March 24, 2019

A Final Pregnancy Session (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital Original
The last photographs of Miranda's pregnancy were made about 20 hours before she went into labour. Created in my dining room, they make the most of what little light my house has, and serve as more of a document than art, in some ways.
Digital original
The lines of pregnancy, so different from the usual lines of the human body, are just lovely to work with, and Miraanda's patience with my process helped make some really pleasing images in a rather difficulty space to work in.
Digital original
A little over thirty hours after these photographs were made, Miranda gave birth, and mother and child are healthy and hale!

March 13, 2019

Ingrid and Miranda in the Studio (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

After the outdoor snow image, the other pregnancy photograph Miranda specifically asked me to help her realize was an image of her with Ingrid. The two have posed together for me 20 times since 2003 (including traveling with me to Scotland in 2008), so there was no issue in comfort with the two women, and I was particularly keen, as I felt there was real potential for something striking to be created.
Digital Infrared Original
While I was in a photographic studio, as opposed to using studio lights, I opted to work with simple window light - but took advantage of the large room we were in to create the illusion of space. The first set of images worked with Miranda closer to me than the window - providing rim-lighting on her body, and Ingrid set back from Miranda (to both address their height differential, and provide different light on her figure in the back). The resulting images are really pleasing, with a polished, minimalist feel, and some grace, injected by the delicate lines of Ingrid's hand on her hip.
Digital infrared orginal
The real potential of the session, however, came as I worked on variations on the initial post - I asked Ingrid and Miranda to move towards and away from me - watching how the light fell across their bodies. At a point, Ingrid's mastectomy scar (which is now quite subtle, three years post-op) became even more delicate in presentation - and I knew I could make the image I had desired - a photograph celebrating both Miranda's pregnancy, and Ingrid's victory over breast cancer. I carefully positioned Miranda so the lines of her belly and Ingrid's figure behind came together, and the above photograph was born. I seldom title images outside of exhibitions, but this photography, from the moment it was created, had a title. "Passages"
Digital infrared original
The final set of focused image revoked around celebrating Miranda's pregnancy - statuesque poses and compositions celebrating volume and form. The window light proved just as beautiful for this series, and lead to a number of lovely photographs, including this one (above).
Digital infrared originaal
The last images (above) was a gift from the genie in the room (as my friend Steve Richard would say); as we were working, Miranda's hair, which had been tucked back, cascaded forward, falling across her breast, and in a line down her belly. A quick adjustment of a reflector, to provide some definition to her back and hands, and this image was born.

March 09, 2019

A Winter Pregnancy (Herring Cove, Nova Scotia)

Miranda's e-mail letting me know she was returning to Halifax to give birth was literally titled "Wanna document my bump?", so it isn't surprising that four days later we were in Herring Cove, working on making a snow-pregnancy-nude image, to celebrate the event. As much as I would have loved to document the entire pregnancy (as I have done twice for Carol), the opportunity to work with Miranda at the very end of her third trimester was fabulous, and a great addition to the already rich body of work we have created since we first worked together in 2001.
Digital original
While the morning was relatively mild, it was far from warm, so the entire outdoor session was carefully managed to be as swift as possible. Before Miranda left the nearby house, I tromped down a path in the snow, and worked out exactly where I wanted her to pose. When it looked like we'd have a brief window of soft light (a cloud moving over the sun), I motioned for Miranda to join me, and just before she took off her coat and moved into position, I had the camera in position, the lens selected, and the exposure already determined. From then, to her putting her coat back on, less than four minutes passed, and I made several dozen exposures. While others worked on various levels, the above was exactly what I sought, and upon returning to the house, we both reviewed the image, and agreed we had nailed it.
Digital infrared original
The rest of the morning was spent making some images in the house; I'd expected the outdoor session to tap Miranda of her energy, but she was more than happy to continue posing ("I won't be pregnant forever" was one expression I heard during the session). A modern house, there was numerous locations with interesting lines and corners, but nothing beat the reading nook with skylight, where the above image was made - the results of which pleased Miranda, as she has always loved the veining that infrared images can record.
Digital infrared original
The last images of the session were made in the master bathroom, working with a modern tub and the beautiful light that surrounded it. A crucial component in these images was determined just before we started - I made two photographs of scene - one with the blinds up, and the other, with them down...and the down option was by far the better of the two. We worked with a variety of standing poses (including the above) before filling the tub, and making images of Miranda actually bathing. In the end, it was the standing, celebratory image which really resonated with me, thus, it is the one displayed here.

March 08, 2019

A wonderful Surprise...(Halifax, Nova Scotia)

One of the greatest privileges of doing what I do is being able to document some of the transitions and changes the people I work with go through in their lives. Of these, there is nothing more magical than being able to photograph a pregnancy, especially when it is with someone I already have a connection to. This first happened in 2004, with Carol, who worked with me through her entire pregnancy. And most recently, it occurred with Miranda (whom I have worked with since 2001); though she is living overseas, she decided to return to Halifax for the birth, and as an added bonus, so some photos while she awaited her child's arrival.
Digital original
This image wasn't even from a planned session. The day after her arrival in Halifax, the two of us headed to Herring Cove, to check out a spot for a potential outdoor photograph (Miranda said there was no way she was going to be heavily pregnant in Canada in Winter without having a snow-nude created to celebrate it). After approving of the outdoor space for a session on a warmer day, we stopped in the facilitator's house for a chat, and I marveled at the beautiful light in the living room...and minutes later, Miranda and I were making a small series of images.