Let me start off by saying that there's a lot of talent in Ottawa. Locals in the city are oftentimes treated as the underdogs to bigger cities like Toronto and Montreal, and pegged for a lack of creativity. Yet, when I log onto my Instagram or when I go to networking events and I meet new people, all this talk is proven incorrect. We've got people that are pretty and on the covers of magazines or the faces of some hip new TV shows but we've also got the creative artists, who just so happen to be my favorite kind of people.
These people are the behind-the-scenes creative eyes for your favorite Ottawa model's crazy sick IG photo. They're the ones who are oftentimes not credited, forgotten about, or simply not recognized and appreciated enough. The people behind the camera are the ones who are really doing big things for Ottawa; by showcasing the beauty here, the people here, and the culture here.
With that being said, I thought it'd be important to finally give credit where credit is due. Here are some of my favorite Ottawa photographers who I think are making huge moves.
*If you're not on this list, it's not because I don't appreciate your work, but simply because it wasn't exactly what I was looking for for this article.
Luna is honestly making some huge moves and an even bigger name for himself in the city. His Instagram is aesthetically pleasing AF, featuring portraits of artists such as Fetty Wap, 6lack, and Jazz Cartier. You get some old school LA vibes when you check out his pictures and although there's a muted tone to most of his pics, there's still some subtle vibrancy.
Wassim was definitely one of the first photographers I came across in Ottawa. He is an OG in the city and anyone who's into creatives and photography will know who he is. Although he's rarely seen in front of the camera, the shots he takes of other people are personal and invasive yet entirely artistic. He's shot Drake, Jorja Smith, Migos, and Ottawa's very own, Night Lovell so you already know he's doing major things and only on the come up.
Asides from being an amazing photographer, Alex is seriously extremely creative! He takes some crazy shots but his real expertise, at least in my opinion, comes from his editing. Whether it's for a video or a shot, Alex will ensure that the outcome of whatever you collab on is top notch. Not only does he do photography and videos but he also works with artists to help create them a brand, from the cover arts to mood boards and mapping out an Instagram, Alex knows his shit. On top of that, asides from working very closely with Zargara, he's also photographed artists such as Roy Woods, Ramriddlz, and CMDWN.
Kerbens is probably the youngest person I have on the list but his shots are so good, I just had to include him. To be honest, if you ever run into him, you'll probably see him with a camera in his hand and it definitely pays off as he's worked with Chantel Jeffries, Maurice Moore, Roy Woods, and more. When you take a look at his Instagram, you'll see that he doesn't necessarily follow any specific theme as he's capable of taking portrait shots, landscape shots, and on top of that, his editing skills are on fire.
EK's the guy who gave up school to pursue his dreams and it's definitely working out well for him. Owner of EK Visions, he's been sought after to shoot videos and conduct photoshoots because not only is he talented behind the camera but he's also creative AF. On top of handling his own company, working with Lenz Studio, and doing some freelance work, he also has a YouTube channel that he uploads to every now and then.
Sunmin is very low key and definitely quite new to the scene. Although his shots are super dope, his photography focuses on landscape images and scenery but that doesn't mean his photographs of people and living things aren't amazing. If you take a look at his Instagram, you'll see that's traveled to places such as North Korea (scary, right?) and yea, he has pictures from that trip. He's super adventurous, the type to go camping alone, so all his shots are very creative, just underrated.
Day is definitely a FIRE photographer! His photos are warm and vibrant with a very retro feel so they'll make you think of LA in the 90's. Although his shots are sick and he's extremely talented, he doesn't get enough credit for his work! He's underrated and kind of hidden in the shadows but his art is all you really need to see.
Fitch's Instagram is filled with photos that touch on monochromatic and pale colors but are still vibrant and lively. He's extremely talented and has definitely made a name for himself here in the city. He oftentimes works with Kerbens, who was previously mentioned on this list, but he's also worked with Lunatiq, Zargara and many Ottawa models.
I'm not even quite sure how to describe the photos this photographer takes, it's sort of something you'll have to check out for yourself. You get a mix of retro, vibrancy, and futuristic feels and although you'd think that would clash, his Instagram is actually curated very well and the photos look amazing.
This photographer has some of the CRAZIEST portrait shots I've ever come across; he'll capture every blemish, fine line, wrinkle, freckle, beauty mark; you name it. Jasem is an Ottawa based photographer who does a lot of portrait and street photography but his shots are surreal. When you first look at his Instagram, it's definitely a lot of portraits but you can seriously get lost going through each photo and seeing where all these different people are from.
Rohit takes some really good pictures of performers, I'm not sure how exactly he does it, but he's able to take a lively night and turn it into a simple image still that really captures the feels and mood of the night. From shooting Roy Woods, Pusha T, dvsn, 6lack, and so many more, it's certain that this Ottawa photographer is on the come up. In fact, not only does he take super sick pictures but he also dabbles in the world of cinematography so he's worth checking out.
Henree is seriously an amazing travel photographer; he has images from all across the world that are truly feed goals. From Morocco to Greece to Portugal, this guy has traveled to what seems like every corner of the Earth so not only are his pictures beautiful, they also make you feel nostalgic in a sense. I mean, personally, I love discovering and learning about new cultures so I could honestly scroll through his Instagram all day!
Arnold is really just that, someone with gifted visions. Most of the photos he takes are with a model but he's really capable of capturing each and every model's beauty (even in those unflattering closeup shots). He follows a three photo theme on Instagram which keeps his Instagram looking super neat and thought out. He's quickly on the come and making a name for himself in Ottawa so don't sleep on him.
This was a last minute add because I only came across this photographer recently but when I did, I knew there was no way I could not include him. Odunsi is an extremely talented Ottawa photographer and people know it; he's quickly amassed over 12,000 followers and has already been featured in a segment by the Creator Class. His images feature models with their faces partially hidden and he claims this was done so his viewers could pay attention to the details beyond the models faces such as the moods, edits, and poses. Now, let's just say the concept really worked out well for him because the shots are amazing.
**all images are courtesy of the artist's Instagram accounts.
September 10, 2018
August 17, 2018