented and cold world of adult healthcare. All while living on her own. Impressive, considering I have a hard enough time booking my own dentist appointments. The above image was our first of two setups, honestly, the space we had to work in at Algonquin College wasn’t the most inspiring, so we took one with a plain background, and another with the classroom setting intact. The later is what went to print as you can see below.

Ottawa Editorial Photography by Justin Van Leeuwen - Ottawa Magazine

Eating and Drinking

It’s no secret; I love food. I envy the the incredible food photography of people like Chris Lalonde, and while I’ve taken a stab at a few shots of food myself, it’s just not an area I can compete in. I can, however, still take some good old-fashioned editorial portraits of people. I was able to work with three young Ottawa “foodies” at their favourite places to shop, documenting them in the space, and a quick photo of their basket for the aptly named “What’s in Your Basket?” I worked with Andrew Rastapkevicius of Lifford Wine & Spirits, Jessica Carpinone of Bread by Us, and Cody Starr of The Rex.

Ottawa Editorial Photography by Justin Van Leeuwen for Ottawa Magazine

We knew these images would run landscape in print, almost square, and I wanted to make sure the portraits were immersive enough to feature the person as much as the shop with equal attention to both. I opted to photograph the images as panorama’s, taking as many images of the subject as I could first (so we could select the best one), and several images to their left and right to form the rest of the image to be combined in post. The shops were pretty tight, and while I could have shot these with wide angle lenses, I prefer the shallower depth of field I can achieve using my 35mm Sigma ƒ/1.4 ART lens, especially when used in this fashion.

Ottawa Editorial Portrait Photography by Justin Van Leeuwen - Andrew Rastapkevicius
Ottawa Editorial Portrait Photography by Justin Van Leeuwen - Jessica Carpinone
Ottawa Editorial Portrait Photography by Justin Van Leeuwen - Cody Starr

Suzy Q

Finally, an older photo of mine snuck it’s way into this issue, a quick portrait I did of Susan Hamer of Suzy Q Doughnuts. It was a quick moment, she had been scowling at the prospect of me taking a portrait of her when a customer walked in through the door. She perked up and this was the shot. Susan probably won’t admit to it, but I think she actually likes this one.

Ottawa Editorial Portrait Photography by Justin Van Leeuwen - Susan Hamer

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