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Photo: Danielle Donders/Apt613 Flickr pool.

#Support613 Gift Guide: Local portrait photographers

By Hingman Leung on November 28, 2020

Part 6 of Apt613’s holiday shopping guide is focused (get it?) on you and the people you love. 

Getting portraits taken by a professional photographer is not just for online profiles or special occasions. It’s an act of love, to take the time to get dressed up and express yourself through clothing, show others how you see yourself, and capture a moment in time that you and your loved ones can cherish forever. In a time when some of us may be lucky enough to only be stuck in the drabness of a work-from-home life, getting dressed up for photos takes us away for a moment. In Ottawa and its surrounding areas, many photographers are offering portrait sessions in a variety of price ranges and different styles, from bright and airy to dark and edgy, and some even offer sessions in the bedroom for the adventurous.

And if you’re looking to have a holiday-themed photo taken for your annual snail-mail mail-out, check out the wonderfully decorated Studio 20/20  offering two options for mini-sessions, or meet the Grinch at Green Egg Studios on December 4 for adults and December 5 or 6 for children.

Portrait photographers

Andrew Alexander

Andrew is a generalist who shoots everything from live theatre and events to actors’ head shots, weddings, and portraits both posed and candid. (You’ve likely seen his work from the Ottawa Fringe Festival or A Company of Fools’ productions.) Andrew likes to mix it up and can work in a variety of styles. He’s personable and friendly, so your session will be relaxed and fun. Check out his availability and then get in touch to talk about what you’re looking for.

Jen Bernard

Jen Bernard is a lighting wizard and rad portrait photographer based in Ottawa who has the special gift of making people feel comfortable in front of the camera that results in authentic, edgy (if you want it), and high quality photos that pop. You may recognize her signature style from portraits of your favourite Ottawa community movers and shakers like Music.Art.Ppl and even some of our writers. In 2020 she’s started offering free portrait sessions for BIPOC artists and entrepreneurs, which have been very popular. You can grab a portrait session in 2021 from her website!

Mailyne K Briggs

Mailyne from Kilam Media, based in Ottawa, specializes in community storytelling through art, photography, and videography. Her editorial and journalistic photography style, gives you a glimpse into someone’s life, as they live it. Though she’s booked for the rest of the year, you can reach out through her website to pre-book a portrait session for 2021.


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Isabel Estabrook

Isabel is an Ottawa-based photographer who specializes in boudoir portraits. In recent years, women have reclaimed the boudoir photography scene as a place of empowerment, where all bodies are celebrated. Perhaps thanks in part to the evolution and open acceptance of burlesque entertainment, the celebration of ones’ body in the form of art and photography is now more accessible, and a lovely gift for oneself as a form of self-love!

Rob Lloyd

Humans aren’t the only ones that deserve some close-up time. Rob Lloyd, Ottawa-based fine art and wedding photographer, has a dedicated portrait service for your doggy best friend. Hop over to Rob and the Dogs to feast your eyes on the cutest dogs in Ottawa and while you’re there, book an outdoor session with the pup in your life!


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Ali Math

Ali is a fine art and film photographer based in Ottawa. Having had her work exhibited in Montreal, New York, and Ottawa, Ali prefers to shoot Kodak Pro films in 35mm & 120 formats because they offer beautiful colour palettes and creamy skintones, and that inexplicable feeling of slowing down and being in the moment that film photography offers. Though she markets herself as an intimate-wedding photographer, Ali offers mini sessions for couples who are looking to spend an hour together uninterrupted by the distractions of today’s world. Check out her work on her Instagram page.


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Geghani Panosian

Geghani specializes in analog and travel photography. Her portrait work mixes a clean journalistic style with the grit and vulnerability of street photography. The approach that she takes with her work, especially with black and white photos, is one that slows down to capture a specific intention or feeling with the perfect lighting to showcase the subject’s features. You can see her work and book a portrait session through her website.


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Jennifer Pershick

Jennifer is a fine art and portrait photographer (and graphic designer) based in Russell. If you’ve been dying to get some professional photos taken, whether of your wedding or other special event, your family, you and your partner, or your gang of besties/chosen family, Jennifer will make you look and feel fantastic. She has wrapped up her mini-sessions (20 minutes at a beautiful farm location) for 2020 but they’ll return in 2021, or you can book a full session with her at a location of your choice. Check out some of her lighthearted work on her Facebook page.

Did we miss anyone awesome? Tell us in the comments about your great local photography experiences.