There was a one point in time where it seemed like I was doing a maternity shoot every other week. Back when I was in Des Moines full time, that is. And it really wasn't that often. It just seemed like it. That particular type of business eventually tapered off to where it was very infrequent. So much so that it had eventually I wasn't doing hardly any. Then I got a request from the one client who started it all.
Those that have been following my work for a while may remember when I did my very first maternity shoot. You may also recall that that shoot made it on the Top Captures for that year. I want to say 2011? It was thanks in part to fellow photog Adaeze being such a great model. It was just a matter of time before they would need some updated family photos. I made sure I could to accommodate them into one of my Des Moines trips as soon as she made the request.
I always like seeing the repeat families when there are children involved. It's just really cool to see how the kids have grown since the last time we shot. Or in this case, seeing the children period since they were in the belly during our last session. Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I have to pause when I think of how beautiful it is that a woman's body can produce life. Then actually seeing the before and after as living proof of how amazing it is. Just to clarify, I'm referring to the pregnancy and the child only. That whole childbirth process...if I never see one of those again in my entire life then I'm good.
When I did the Duncans first photo shoot, I used the +strobelit studio where everything was artificial light. I figured we would do something different this time so we used a natural light studio. I would have liked to do an outdoors session to switch it up even more; however, it was late fall in Iowa. The ironic thing was the day before it was an abnormally warm late fall day. That wasn't the case during the shoot though. And it was even more challenging since it was a gloomy overcast day which didn't allow for the great lighting coming through the windows. It may have been more difficult, but I was still able to make it work.
The one thing that I will never EVER forget about this shoot was what it took to entertain their youngest child Aasha. There was one certain song that would automatically get her in a jovial mood whenever it's played: "I'm So Sorry" by Yo Gabba Gabba. Now my kids are old enough that I was never privy to any Yo Gabba Gabba. I knew the name only and that's only because of clips making fun of it on "The Soup". I had never heard any of their songs. Didn't even know they had any. Well now that song is permanently ingrained in my head. I find myself randomly humming it at the most arbitrary moments.
This particular capture is the precise reason why I wanted to use the natural light studio. I had achieved a similar effect in the strobelit studio thanks to my favorite gridded light. It just wasn't the same though. You could clearly tell it was a studio. It didn't have the natural effect that a window could produce. You don't get the same soft contrast that the curtain provides.
The lighting for this type of effect doesn't even matter if you don't have someone that produces the perfect silhouette. Adaeze has that natural hair working, her great facial features which includes that big smile of hers and of course the whole pregnant belly. It was technically supposed to be a family/maternity shoot, but she once again stole the show. This shot alone was worth having to deal with having a Yo Gabba Gabba song in my head for the next several months. Possibly even years.