November 23, 2008

Becki + Andy + (the soon-to-arrive) baby Luke = the entire spectrum of life in an hour and a half

Yesterday afternoon I met up with Becki and Andy for a maternity shoot. I don't really like the whole "maternity shoot" description, because it seems to leave the father out of the whole equation. I thought for about a second of calling these kinds of sessions "family in flux," but that made me think of reflux. At any rate, this is just one of those things that is begging to be renamed.

There's a really long story behind this shoot. Bear with me.

Becki asked me back in September if I would take do some pictures for her, and she mentioned wanting to do them in the downtown Riverside area. Both she and I are residents of that area, and I have done quite a few sessions there. It has never let me down - there are always new places to discover.

Awhile back I was talking to a couple of my friends, and I asked their opinions on where I should do Becki's shoot. Melinda suggested the old creepy cemetery in downtown Riverside, and I immediately knew that it was the perfect suggestion. (Becki and I had actually both expressed our mutual love for this cemetery a year or so before.) I figured it was out of the question to shoot there, because it is normally all locked up. It was a really cool surprise, then, to drive past it yesterday and see that the gates were wide open.

It was totally perfect - and fit in exactly with what I was envisioning for the session as a whole.

I wish I could claim that this was my idea, but nope - it was all Becki. She spotted the "Mother" and "Father" tombstones while we were walking through the cemetery. So we went for it. A bit morbid, perhaps, but I love odd juxtapositions.

And the "Shrimp" tombstone! It's one of my favorites. Being as Becki's growing her own little shrimp of a person, it seemed appropriate. Or maybe inappropriate. It's hard to say.

Nothing like welcoming new life while sitting on the steps of a mausoleum!

The idea for shooting at a playground literally came to me in a dream. This past week, I dreamed about an abandoned school on a street named Gethsemane. When I woke up, the dream immediately seemed to attach itself to my ideas for Becki's session. I knew I wanted to do at least part of their shoot on a playground.

So Roy drove me out to a playground near his elementary school. On the way, I noticed a church named Gethsemane Lutheran Church. It felt a little like we were headed in the right direction.

And this is where we did the second half of Becki and Andy's shoot. We'd already covered death; now it was playtime. The picture below is probably my favorite from the playground series.

Thanks to Becki and Andy for being incredibly open-minded individuals! I can't think of many people who'd want to do a maternity session in a cemetery. You guys rock, and you will certainly be very cool parents.


WeezerMonkey said...

You are lucky you had such willing subjects!

Jessica said...

I know that church and I know that playground!! :-)

Great pics!!

Amy said...

Very cool! Great pics as usual.

alejna said...

I love it! I think both settings were great choices. Of course, I'm very fond of both cemetaries and playgrounds.

The tomb shots with the words and names are so clever.

And I love the way the curves of the red climbing playground structure echo the curves of the mommy-to-be.

JennB said...

Great shots! Becki makes a great pregnant model I have to say. I love the "Shrimp" shot.

Angie Eats Peace said...

Those came out awesome! Very innovative.

Crazy Daisy said...

very creative shots!

tootie said...

I love the playground idea. How fun!

Bex said...

Les you rock, these were so much fun!

Erika said...

LOVE the cemetery shots!!

phairhead said...

life, death, and everything in between. the mausoleum is my fave. beautious as always

amber said...

creepy cool. i like.