Advanced Maternity Photography Tips | BTS with Pye Jirsa
Come behind the scenes on a maternity photography shoot with Pye! We’ll cover how to achieve advanced lighting techniques to create dramatic and beautiful maternity photos. You can watch the full behind-the-scenes video below:
Maternity Photography Workshop !
This is an excerpt from our Maternity Photography Workshop, your A-Z guide to maternity posing, lighting, and so much more. You can purchase it in our Store or upgrade to Premium to stream it now!Order Now!
This excerpt is taken from Raquel & Alan’s session in Mission San Juan Capistrano, a popular photo location here in Orange County, CA. The venue is known for its botanical gardens and Spanish architecture. More of the BTS of this shoot can be seen in the full workshop.
Tip #1: Dramatic Photos Using Maternity Dress
There are some companies like Sew Trendy that have become known for creating maternity dresses made for epic movement because of the elongated train and fabric. Pye wanted to incorporate the dress as much as possible so he chose a scene that complimented the green tone of the dress and found a wide enough area where he could toss the fabric to create this grand shot.
In order to make this more of a dramatic shot, you’ll need to underexpose your scene and pull down your ambient. For this image, our camera settings: 1/500th of a second at ISO 200 and F/1.4. In order to avoid having the fabric blur when tossed, shoot at a faster shutter speed and set your flashes to high-speed sync to freeze the fabric. You can see that the assistant is holding the flash just to camera right and pointing it directly at the subject. Here Pye used the Profoto A1, but you can use any pocket flash (check out our gear guide for more options). Because Pye didn’t have a grid on hand, he had his assistant use a purse to block the light from spilling too much on the fabric so that it could be more concentrated on her face. An image like this might require some compositing if you only have one assistant to toss the fabric which would require placing the camera on a tripod to composite the images in Photoshop after.
Tip #2: Re-creating Golden Hour
One of the simplest rules of composition is to place your subject in the brightest part of the frame. During this portion of the shoot, the sun was setting quickly and while Pye got a few natural light photos by placing Raquel in this bright spot backlit by the sun, but he needed just a couple of more to get a complete set of images with similar lighting. So, he had his lighting assistant get high up enough on a bench to simulate the sun peeking through the branches of the tree. In order to match the color of golden hour, the flash needs to be gelled to convincingly recreate sunlight.
Here is a more exaggerated version of the same technique, this time with the flare creating more of a blooming highlight. In the video, you’ll see the assistant is high up to match the direction of natural sunlight in the scene.
[REWIND: 5 Tips For Recreating Golden Hour]
Maternity Photography Workshop !Order Now!
To learn more about maternity posing and lighting check out our Maternity Photography Workshop for in-depth training, behind the scenes, and so much more! Watch the trailer below: