A couple weeks back, I went to visit Ottawa and take some photos of a few friends. These four smart, accomplished ladies will soon be graduating from law school and the photos are meant to be a graduation gift to celebrate the bond that has kept them sane over the past three years.
The experience was incredibly humbling. I came with ambitions of executing an editorial style shoot with a number of visually interesting angles and perspectives planned out in my head. Unfortunately, those ideas didn’t make it out of my head.
In retrospect, there are a few clear reasons that contributed to my stilted execution, which I should have better managed:
- We spent much too long at a poorly lit location with little room to manoeuvre. I met up with the girls in HH’s living room, which is their homebase. This is where they study & socialize so I thought it would be a great place to discuss their expectations and ideas for the shoot while easing them into the shoot. Unfortunately, one of the girls’ cell phones became a casualty of our photo shoot - while moving the couch, we accidentally placed one of the couch legs onto the phone! Nooooooo!! Not a good start. To lift everyone’s spirits, HH mixed up some tasty booze and we relaxed a little longer than we should have. Whoops.
- Ottawa is damn cold in the winter. Our second location was Major Hill Park but it was an icy, miserable mess. Each step was a potential hip fracture. Definitely not the winter wonderland I had in mind. The cold made it difficult to take advantage of beautiful reflective light from the snowy surfaces.
- I was not prepared to shoot in a dimly lit hotel. Perhaps a theme of this post is that a strong photographer prepares well for her shoots. I did what I could considering I came in from out of town and pretty much met up with the girls first thing. Still, it certainly wasn’t enough to really rise above my challenges. Our last location was the Chateau Laurier. While I can see how some may be able to coax some beautiful, elegant photos out of its luxe interior, it was just not meant to be for us. Too many people (hotel guests, tourists, staff) and just. Not. Enough. Light.
What came out of the shoot were a few fun photos that truly do capture the group’s spirit and friendship. There’s certainly a strong bond between these ladies. Thank you for letting me spend the day with you!