Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a wonderful start 💛
For Today's truthy, I want to look back. In an effort to maintain transparency, I love sharing old photos from early in my photography career to drive home the point that one does not become awesome overnight, it takes time!
Back in 2013, I shared the story of how I got started (originally appearing here), which was supposed to be a multi-part series, but apparently I got busy and never finished it lol. Maybe I'll add that to my list of things to do (an updated series :)
A couple years later in 2015, I created a short guide of sorts on how to prepare for your photo session (originally appearing here) that included quite a few progress photos relating to location, wardrobe, makeup, and session planning. I actually still share this with my clients so that they have an idea of the elements that make up a successful shoot!
Today? I'm going to share what the (session specific) progress looked like in real time, so let's get started with maternity sessions!
Though I had been shooting on and off for a couple years, 2009 is my starting point because this is when DFinney Photography officially was born :) I didn't provide any direction or suggestions (wardrobe, makeup, location, etc) to my subjects, nor were my photography skills where they needed to be (posing, focus, sharpness, etc).
In 2010, I took wayy more maternity photos, but each was very different because at this point, I was letting my clients dictate my style. Bare bellies were very much "in", so I bought fabric and had it on-hand in case maternity clients requested it. I wasn't a fan of this style of maternity photos, but I also didn't yet realize that by sharing images that I wasn't a fan of (just because I shot them), I was inadvertently advertising for more of that work.
I became disillusioned with maternity sessions. In 2011, I was no longer interested in photographing bare belly sessions, but it seemed that it was all potential clients requested. I photographed a few sessions, but did not publicize much of the imagery.
I didn't photograph any maternity sessions in 2012 or 2013.
In 2014, I decided to approach maternity sessions once more, but with a fresh outlook. By now I'd began providing my clients with more direction prior to the session (including seeing their wardrobe beforehand) so that we were crafting more cohesive portraits.
Because I was out of practice with them, 2015 was more of a mental shift for me- to approach maternity sessions as no different from my others. Meaning, not being so "stuck" to traditional posing and composition.
I carried the goal of the previous year into my 2016 maternity sessions, and stepped it up a notch. Bold colors, backgrounds, and focusing more on capturing meaningful interactions defined the maternity sessions from this year.
Having shot more maternity sessions in the new style I felt confident with, in 2017, I was inspired to get creative! Color harmony is a staple of my work now, so crafting visually appealing portraits that are cohesive all the way through is a goal of mine for every session.
So... this post ran longer than I intended it to, but I hope you made it to the end and enjoyed seeing the shift over the past 8 years :)
Interested in seeing more progression photos? Check out this post where I go into detail on the different factors that impacted my work from year to year.
If you've found yourself at a "stuck" point, and would like to improve your natural light shooting, I'd be more than happy to help! Check out my mentoring programs (upcoming sessions are now being booked for Atlanta, DC, Houston, and Chicago). Just shoot me an email if you'd like to attend!