Canadian Dad Featured on Flickr

When we have kids, many of us become amateur paparazzo, snapping photos of our young progeny. Sometimes, though, you get tired of shooting the same-old, same-old, and you want to mix things up a bit. Other times, necessity becomes the mother of invention, as you struggle to deal with cranky kids and difficult schedules. That’s what happened for one Canadian dad, Justin Van Leeuwen of Ottawa, who is jvlphoto on Flickr.

Extreme Family Photos

Justin lives with his wife, teenage stepson, and two young sons. One Christmas he realized that he wasn’t going to be able to get the whole family together at one time for the traditional photo for their holiday cards. Instead, he decided to improvise, shooting everyone separately and then photo-shopping it all together into an image that features his infant son flying in the air over his and his wife’s heads. The result was a hit, and he did it again. And again. And a few more times. He calls the result “extreme family photos” and in addition to flying children they feature strange props like beer bottles and pots and pans.

Justin recently shot Mabel’s Labels co-founder Julie Cole and her family. It wasn’t the first, time, either – it’s the third year in a row that he’s shot the family of eight. The results are whimsical and unique, and definitely offer a different take on the family portrait.

The Weekly Flickr

Justin’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed. He was featured in an episode of The Weekly Flickr earlier this month. This new series from Yahoo! goes behind the lens of popular Flickr photographers. Read about Justin’s moment in the Flickr spotlight at

You can see more of Justin Van Leeuwen’s work on Flickr at or on his website at

Amber Strocel

Amber Strocel is the Managing Editor of City Mom Now, the parent network of Toronto Mom Now. She is a writer, podcaster, ardent crafter and green mom, who believes strongly in the power of the Internet to connect and empower. You can follow her on her personal blog at

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