Maternity Portraits of Jacquelyn and Shaughn

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

On 2009-09-30 I shot some studio portraits for my friend Anita Cohen at Daytona State College, of her pregnant daughter Jacquelyn and her daughter’s husband Shaughn. Even though I’ve been a photographer since I was 13 (5 years), this was my first time working formally. Thanks to Prof. Joe Vance for letting me use the photography studio at Daytona State College even though I’m not in the photography program (I’m a computer science student).

Jacquelyn is due to have Shaughn Brady Jr. at the beginning of Nov. 2009. Sadly, Shaughn has to return to Iraq for his second tour in Apr. 2010, so he’ll miss his son’s growth from the age of five months to over a year. Here, he is wearing his camouflaged U.S. Army uniform. He’s a driver rather than front-line infantry. I hope he stays safe and doesn’t have to kill anyone.

We had a white background. Anita helped me figure out how to set up the hot lights and deflectors. I used one incandescent light (warm a.k.a. yellowish) on the left and one fluorescent light (cool a.k.a. bluish) on the right, which worked well. While some maternity photographers exaggerate the size of the woman’s belly or emphasize deep, brooding poses, I did not do that here. I prefer realistic, upbeat portraits showing love and joy.

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

Shaughn kissing his wife’s belly. I wasn’t sure about Jacquelyn’s facial expression, but I think Shaughn’s outfit balances the discipline of the army with the love he has for his wife and first son.

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

The only portrait of Jacquelyn and Shaughn I used the flash on. This is a conventional rather than artistic portrait, but portraiture is about the people in the portraits, and not necessarily innovation of the medium.

Shaughn is covering a red birthmark above Jacquelyn’s belly button. On the first portrait I edited it out, but on the second it was easier to leave it. I like to remove most blemishes to make people look how they’re supposed to look. My goal is to discreetly present an idealized version of reality. I don’t want laymen to say “this is Photoshopped!” Photographers will always say it, but non-photographers should not notice. However, depending on the angle and lighting in can be hard to clone out blemishes, so I have to balance art vs. time. I don’t air-brush; I either remove blemishes well or I don’t remove them at all. In my portfolio I have done difficult edits requiring hours of work (i.e. removing twigs, power lines, and houses), but elsewhere I re-shoot or leave it.

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

Our couple standing together, with Jacquelyn showing her tattoo saying “Shaughn” in cursive with a Hibiscus flower. The tattoo is for her husband and her son. I like it.

Jacquelyn

Anita (Jacquelyn’s Mom) calls this the “Marilyn Monroe” shot, in the style of an actress from the 1940s and ’50s famous for poses like this. For all the portraits, Anita wrapped the green sheet around Jacquelyn. Underneath Jacquelyn had a blue bathing suit on. Unfortunately that came through here (on her hip), but we didn’t notice it at the time. It’s not a big deal.

I shot all these portraits using my Canon Rebel XTi with my EF 50mm F1.4 prime lens in RAW mode. I edited in Adobe Camera RAW 5.0 (vignetting and color) and Adobe Photoshop CS4 (spot-editing), which is industry standard. I brightened the photos and made the colors warmer by shifting to a white balance with a higher Kelvin temperature, because I used automatic white balance in camera which was too blue.

Incidentally, a Daytona State College photography student asked to shoot Shaughn while he was in the lobby, but Anita shouted out “he’s already taken!” :grin:

Big thanks to Anita for making a $100 donation to my photography fund. I opened a checking account recently and deposited it there. I will use it for whatever photography or non-photography purchases I need to make in the next months, or bills.

I give well wishes and lots of love to Anita, Jacquelyn, and Shaughn, and I want the United States to leave Iraq, Afghanistan, and every other country we occupy, as soon as possible, never to return. :smile:

Photo: Welcome to the Future

Welcome to the Future

This is a photo I took over three years ago of a bunch of electronics. I put this photo on deviantART in 2006 June.

I remember this being very hard to set up. I had a junky point-and-shoot with no ISO control, so I was stuck with about a 1/15 shutter speed. In one hand I held a spotlight while in the other I held the camera. It was hard to get a clear shot, and getting everything in frame took about two hours of moving things around.

