Jeff Mesnil
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Marion & Raphaël

November 17, 2014

Over the week-end I experimented with portraits of Marion holding our baby, Raphaël. I wanted to go for an intimate moment between a mother and her baby. The idea was to have a soft portrait of Raphaël and Marion wrapped in shadows.

Regardless of the darkness that surrounds them, their love is a bright light that will not be dimmed.

Marion & Raphaël
Marion & Raphaël © Jeff Mesnil

The end result looks like a chiaroscuro painting of La Vierge à l'Enfant.

Technical (boring) corner

Technically, this is a simple photo with a soft light to preserve this private moment.

I used a one-light setup with a Yongnuo YN-560 III flash reflected by a 34" white umbrella. I positioned the flash at their right, at 45° above them. The light is feathered so they only catch the edge of the light (retrospectively, I should have feathered it even more to increase the intimacy).

The background is a 40"x60" reflector with its black surface. Since the light is feathered, almost none reaches the black background and it remains pure black.

I positioned Marion so that Raphaël's face could catch most of the light and only her right side would be lit... plus a tiny bit of reflection on her left cheek thanks to the almost bald skull of our baby ;)

I used my Fuji X-E2 with its awesome 56mm ƒ/1.2 lens that I opened at ƒ/5.6 to have enough field of depth for both of them.

Raphaë was intrigued by the flash tests and I just had to make a few pictures to capture this one.

Simple stuff, and a lovely moment that all three of us shared.