Well, the maternity shoot with Jenny was last week and turned out to be an excellent learning experience. I didn’t have a lot of time last weeknd, or the week prior to prepare, so I had to go into it with what I knew from memory of other maternity shots I’ve seen over the years.
Jenny’s apartment had a couple of nice shooting locations. There was a couch by the front window that still had a 7:00PM setting Sun shining through and the bedroom with a nice white, semi-matte finished bed spread. For the background in the bedroom I used a heavy white sheet that I have in one of my kit containers to cover the wall and give it a more continuous color flow.
For the window shots, I used my Canon 24-105L/F4 USM IS lens because I knew Jenny would keep very still and needed the IS for the low shutter speeds of 1/20s down to 1/6s at ISO 100. This allowed me to expose for the front of Jenny’s face and which gave the window blown out highlights, which is what I was looking for. Here is sample photo…
For the bedroom, it was a little trickier. I wanted to get both side lighting shots, as well as shots that had a lot of ambient light. For the side lighting, I had Jenny’s friend hold my large reflector with the gold covering off to the side about 3-5 feet away. This worked most of the time, but other times, the angle was a bit off so the shot was a throw away. For this, and the above lighting, I used a soft box attached to the 430EX Speedlite. This box creates a larger light source and has a white reflective card on the back of it to throw some fill/catch light onto the subject. Below is a sample of that.
All in all it went very well and I am pleased with the results. Jenny was very happy with how the photos turned out. The only regret is not doing more research on maternity poses before hand, as these are specialized poses designed to minimize the added weight, yet allow for the stomach area to be in an appropriate composition. I had to kind of “wing it” and draw from memory the best I could. I also played it by ear and went with what looked good through the viewfinder and it seemed to pay off.