My Bump and Natural Light

My brother got me this book for my birthday in June. It’s all about using natural lighting for portraits. It really inspired me to try out the techniques described, so I decided to try and get some nice pictures of myself as I hit month 8 in my pregnancy.

I found a place in my house where we get a lot of nice natural light, by the patio doors at the back of the house. I cleared all the clutter out of the way and hung a white sheet at right angles to the window for the backdrop, then set up my camera on a tripod opposite the sheet and set the self-timer.

First I took some full body shots:

I tried a couple of different poses, looking thoughtfully into the distance, and gazing down at my bump. I was pleased with how they came out. I took a few more than this, these are the ones I was most happy with.

Next I tried some closeups of just the bump:

I was really pleased with these. The last one is my favorite, and the first one is a close second.

What did I learn? I’ve always preferred using natural light, and most of my professional shoots in the past have been done outside. I think I’m off to a good start using natural light in a more traditional indoor studio setting too, and I’m looking forward to experimenting some more.

There are a couple of things I would do differently if I did this shoot over again. First, I would iron the sheet I used for a backdrop. It had LOTS of creases, and I ended up spending a lot of time in post-editing trying to hide them. Secondly, I would move the camera so that it was facing into the room more, as opposed to being at right-angles to the window. I think that would help eliminate some of the shadows on the right side of the frame, and just overall light the subject better.

In a couple of weeks I’m going to try and get some family pictures of us all before the baby arrives. I’ll be doing that out in the back yard in the shade of the trees. Here’s hoping big brother and sister cooperate!

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