Leanne & Rob

This past Saturday, Leanne & Rob managed to let me squeeze-in an engagement shoot, before their wedding in just 2 weeks.  I have known Leanne for a bunch of years now though a mutual friend, and she’s quite a character.  Back-story : The first time I met her, she somehow dragged our group of friends to a karaoke bar in one of the roughest parts of town on a Friday evening.  Leanne had made everyone in our group kindergarten-type name tags, which was a wonderful idea.  We didn’t feel out-of-place enough in our business attire, the name tags would really help us blend-in!  That’s Leanne – always full of surprises.

Leanne was also a guest at the very first wedding I photographed, and I was thrilled when she called me to announce her engagement to Rob, and asked me to shoot their wedding.  After spending some time with the two of them, it’s clear how they ended-up together.  Rob is a super nice guy, and while he is really funny – he’s also *just* serious enough to keep Leanne’s zaniness somewhat under control.  And he paints her toenails.  That’s all I’m saying…

As I often do for e-sessions, I asked if there were any special places that would be cool to tie-in to the shoot, and Leanne mentioned that their very first date was at Murray Street Kitchen, and that they both have Jeeps and love to take them out to play in the mud on the weekends.  I immediately reached-out to Murray Street’s owner, Steve Mitton via Twitter, explained the story and asked if we could shoot in the restaurant before it got busy.  He was kind enough to oblige, so we started our session there.  Afterwards, we just walked around Ottawa’s Byward Market looking for interesting spots with nice light, before heading to Gatineau Provincial Park with Rob’s Jeep, to capture a bit more of an outdoor feel near sunset.

Despite me dragging them all over the place for a few hours, they were total rock stars and were a ton of fun to work with.  Rob was particularly comfortable in front of the camera – a shock to both Leanne and I, I think.  Can’t wait for the wedding – which will be at the gorgeous Marshes Golf Club at Brookstreet Hotel.

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  • Linda - Gorgeous, Chris! I really love these – what a great looking couple!ReplyCancel

Leanne and Rob in their Jeep TJ overlooking Gatineau, Quebec by Ottawa Wedding Photographer, Christian Lee

Paradise by the Dashboard lights

I just came home from spending a few hours with Leanne & Rob on this gorgeous Saturday evening doing their engagement photos.  I’m absolutely exhausted (and I’m sure they are as well), but I couldn’t wait to check-out the very last shot we got of the day (above).  When Leanne told me that she and Rob both had Jeeps and loved to take them out to play on the weekends, I knew I had to think of a creative way to incorporate at least one of them in their e-session.

This shot was taken at the Champlain Lookout in Gatineau Park, Quebec – a gorgeous spot that overlooks the valley and Ottawa River.

I really love this shot, and I’m happy it worked-out.  It was a bit tricky to get for a few reasons:

First, today was one of the few gorgeous weekend days we’ve had so far this spring, so there were people EVERYWHERE!  I had to use strategic camera angles to get a clean shot – there are probably 7-10 people behind the Jeep, actually.

Secondly, to get the exposure balanced to bring out the rich colours in the gorgeous sunset, Leanne and Rob would have been silhouettes.  I had to light them.  To solve this, I put a small Speedlight in the cuphoder of the Jeep (between them) facing forward towards the dashboard, and draped the dashboard with one of Rob’s white shirts (found in back of Jeep) – so it reflected the light from the flash back at them in a nice, soft way.  I was hoping that the effect would resemble the soft glow of the dashboard lights.

The third element that was tricky was triggering the light with my camera.  I use wireless triggers to synchronize the camera shutter with the flash, but I was having reliability issues for some reason.  Thankfully I had a backup set, and even though those weren’t perfect, they worked well enough to get the shot.  I’m not sure if the Jeep was causing interference…I’ll have to troubleshoot before the next time I need them.

The rest of the engagement set should be up by mid-week.  I can’t drag my feet because their wedding is in just 2 short weeks.  Can’t wait!

Here’s the pre-meditation that was done over breakfast.  I think it turned out even better than I imagined – must be Leanne & Rob’s steamy kissing!  You can also see why I opt for photography over freehand drawing…though this was from memory and I think I pretty much nailed the side mirrors.

Chef John Taylor plating with team at Duelling Chefs

Domus Cafe's John Taylor & team plating

This past Monday was the 6th installment of the 2011 Duelling Chefs season, and unbelievably it was another extremely close battle.  The challenger was John Taylor representing Domus Cafe in the Byward Market (he also owns Taylor’s Genuine Food & Wine Bar), a seasoned veteran in the Ottawa cullinary scene since the mid 1980s.  The secret ingredient was pineapple – a versatile yet tricky fruit to incorporate into 3-4 courses.
Domus was able to capture the 2nd win against Juniper this year – but once again only after the scoring had to go to the tie-breaking secret judge.  Both kitchens served delicious and creative food all evening – it was a real treat.  For the full write-up, check out Ottawa Citizen’s Food Editor, Ron Eade’s blog post.  As usual, here are my highlights in photos:
Chef Norm Aitken - Juniper Kitchen

I love this shot of Juniper's Norm Aitken prepping for service

Domus Cafe

Domus Cafe's Amuse: Coconut milk squash soup, compressed pineapple and chicken bacon.


Another one of my favorite candids - Juniper's Pete Robblee. And it's not that I favour Juniper, their side of the kitchen just has much nicer lighting.

Domus Cafe

Domus Cafe's Roasted halibut with roasted chamomile syrup, beet puree, pineapple salsa and sweet potato pave. I absolutely loved the colours in this dish - not to mention the flavours.


Juniper's meat dish: Chicken breast roulade with chicken leg and foie gras, pineapple chile sabayon, and pineapple chicken shot.


Juniper's Dessert : Pineapple pudding chaumeur, pineapple candy and pina colada sorbet.