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Editorial Photography – Taj Dhinsa for Pharmacy Practice +

Editorial Photography by Justin Van Leeuwen for Pharmacy Practice Plus

I was excited to get a call from Rogers Media to photograph the cover story for the relaunch of their publication “Pharmacy Practice +.” They needed some slick editorial photography to reflect a fresh new direction for the brand, as well as their bright young pharmacist cover “model” Taj. Despite being located in small-town Hawksbury, Ontario, Taj runs one of the busiest Wal Mart Pharmacies in the country. This was a blessing and a curse, as this meant we’d be working at a very busy store with customers (who we’d have to avoid photographing), but a very large retail store, that just happened to have clear space where we could set up our own portable studio.

Ottawa Editorial Photographer Justin Van Leeuwen's BTS Setup

Our own Wal-Mart photo studio!

I had pre-lit the cover photo at home, so I knew exactly how we were going to set up the lights. In fact, it was the same setup we used for Sarah Mercer’s Editorial at Algonquin College, just with different light ratios to make it a brighter, happier image. My editor had the idea to add the crayon for the feature story “The Kids are Alright.” We couldn’t make Taj appear completely juvenile (which would do her intelligence and accomplishments a disservice), but we also needed to add that playful element to draw people into the story. Personally, I thought my jelly-bean as RX idea was pretty good too (but didn’t make it to print).

Ottawa Editorial Photographer Justin Van Leeuwen - Pharmacy Practice Plus

After we knocked out the cover photo, I had to do some standard editorial photography work to fill out the feature story, covering Taj in different scenarios, filling prescriptions, doing a phone consult etc. In the end, they chose to go with one image spanning two pages (I guess they really liked it).
Ottawa Editorial Photographer Justin Van Leeuwen - Pharmacy Practice Plus Editorial

Ottawa Editorial Photographer Justin Van Leeuwen - Pharmacy Practice Plus

It was a fun shoot, and a nice drive from Ottawa to Hawksbury through a rural part of Ontario I hadn’t seen much of before. Taj was also pretty excited, as it would seem, since she received a speeding ticket on her way to the shoot.

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