This slideshow features a selection of images I made recently of some friends, Yael and Moussa, who have just had their first baby. The photos were made in and around the city of Melbourne, Australia.
Both Yael and Moussa are very easy going people and are a lot of fun to work with. I've photographed them before, most notably at their wedding. Now that was some reception. Amazing music, mostly from West Africa, great company and a lively crowd made for a great night.
I suggested to the guys that, for these particular photo sessions, we should explore several locals in and around the city. They were more than happy to oblige. With the birth of their first child imminent their only requirement was that the photos needed to feature Yael's tummy. It sounded like fun which, of course, it was.
Actually the day turned out, weather wise, to be pretty dreary. Now overcast light is usually great for portraits. But on this particular afternoon the light was flat and uninteresting. This meant I had to work extra hard to make interesting and emotive photos. I'd planned the session to run right up to and beyond sunset. Prior to that I just looked out for color wherever I could find it.
We started in Treasury Gardens where green was the dominant color. After that we headed across the road to Fitzroy Gardens where the Conservatory provided a nice earthy background color. After that we wandered into the city to explore the graffiti in Hosier Lane. That was a good idea as the more aggressive colors there added an extra dynamic to our range of photos.
Our final destination was the Brighton Bathing Boxes (check pricing here). While the sunset was far from inspiring it did provide some lovely soft light. We made use of the iconic bathing boxes to provide some extra color and energy to the session. As both Yael and Moussa have family overseas I thought this was a great location to help tell the story of their life in Australia. OK, it's not the Opera House. This is Melbourne where life, and architecture, is a little more understated. Mind you the Opera House is a very special site.
Black and White or Color
I love color and, for the most part, believe that if you're going to work in color your images need to be colorful. This is the main reason we visited four separate locations during the session. But very early on I began to realize that some of the more poignant images would need to be in black and white. The reasons for this are as follows:
- the lovely skin tonalities with which I was working would stand out more if the color was removed
- the textural qualities within many of the scenes, including the backgrounds, would be stronger in black and white
- by removing color I would be better able to meet the brief, which was to place emphasis on a critical design element (i.e. shape) in this series of pictures (Yael's tummy).
This really was a great way to spend a lazy dog dangling afternoon. Yael and Moussa are lovely people and Yael's dad, Ashley, is an old friend who's been a tremendous support over the last 25 years.
Finally, congratulations to Yael and Moussa on the birth of their new baby, Adama.
Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru