Meet Local Photographer Irina Fortey

At Pimpernel & Plum, one of our favourite things to do is make new connections with other local and Canadian businesses. One lovely person we have met is Irina Fortey. She is a hardworking mother and family photographer in the Ottawa area. We would like you to know a little about her, too.

courtesy Irina Fortey Photography

1) We love your photography! What inspired you to be a professional photographer?

I was in my first year of university when I landed a part time job at a photo lab. It was within a few short months, I had fallen in love with the process and results. I couldn't get enough of the meaningful feelings photography provided each customer as they shared their stories behind the images they've taken. I was hooked and began documenting for close friends and within a couple of years after completing my original degree in Business and Economics I was enrolled in Photography Studies at Ryerson University to pursue a path as a professional photographer. I guess all that is history now!

2) Why did you decide to focus on family photography?

I've been a professional photographer for 12 years, the first 6 years of my career I only captured weddings. Shortly after the birth of my son, I became addicted to the family side of life. With a photojournalism background I created a brand focused on connecting honest and real portraits of babies and families who wanted to remember the now. There is so much value to be given to the memories we create with our children. It shapes them and us all at once. Family is the true root to what makes us who we are and nowadays, with busy schedules a slowed down relationship session with those who mean everything is something very special. For that reason, I want to bring back the beauty of our relationships through photos! 

courtesy Irina Fortey Photography

3) What is the most memorable session you have had?

My most memorable session to date was with a little newborn girl who was going through her 2-week growth spurt and only wanted to nurse and be held my mom. It made it difficult for mom to relax and as we know in those early stages it can be exhausting with the around the clock care to feel your best. It was the first time I witnessed (outside my own experience) the ever so demanding need for sleep by two first time parents. It didn't take long for me to say it was time for us to regroup and them to go take a nap! Fast forward a few weeks later, I was back in their home and we had the most relaxed and wonderful session ~ they were thankful for round two! Today, they have three little ones and we still laugh about how they can't figure out the whole sleep formula with kids ;)

4) Anything else you would like to share about Irina Fortey Photography?

I absolutely love my job! I am down to earth and I love getting to know new people. I place strong value in all the relationships I've formed over the years and I am happy to call my clients friends. Any session with me is more like chatting to an old friend, there are no forced smiles or staged scene. Given the opportunity to tell a family's story through photographs is something I take very seriously, so my top priority is making sure we all go in with the right expectations. Each client fills out a questionnaire and then we get planning on all that is important to photography during our time together.

courtesy Irina Fortey Photography

5) Lastly, what is your favourite thing to do with your kids?

I am very fortunate to have a career that offers the opportunity to have a flex time schedule, so I really cherish being able to spend time with both my kids after school. We love to sit and cuddle with books and chat about our day. It's super relaxing for me to just be surrounded by their stories and hear how their little minds are growing. In the warmer months, you will find us gardening in the backyard, all three of us love to get our hands dirty and watch our creations grow.


See more of Irina's work at Irina Fortey Photography.