A few from the maternity shoot (pic heavy) - new sunburst post 8

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coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185
A few from the maternity shoot (pic heavy) - new sunburst post 8

Thanks for all of the help on my PP question thread. I know some of these have color casts from clothing, but I'm waiting to see which ones she likes before I spent a lot more time in editing. Some have only been adjusted in ACR, and I'll note that above those pictures. I had a really hard time narrowing down which ones to show her. Here's a link to the guest pass on the set - if you're a Flickr friend you can already see them. I have notes to Emily (the mom) in the description of a lot of them.

First - I learned a LOT with this set. I should have written down the ideas in my head. I lost some of them due to nerves. It took me a bit to get settled in to a groove. And there were gnats everywhere - I got one in my eye in the first 5 minutes, it was awful. The little girl got one in her eye, the DH got one in his eye and his throat. I actually got one in my throat near the end. These bugs were not there when I scoped out the park in advance. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I did not pay enough attention to the environment. There are things sticking out of her head at one point. There were too many trees for the sunburst shot (I think that's what annoys me the most about my failures). I had a great idea for a family shot on a wall, and the sun was in the worst place for it - I blew part of each of their faces because of how the sun hit them. Anyhow, great learning experience for me, that's for sure!

I've spent too much time in editing. I need to get better about picking a smaller number to edit. I went through about 50 images, and narrowed that to 37. I gave her 30 to review, but some are different crops or edits of a photo already in that set (so it's probably about 25 different images total). (she just emailed me as I was typing and she loves almost all of them - see, I gave her too many!)

I sent a couple to the mom as I went along. She was not happy about her face in one of my favorites. I know we're our own worst critics, and she even said that in the email. It's hard when you're pregnant and almost to the point of delivering. If I had to do it over, I would have done these at 34-35 weeks instead of 37-38 weeks.

okay, without further ado, here's a handful from the set. CC welcomed (but don't tell me about the limb chops, I'm already beating myself up about it)

these are in no particular order.

1. the tress kill me here.

Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/640)
Aperture: f/13.0
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 200

emily sunburst

2. I have several of these but took them landscape so she's chopped below the knee. looks better that we can see her feet I think. (check the set to see the others)

Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 200

IMG_7700 copy

3. only edited in ACR

Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 200


4. I chopped her head off on purpose when I was taking this ... does it seem okay that way? this one was only edited in ACR

Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/500)
Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 200


5. only edited in ACR

Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/640)
Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 200


6. I just love this one - the little girl was pretty upset most of the time, as she fell and hurt herself early on. but here her dad is standing behind me cracking her up. isn't she adorable?

Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 200

IMG_7764 copy

7. I love this one, but the mom isn't a fan of herself here. I have one that's more flattering of her that I might swap heads with. However, neither are on her list of ones she likes so I probably won't spend the time on it.

Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 200

IMG_7860 eyes

8. I need to fix the husband's skin on this - he looks gray to me. Does he look gray to you?

Exposure: 0.013 sec (1/80)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 400

IMG_7883 half copy 2

Thanks for looking!

sadieruth's picture
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6178

:eek: These are awesome Gwen! I love them!

1) there may have been too many trees, but I say you did the best that you could b/c it's an amazing shot! What did mom think of it?!?
2) commented on this one earlier, but I think it's my fave. She just looks so laid back and it's a flattering pose imo.
3) is there a tilt? Maybe it's just me. This one is good too. Love that gate!
4) I think it looks fine. Honestly I would have liked more pics of myself with my head off when I was pregnant! Biggrin I really like this one!
5) I like #4 better, but this one is good too!
6) fav one of mom & daugther. They both look so happy here. You did a good job capturing the moment!
7) Cute shot too. I think she looks fine, but maybe you can try to fix it to make her feel better.
8 ) I don't know about him being gray, but his hand is in an odd position for me. I feel like it's too low. Maybe it's just me though.
Gwen- you did an AMAZING job! These are awesome and I am sure mom is beyond thrilled! TFS!

