Maternity shoot with a close friend

CharlotteBB2-03PMMeet Charlotte, one of our closest friend, and her 2 yr old, Aurélien

CharlotteBB2-30PMAnd obviously, there’s another little one in the making

CharlotteBB2-26PMGuillaume, Charlotte’s husband, and my husband’s best friend for ages, could not make it, he had working obligations. So I was left working with the mama and her boys (the baby to come is another son), and in all honesty, that was fine with me. Dealing with two people is already a bunch in a portrait shoot. Not that the daddy wouldn’t have been welcome, but let’s say I was happy working with the mother/son duo. Their bond is omnipresent, and makes for charming moments.

CharlotteBB2-40PMGear wise, I had packed the NEX 7 with its 18-55 kit zooms (I had a few wider angle shots in mind), the SEL35/1.8 (which ended up NOT being used) and the modified industrial, C mount, Navitar 75/1.3, which happens to be my favorite non AF lens this side of the universe.

CharlotteBB2-04PMThe first shot in the post, and the one here, are from the 18-55. I’ve criticized this lens abundantly in the past, but it does the job it’s intended for.

CharlotteBB2-22PMHowever, the second I switched to the Navitron, there was NO way back

CharlotteBB2-20PMThis lens does people like no other optic I’ve ever known of. It’s just packed full with poetry and magic.

CharlotteBB2-15PMThis is not part of the “keepers”, but it shows the mood of the shoot. Marla came along as my “assistant” (she even carried my bag part time !) and is so used to be in the frame it was a little hard getting her to move to the side !

CharlotteBB2-01PMThe indoor shots are courtesy of the PEN F 38/1.8, at F2. I chose it over the SEL35 as manual focus is better for focus selection (no annoying AF point to move around) but weirdly enough the PEN doesn’t peak well at all with this unit of NEX 7 I currenty own (it did fine with the previous ones), so nailing focus was a bit of a chore.

CharlotteBB2-13PMPortrait shoots with beautiful people is a real confidence booster for me

CharlotteBB2-32PMThe more portrait shoots I do, the more I realize the number one difficulty to overcome, WAY above technical detail or even above handling the light, is getting your subject to relax. I think my own daughter Marla is the ONLY human above 4 yrs old I know who is totally natural, at ease and oblivious of the lens when in front of the camera.

MarlaOct13-58She either ignores me entirely, or turn Model Mode ON, and both give great images. I’m blessed, truly.

CharlotteBB2-17PMEven as a long time friend, and positively trusting me, Charlotte had a hard time relaxing in front the camera, as you can see here, there’s a hint of tension both in body posture and expression. She is was much more relaxed with her son around, which gave me another idea…

CharlotteBB2-35PMDon’t laugh, it worked !

I remember reading a study once about people being recorded for TV broadcasting, non professional, average joe folks. Their anxiety levels were through the roof as TV show environment is so unnatural and fazing. Their blood pressure and heartbeats were recorded. Then various pets (dogs, memory serving me well) were introduced, and the participants heartrate and blood pressure instantly dropped to very comfortable and close to normal levels. I’ve tried this several times before in shoots and it always worked. If your subject have pets and you’re in their homes, make sure to start the session with the animal around, in the owner’s lap for a car or small dog, at his/her feet for larger dogs. Once the person is comfortable, tactfully cast the pet a bit further.

CharlotteBB2-09PMKissing and hugging a loved child works just the same, only even better

CharlotteBB2-10PMEspecially kisses that are returned

CharlotteBB2-25PMI still have trouble understanding why “family photography” would be so looked down upon. It’s one of the most trickiest thing to nail, and the most gratifying to do when you succeed, because you know those pictures will be cherished forever.

CharlotteBB2-39PMI don’t think my friend was into the “glamour” prego pictures mood, so I didn’t offer to explore that. The large man’s shirt was the closest to naked skin I could sell her.

CharlotteBB2-24PMAnd this is one of my favorite of the day.

I know my friends are super happy with the shots, but truly *I* was grateful to be given the opportunity to capture those moments. It’s good being a photographer


About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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One Response to Maternity shoot with a close friend

  1. laurent says:

    Great photo shoot!!!! Specially like the B&W and the #10!

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