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Thread: Maternity Photo Help

  1. #1
    SGerke's Avatar
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    Maternity Photo Help

    Hi All,

    My sister is expecting her first, a boy, in March and has asked me to do maternity pictures. I am a novice and do not have access to a studio or professional lighting. Does anyone have any experience in this or knows a good website to check out? I've googled for ideas, but haven't found anything that would work well enough without a studio.

    Greatly appreciate any and all help as usual! Will have pictures posted soon!

  2. #2

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    Re: Maternity Photo Help

    Pass on congratulations from me if you don't mind!

    First question - what do you have in the way of lighting / flashes?

    Second question - do you have ANY kind of budget available for purchasing equipmment (even if it's just a few dollars for a reflector or similar)?

    Third question - what camera & lenses do you have available?

    We'll get you there

  3. #3
    SGerke's Avatar
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    Re: Maternity Photo Help

    Thank you, Colin! I will certainly let her know!

    1) Lighting/flashes- only the one on my camera (Canon SD1100 IS)

    2) Budget- My birthday is right before the shoot, so I plan on spending some/all of my birthday money on equipment (minimum $50, maximum $200) though, I was hoping to save this for my first dSLR (Canon 40D, used).

    3) Camera = Canon SD1100 IS

    I do have access to equipment from my university and I've attached the link here to see the full list of what is available.

    Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by McQ; 11th December 2009 at 10:29 PM.

  4. #4

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    Re: Maternity Photo Help

    Hopefully some of the others will chip in as well, but what comes to mind is ...

    - Perhaps consider doing a bit of "Googling" for maternity photos to give you some ideas as to poses and compositions that work. My personal suggestion is to avoid complicated/distracting backgrounds and just keep it simple.

    - Light and/or lighting is really the key to good shots. Looking at the university equipment list there might be something there that you could borrow. Also, you might be able to choose a shady but open area outside and even an inexpensive reflector held by an assistant will make a big difference (to reflect light into darker areas).

    Does this help?
    Last edited by McQ; 11th December 2009 at 10:29 PM.

  5. #5
    SGerke's Avatar
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    Re: Maternity Photo Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ...avoid complicated/distracting backgrounds and just keep it simple.

    - Light and/or lighting is really the key to good shots. Looking at the university equipment list there might be something there that you could borrow. Also, you might be able to choose a shady but open area outside and even an inexpensive reflector held by an assistant will make a big difference (to reflect light into darker areas).

    Does this help?
    This definitely helps! There is one shot I have in mind with a cool background (at our local museum there's a "LOVE" statue with the letters stacked on top of each other), but we can always take some shots, if they don't work, no big deal.

    Thanks again, Colin for all the help! Will hopefully have some of my previous shots up this weekend once I resize them.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Maternity Photo Help

    Hi Sarah,

    First off, let me state I have little experience of doing this, but I understand the basic principles involved and have done similar stuff. So definitely do your research as Colin suggests, even discuss what the couple's expectations are.

    Whether you use your SD1100 or one of the Uni's DSLR cameras; you'll need to be careful with mixed colour temperature lighting, i.e. what you add, be it on camera flash or tungsten vs what the museum has.

    You may have to make do with what light there is and fill shadows with reflected light, this will mean you'll need reflectors (could be home made) and people to hold them.

    If the scene you have in mind is in any way naturally, or sunlit, work out what time of day is best to shoot before you turn up.

    If it is indoor, and you're looking to get one or two people in 'whole body' plus the L-O-V-E sculpture, that implies getting a distance back, or using wide angle. If the latter, beware distortions of perspective that may be unflattering (if too close) or spoil the background (if too tilted). When shooting; check all around the edges of the viewfinder to see what is going on with any columns, etc. Some distortion and/or tilting may be unavoidable, but check and balance these out for best compromise, or you may get a nasty surprise back home on the computer and need to do a reshoot.

    The other BIG thing of course is how the museum would view an entourage descending on their property and setting up for what they may interpret as a propfessional shoot - you might all be rapidly expelled , so I'd have a quiet word first to see how the land lies and explain what you want to do and assure them you won't get in the way of their other patrons.

    This is a good example of where the original question was so wide ranging it was difficult to give much useful advice, but with just a little extra info., we can be far more specific in the advice we supply. I mention it not particularly for you, but others reading this with "OMG, I've been asked to shoot ..." type questions. I appreciate it can be difficult when a request comes out of the blue, but a "starter for 10" helps us enormously.

    Hope that helps too,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 12th December 2009 at 05:07 PM. Reason: added bits here and there

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