I invite you to join me on a journey through the lens, where pixels transform into a tale of profound love and the intricate journey of motherhood.

Now, let’s dive into the technical intricacies that breathe life into this visual story. Picture this: the aperture meticulously set at 3.2, a steady shutter speed of 160, and the ISO resting at a comforting 100. My trusted companions in crafting this emotive narrative are the Canon 5D Mark IV, the reliable Einstein flash unit, and the versatile Canon 1.2 85mm L lens. While my recent upgrade to the Canon R5 signifies progress, the Mark IV remains a sentimental backup—a witness to over six years of creative evolution.

As a dedicated studio photographer, my creative haven plays a pivotal role in expressing my unique style, particularly when exploring the deep and heartfelt theme of motherhood. Control becomes paramount in capturing those raw, authentic moments that define the essence of motherhood.

Now, imagine the composition—an embrace that goes beyond mere posing, a choreography of love where the mother envelops her daughter, creating a visual sonnet resonating with the very essence of motherhood.

PPA Image Excellence – “My Child” © Samantha León

Crafting the Rembrandt lighting involves a meticulous dance with shadows. A 6-foot umbrella and a strategically placed v-flat become instrumental in conjuring that delicate interplay of light and dark—an art form that reflects my penchant for nuanced contrast and darker tones.

Enter Photoshop, my canvas for creativity. Here, hand-editing techniques come into play, allowing me to fine-tune each image and reveal not just the connection but the unique beauty inherent in the experience of motherhood.

Speaking of style—think darker tones, warm golds, ivory, navy blue, black, and dark jewel tones. It’s more than aesthetics; it’s a signature that shapes not just the photo but also the ambiance and emotion. In this particular image, the choice of gold dresses for both mother and daughter seamlessly coordinates with their natural skin tone, creating a harmonious blend and keeping the focus squarely on the subjects.

During the shoot, a magical moment unfolded as both mother and daughter, locked in that embrace, felt a surge of strength and power—an emotional crescendo that elevated the image from a mere capture to a profound experience.

Fast forward to 2023, and this image has become more than just a personal triumph—it’s a multi-award-winning masterpiece. It secured a Silver Distinction in the WPPI Print Competition, another Silver Distinction with the Portrait Masters, and the prestigious Image Excellence award with the Professional Photographers of America. These accolades are more than badges of honor; they are validations of the dedication poured into this project and a testament to the universal resonance of the theme of motherhood.

As we wrap up this exploration, I hope you’ve gained a deeper insight into the artistry and emotion behind this visual journey. From technical intricacies to emotional crescendos, the story of love and motherhood continues to unfold, one frame at a time.

© Samantha León
© Samantha León
© Samantha León
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