mlark1128's picture
Joined: 05/09/07
Posts: 742

Sounds like you really learned a lot! That's why these experiences can be so wonderful--you'll have more confidence next time b/c of what you learned here. It's awesome that you had this opportunity, and you did a really nice job. Here's my CC, I'm gonna be tough. Wink

#1. The flare is beautiful, really, and I love how its positioned just right at her belly. I feel very disconnected here though, I think it's the way she is standing--very stiff. If she had titled her head back, or we could see her involved somehow in this shot, it would work better. That bothers me way more than the trees.

#2. She looks nice here, it's really cool though. The skin tones are really inconsistent with the others. I think I would have shot a little more to the left hand side for more a profile of her belly, rather than more straight on (I know you aren't straight on, I don't know how else to explain it).

#3. Tilted, so that needs to be straightened. Again, straight on, which isn't as flattering to her. I think a pulled back landscape that incorporated more of the cool gate would have been nice.

#4. Really like this one! Skin tones are too cool again. Head chops are fine with these shots!

#5. I like 4 better--the lighting is harsh on her face here.

#6. Really like this one too!!! Check your values on the little girl, as her skin is super bright. I think I'm also seeing some red/magenta?

#7. I can see Mom's point, her smile looks a bit more forced here. Also she and her daughter maybe could have been closer in this shot, as the little one looks a little disconnected (she is a DEAR though!!!)

#8. Yeah, dad is really washed out--too much cyan, not enough red. But do you see how nice Mom looks with a side profile? It is so much more flattering to her. She looks really nice!! I really think this pic will be great once you fix his skin.

Really nice Gwen, you have come such a long way!!! And to work with people you don't know is really hard at first. Great job!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I think these are awesome for a first maternity shoot! I'd be really happy with them. I'm sure you'll remember more things next time like angling her (and her belly) differently. I'm working on editing my first "PB" session right now, and it's funny how many things you learn while editing. ("Oh, should have positioned this that way or moved slightly this way.." but that's how we learn, right?) Other than a few cool skintones that I noticed, too, I don't really have any other CC.

Joined: 05/10/07
Posts: 427

Gwen i think you've done a great job and i'm sure mom will be happy with all of them
1. think you've got a beautiful sunflare here.. I'm still practicing sunflares, so i'm envying this one Smile
2. i can't see the other ones on flickr right now, but i like the compostion of this one
-i prefer seeing the LOVE in 4 vs 5
6. little girl's expression is priceless Smile

again, fab job! You should be pleased Smile

Joined: 05/02/07
Posts: 214

I can't give a lot of CC but I just wanted to say that you did a great job! I'm sure mom will be very happy with the pictures. You captured some great moments. Great job for your first maternity shoot! Smile

Joined: 03/15/09
Posts: 576

I know I am super late on this one (busy week), but Gwen, these are GREAT! I think you did a wonderful job. Here's my cc:

1. I LOVE the sunflare, I think you did a good job. And I really don't mind the trees. I would have liked to see her with her hands on her back or her head tilted back a bit..she looks too "posed" and a little stiff to me. I like how her feet are positioned.

2. She looks really natural here. Nice smile and relaxed. It does look a little cool to me, I'd warm it up and maybe add a little more pop to the colors.

3. This one looks tilted to me. Love how you have eye contact with both her and her dd. Not a huge fan of the straight on shot of the mom though. Can't think of a better way to do a "profile" type shot with a toddler in the shot though.

4. Really like this one!

5. I like that this one is more of a profile of her body, but in my opinion there is too much space at the top of the photo.

6. Great capture. Love both of their expressions and the edit is nice!

7. Agree with mom, not a flattering shot of her. The little girl is such a cutie though!

8. Yes, too grey. And I wish dad's hand was horizontal facing. (does that make sense?) Mom looks great here!

Great job overall. Was she happy with them? What was her favorite?

