By OPT staff
Ottawa photographer and father Jérôme Scullino captures poignant, candid family moments with an artistic touch
Jérôme Scullino is passionate about many things: art history, travel, skiing, and more, but his young family and the craft of photography are closest to his heart.
The 41-year-old Ottawa photographer, who was born in France, speaks eloquently, with a thick French accent, reflecting on his
varied career, which has spanned 20 years, and taken him around the world.
His work has been featured in several Canadian and international publications and been exhibited by galleries in New York, Montréal, the Dominican Republic and in southern France.
What drives Scullino is his desire to capture tender moments and interactions between families, with his camera. He works in a variety of formats and settings; from portraits and headshots to commercial spaces and weddings.
His art, he says, is about capturing the perfect image and casting his subjects in the best possible light, from the best angle.
“Everything I do
is about connecting with people,” he said in a March interview from his east Ottawa home studio, where he runs his business, Jérôme Photographer, specializing in family portraiture.
And it is a family business. Scullino is supported by his wife, Nisha, who urged him to pursue a career in photography. The couple has an eight-year-old daughter, Anousha, and a nearly three-month-old daughter, Aimée.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without my family.”
The son of an Italian father and Spanish mother, Scullino’s photography career began at age 11 in his hometown of St. Raphael, France when his interest was piqued during a school assignment.
He went on to study art in England, then philosophy, anthropology, and creative writing in New York, followed by work as a photographer in the Dominican Republic, before coming to Canada, where he received his university degree in Mathematics and Computer Science.
Eventually, he would return to life behind the camera lens.
Scullino’s strong artistic sensibilities drew him to photography, which, he says, offers the opportunity to create something extraordinary for every client.
“I like to photograph what’s different, extraordinary about them,” he said. “What I do is art. I push the boundaries as much as I can.”
Scullino works mainly with black and white and sepia tones, but will use colour if it suits the concept. “It has to be very meaningful.”
He does three to four family portrait sessions per week, to allow him to dedicate enough time to each client.
He takes pride in perfecting his photos and creating the ideal pieces of “wall art,” and invests a much time and expense, carefully retouching photos before clients view them.
Their reaction, he says, is always moving, and incredibly rewarding. “They fall in love with their images.”
He requests a full commitment from his clients, to whom he explains the whole process, his vision and what his expectations are. “It’s an intensive process,” he says. “Every image is well-thought through.
“I make artistic choices and I commit to them.”
Scullino, also a champion freestyle skier, invests himself completely in his family, his art, and in giving back to the community.
He offers community-based workshops and makes a point to support local organizations.
And he is a strong, vocal advocate for the importance of the arts.
“Art is not a luxury,” he says. “It is a necessity of existence.”
Photo: Jérôme Scullino – Photographer