December 09, 2002

A Final Session with Aurora

As Aurora's due date comes closer and closer, each session we have is more and more likely to be our final; I am already more then satisfied with the images we have created, but each additional session holds the promise of more successes to add to the body of work. It is an unusual feeling, working with a project of such specific dimensions - once Aurora has given birth, the work will have come to a conclusion. With the exception of the Victoria, Alberta and Cassandra, Nova Scotia portfolios, which were bodies of work produced for specific purposes, all my work is open ended, and on-going.
6x7 cm film
Aurora and I began the session working with her standing against a white sheet; I'd first used this approach with R_ in March and was very pleased with the results. This technique marked a distinct change in how I was approaching photographing Aurora. Almost all my work with her to date has focused upon the curves and flow of her pregnancy, using both the studio and available light to give accent to her figure. At the beginning of this session, however, I used the flat light to put an emphasis on the outline, as opposed to the edge-line.
6x7 cm film
A high-key approach, in which very little of the image was dark, accentuated the overall form, as opposed to surfaces and textures. The poses were somewhat limited, partially because the focus was so clearly upon the pregnancy, and partially because of Aurora's limited mobility. Over the past couple of months spent working with her, this was the first session where Aurora's pregnancy seemed to in any way hinder her.
Digital original
After we finished with the standing images, Aurora and I moved into the bedroom, with the white sheets now being used to diffuse the sunlight outside. Our first session in October used the same approach, so I was glad to return to the setting at the close of our work together. Out of this work came one of my favourite images of Aurora, sitting cross legged with the light cascading over the torso and belly. I made the image in both colour and black and white, and while both are equally
successful, the warmth of her skin against the cool sheets makes the colour photograph my preferred of the two.
Digital original
The session was finished off with a number of images being made of Aurora in the shower. Unlike
the bathroom at her apartment, this shower was lit by a skylight, which provided a soft, even light (it wasn't terribly bright though, which led to exposures of 1/15th of a second at f/2.0). A number of the shower images were very pleasing, including the one I display here, with the beauty of Aurora's pregnancy made the focus of the image through the sweep of her arm. A couple of days after this session, Aurora successfully delivered her baby and both mother and child are doing well.

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