Janaki’s Maternity Photoshoot

Saturday was an eventful day, first I had a marathon (3 hour!) maternity session with my dear friend Janaki and her boyfriend Kevin followed almost immediately by a photoshoot for my friend Sara for her “Tractors & Tiaras” website/retail shop.  I’ll blog about Tractors & Tiaras tomorrow, for now I want to share a few of my stunningly beautiful friend and mama to be Janaki..

(for more, bigger & better see the post on my photography website!)

All images taken with my Canon 5D Mark II and Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 Lens

I tried a few new things this shoot..

1) A black FABRIC backdrop from Denny Manufacturing that I got during their 50% off sale a month or so ago.  I realized that the 53″ paper is just too limiting and I needed something wider as an alternative.   It takes some adjusting to post process these correctly so you can’t see the wrinkles etc, but I definitely don’t have room for the 107″ paper, so it’s the lesser of two evils.

2) A new seamless color savage  “Suede Grey” that I used in all of the other shots you see here.  I really love this color! Definitely will be my go-to light colored paper now.

3) Dramatic lighting!  Instead of having my main light source infront of my subject and a secondary one from the side, these were lit almost entirely from french doors directly camera left of the subject.   I did also need to use a reflector but I’m not really sure it actually did much.

4) Jersey/cotton blend large piece of fabric to wrap her in (the green that you see in the first image). This fabric has a lot of stretch and was PERFECT to show off all of her lovely pregnacy curves. I doesn’t hurt that the color is an amazing compliment to her naturally redish brown hair.  I think I got 1.5 yards from Joanne’s fabric for a total of maybe $11?  Definitely worth it, I plan on going back and getting a wider range of colors to have on hand for future maternity shoots.

5) I really studied and utilized the posing suggestions in this amazing maternity posing guide painstakingly put together by Gregory Katsoulis of Momphoto.com.  I highly suggest checking it out, it’s a wealth of good info and I feel so much more confident about maternity posing since reading it.

My only complaint about my set up is that I have to figure out what is known as a “hairlight” which would just bring out the light on her hair so it isn’t fading into the black backdrop like it is on that last photo.   This is a commonly used lighting device in studio lighting, but since I am doing all natural light setups, I’m not sure how I can achieve the same effect with natural light or if it is even possible! I tried bouncing my 430 Ex II Speedlite off of the wall to my left hoping it would illuminate the hair, but I don’t think I got the angle right. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

Hope you all had a great weekend.. I have so much to blog about this week. Tractors, Tiaras, Jasper & his new potty (!) so stay tuned :)

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meg says:

beautiful, beautiful photos! i so wish i would have done this when i was pregnant!

Lisa E says:

These are great! I took my first maternity pictures this past friday. I wish I would have known about the maternity posing site. I was so lost on on how to find ways to pose them. Thanks for the info!

melissa says:

I love that you posted about all the new things you did. It’s fun to read that type stuff. I have a question about the lens.. I was thinking about buying the canon 24-70L as my next lens, but read in a comment above that you think its more difficult to nail than the tamron. would you suggest I buy the tamron first? I am very new to the world of photography.

Also, do you know what section of the store your fabric came from? I want to find some like that but dont want to spend more time than I have to searching for it!


ariana says:

Thanks all!

Anne Marie, I just REALLY wanted to nail these and I don’t feel 100% in my ability to get tac sharp photos from my L yet. I’m not sure what the issue is, if it’s just me getting used to the weight or what but before I start using it for “clients” I want to make sure my just jasper practice pictures are spot on. That plus I didn’t want to deal with the weight on a day with two long shoots! :)

anne marie says:

awesome! great job. have you looked into off camera flash with a soft box? to light her hair i mean. and question. why did you use the tamron? did you sell your canon?

Licia says:

These are beautiful. You’ve captured her beauty and also her spirit in these.

kari says:

stunning ari!
she is glowing, and the lighting is delicious.
what a lovely mom to be – and amazing images to remember this time for her!
fantastic work!

Lexie says:

Beautiful photos! How did you secure the green fabric?

ariana says:

With small A clamps I got at home depot :)

Walter says:

If you want it to look natural, and just add a little separation, I’d keep it pretty low. It usually doesn’t take much. Depends on your other camera settings, of course, since everything exposure wise is relative. Check the display. Usually with soft light like you have there, you wouldn’t want something too harsh or overpowering.

Sara B. says:

Wow, she’s gorgeous! And that skin, oh my! Beautiful! Great pictures, I’m sure she will cherish them.

Walter says:

Beautiful pics. For the hairlight, try putting a snoot on your Speedlite and pointing it at the back of the models head. This can just be wrapping a black piece of construction paper around the flash head. This keeps any stray light from hitting the background or your lens. You won’t need a lot of power out of the flash, just enought to separate from the background.

ariana says:

Thanks Walter, you rock! Would you keep it really low powered?