How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. This is an ideal moment to break down some pregnancy images and look at their construction, pose, feet position, camera angle and any other learning points that are worth reviewing. We have covered a lot over the previous pages and sometimes all opf that information can get overwhelming. So let us review what we have learned so far..
A very simple image to create is one that is sitting down cradling her bump. This is a very common image to create and can contain many different moods. In this example I have created a much more serious feel. Maybe she is in a state of contemplation or simply content with the world and is relaxing?
The camera angle can be at eye level and "straight on" or in this example slightly above shooting down towards her cradled bump. By shooting into the window light, an organic feel can be achieved and with good light metering either a low key or high key image can be created with more or less light. Ensure that if you want to capture all detail on your subject from such a close position that your aperture is not too wide. At f1.2 her face would have been in focus but her bump indistinguishable. Remember we are creating pregnancy portraits and the bump if pretty integral to the whole image!
Within the same window, I asked my mum-to-be to stand. I moved her feet into posture position three and using fashion position two. A large white reflector was placed just in front to bounce some light back in towards her.
A very wide aperture of f1.2 was used to wrap her in light and to blow out any highlights and background. I created an extra stop of light by slowing my shutter to further lighten the image and add to the back light glow. Effective and precise light metering is essential to a high key image such as this.
The shot is slightly off profile in an almost 3/4 view. We can see a nice arch in her back, a rounded bump enhanced by her leg position and we can also see her other hand. Remember that she has two hands and so we should be able to see two! Be aware of fingers just poking around her bump and looking like bizzare set of sausages that do not look like fingers. By shooting in a 3/4 view we can help avoid this issue as it is easier to capture both limbs within the frame.
Here within a very confined space of a gypsy caravan I asked this mum-to-be to climb onto the bed. Because the space was so limited and I could not get above her the most sensible position was a sitting position. Her hands were placed within a cradle position.
By wearing her lingerie we were able to fully show her lovely shape and bump. If your mum-to-be is wearing overly loose fitting clothing then any sitting position may not be ideal as it could crumple into a bunch and hide any of her shape. Tighter fitting clothing, fabric wraps, lingerie and nudes work very well with sitting positions.
When in a public place such as Brighton Pier here, very often the opportunity to create a laying down or sitting on the floor shot is ill advised due to members of the public and hygiene! Besides there are many other great things that could be used such as benches, logs and all manner of items that add texture or shapes to your image.
Here I have asked her to sit forward on the bench and move her knees to one side and her head to the opposite way of her knees. This has created a beautiful shape to her body line and exaggerates her form. By looking around at your surroundings you can create landscapes that enhance your images and places you the place you were photographing. This might well be important should it be a special place to her!
Here I have framed her head within the window behind (which lead to the next shot which was a much closer head shot) and used the leading lines of the ceiling and floor to direct our gaze. An ultra-wide 17mm lens adds an element of distortion to these leading lines. Because of the lens distortion she needed to be placed centre frame with the join between floor and wall placed on the lower third of the image to create a well-constructed and impactful image.
By taking bite size chunks out of constructing an image, we can better understand the lessons we have learned from previous pages. We can easily link poses and camera angles to create a whole range of different looks because our ultimate aim is to create images that the mum-to-be is happy with and to sell them to her. Great images sell. To create great images you really need to understand the basics of composition and construction.
The Next Stage
You have seen some poses, ones to create and follow and others to outright avoid so what comes next? By mastering your camera you are the one who decides on the final image, how it should look and how it should be executed. By not understanding what the basics of aperture, shutter, iso, lighting and metering mean you are missing a massive part of the creative process. Of course you can just select an automatic mode and compose an image well, this will suffice 95% of the time. However you will be doing yourself and your clients and disservice by at least not understanding the basics..
Did you know that The Art and Technique of Pregnancy Photography ebook contains 170 pages of pose guide illustrations, high quality portrait images, information and how to's?
Learn how to pose and create images during a portrait session in a room like this
and how to guide and pose to produce portraits like this
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