I had the honor to photograph my sister-in-law over the weekend...her and my brother are expecting their first baby (a girl). A maternity shoot is new territory for me as I've never photographed a pregnant woman before. I spent a lot of time researching tips for making the new mama feel comfortable and also studied angles and lighting that seemed very delicate and flattering for a pregnant body.
I wanted to photograph Brittany in her environment so that she could move with ease and feel safe. It's a vulnerable time, I would imagine, being a mom to be for the first time....so I wanted the special feelings and thoughts that come with that realization to come through on camera. This I don't think that would have been as possible in a public enviornment...or even in a place foreign to Brittany.
Lucky for us, Brittany and David's bedroom had one beautifully lit window that was creating a lot of perfect natural light. We removed the curtains and de-cluttered the walls...even moving furniture around to allow for lots of free, clear space so the focus could be on Brittany...and not the room decor.
It was very good practice for me to learn to work with available light and remember that for a topic like pregnancy soft and simple would be best...natural moments that weren't over styled or over thought. A funny thing I took away was that an intimate maternity shoot like this seemed more compelling when Brittany wasn't looking at the camera...but rather away or down at her belly. The interaction between her and her yet to be born baby girl was very apparent. Yes, we did the cliche "hand heart" on the belly...but it was just too adorable not to use.
I would like to improve by learning to understand my reflector and bouncing light more effectively...which would have allowed for even more poses, leaving us NOT so dependant on the angle of the window. Overall however, I was really happy with how these turned out and even more happy that mom and dad to be were very pleased.
Brittany is certainly an easy subject to photograph and is such a lovely mama. She looks simply gorgeous in these soft photos. I'm excited to do an outdoor more whimsical couples sessions later this spring...congratulations David and Brittany! Thank you for letting me practice on you...