Updated: Apr 27, 2019
Nature has been a big part of Kat and Ryan's life since day one. So much so that they did a 165 mile hike on the Tahoe Rim Trail when Matilda was a baby.
Knowing this, we were all extra motivated to make this maternity shoot happen despite a little bit of rain on our session day.
A bonus of shooting in overcast light and in the woods is that many locations give you moody backgrounds which let your subject stand out. I love how Katy's dress stands out in this picture against the heavily shadowed background.
We walked around the park together looking for the right combination of light and scenery, which was a fun puzzle to solve since the lighting was flat. The first location I really loved had an interesting backdrop and a nice soft lighting.
I got to sneak away with Kat for a few solo shots. I loved this location on top of the hill.
The sun hid behind the clouds for most of the shoot, so my challenge was finding ways that nature would shine more light on Kat. In open areas this might mean looking for water, light pavement, or light foliage. When the sunlight did make an appearance we were on a trail and backlit. It serendipitously created a nice highlight effect. Ryan even held the reflector for me when he wasn't in the shoot!
Towards the end of our shoot, Matilda took some time to warm up and snack in the car while Kat and I searched for that magical spot for a few final photos.
I was interested in the back of the redwood grove because the opening was next to a large hill which I hoped would reflect some nice light since direct light was overhead.. We found the perfect spot!
I loved how the redwood trees framed Kat. I also feel like this image is symbolic for Mother Nature's role in pregnancy, a process that is natural and very much in control of itself, instinctual, primitive. I love that these branches seem to be symbolizing guidance and strength for this beautiful mama who is so in touch with nature.
Kat and Ryan even got a few minutes together while Matilda was preoccupied with picking up a rock twice her size.
On the way back to our cars we circled by a little cabin to see if it could offer protection from the rain for another shot or two. We decided to continue on, but on our way this natural frame unfolded. While we were trying for a more guided shot, I caught Kat and Ryan sharing a moment with a silly little belly bump. A perfect way to end the morning.