This spring I was fortunate enough to photograph Dani, Sal, and Bean. You’re probably looking at the photograph above thinking, “There are only two people in that picture, but you named three. Are you seeing things?”. Bean is the nickname they have for their beautiful baby-to-be (her actual name will have less to do with food, scout’s honor). Dani wanted some tasteful photos of herself while she was still pregnant, so we packed up the car and headed over to Gardiner County Park, located in West Bay Shore on Long Island. I highly recommend making a trip over there. The scenery is great (wooded areas, marshes, and beach access), and it’s both dog and kid friendly! Anyway, back to the shoot.
We went out in late March. Any earlier and the weather would have been too cold (I don’t want to endanger anyone’s life), and any later mommy-to-be would have looked less than pleased in the pictures after tramping through the woods (she’s due late April/early May). On top of that, the baby shower was the weekend after, and I wanted to be able to give her a photograph to show off at the shindig! The downside to photographing in late March? Zero greenery. There weren’t even buds on the trees yet, let alone flowers or grass poking out of the ground. What’s a photographer to do?
What started out as a less than interesting terrain turned into an absolutely stunning background. With all the grays and browns that painted the landscape, my subjects POPPED. It looked as if the entire world was painted in a soft sepia while mommy and daddy were kept in color. I LOVED it, and so did Dani and Sal!
I had never been to Gardiner County Park before. When your first trip someplace is for a photo shoot, it can be a bit intimidating. It made me feel like I didn’t know what I was looking for, and if I had been photographing someone who I didn’t know (Dani and Sal are practically family at this point) I may have felt like I was wasting their time wandering around. As the day was unseasonably warm, everyone and their, well, dog and/or kid was there. We got a lot of looks, especially when I was pulling out the reflector (more on that in a second). It’s easy to get overwhelmed and anxious in a new place. It took a little time, but eventually, I got over it. I took a deep breath and remembered that I wanted to get the best photographs possible, and if that meant walking around for a little bit before I found the place I liked, so be it.
The other thing I brought with me was my brand new Impact 42″ 5-in-1 collapsible circular reflector (just an FYI, I got it on sale at B&H, there’s no way I can afford the price listed here). I’ll be doing an entire post about it, but I did want to highlight that I did use it for the first time and it really made a difference in my product. When I showed my boyfriend the photos where the reflector was used, he said, “These look professionally lit.” When I photographed Dani alone, I asked Sal to help by holding the reflector which he was more than happy to do. There are stands you can buy that will hold the circular reflector, but on a windy spring day in the woods I’d rather give that responsibility to a person than a stand that could fall over with the first light breeze.
Overall, the day was FANTASTIC! I couldn’t have asked for better. Thanks again to Dani and Sal for being wonderful! And enjoy the pictures!