Many people choose to turn their first year portraits into a custom design fine art baby album – and for your viewing enjoyment, here are layouts from the albums of Reina & Brandon who I have had the extreme privilege of photographing from newborn through their first year in my Oh Baby! Club program. In fact they have just graduated to my Toddler Adventure Club :)
I have been photographing pregnant women in my Alameda studio in Northern California for almost 15 years now (yikes! time flies!), and I have learned a thing or two during that time. I have to admit that maternity sessions for me are like a little vacation – kind of like a day-trip to an art museum – when I get to focus on just the woman in front of me in all of her glory.
And in my eyes – pregnant women are simply magnificent.
It amazes me every time that there is a human being inside of that globe-like belly that will be entering the world in a matter of weeks. I am a mom myself - so I understand how it feels to suddenly be much larger than one would think possible. Based on my understanding of what is a uniquely female experience along with my expertise as a fine art maternity portrait artist, I strive to capture the essence of a woman’s pregnancy and to make her feel as beautiful as she truly is at that moment in time. In order to achieve this – I use light and shadow. I shoot almost all of my maternity sessions in my Alameda studio. This enables me to use professional lighting and backgrounds to focus on my subject and her curves in a very private environment. Some women do nudes, some women incorporate clothing, and some women use fabrics – most women to do some of each. We discuss this in detail in our pre-consultation, along with suggestions on hair and make-up. I have many, many fabrics in studio.
I encourage women to bring their partners/spouses and children to be part of the session. When I have a couple – I still enjoy using shadowy lighting to create a romantic mood.
I also love to incorporate siblings in the session. Got a toddler you want in your maternity session? No problem – Plenty of experience there.
But even with siblings and partners involved, I will still use a good portion of the session to focus on solos of the woman – and that belly. Because it really is all about the belly and all of those curves at this point and the woman that is bearing them.. and using light and shadow to capture them.
Interested in a learning more about modern fine art pregnancy portraits in the Bay Area? I recommend 32 to 36 weeks if you are pregnant with one baby – 4 to 6 weeks earlier if you are pregnant with multiples. All of our prints and products include retouching to remove the things you do not want to memorialize in your pregnancy ;)
We began our location photo session at a meadowy local Northern California park where I took advantage of the beautiful morning light, and a bulldog who loved to have his belly rubbed. Of course I always come prepared with arm chairs in my van to create sets in what may seem some unlikely places – but if the light is right, even a spot by the side of the road can look like a vast landscape when photographed at the right angles.
To add variety to the images we went to the next wooded location not even 5 minutes away with a completely different feel. This also gave the kids a mini-break and opportunity to switch up outfits. The girls swapped out jeans for bright tutu’s which really popped. The children soon discovered the dramatic redwoods as our photo excursion continued. This natural playground doubled as a storybook backdrop for fine art children’s photography, as they pulled out their horses and dump trucks to get down to some serious play time while the bulldog napped near by. When we found a bridge to play and dance on, the bulldog rejoined our session – just in time for the bubble machine! Though I must say he did not seem too impressed with the bubbles.
Throughout our North Marin portrait location session, I so enjoyed the process of making memorable images of each child’s unique expressions and interactions, while capturing a collection of fun Bay Area children’s photography that included the family bulldog. The resulting images became great material for one of our custom design coffee table books. Below is the album that was designed for their 2012 session in the woods….
On the day of the session we met in the Presidio area of San Francisco – always a favorite spot of mine to shoot as it offers such a variety of inspiring locations. Baker Beach was our first stop, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background on a glorious morning – we were off to a great start. I knew that the session needed to be a great location that lent itself to both, some romantic couple portraits but could also function as a playground to capture the boys in action. When taking pictures with children of any age I strive to make it an adventure, not an appointment.
After an outfit change we headed off to the nearby Place of Fine Arts in the San Francisco Marina District. With its classic architecture, this location is an awesome Bay Area backdrop to create modern family portraits. We explored the space getting individuals of the boys along the way. One of my favorite series shows the boys having fun in the foreground, unaware of mom and dad are kissing in the background until… “gross!”
We continued to stroll along the Palace of Fine Arts making unique images that captured their family interacting to provide some lifestyle portraits. After many giggles and kisses the photo journey came to an end.
The images were turned into a modern wall collage for their home as well as a fabulous custom design album which blends the more traditional portraits with lifestyle color and black & white images – two fine art products that they will cherish for many, many years to come.
Here is their Modern Wall Collage set in a room using our uber cool software that let’s us show you the proposed artwork on your walls :)
And here are layouts from their custom design fine art album….
No teen fits into just one box, outfit, location or background. And your senior photography experience should reflect this.
When photographing talented teens like Madison, I strive to combine my expertise in portrait photography with a fresh spin on edgy senior photos to capture the many sides of Madison. Madison booked one of my “Experience Sessions” – which gave her the option of splitting up her session into part in studio and part on location near the studio on different days. This is a great way to be able to do different hair and make-up in the session, as well as several outfits for each session.
Madison is an accomplished dancer, and chose to use her studio time to capture some action dance shots as well as some more glamorous fashion images in heels. The next time we got together – later that same week – we headed out to the urban areas near my Northern California studio. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have some great urban landscapes to choose from – from gritty East Bay graffiti, to bright city mosaic backgrounds, we worked the urban locations and had great fun doing it. Madison’s modern photography adventure came to a close at a natural location, featuring greenery and grasses. Having such a variety of outfits, make-up and locations gave her great images for her art style session book as well as to use in her custom design high school graduation announcement that truly showcased her unique styles.