The title is a joke. Most of the stuff in this photo is old, failed technology, that obviously won’t be in our future. Included: an AOL 3.0 CD, an SDRAM stick and an even older type of RAM, a PS/2 mouse with a bunch of old adapters, Nintendo e-Reader cards circa 2003, a VHS tape, 8mm Panasonic camcorder tapes, an onion, a fork, a Mattel JuiceBox, an HP LightScribe blank CD, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles folder, a Nintendo Zapper lightgun from the 1980s NES game Duck Hunt, a floppy disk, chopsticks, a calculator, a drawing I made of a water cup, a large audio jack, a shrimp flavor packet from ramen noodles, an old TracFone, red thumbtacks, an old sound card, a dial-up modem (PCI), a Dinacell battery (Duracell knockoff), lip balm, and a Kodachrome slide from the 1950s.

Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/12, F2.8, 6mm, ISO100, 2006-06-14T21:39:02-04, 2006-06-15_01h39m02

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Please credit me as “Photo by Richard Thripp” or something similar.

Photo: The Brighter Bulb

The Brighter Bulb

Light bulbs at the makeup room back stage of Daytona State College’s theater. I snuck in after hours and saw one light bulb was much brighter than the others. Instant photo opportunity! I’ve published similar photos before (one out of many concept), but this is slightly different.

Below the light bulbs are mirrors. You can see your reflection in all of them if you stand in the middle of the room. I may use the room for photography if I find a model.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/100, F10, 50mm, ISO100, 2009-09-18T15:34:52-04, 20090918-193452rxt

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Please credit me as “Photo by Richard Thripp” or something similar.

Photo: Colorful Widgets

Colorful Widgets

A product at Wal-Mart. I think these were post-it notes on a roll but I don’t remember. I just liked the colors. They were near the frozen foods.

Any product you don’t know the name of is a “widget.”

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/100, F3.2, 50mm, ISO200, 2009-03-01T12:47:23-05, 20090301-174723rxt

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Please credit me as “Photo by Richard Thripp” or something similar.

Photo: Signs

Signs

What happens in Central Park stays in Central Park.

This is on West Granada in Ormond Beach, Florida, on the corner of Orchard St. There is also a sign for Harbor Baptist Church.

I liked this arrangement of signs, and it became better when I switched to black and white in Photoshop. This photo has no meaning, but you can read your own meaning into it.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/1250, F5.6, 132mm, ISO400, 2009-01-01T10:15:03-05, 20090101-151503rxt

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Photo: The Swamp

The Swamp

Another photo from Gemini Springs park; this time, of stagnant water. Mold and shrubbery can grow on stagnant water. That’s why most stationary ponds have fountains: the water must be kept flowing to stop bacteria from festering.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/200, F3.5, 28mm, ISO400, 2008-12-31T09:16:19-05, 20081231-141619rxt

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Please credit me as “Photo by Richard Thripp” or something similar.

Photo: Gemini Springs

Gemini Springs

Downstream from the springs at the Gemini Springs park in Gemini Springs, Florida. There is a lot of algae and that tree is precariously perched.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/500, F3.5, 35mm, ISO400, 2008-12-31T09:13:38-05, 20081231-141338rxt

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Please credit me as “Photo by Richard Thripp” or something similar.

Photo: Dog on a Leash

Dog on a Leash

A dog on a leash at Gemini Springs park in Florida. I don’t remember the owner, but the dog was enthusiastic. He looks like a Yorkshire Terrier with white hair.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/160, F4, 38mm, ISO400, 2008-12-31T09:12:29-05, 20081231-141229rxt

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Photo: Dark Sunshine

Dark Sunshine

White flowers on top of a green plant out back of the cafeteria at Daytona State College (main campus).

On auto my Canon Rebel XTi over-exposed the flowers majorly; I had to set the exposure bias way down to get them in range. I’ve titled this “Dark Sunshine” because everything but the flowers is dark.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/2000, F4.5, 50mm, ISO100, 2009-09-18T15:43:44-04, 20090918-194344rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Please credit me as “Photo by Richard Thripp” or something similar.

Photo: Ordinary Flowers

Ordinary Flowers

Pink flowers in a garden in the trailer park near our house. I like the look of these flowers; they have a pink hue mixed with cool blue, unlike pink roses which are generally more warm. Of course this all depends on white balance and editing, but these flowers look good in cool colors while roses don’t.

“Cool” colors are bluish; “warm” colors are yellowish. This photo might be closer to neutral, but I pick warm colors over cool colors in most of my photos so it’s subjectively cool.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/30, F5.6, 135mm, ISO800, 2009-09-12T07:19:48-04, 20090912-111948rxt

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Please credit me as “Photo by Richard Thripp” or something similar.