Personal work does not get much more personal than this: My wife, six weeks before giving birth to our son. This was something we had been talking about photographing for a while, but of course we had to wait for the time to be right, for the bump that was our child to be a good enough size to photograph. When my wife was seven and a half months we knew the time was now.
I set up at our home studio with the help of an assistant, opting for the stage backdrop (something I’m a big fan of but which doesn’t get used so much these days). We used two flash heads to light Sam: one, the key light, to camera right and above her, the other camera left and at eye level. My assistant held the reflector just to my right and in close to Sam to bring extra light onto her front.
We shot in quick bursts as, for obvious reasons, staying on her feet for too long was impossible, and put Sam through a variety of poses. Sam is great at bringing out the right facial expression for the camera, even if she’s in discomfort (two years ago I photographed her in the snow with barely anything to keep her warm, and she still kept smiling), and this day was no exception. As always, if I asked for something from her that was what I got.
We kept the session short and took plenty of breaks. Ideas flow if you just let them even if you don’t have much time, all you’ve got to do is have the camera ready to record them, and these were shots that we didn’t want to pass us by. I wasn't a social photographer back then, so capturing a pregnant woman was a new experience for me, but we got what we wanted: a keepsake of a time that, looking back, seemed to be over all too quickly.
And then, six weeks later...