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It was my great pleasure to be assigned environmental portraits for Ottawa Magazine’s 2015 Eating & Drinking guide. For starters, I love incorporating subjects into their places of work or leisure and I take pride in carefully staging and lighting a scene. Secondly, I’m a big fan of eating. I wouldn’t say I’m a “foodie” but I certainly enjoy a bit more than the value menu at McDonald’s. The job was to photograph six different business owners around Ottawa, representing a short list of some of the best places within each category. I visited a baker, butcher, deli, shops that offered prepared meals, specialized, and generalized in food.
At the top of this post you can see Susan Phipps of The Joy of Gluten Free at her Bank Street location. I loved the wide variety of handmade, and prepared gluten free items she had and the cool purple and white colour palette of the location.
I’ll admit it: I love meat. Walking into Around the Block Butcher Shop was a little bit of food heaven for me. David Wallace runs the place with an incredibly friendly staff and has some incredible cuts of meat to captivate any carnivore. I know, because I walked out with some incredible racks of ribs, as well as a delicious prepared sandwich.
Cheese and bread. I may have bought as much at La Trappe à Fromage as I did at the butcher. Good cheese ain’t cheap, and these guys make some of their very own in-house, complete with a viewing booth (they were skimming fresh cheese curds while we were there). Thanks to co-owner Gilles Joanisse for taking time out of his busy schedule to pose for the shot.
Jacobsons Gourmet Concepts is a fantastic, small, well stocked gourmet food provider that offers an assortment of treats, cheeses, and prepared foods in New Edinburgh. If this was MY corner store I’d go broke sampling one of everything they sell. Susan Jacobson was on-hand and really helped me out with the shoot since I may have had to move a lot of stuff around shooting in winter for a Spring/Summer issue.
Yeah, I got to shoot at a gelato cafe. And not just *any* gelato, but probably the best gelato I’ve ever had in my life. Tammy Giulani studied and trained in Italy for years before she opened up her Old Ottawa South shop. A large space with ample room to sit and enjoy your treats. I really wanted to hone in on their specialty so focused on the front counter. Shoutout to Alex on the assist who had a bowl in-hand and consumed before I even got my camera out.
My final shoot was pretty much in my own backyard. My local grocer & butcher at the Hintonburg Market. I had seen Philippe and Barbara Trottier in the store countless times, but this was my first time talking to them, probably because they’re always so freaking busy! Before this store opened up I had no fresh produce options and the closest place to get meat was about half an hour away (I know, first world problem). I’m glad they’re here.
My editor at Ottawa Magazine knew she wanted the photos to run *about* half-page, so we were going to shoot them horizontal (my favourite). What we didn’t know was the ratio at which they’d run, so I needed to shoot them anticipating a bit of cropping at the edges. In some cases, there’s a lot of the frame I originally shot lost out in the final print, but I’m still very happy with how they turned out.
There’s so much more to read, see, and drool on in Eating & Drinking. I highly recommend picking up an issue at your local Ottawa newsstand.