heatherneilson
heatherneilson

Radiant



Views

1345

Likes

Awards

Contest Finalist in Pregnancy Photo Contest
Featured
Staff Favorite
Peer Award
RDDIIPhotography djalmaarmelin Evgeniylord calummcdonald Natedoggnms immaginEmozioni _9847_2532 +72
Superb Composition
gabriellebrough Dhill DeeD1861 DKarras JDavid ahmedwasi AliZackerGalePhotography +27
Outstanding Creativity
DebsView pixelmac rebeccawilliams_7845 missfreedom1984 spencerdcosta keithhilderbrand Amb2019 +16
Absolute Masterpiece
melissadaughtry RavenWolf724 CURUTCHET CarlyAgo barbaramarks johnsheppard shaikot +16
Top Choice
KevinKuchler Squiggleman akhtarkhan JeffreyDeCristofaro rudi0911 winnerslens31 oldelphi +10
All Star
IvoryRosePhotography shannon_alicki_creative deano_thfc ankitachakra thebluesbuster Rbrtntdmn
Superior Skill
Shawn_Hunter fionadj
Magnificent Capture
NoDem chris_smith

Emotions

Happy
JonathanDurandPhoto

Top ClassTM

Visualize Beginnings Photo ContestTop 20 class
Visualize Beginnings Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Pregnancy Photo ContestTop 10 class
Pregnancy Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Swag ProjectTop 20 class
The Swag ProjectTop 20 class week 1
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 30 class
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 30 class week 2
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Elegant Photo ContestTop 20 class
Elegant Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Elegant Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Magic Of Editing Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Social Exposure Photo Contest Vol 7Top 20 class
Social Exposure Photo Contest Vol 7Top 20 class week 1
Covers Photo Contest Vol 35Top 30 class
Covers Photo Contest Vol 35Top 20 class week 1
Composing with Colors Photo ContestTop 10 class
Composing with Colors Photo ContestTop 20 class week 3
Composing with Colors Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Composing with Colors Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Layers and Rule Of Thirds Photo ContestTop 30 class
Layers and Rule Of Thirds Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 3Top 30 class
Amazing Sceneries Photo ContestTop 20 class
Amazing Sceneries Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
3 Comments | Report
StevenWalker7270 PRO+
 
StevenWalker7270 October 27, 2015
What a great photo, how precious life is. Good job.
deano_thfc
 
deano_thfc June 20, 2016
Is there anything more beautiful than an expectant mother so happy and content! Great creativity and composition Heather :))
IvoryRosePhotography
 
IvoryRosePhotography April 20, 2017
Stunning image! I started a outdoor maternity challenge that I would love to see you submit your work to!

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken in Ojai, California. I am a British portrait photographer, but I'm hugely inspired by the quality of the gorgeous golden Californian light and scenery which inspired this shot. The drawback of this location is that even in October temperatures are around 100 degrees!
Time
This location was chosen not only because of the epic scenery, but because the light is perfect around 20 minutes before sunset as the sun just dips behind the mountain range, bathing everything in lovely soft light. This shot was taken at 5.40pm on 12 October 2015.
Lighting
Usually my images are heavily backlit, but a cloud was directly blocking the sun at the moment this shot was taken. At the time I was disappointed, but looking at the image after the session I could see that the cloudy conditions really allowed the vibrant colours of the dress and tones of the model's hair to pop, which is something I enhanced even further in post.
Equipment
This was shot on a Nikon D750, with a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens at 70mm. I usually shoot on a 70-200mm because I love the compression of that lens, but I wanted to capture the dramatic scenery behind my subject and the full extent of the beautiful flowing gown, so I chose a wider lens. That said, I still ended up shooting at 70mm! I kept the shutter speed relatively slow at 1/160 so that a sense of movement was captured in the billowing dress. As always, I only used natural light.
Inspiration
I was searching for a beautiful mama-to-be to model a custom-made maternity dress from Sew Trendy Accessories, which I just love for their iconic “wind-blown” gowns. I adore the drama of the dress set against the dramatic scenery. Everyone wants to know how the dress looks like it's blowing in the wind when her hair is not moving... the secret is having a fast-moving assistant to "flouff" (*technical term) the dress up before running out of the frame!
Editing
I spend quite a bit of time editing my images; usually because they are heavily backlit, but in this instance my main challenge was to make the subject pop as much as possible and hold her own against the beautiful background. I pumped up the contrast of the dress and altered the hue from a jade green to a deep turquoise. Whilst the original green color was lovely in its own right, I loved the contrast of a more blue-toned dress against the warm yellow/red tones of the scenery. I also tidied up the foreground to remove some stray grasses and rocks which were distracting and warmed the image. I use Photoshop for my editing with the Imagenomic plug-in for skin retouching.
In my camera bag
I often shoot my portrait sessions with nothing more than my D750 and 70-200mm f/2.8mm lens. It frees me up to run around after children without a heavy bag on my back, and I love the compression and separation from the background I can achieve with this lens. Whilst I love prime lenses they are fairly hopeless for photographing under-5's on the move! My signature look is heavily backlit images where I shoot directly into the sun and the D750 has no trouble focusing in those conditions, unlike other camera bodies I have worked with. I also have a 50mm and 24-70mm in my bag and various reflectors, but these are frequently left in the car!
Feedback
It’s really 90% about the planning; I recommend investing in a custom-made maternity dress in a colour which works with both your model’s skin tones and the location. Get hair and make up done professionally, and have your model wear a well-fitting bra! I spend a lot of time scouting locations to find the perfect spot and to test various angles before the shoot. There is no time to mess around when there is a heavily pregnant mama on her feet! Otherwise it's really important to make sure your subject is as relaxed and comfortable as possible during a shoot - this allowed me to capture a serene and peaceful expression on the subject's face which is what I love most of all about this image. Oh - and make sure you know exactly how to pose your subject to show off her beautiful bump and protect her modesty at the same time!

See more amazing photos, Follow heatherneilson