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06-30-2012, 03:08 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Barefoot & Pregnant
Camera: Kr Photo Location: BC 

trying to delete


Last edited by tweet25; 05-15-2014 at 11:18 AM.
06-30-2012, 03:54 PM   #2
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Hopefully someone here can give you sound advice.

The post important aspect of this: does your client (and her friends & family) like the shots? I've seen plenty of people who, in my opinion, are mediocre photographers, but claim to make money from their photos.

IMO, your "Barefoot & Pregnant" theme is daring, I'm sure that if you posted these in a high-traffic site you and your client would receive plenty of criticism.

I'm not keen on the contrast level in the first shot, but I'll check back later when I'm on my PC with a good monitor.
06-30-2012, 07:04 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tweet25 Quote
I would one day like to make some money at this- so I can afford to buy bigger and better stuff - but I don't even know if I am close.
Renting bigger and better stuff can be a way to start. However, you can do some great work with relatively inexpensive flashes.

In order to help us understand your images and give you feedback, can you let us know what the goals of the images are? What are you trying to portray / what emotions do you want the viewer to have?

For something like this, my first instinct would be to portray the woman's feelings about her pregnancy, but that is a pretty traditional approach.
06-30-2012, 08:38 PM   #4
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Since you are looking for C&C, I'll fire away but please don't shoot the messenger.

I've looked through all the photos and I don't like most of them. I'll focus on composition rather than technical aspects. A woman this pregnant doing household chores is not a fashion model. In too many of your shots one of her arms looks like it is being posed, but that is so unnatural for a woman in this state. Also, a woman this pregnant won't want to stand waiting for the kettle to boil - she wants to be off her feet as much as possible. I'm also not sure why you had her doing lousy chores for most of the shots. There is no emotion from her or from what she is doing. Your second shot here isn't bad from a storyline point of view. A pregnant woman holding her bulge is a traditional shot, but this one works because of the emotion on her face and the spotless kitchen - which ties in nicely to the nesting instinct. Unfortunately the subject is out of focus, as the in focus region is the cabinets behind her.

There was one shot that I did like from your flickr set. It comes after the colour version of the first image above. She's mopping the floor in front of the oven (just to give the post), and the main thing is she is smiling. She also has a wisp of hair down the front of her face. A lot more realistic than the posed shots, plus it has some emotion. And a woman in her last month or so goes through a huge set of emotional swings, from the anxiety you have in the second image here, to the happy anticipation of the other image I mentioned. If you want to shoot her again those are the things I would focus on.

06-30-2012, 10:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tweet25 Quote
In the first part of this shoot I guess I wanted to portray her more for me. (thinking outside the box) I wanted my photos to be different from 'all the rest' , edgy, and humorous. Part way through shooting her, she was laughing and saying that is how she was feeling on the inside, and it was nice to let it go. (tired, warn out and warn down)
Okay, this is helpful. On the technical side, since you asked...again, it comes down to your goals with the images. What is funny about a pregnant woman? Can you photograph that? What is edgy about it? Can you photograph that? The more specific your ideas are, the more they are likely to lead to successful images.

Personally, naturalism isn't something I feel makes or breaks an image. Therefore, I don't mind poses or lighting that isn't realistic. Without understanding what you feel is funny about her, it is hard to say which direction you could have gone in. If you are making a comment about how unglamorous her life is, maybe you could try juxtaposing glamorous story elements with unglamorous ones. For example, if she were doing these same actions, but was lit with 1940's hollywood glamour lighting (Edward Hurrell), perhaps we would get the idea. To take it further, you could have hired a makeup artist to create that style of makeup or hair. To go even further, you could have added some sort of glamorous wardrobe, a fan for her hair, and backlit fog (from a spray fog can) to create a glamorous world to go with her unglamorous actions.

That is just one scenario. Another one would have been to light it like a horror film.

I feel that doing something just for the sake of being different, edgy, etc., is not the best approach for creating images that feel genuine. That is perfectly fine for a fine art type of image, however, paying clients are probably more interested in being portrayed in a way that is about them more than it is about the photographer's judgment or aesthetic. Obviously, there are exceptions to this.

Perhaps a good way to get started would be to get a small "strobist" flash kit. It will create possibilities that are otherwise nonexistent, and you can do it for relatively cheap (a few hundred dollars). There is just no substitute for lighting.

I don't do a lot of still portraiture, but do light motion pictures. I'm going to include links to a few projects, to give you some ideas. The first one was my master's thesis film for my program in cinematography. If you scroll through and check out a few scenes, you'll probably notice something about the lighting and color saturation. I felt that the female characters in this film are "walking on sunshine" in a way (that was my motto for lighting the film)...what I mean is that they are young and gorgeous, and the world is theirs to have. As this is in my opinion, one of the most important internal qualities of my protagonist, I wanted the look of the film to express this. Even the night scenes are much brighter and less contrasty than they would be in real life. The colors are all very saturated. This might bother some people because it doesn't look natural, but I do feel that it expresses the story, which is the most important thing.


