Backlit photography with studio lighting is something very different for me. I was super excited when this gorgeous Boston momma-to-be wanted a unique & special look for her maternity photos. I’m not going to lie.. trying to figure out how to get this look really excited and challenged me creatively. I had to experiment and try different lighting techniques I’m not accustomed to. But.. I practiced and practiced until I finally figured it out.. I even had my son model for me using a basketball as “a belly bump”! lol Go to the bottom of the page for tips on how to backlight maternity photos with studio lights.
I have photographed this momma-to-be before .. it’s she stunning?!?! I know her style is classic & timeless which she rocks with her Marilyn Monroe-esque aura. I ended up loving these photos and the experience so much that I can’t wait to try it again! These images are classy and angelic, just look at her glow. <3 I’m really looking forward to capturing her family & newborn photos!
> You’re going to need two light sources. One behind the subject and one to light the subject.
> First source of light: a PLM umbrella with an einstein light (make sure to use it at it’s lowest setting) behind her. On the umbrella, I clipped on a sheer fabric from the fabric store.
> Second source of light: I used an off-camera-flash at a 45 degree angle to light her.
Straight out of camera photo. Settings: Canon 24-70mm at f/2.8 1/125 sec iso 320.
No studio lights? No problem… you can get a similar look using natural light, for example, using a sheer curtain in front of a large window and a natural light/a reflector to light the subject.
> Be patient. It’s tough to nail the focus with backlit photos so make sure to take your time. I shot a few photos of each pose to make the photos were crisp and sharp.
> I also noticed that lenses matter. I had a tough time focusing on the Canon 50mm f1.2 and the 35 f1.4.. I ended up shooting with the Canon 24-70mm.
> Also, make sure to TAKE OFF any lens filters or else you’ll end up getting a distracting halo.
>In manual mode, I overexposed the image by one stop.. but it would be helpful to turn your highlight alert on so you make sure not to overdo it and blow out her skin.
> Practice, practice, practice. Don’t be afraid to practice until you get it just right.. especially with your lighting and exposure.
> Editing is a breeze.. especially with such a flawless model! Just use the eyedropper tool in photoshop to get the perfect shade of white and fill in the rest of the image. Just see this before and after.
>Do you have any tips? Add to the comments below. I’d love to try and share them in a future post!
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I am a baby and newborn photographer in the Boston area. I am happy to provide boutique photography services to the South End, Back Bay, Fenway, Brookline, Cambridge, South Boston, Belmont, Arlington, Lexington, Needham, Beacon Hill, Newton, and beyond! All sessions take place in the comfort of your own home or favorite location. This session took place in East Boston. Interested in a newborn baby session? Contact me now.
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