Justin Trudeau Boxathon.

http://boxathon.com/

We shoot for events, charities, sports and politics….so how about combining all three!

Check out this link and sign up for the next one. Proceeds for this event all went to Cheo….

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RAIC Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Event.

We shoot a lot of Architecture, from work for the Federal Govt to covers for Homes and Lands. The diversity of our capabilities even includes event and portrait work for the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada at Ottawa`s gorgeous Museum of Nature.

ottawa event photography

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Ottawa Product Photography

We created these images for a National Medical Company over a three day span last fall.
They may look simple, but shooting images like this is far from straightforward. Keeping a
consistent white and correctly exposing items with varying levels of transparency is not
a job that is to be trusted to a novice.

As well, getting the tech specs and sizing of digital files correct requires a lot of pre
planning so the images look great, print great and sell your products…

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Ladies Who Lunch

We do a lot of portraits onsite in Ottawa…

These were part of a fundraiser for a charity at Ladies Who Lunch at the Chateau Laurier.
In a 45 minute session we managed to pull off 80 portraits. As I am prone to saying….

“Don`t try this at home kids”

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Personal Reflections on our U.S Neighbors

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Working for many American clients and photographing countless Diplomats for the last few decades, has been one of the highlights of my career.  Yes,  I am as  Canadian as you can get, but while I still believe we are one of the greatest countries in the world…we are surely not alone.

A love/hate relationship has existed all along with our neighbors and it wasn`t just the War of 1812 that started the process. There is envy mixed with admiration no matter how we try to hide it.  We are different from our neighbors…better, perhaps in that we did not embrace slavery to the same extent, worse in that we “settled” economically as hewers of wood and carriers of water. Neither of us did quite right by the First Nations and that history haunts us both.

We share with the USA the longest undefended border in the world. I know this all too well, having worked on Canada`s official gift to the US to commemorate their Bicentennial, “Between Friends” which was a photographic documentary of that border .  My ancestors fought side by side with the US in two World Wars but Canadians wisely refrained from many battles that ended disastrously in recent times (thanks Chretien). We grieved with them over Kennedy, stood by them in Tehran, exported some of our best talent to Hollywood and showed them our values at 9/11. That relationship is a testament to how we humans can evolve to live differently…side by side.

US Diplomats to Canada over the course of our history have generally been the sharpest guys in the room .  Bruce and Vicki Heyman have undoubtedly been Ottawa`s favorites. I was fortunate enough to have experienced the warmth of their hospitality and have seen them weave together the promotion of our shared economies and the power of art as a cross border communication tool. Together, they personify all that is great about our neighbors.  How ironic that they served during that brief moment when Trudeau was Prime Minister and Obama was President. This may in fact be the closest we will ever approach to Camelot in our time….

The US is now in the throes of radical change and to many eyes it is an unwelcome direction.  I always took great pleasure debating the US Ambassadors when they sat for my portraits. No cigars were pulled from Churchillian hands but I once had the chutzpah to mention during a session that our times were symptomatic of

… ‘The Decline of the American Empire’.

Ambassador Paul Celucci responded…”You can knock us down as many times as you like…but never count the USA out.”

 

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Happy 2017!!!

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Subzero weather and blowing snow…no problem.

A bit of planning, the right clothing and good equipment are key to getting the shot. We camped out across from the Parliament Buildings at the Museum of History along the Ottawa River for an hour before the historic launch of Canadas 150 Year Old celebrations.

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Ottawa Grocery Store opening coverage. YIG Massines.

When we got the call to quote on shooting the launch of our neighbourhood grocery store we were thrilled. First, because we had been shopping there for 40 years and second because we got a sneak peak at the new lighting, displays and layout. Good for you Massines.

Oh…Maple and Bacon President`s Choice Popcorn….yes please.

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When Image Theft, Fake News and Hate collide…

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Couvrette Photography has a 40 year history in Ottawa….   Sadly, the theft of our images has doubled every year since the advent of the internet.

“The camera never lies” is a very, very old saying, but images still lend credibility and have the power to do great good and great harm.

The following images  were recently taken  from our site and social media page illegally. This is not about “sharing” on social media. This is about theft and sometimes it is about something far worse…

Actual Examples….

♦ A family photograph from our site that was used on Awkward Family Photographs to mock the children of an Ottawa family. It resulted in them being bullied at school…(we issued a forced takedown)

♦ An image of a prominent politician used illegally and affixed with wording that vilified this person. FYI the culprits are the Conservative Party of Canada.

