That's no moon. It's a Studio

A long, long time ago, on a continent far, far away, I had a blog. The purpose of that last blog was to keep in touch with friends and family, and share my photography from my adventure in sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this one is simply to encourage me to both shoot and write more. I’ve found myself in the fortunate position where I can spend more time taking pictures and in a place where I am able to dedicate a space to the craft. I’ve evicted myself from the largest room in the house and converted it to a photography studio. With the studio came some new photography gear, some new clients and fortunately some old clients who have helped me further my photography greatly. This first entry is dedicated to my dear friend Pam, who for some reason trusted me with doing her maternity photography…. not once…. but twice.

4? Years ago, Pam had asked me to shoot her maternity photographs. I had never shot maternity pictures before, did not have a studio space, was relatively new to using off camera flash, but I jumped at the challenge. We set out in her basement, with a single flashgun and black curtain and started to shoot.

Behind the Scene - One Light, One Curtain and not nearly enough room

Behind the Scene - One Light, One Curtain and not nearly enough room

As I said earlier, at the time I had a lot less experience with off camera flash, and only had that umbrella to diffuse the light with. There are some major pros with using a shoot through umbrella, but also some major cons. The biggest pros are it provides a very cheap source of very soft light. The down side is it’s very hard to control the light as it goes EVERYWHERE. Up, down, left, and even right. The light goes EVERYWHERE. With this relatively simple shot, the pros out weighed the cons and it seemed to work as planned. At the time, I was shooting with a Nikon D7000 and a Fuji X100s. Eventually after crawling under the pool table, sync cable wrapped around my arm, we got this:

The Final Shot

The Final Shot

Fast forward 4-5 years, Pam once again approached me about a maternity shoot. This time though, I was more prepared. Not only had I worked with Pam before, but I have a studio, and proper studio light, and softboxes, and a little more experience.

Pam was also more prepared, and brought outfits that accentuate the pregnant belly, hair and makeup done, and thankfully her sense of humor. Because trust me, in all of these shoots, there are countless bloopers, and plenty of laughter.

Instead of the single light, we now had 4 to play with. Instead of an uncontrollable soft ball of light (shoot-through umbrella) we had gridded softboxes to feather across her. Unfortunately I don’t have a BTS shot of the final image, but the lighting was the same, only the dress changed.

BTS in the Studio

BTS in the Studio

You can see from above, two lights with Stipboxes, placed relatively close to Pam to allow for the light to falloff and darken the background. For post production minor tweaks to color and lighting were done, and then the extension of the background. Fortunately with modern software, it’s relatively easy to turn a small space into an infinite space.

Final Shot - Different dress, same lighting.

Final Shot - Different dress, same lighting.

There are more shots from this shoot to come, but they are going to have to wait until Pam’s album is delivered as I don’t want too many spoilers of the shoot. Overall I’m quite happy with how things turned out on this, and I’m looking forward to following up with an outdoors family shoot with Pam.

I think that concludes the first entry in this new blog. Please feel free to comment, and hopefully it won’t be too long before I post again.

Cheers,

E