I noticed that you said you edited with ACR. Is that free to download? I thought to use ACR you needed photoshop, not just elements? Or is it completely separate from both programs? I may have to look into that!

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

thanks girls! I'm about to use your CC to make some changes.

Here's another version of the sunburst, it's the only one where she's looking down and I still see her profile (I have another, but she's turned slightly so you can't see her nose. it doesn't seem right to me that way). I don't have any with her head back, and almost all of the others she's looking ahead like in the one I already posted.


LindieLu's picture
Joined: 08/11/05
Posts: 1384

I can't really offer any "professional" cc, but I just wanted to say that you did an excellent job with these!! That little girl is so darn adorable! The only thing I might add is the positioning of the dad's hand in the last photo.... his hand look sort of awkward to me where they are placed on her belly...

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

Forgot to answer this. Wink

"IronMate" wrote:

Great job overall. Was she happy with them? What was her favorite?

I noticed that you said you edited with ACR. Is that free to download? I thought to use ACR you needed photoshop, not just elements? Or is it completely separate from both programs? I may have to look into that!

She was very happy with these - and her mom loves them too.

Photoshop Elements comes with ACR. When you open any RAW file, it goes to ACR. In fact, you can open a jpg in ACR too. In the Editor, go to "open as" and then in the drop down menu you can select "camera raw" as an option. It will open the image in ACR for you. Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

okay, I was really,really frustrated the other day when I was all nice and detailed and then my stupid computer froze on me. I seriously need to get some of the pics off my hard drive!


1. The sunburst is beautiful. I love it. The only problem is that when doing the sil shots, the background can become a very big distraction very quickly. You have to have enough there to show depth, but it has to be low enough to see the subject. In this case, her belly is in the trees which makes it hard to see and it doesn't place the importance on it that you were going for. The chin doesn't bother me as much b/c I have recently found the wonders of the liquify tool. Wink So that could be adjusted to give more definition.

2. Lovin' the pose. It looks breezy and casual. Natural. She looks cool here though and a little soft. Maybe a low opacity warmth filter would be a quick fix? Oh, there looks to be a little magenta patch by her left cheek.

3. The angle is unflattering for me. I struggle here cause I'm "vertically challenged", but getting to her eye level or higher would have made the chin more slim looking. Incorporating the gate or the landscape would have been nice as well. Her skin is warmer here, but again I see some magenta in the shadows.

4. This one is one of my favorites. I would warm it up a tad as well. Also, I like the crop, but might dig it also if you cropped in more on her side and bottom. I dunno why, but I can kind of picture that looking nice. Wink

5. I like the close up better than the pull back here. The light is so nice on her belly and body, but more harsh on the face. If you could lighten that up w/o the body, it may look more even. re-cropping to take advantage of the rule of thirds will make it a stronger image as well.

6. LOVE it. The little girl almost looks blown here. I would checjk the values and see if you could recover more of her. Now this next cc has nothing to do with you, but rather the mom...her skin is killing me. And I have NO room to talk right now, but I think some skin smoothing would take focus away from her pores and back where it belongs, on the moment. I know, that sounded way snotty of me, huh?:oops:

7. I didn't think that 7 was unflattering. She looks pretty.:) Actually, the lighting onher face is quite nice here. She looks a little orange to me though. Like her makeup. Her skin doesn't look over done, just make-upy if that makes sense. lol

8. I think that a color bal. layer and a sat layer to fix dad from looking so pale will make this pic rock. She looks slim, happy and natural. So does he. Yeah, take out some of the cyan and you should be good to go. Wink

The sec. sun burst is beautiful. I like that one much better than the first.

Great work Gwen. I am so happy that you went and asked to take the pics for them. I knew you were nervous. I am sure they were/are very happy with them girl. Give yourself a pat on the back!!