♦ An  image of a well known Ottawa woman whose wedding photograph was used on a DVD cover.

♦ An engagement portrait used by local radio station CHEZ to mock a Chinese client and his wife. (the image is too vile to repost here)

♦ A wedding photograph of one of Canada`s most well known couples..used in a feature  on Russian  mail order brides that we forced them to take down. (complete and total fabrication…she is neither Russian nor mail order.)

♦ Literally hundreds of our wedding images, lifted from our website and used to represent a number of local and even International photographers work.

♦ Our case against Boom FM regarding our unique image of 24 Sussex that was recently settled in court. (We were originally offered…ahem…a verbal apology)

 

These are but a few of the cases.  There are more that we have ignored over the years, in part because of time constraints. Our site has the strongest legal wording one can post, yet the thefts go on. In these times of seemingly increasing hate and fake news, we will not stand idly by….

Given that most photographers have a short lifespan in Ottawa and have minimal resources and interest it would seem in protecting their clients, it could be that many people are simply not aware of the potential problems. Sweeping this issue under the rug is irresponsible…We defend our clients and our industry.

 

The general public seems to not understand the implications of all this. We all lose the value of sharing our images on social media every time another person steals another image and frankly, it is becoming rampant. It can happen to you on a business level or a personal level and once it goes viral, no amount of outrage will make you feel any better.  From politics to your own snaps of your kids, little seems sacred these days to theft and misinformation.

We have laws against this….it is time people acted, spoke up and stopped this trend. We should all be careful and stand up to these bullies and thieves….

Given that our images have been online for 20 years, our studio is literally the “canary in the coal mine”.

It can happen to you…it may have already happened.

 

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A few years ago I had a short conversation with Ottawa Citizen writer/photographer Caroline Phillips about the future of the industry.  My dire prognostications may have seemed out of place back then…but today I learned that her column is soon to be terminated.

Humour me with reading a little background if you will. My first job was delivering the Ottawa Citizen.  I went on to earn an Honours degree in Journalism from Carleton.  My career included working as a freelancer and shooting covers for Time and Macleans.  I was a pioneer on the web and  introduced the digital camera to Canada as National Spokesperson for the digital industry in 1998.  I then spent a decade in the boardrooms at Nortel, shooting Corporate Communications and watching as it all came crashing down. But enough about what colors my views…

Caroline is a talented photographer, but more than that, her column on Ottawa`s social scene was the glue that not only supported the social and charity scene…it was in fact a major component in the glue that held the Citizen together.  That glue is now gone and every day I see great journalists and photogs leap or be thrown overboard from that sinking ship as well as every other ship in the Postmedia fleet.  Anyone who still believes this will end well should have a chat with the Citizen`s Bagnall who has written some brilliant work on how a large corporation like Nortel behaves in its final days.

 

For better or for worse, many Ottawans contribute to charity for the PR and the Citizen has dealt a blow to this community. As most charities now know, LIKES on Facebook bring on slactivism and noble causes in our community will undoubtedly suffer from the lack of exposure Caroline brought to our city.

The current mileu was predicted by everyone from McLuhan to Tapscott and the causes are many. Digital tech has both bettered our physical world and disrupted the core of our cultural world. Between Walmartization and Digitization we have a generation of consumers who can justify buying photography services or watching movies by viewing them on a two inch screen. Social media has not helped. Anyone can become a keyboard Global Warming expert or swirl rapidly into outrage and downright hate.  When one of the pillars of our system, the Fifth Estate, begins to crumble we lose in the end.

 

On the other hand,  the majority of media has sunk to clickbait and scandal in a fruitless attempt to keep readers as their Empires become penny stocks being arbitraged by US junkbond dealers. These dinosaurs have lost the battle and their feifdoms are being carved up by smaller media companies with cottage industry costs and freebie apprenticeship writers looking for a credit or a coffee mug. Bring on a legion of bloggers and few squadrons of vanity publications and the Empire is lost…The barbarians are not only at the gates, they are inside our homes.

Let the Age of UnEnlightenment begin…and please call me when it`s over.

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Ottawa Architectural Photography.

No matter how hi tech cameras get, they are still just tools of the trade.

The top image is straight out of the camera, the bottom involved a number of tricks of the trade from
exposure to Photoshop in order to show the property off to its fullest. Yes, the top one is kind of arty…but the bottom one will sell the house.

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