Maternity Session | Bellevue Maternity Photographer
This mama to be is absolutely adorable! I had such an amazing and fun time planning and capturing this maternity session.
We did two locations, one for the red dress and one for the purple dress, featured above. I found this absolutely magical location right in the middle of Bellevue. It had a beautiful creek, lush green forest, and a fantastic waterfall. I was ecstatic when I found it. You would think we were in the middle of a tropical jungle.
I absolutely love how these pictures came out. The purple lace gown looks so magical in the green forest. The light was perfect creating a beautiful backlight for hair. And when you have such beautiful client it's very easy to take great pictures.
Although, the scene may look tropical, the water was actually extremely cold. I brought waterproof boots so I was fine standing in the creek, but my poor clients had to brave the cold water in order to take these pictures. I still can't believe they were willing to do this, although I believe the results were worth the discomfort.
This couple was so cute and wonderful to work with. They kept cracking jokes and making each other laugh. It really helped to capture some amazing, fun and adorable moments. I didn't even notice the time go by, that's how much fun I was having.
For this maternity session we did four different backgrounds. Forest trail, creek, waterfall and meadow. Each offered a unique and beautiful setting. This forest trail was perfect. It provided a great depth of field and I love sunshine coming trough in the back.
This particular image is so beautiful. It captures that special moment this couple shares, that is about to embark on a completely new chapter in their lives.
What a beautiful mother to be!
I've decided to have a little fun with this one and added in some butterflies to give a fairy-tale like feel to it.
This waterfall was absolutely magical! I still can't believe I was able to find such a gem in the middle of a busy city. My client wanted a waterfall so bad, but I was having such a hard time finding one with easy access to it.
Even though it was May, our mountains had major avalanche warnings and all roads leading to waterfalls were deemed dangerous and had to be closed down.
It took me hours to find this beautiful waterfall.
The rocks had a distinctive copper tone to it, which I thought would look perfect against this purple maternity gown.
The lush green swordferns add a tropical feel to this picture. One would think this was taken in Hawaii!
This one was taken at a different location. This dress required a lot of space and I found this lush meadow in the middle of Bellevue Botanical Gardens. The sun was perfectly behind the subject creating beautiful backlight. I call this the butterfly look.
This one is not quite as dramatic as the first one, but I love it just as much.
Red is a complementary color to green, which is why I thought this red dress would look perfect in this green meadow.
This whole maternity session took about three hours. I know it may sound like it was very long, but it was mainly because we had to go to two locations during rush hour. So it took us almost 45 minutes just to get to the other location.
I tend to do most of my sessions about two hours before sunset, or as photographers like to call it, the golden hour. That is when the sun is not so harsh and you don't have to deal with harsh shadows.
The meadow session was a bit tricky, because trees were creating a lot of shadows on my subject's face. You always have to be so careful and watch out for shadows when shooting around trees. Light is everything, if you don't get it right it is extremely difficult to fix later on, even with photoshop. So it's better to get it right from the get go.
I usually bring an assistant to help me out during sessions and use her as a stand in to find a good spot. That way I don't wear out my clients by making them move from place to place till I find the perfect spot.
Another difficulty when shooting in green meadows or grass is dealing with green over cast on subject's skin. If you don't know how to fix green skin tone in photoshop it is best to avoid green fields altogether until you do.
I still remember my first family session I did of my friends when I was still practicing my photography. I placed them under a tree on a grassy field. When I got home I realized they all had green skin tone, making them all look like they were sick.
I did not know how to get rid of it and the only thing I could think of was to convert the images into black and white. This fixed my problem, but I became determined to figure out the best way to get rid of green overcast. As of now I'm working on a free tutorial teaching how to do just that, so stay tuned.
To ensure that my maternity sessions are always a success I follow a few rules. First I always meet with a potential client face to face to discuss ideas, locations and outfits. Meeting potential clients face to face has helped me tremendously in understanding their needs better.
Once we settle on a location, if it's a new one I've never been to before, then I would go to it a few times and take test shots to see where would the best spots be. This saves me a lot of time during the session, because I know exactly where to go next, instead of wondering around with a client hoping to get a good spot.
If it's a location I've been to before I like to get there a half hour early to make sure that nothing has changed. This tactic has saved me a few times. I once showed up to a location that I've done multiple sessions in, only to find out that it was so overcrowded with people that I had to act fast and find spots that were not so busy.
During the session I take a lot of pictures. I would do same pose many times at different angles to make sure I get at least one good shot of that pose. Many people think they are not photogenic, but I strongly disagree. Everyone has a good side, and it's up to us photographers to find it.
I give a lot of directions on how to pose and stand during sessions to my subjects. Most of my clients have never had their picture professionally taken and they don't know what is the most flattering way to stand and to pose and I always help to guide them by giving them concrete instructions on where and how to place their hands, legs, feet, etc.
I always joke around that I get paid to boss people around. I tell them where and how to sit, when to stand or how to walk. But, all jokes aside, this really helps to loosen up even most self-conscious people and you can start taking more natural pictures.
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