As a studio maternity and motherhood photographer, I am used to working in the same environment where I have complete control over my lighting. Although it is certainly convenient to shoot in the same space all the time, I love to challenge myself by going on location from time to time. Changing scenery and working with inconsistent lighting is a great way to stay creative and inspired as an artist.
Stepping out of my comfort zone as a motherhood photographer
One of the best things about being a portrait photographer is that there are always new challenges to keep things interesting. For me, one of the most exciting (and slightly scary) things about my job is shooting in unfamiliar locations. You never quite know what to expect when you’re working in a new space, which means you have to be prepared for anything. Whether it’s overcast, raining, or sunny, you have to be ready to adjust your workflow, camera settings and equipment on the fly. That can be tough, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.
Motherhood Photoshoot location and model
After a fantastic photoshoot with my client Tamara during her pregnancy, I was thrilled to return when her beautiful baby girl had just turned four months old for an incredible motherhood session. We decided to take the shoot down south at Isla Morada – nestled between Miami and Key West – where she owned a perfect beachside getaway that overlooked the bay; it seemed like nothing but peace reigned here, along with stunning sunsets!
On-location photoshoot setup 1 – backyard
Working on location can be both challenging and inspiring! There’s nothing like having to get creative in the moment. On my first setup, I lucked out with a picturesque backyard setting that had the perfect low sunshine peeking through tree branches – ideal for capturing an ethereal backlit motherhood portraits.
On-location photoshoot setup 2 – beach
With the bright morning sunlight beating down on us, we were determined to find a way to make our mommy-and-me photoshoot at the beach work. We knew that no matter how beautiful motherhood is, having it set against an equally stunning backdrop would be even better! So we scoured around for any type of shadow 10:30 gave us and got creative with what was available – palm trees casting highlighted patterns from their leaves. Within an hour or so though, as expected these shadows began disappearing due to light becoming harsher quickly but thankfully made some great shots before then despite all this sunshine!
On-location photoshoot setup 3 – tropical backdrop
Tamara rocked a glamorous Christian Dior lace dress with colorful appliqués that took her motherhood portrait to the next level! I used my strobe light to add just the right amount of highlights, giving it an editorial-inspired finish.
I always feel like I’ve learned something new after a shoot in an unfamiliar location. Even if everything goes according to plan, working in new surroundings forces me to think differently about how I approach photography. And that’s a good thing! If I ever start feeling like my work is becoming too formulaic, all I need to do is find a new place to shoot. Stepping out of my comfort zone keeps me inspired and helps me produce fresher, more innovative work.
If you’re a maternity and motherhood photographer who typically shoots in the same space all the time, I encourage you to try something new and venture out into unfamiliar territory once in awhile. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. Working in new environments will help you think outside the box and produce your best work yet. Trust me – you won’t regret it!
Want to learn how these images were created and see the entire process?
Check out the new episode on the Collective! It features an incredible on-location photoshoot, where I used nature’s beauty and lighting to create stunning motherhood portraits. From ethereal backlit shots to fashion-forward editorial looks – we made some truly unforgettable memories!