There's just something beautiful and amazing about maternity photos. Not only is it a picture of the mother-to-be, but that growing "belly bump" holds a tiny growing person as well! I had the delight of shooting this Spring's first maternity session a few days ago, and thankfully the weather cooperated with a nice warm temperature for us to be outdoors. Since it was too early for flowers, we opted on a rustic setting: an old abandoned farmhouse with fields and hills in the distance. Working with the harsh morning light from a cloudless sky was a challenge, especially since I try to keep a soft, warm and romantic feel to my portraits. But with some editing, I ended up very pleased with the results! Here's one of the first shots I took:
I gave a soft blur to the edges to keep the viewer focused on the faces, and added a warm glow to the upper part of the image. The little boy wasn't happy about being photographed that morning, but I think his personality is cute!
Another challenge of shooting in bright light was the need to keep my subjects back-lit (facing away from the sun) or standing in shade. To properly expose on a subject in shade, the background ends up washed out and too bright. There are several ways to "fix" that in editing. First, I used the lighting to my advantage, by giving some of the images a vintage feel:
The other option is to add a sky overlay. In the example above, the sky was completely white from being overexposed. So before making it into black & white, I added a cloud overlay to add some interest.
The third option is to add a layer in Photoshop, lower your exposure until the background is properly exposed, then add a mask and brush that off your subjects to keep them bright, which is what I did here:
The next one was a fun one to edit! I used a wide-angle lens and added a sun flare to give it a bright, glowing feel:
When adding flares, make sure they're coming from the same direction as the light in the photo!
I hope this gives you some ideas for shooting in direct sunlight, and ways to edit your photos to bring out their best! I get new ideas for the next shoot each time I do a session, and I can't wait for the next one! :-)