Top 40 Under 40 – Shoot 13 of 20 – Zorheh Saher

Subject: Zohreh Saher, President, InterVivos Mentorship Society of Alberta; Policy Analyst, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association

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Shoot Notes:

1. Photographing environmental portraits of policy people and analysts for awards like Top 40 is always very challenging because its difficult to find a location that has a narrative for their career.

2. We had a long discussion about location but settled on a private art gallery for the shoot.

3. Rather than have a background with a strong narrative I decided to shoot Zohreh against a simple wall that had a strong visual components.

4. I lit her quite evenly and let the colors and lines speak in the photograph.

Top 40 Under 40 – Shoot 12 of 20 – Noreen Remtulla

Subject – Noreen Remtulla, Communications Advisor and Spokesperson, Edmonton Police Service

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Shoot Notes –

1. “So I read your story I was wondering… can you bring like a whole shit load of girl guide cookies?” “No. No I am not joking.”

2. Noreen sells Girl Guide cookies from her desk at the Edmonton Police Service’s corporate communications branch so I figured it would be an interesting narrative to photograph her with all of these boxes.

3. I shot both the front of the bench and the back. I preferred the don’t because the background was less busy.

4. kept a few of the boxes from the shoot.

5. The shoot took about 35mins or so.


Top 40 Under 40 – Shoot 11 of 20 – Lynne-Marie Postovit

Subject – Lynne-Marie Postovit, Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta

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Shoot Notes –

1. I was actually scheduled to shoot Lynne Marie for two different magazines for her work with Ovarian Cancer within 2 weeks.

2. Sometimes our first thought for an image is a bomb. Like the bottom image in this blog post. We shot her in a “lab” and I was not impressed with my work. It felt very newspaperish… so I wanted another option. Something a little simpler and more powerful.

3. The second location was in a simple hallway at the university. But it worked very well.

4. She shot this series in about 60mins because of the location shift.

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Top 40 Under 40 – Shoot 10 of 20 – Andrea Peyton

Subject – Andrea Peyton, Founder and CEO, Weehelp Foundation Senior Financial Officer, Calder Bateman


Sample Process –

1. I avoid shooting in peoples homes at all costs. Typically because they are normal and offer very little in terms of good shooting opportunities. However Andrea runs the donation part of her charity Weehelp in her home, which is literally covered in toys and cloths leading up to donation time. So it was a safe bet we could get something cool in her images.

2. The image you see is pretty much staged as is. I added a few little stuffies on the bottom left and the big tiger and the bench that’s it.

3. Andrea wore a difficult color to shoot. Red. So we made her change into Black… Then made change again back into Red again because she pulled it off so well.

4. We shot both looks of Andrea in about 40 mins.

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Top 40 Under 40 – Shoot 9 of 20 – Omar Mouallem

Subject – Omar Mouallem, Freelance Writer, Columnist, Editor

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Shoot Notes –

1. I have known Omar for quite sometime now and have always been impressed with his writing. In fact I have provided images to a few of his editorial pieces in the past.  As soon as I saw his name on the Top 40 list I jumped at the chance to actually photograph him.

2. Whenever you are working with a subject who you don’t know there is always a concern that they will wear clothing that clashes. However when I chose Omar as one of my subjects to shoot for the Top 40 how he dressed was of zero concern to me.  

3. I really wanted to avoid the cliche of photographing Omar with a pen and paper or a laptop. So we chose to photograph him against a black iron wall and on a staircase as an option. The staircase images are the ones that were used.

4. I as well as most people know Omar with glasses… however when we did a few pics of him without it just didn’t look like Omar to me… It was strange. I am glad they chose the image of him with his glasses.

5. We shot for about 60mins.