Win a Winner!
Writers & Photographers
Berlitz Summer Camp
by Rachel Jeraffi
It seems like everywhere you turn, women are pregnant, and people are talking about something related to pregnancy. There is a new pregnancy movie coming out, half of Hollywood is expecting, and it’s the perfect time for celebrity photographer Rachel Jeraffi’s new e-book Pregnancy Portraits, A Do-It-Yourself Guide. This no brainer step-by-step guide for moms hoping to take your pictures at home.
“I realized one day that I can’t be everywhere,” says Jeraffi. “Seriously, I wanted to be able to reach as many women as possible because I truly believe that getting a pregnancy portrait is a great self-esteem booster and a wonderful way to adapt to your new body image. I thought of all the email I have received over the years from women in different states and countries, asking if I had a studio in their location. There was one specific email from a woman soldier, Kristy, that really went to my heart.”
Kristy wrote: “I am an active duty service member in the United States Army, and I am five and a half months pregnant. Being pregnant in the military is not really professionally accepted, so I try to blend in with the walls when anyone is around. When I opened up your web page today, I saw the first picture and I started to cry. You’ve captured everything I’ve been looking for – this unspoken acceptance of pregnancy. I only wish I were able to have such beautiful pictures of me.”
Wondering how she could reach women like Kristi, Jeraffi came to the realization that a book would be the best way. She recommends her new e-book for women on a tight budget, those who cannot find a photographer to work with, women with small children, women on bed rest, and those who want to document their body’s changes every single month. It is also a great way for an expecting mom to get her partner involved.
Her are some of Jeraffi’s important tips for a successful shoot:
1. Start with a dark backdrop. A dark backdrop is best, no matter what your skin color is. It gives the photograph a feeling of being detached’ from any specific location, and focuses only on you.
2. Turn OFF your flash. If you have a camera with a flash off option, turn it off. Available light is better than the harsh, flat and unflattering light of the on-camera flash.
Use window light as your main light source if possible. It is a beautiful soft light source. Make sure there is no direct sun coming in. If a window light is not available, you can also use regular house lamps and correct for the color distortion when printing the image. Use a white board on the opposite side of the window as a fill light.
4. Dress up nice. I like to use fabrics, something that is not the everyday wear. I tie it in a way that shows the belly only, and it also moves beautifully in the wind.
5. Make-up right. Get someone to help you for this part, especially for applying makeup on your belly, which is hard to reach. Jeraffi’s makeup artists, Joni and Marguerite say: “Best to apply less than more, and then add if needed. Many women apply too much makeup, and then it doesn’t look natural. The most challenging thing is to cover the stretch marks and line on the belly, and that can be done by using a concealer first, and then foundation. It’s best to get professional assistance in color matching for your skin when purchasing foundation. Apply by tapping gently with your fingers or a sponge.”
For face makeup, keep it very natural, and as little as possible.
6. Keep hair natural. You want to look like you!
7. Don’t think too much about posing. Jeraffi likes her clients to close their eyes. “There is something symbolic about closing your eyes, as if shutting out the world around you,” she says. “Then, you are able to focus inward on the growing life within, as if for a moment, nothing else matters except the world within.”
8. Enjoy the process. The process of taking the pictures should be just as rewarding as the portraits themselves, and it should be a fun experience. When you are relaxed and feeling great, you project it!
So how can you get in to that “mind-set?” Begin by eliminating distractions as much as possible. Turn off the TV, turn off the phone, put on some relaxing music and light some scented candles. If you have young children, make sure someone watches the kids until you are ready to get them involved in the portraits.
If you are planning to shoot with kids, Jeraffi suggests your best strategy is to make it fun. “Best thing about my book is that you can do it any time,” she says. “Set up, and then come back later if the kids are not in the mood.”
For more information on Rachel’s work visit: www.PregnancyPortraits.net
You can order the e-book at: http://pregnancyportraits.net/diyguide/?page_id=10