May 14, 2022

An Outdoor Pregnancy Session

It is close to 33 years since I first photographed a pregnancy, and it still remains such an honour to be asked to help celebrate this incredible point in a woman's life. As was the case with our first session two years earlier, this was planned as "the" session to celebrate this pregnancy; though I offered the option of multiple sessions following her pregnancy's progress, the model preferred to have a single sessions late in the term, trusting to my skills to make the best image possible.
Digital original

Learning from the first session, we avoided the coast for this one, and instead worked on the glacial plain that line much of Nova Scotia's eastern coast, taking advantage of the wild landscape and massive glacial erratics (glacially deposited rock differing from the type of rock native to the area in which it rests). Our first set of images were made with the early evening sunlight providing some wonderful edging to the breast and belly, and picking up the warm highlights in the model's hair.

Digital original

Though the session began with some lovely evening sunlight, the sky gradually clouded over through the session, and by the middle of the 75 minute session, this had changed to wonderfully soft evening light which was just a delight to work with. While much of the early portion of the session was spent on poses mirroring the shape of the rocks with the shape of the pregnant belly, one of my favourite rock images is above. I'd worked in this exact location 13 years earlier, and loved how the rock looked with the foliage around it - this time however, as opposed to working with infrared light, I kept the image in colour, enjoying the delicate contrast between all the warm tones in the foreground, and the blue sky above.

Digital infrared original

The final set of images we made, bringing the session to a close, were the ones that really resonated with me. By this time, the sky had clouded over completely, and the evening light was incredibly soft and even. Where most of the session had been focused on standing (or prone) poses, for the last set of photos, I asked the model to lean back into a small rock which allowed me to frame her figure with a large dark-lichen covered rock behind her. Working with an extremely wide-angle lens help keep the figure prominent, while still showing the space around her. The sweeping drama of sky above, and the luminous infrared tones of the model's skin make this image an absolute celebration of the full, curving lines of the pregnant body!

May 09, 2022

A Short Morning Session

In the late 1990's, I bought a fine art nude print - an image of a pregnant mother holder an infant on top of her bare belly; this image has hung on my wall for more than 2 decades,but I have never had a chance to take inspiration from this for my own work. When discussing our upcoming outdoor pregnancy session, I asked the model if she'd be interested in any images with her first child...and much to my surprise, she was keen to see what would come out of that idea, and we set a time to meet and make some photos.

Digital original

While this session was not created using my infrared camera, the luminous skin tones I was seeking in the post production certainly are more in line with that approach, but as the day was pretty overcast, working indoors with the infrared camera would have been challenging. Fortunately, the high ISO performance on contemporary cameras is nothing short of stunning, so using ISO 800 throughout the session presented no quality issues.

Digital original

As short and focused as this session was, I am absolutely floored by how lovely the results were - the last image, above, is so far above my expectations it make my heart sing. Photographing straight into the windows covered with sheers created the luminous space I have long been enamoured with (since at least 1998), and the lovely connection between mother and child is all the richer for the pregnant belly the child is perched on! Such a beautiful session.