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Ottawa Portrait Photographer – Shelley Sandiford

Shelley Sandiford by Ottawa Portrait Photographer Justin Van Leeuwen

I love a good personal branding photoshoot. More than just a headshot, personal branding will give a subject the opportunity to showcase their personality over a series of different looks and setups. Shelley contacted me after a recent life-shift. She moved to Ottawa and has also left the boring life of a scientist to start her own business creating visual media (animations) for the scientific community. A huge leap? Nah, Shelley took art and animation in college. Having worked extensively in the medical not-for-profit field myself, I know exactly how important seemingly simple animations and illustrations are to help normal people understand, otherwise complex, cellular, chemical, and surgical events. We chose to keep Shelley away from a sterile medical environment for her portraits, appealing more to her artistic side; no more lab coat.

We worked out of the lovely IdeaSpace studio in downtown Ottawa to make use of the variety of “looks” I can achieve in there. I’d worked here before with Trevor Ryan, and I knew how to best set-up the space so we could flow from shot to shot without taking up too much of Shelley’s time. We did a “seamless” treatment, including this amazing blue-backdrop that just helped her skin tones and clothing choice pop off the background. Not a particularly complex lighting setup, I found this look helps pop her off the screen in an almost “hyper-real” fashion. I shoot like this a lot, but Shelley was particularly animated (heh) as you can see above.

JVLphoto BTS - IdeaSpace

Photo by Alex Tetrault

We finished up by using IdeaSpace’s incredible 4th-floor windows to give Shelley a more natural portrait. Loud and complicated portrait photography is fun, challenging, and something I take pride in, but nothing really beats a good classic window-lit portrait to create an approachable and friendly image. These, plus some other treatments, give Shelley a variety of choices when finalizing her website, and building her brand on websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and twitter. Her clients will get a sense of her beyond her look, and hopefully some insight into her amazing talent and personality.

Shelley Sandiford by Ottawa Portrait Photographer Justin Van Leeuwen

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