Maternity Session | Seattle, WA
When life gives you lemons, you gotta squeeze the juice out of those suckers, add tons of sugar and make delicious lemonade.
We had the most beautiful snow maternity session planned out. We carefully picked the right dress, we've decided on the beautiful red dress by jandldesignsboutique.com, with a beautiful long trail.
We picked our location, up in the mountains where it snows all the way till March. And I even drove by the location a week before to make sure there was plenty of snow, and there was! There was ton of beautiful white snow, making everything look like a fairy-tale.
Unfortunately mother nature was not on our side on the day of the session. I checked the road webcam the first thing I woke up, and to my horror saw lot's of dirty, wet snow. In disbelief I checked the weather and sure enough, it was supposed to rain all day in the mountains.
My first thought was to reschedule the shoot, but I was already booked up for the next month, and the mother was due soon. I knew we couldn't wait too long. I didn't know what to do. I was at a complete loss.
Finally I decided to check the weather around the area, and to my disbelief, it looked like it wasn't going to rain in Seattle until later in the day. I called the mother right away to make sure she was ok with the change of plans, she was, and we ended up going to one of the most beautiful parks in Seattle, Volunteer Park.
Volunteer Park features lots of beautiful places which makes it a very popular hang-out spot for local Seattlites. They have a very old Water Tower, surrounded by brick wall with arched windows, giving it a look of a castle tower. It makes for a beautiful background.
Right away I thought it would be great for a dramatic indoor shot. Mother looking out the window with the light insinuating her belly, and the long train flowing delicately down the stairs.
When we got there it was dribbling a little, but not enough to interfere with the shoot. I was able to get plenty of good shots, and we made it right before it started raining really hard! I couldn't believe how lucky we got!
Although it wasn't snowing in Seattle it was still pretty cold, which made pretty nervous. I don't like it when my clients are cold. So I did everything I could in between shots to keep her comfortable. I had her wear her jacket while I was checking the light and the background of the shoot.
Once everything was established we would take her jacket off and I would take a few pictures and then the jacket would go back on again. You can never be too careful! Safety's first!
I think one of the main challenges with this session was creating a warm feeling. When shooting in rainy conditions pictures tend to be a bit grey and somewhat depressing. I had to warm up the temperature in camera-raw filter.
This got rid of an eery feeling the pictures had before. Sometime eery can work for certain images, but that is not what I was going for here. While I was going for a dramatic feel I didn't want a creepy feel to these maternity pictures.
I wanted warm, happy and original. I believe all these were achieved here, and I'm very happy with the outcome. I added in the light in some of the images to give it a nice glow and that really worked out well.
Whenever going on a shoot where you suspect it may start to rain I would strongly suggest a few things.
#1. Bring and umbrella.
I prefer a clear umbrella, to avoid color casts on the skin. Rain ruins hair almost instantly and even with a little drizzle it is a good idea to have someone hold a clear umbrella over you subjects head. That way their hair and make up stays in tact, and save you a lot of time later on in post-processing.
#2. Bring a towel.
I always bring a towel, because I live in Seattle and you never know what you are going to get, weather-wise. I use a small towel for snowy and rainy shoots to keep my camera dry between shots. I use a bigger towel to wipe off any mud or dirt out of my clothing after I'm done.
#3. Covered areas.
In chance it may be raining during your shoot, plan to have something available with a cover. During this shoot, I knew we had a water tower to turn to in case of too much rain. Also anything with lots of trees can provide a good cover from the rain.
I personally don't like session during the rain and do my best to avoid them at all costs. This particular one was an exception due to a sensitive timeline. I'm glad I was able to make it work, but I'm not looking forward to something like this again.
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