Starting our day

On a gorgeous late summer morning, I packed my car for an interiors & lifestyle session shooting with Ottawa at Home magazine on Big Rideau Lake. I don’t always have to pack sunscreen and bug spray for shoots, but when I do I know it will be a good day. After about a 1 hr drive from Ottawa, I knew I was getting close! I reached your typical cottage country road with handmade signs of family names guiding drivers in the right direction. These lakeside entry roads are usually quite narrow, so I always just hope I don’t meet any fellow drivers on a tight corner. Phew, I made it! I arrived onsite and was greeted by the owners, editor of the magazine (Mary) and a very adorable doggo. I caught wind that there is also a puppy onsite…be cool be cool. For every project, I first have a conversation with my client to discuss our plan for the day. We determined we'd start with some interior captures first and then get some images of the kids & homeowners enjoying the grounds afterwards. 

The cover image

After we wrapped the interior shots the editor and I walked the property and planned out where we would like to capture some shots. We started with the cover image (jumping dock shot). The kids were so great and enthusiastic about being our models. The kids were eager to get into that lake, our sweet doggo friend definitely had an agenda & there was a boat slowly heading our way down the lake that I thought would be a nice addition to our shot. Meanwhile my inner voice screamed *hurry up Jordann!! I placed the chairs and decided where I wanted to physically be standing for the composition. I ended up heading up onto shore pretty far from the dock as I wanted some of the foliage to the in the foreground to give a bit of depth. One of the kids asked why I was messing around in the bushes. It probably looked pretty odd from where they were standing on the dock and me stumbling around in some shrubs! I quickly adjusted my camera settings. At this point the boat was very close. I prepped the kids & guided them to where I’d like them to jump. We got our doggo model stationary and we were ready for take off. I shot at a super quick frame rate so I could freeze the motion of our eager jumpers. We did a few jumps from that vantage point then I moved to the other side of the dock for a different perspective. I really wanted the dog to be lying on the dock in at least one photo. At the same time, I kept a close eye on the wood on the dock not to overexpose. When direct sun hits the wood on decks like this it turns nuclear and is waaaay too bright in the shot. With so much going on at once, I had to slow down for a moment to make sure the camera settings were ideal. Everything thankfully came together perfectly!

Lifestyle set

After the dock shot, we captured an image featuring the cottage exterior and the homeowners relaxing. The sun at that point was still direct, so it was a bit challenging with the high contrast between the dark grey exterior of the cottage and the brightness of its surroundings. I did a quick bracket set of the cottage first then brought in the homeowners so I could have a better balanced image to blend in post.  Afterwards we captured a series of images featuring our models enjoying some summer activities on the grounds. There was a really cool treehouse onsite where we captured one of the teens flipping through a Mad magazine amongst the trees. One of my favourite shots of the day was the young girl fishing off the dock. I wanted to make it seem like the viewer was a fly on the wall so I moved quite far back to get some of the landscape in the shot. I was an enthusiastic fisher when I was a young teen so I was definitely happy to capture the moment. We wrapped with a few more shots of the kids having some fun & followed their lead interacting with each other.

This day was very memorable for me as it was a great day at a beautiful property collaborating with my client. Looking forward to getting back out into nature this summer to capture some personal projects & client work.