Who says only skinny models can be on the pages of pin-up calendars? Sun Inside Photography’s Victoria Savostianova teamed up with mother-to-be, Natasha Davidenko Mokrousova, and made this adorable – but very sexy – maternity photoshoot. In this exclusive interview, Victoria goes into detail about the pin-up series, as well as, maternity and baby photography. [read our original post about her here]
Who came up with the concept of a pinup mom photoshoot, you or Natasha?
It was Natasha’s idea. Our main goal was to get a poster stylized as an American military poster but with a different message.
It was all new for me, thus it was very interesting so I gladly agreed. I just helped with preparations and studied this special pin-up post-processing. I was lucky that pin-up image fit Natasha very well.
The words, ‘sexy’ and ‘pregnancy’ don’t always get mentioned in the same sentence. How do you bring out the sexy side of pregnancy in your photos?
Usually I don’t think my main task is to create the most comfortable and natural atmosphere for a future mom and to help her understand what she wants her photos to be. I love this feminine tenderness of maternity but if my model feels sexy, ok, we will capture this.
I believe that a good photo session consists of a good mood and memories about the photo shoot itself. Then it’s the photos, of course. Most people enter the studio being very tense (I know it myself). So it’s such a delight to hear from my models after the photo session that it went so smoothly and relaxed that the time flashed by.
Professional makeup and hairdo, attention of the photographer during several hours, feeling like a star – what could be better for any woman to feel like a beautiful woman? And then to get these memories captured on the photos and revive them whenever she feels blue.
Tell us more about yourself. How’d you get started in photography, specifically maternity and baby photos?
I had been working in political PR and consulting company for five years when I started to study photography. And when I finally realized that PR job was not right for me I took a year off, traveling and taking photos, of course.
When I came back, friends started asking me to make some photos and insisted on paying. I was surprised – getting paid for a hobby? So my job shift went smoothly, I became a photographer without even planning to do so.
And now it’s been five exciting years of doing what I love and constant studying too. At my photography school, I was taught that a photographer must love what she shoots. I love people, especially children, so it was easy to choose my major.
What’s the most challenging aspect of maternity and baby photography, respectively?
I guess that very important thing for a photographer is to be tactful. Also to be friendly, flexible and supportive, and at the same time, not obtrusive.
During the first 15-30 minutes of the photo shoot are usually a bit stiff, and my job is to help them relax and to get beauty from the outside (makeup, dressing up, hair), harmonized with inner beauty and naturalness. I would compare photography with oratorical skill when one needs to seize the attention of the audience and follow it while talking. A photographer needs to feel when to give more space to rest or drink some tea and when to hold the attention while people are the most open and cooperative.
At least, that is how I do the portraits
With kids it’s very different. I love them for their spontaneity, open emotions and also their ideas. Children from 5 years old are great helpers at the family photo session. They usually lead the dynamics, create lots of ideas and mood. When making photos of children I ask parents to be the most involved, to play and communicate with them as they do in their normal life.
Then I can become almost invisible making sincere lifestyle photos. I call it photohunting. I just need to sit (or run) to capture the right moment.
The most challenging moment of any photo session is to understand, to feel what a person wants. Sometimes my future models don’t know it themselves so I help them to get it out – I give a bunch of pinterest albums to browse and see where their heart leads.
Then we have a thorough preparation. And one more important thing – I always tell my models to choose the part of the day when they feel their best – physically and emotionally, after sleeping enough and eating too. It concerns adults, as well as children. Every person has his rhythms, and if we catch the right wave the photo session will go easily, full of joy and good memories.
What’s your best advice for those want to take really good pregnancy and baby photos?
As I said, one has to love what she photographs. There are people who work for money or contest prizes but I’m sure your model feels your attitude during the photo session and when they get the photos.
For me, all pregnant women are beautiful, and I try my best to show it to them, especially those who got used to criticizing themselves.
I won’t say anything about technical details of maternity and baby photoshoot; one can learn them at the themed master-classes or even online. But the photos are the reflection of what a photographer sees in life. If you see beauty – you spread it in your photographs.