This next one is something I've posted in another thread, as well. It expresses how I feel about guitars in general, and my guitar in particular:


And here is a reel of projects I've lit over the last couple years. In each of them, there are specific goals behind the imagery.

I hope all of this is, in some way, helpful. I would definitely like to hear more about the specific goals of humor and edginess with your barefoot and pregnant series.


06-30-2012, 10:03 PM   #6
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Sorry, here is that reel.

07-01-2012, 03:36 AM   #7
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You say "I didn't have much luck with flashes"

I'm what I call a 'natural light' photographer, unless I specifically need extra light for a reason ( for example on of my shots taken with a heavily snooted flash to control the light) or to catch light the shell on a snail, in a recent shot, I never add light to a scene.

I find you can get so much more texture out of a picture if you use the light thats available.
07-01-2012, 12:37 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Katier Quote
I find you can get so much more texture out of a picture if you use the light thats available.
Are you talking about on-camera flash? If so, I would agree. However, I think you can definitely bring out more texture by lighting from off-camera positions.

QuoteOriginally posted by tweet25 Quote
WOW ! thank you for the great advice. and for taking the time to post the videos for me to watch - they are wonderful, thank you again, you have given me alot to think about, and how important it is to follow through with the idea and to visualize it - all the details, not just the idea.
You're welcome! I'm glad you liked the projects. I've had the good fortune of working with some dedicated and talented people, and there is a lot you can do when you're part of a good team.

You are exactly right about details and visualization. The thing to always remember is that the viewer is not psychic....he or she cannot see you idea. All the viewer can see is what you put in the frame. So, when you want to express / communicate an idea, the way to do it is to put content, context, and clues in front of the camera. In other words, you're creating a world to photograph.

For this type of imagery, it is extremely helpful to have another person who can help you decorate the set, and another to do makeup, etc. In other words, it's good to have a crew.

07-01-2012, 02:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
Are you talking about on-camera flash? If so, I would agree. However, I think you can definitely bring out more texture by lighting from off-camera positions.
Off Camera was the thought, don't get me wrong, well lit additional light can be fantastic. Just a lot of people over-use light and kill the mood of a picture. You can use it to great effect as shown in my picture in This thread.
07-01-2012, 02:29 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Amazon.com: The Art of Pregnancy Photography (9781584282181): Jennifer George: Books

Good book on preg pix.

Get some shots of her milking the baby when it is out.

Keep blasting away!
07-01-2012, 05:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Katier Quote
Off Camera was the thought, don't get me wrong, well lit additional light can be fantastic. Just a lot of people over-use light and kill the mood of a picture. You can use it to great effect as shown in my picture in This thread.
I see what you mean. If lighting is not controlled / sculpted, it can certainly flatten an image.

Your self portrait is fantastic, by the way.
07-01-2012, 09:54 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tweet25 Quote
I wanted my photos to be different from 'all the rest' , edgy, and humorous. Part way through shooting her, she was laughing and saying that is how she was feeling on the inside, and it was nice to let it go. (tired, warn out and warn down)
Yes, in most of the photos she definitely looks tired & worn out. I thought the 2nd one you posted looked particularly appropriate for some sort of community service program for young mothers in need of help. Something you might see in an ad for a shelter or something. 'Where to go when you're alone & scared & don't know where to turn', kind of thing. She looks anxious & sad. I can't say that I saw anything humourous.
I agree that maybe the kids would add some fun to the photos.

QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
Get some shots of her milking the baby when it is out.
Really? You can get milk from babies??
07-02-2012, 12:27 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Here are a few comments.
Hope they don't sound harsh.

1. Background is too complicated (ie. kitchen). Focus is on mum to be and to me the kitchen distracts.
You can still do it in the kitchen, but de-emphasise the kitchen with some use of lighting (ambient vs key light; flags, snoot, grid, etc)
The flags, snoot or grid don't even need to be purchased. They can be DIY'ed. There are plenty of DIY info for them on the internet.
Shallow DOF works too.

Personally, I'd rather use a simple/plain bkgnd like a bed sheet/ throw/ curtain/ blank wall.


2. The mood is a bit sad to me.
I'd rather have mum holding the broom and looking sideways up into the light in sort of an optimistic pose. (think hero with flag pole or spear)

The kettle shots don't work for me. The left hand is hidden and the kettle serves little intent. Have her hold the kettle and have that holding hand visible at least. Though I still don't see the point of such a pose.

Something along the lines of mum holding up or hanging out baby clothes in a more high key look is probably a better idea. (ie. preparing for the optimistic arrival of baby)


3. Look at some maternity shots for reference and copy that pose/look. Also think through what worked in those shots.



My few cents

Last edited by pinholecam; 07-02-2012 at 07:31 AM.
07-02-2012, 02:39 AM   #14
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I like your flower with light picture from your Flickr set.
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