Feb 23, 2009
Making Art: Maternity and Couple Session
Maternity sessions can be a lot of work for all concerned, especially if you do two locations in one session which happened to be the case for this mom- and dad-to-be. Indoor locations and especially studio-style poses take a lot of time to set up, but the results are stunning.
First, we took some gorgeous couple and maternity shots at a local park in a bit of a drizzle. It was a challenge to keep the rain off of my camera, especially without an assistant, but we made it work. Besides, I'd been dying to use my matching umbrellas for months since I bought them! I have a little secret, though, rain doesn't usually show in a photo unless the shutter is open for a longer than you usually use for a portrait. So, for the sixth and seventh images, I added to the rain with a bit of Photoshop painting in post.
The studio-style photos were taken inside this couple's apartment where we rigged up a black background to create the kind of images mom had requested. The rug? It came straight from the living room to our make-shift studio, a white wall in the nursery for the baby-boy (or will it be a girl?) -to-be. Since the couple's living room and kitchen was decorated in black, white, and red, it seemed only fitting that they wanted photos that continued that theme. In fact, the mom is an artist herself and I couldn't resist snapping a few of her sketches, especially since one of the poses she did outside included a foot-popping kiss similar to the middle illustration below:
Of course the session is just a small part of the work that goes into creating a collection of portraits for each client. Post processing takes at least twice as long as the set up, research, and execution of each photo shoot. Because of the requests I've received from clients, I've reworked my packages to include the basic retouching and editing for each image as well as a spot color or other special edit for every shoot. Although that means I can't offer as many images than I used to, it's made images like the second one possible. I spend less time processing multiple versions of the same pose and more time working on color, shade, and subtlety in each portrait. It's a nice change, and I've come to develop my own style as an artist, not just a photo-taker.