Aphrodite, Gaia and Rhea Maternity Photoshoot day



To develop my work, I am writing and sharing Gibbs Reflective Cycles of my studies in photography. Below is a Gibbs reflective cycle of my experience photographing a themed maternity session based on the Greek Goddesses Gaia, Aphrodite and Rhea.


I photographed three sessions on the same day using the university studio. I sourced two models: one professional model who took on two roles (Gaia and Aphrodite) and an expectant mother and child (Rhea).

Upon setting up I quickly realised there was an issue with the lighting rig- with the lights being too heavy to stay up where required to attain the correct angle of lighting. As a quick fix, I had to tie the light stand up with shoe laces so it stopped dropping. Upon setting up for the session I also notice that the shutter was visible in shots taken over 1/100. I usually shoot between 1/125-1/200 so was quite disappointed that I would have to reduce the sharpness of my images by using these lights. 

I worked with a makeup artist for the looks of the models-he did well with the makeup applications however I did struggle with him taking over the shoot and being distracting.

The models were easy to pose and even the lady with her 2 year old daughter performed well. The shoot ran over and I had to leave before overseeing that the makeup artist had cleaned up. 


I was very disappointed with the lighting in the studio, so much so that I decided I would not be using it again. 

The condition I found the studio in was not of a professional standard, which made shooting conditions difficult to manage.

 I did not have a studio induction which was requested before the shoot so I felt a bit disappointed with this. 

I felt that the makeup artist tried to take over the session quite a bit as he was filming for his showreel and dragged the shoot on for a lot longer than we had originally planned. He had also made a bit of a mess and not tidied up which was then reported back to me by tutors after the session. 

I felt that although I got the shots that I needed to a degree, they would have turned out much better if they were shot in my home studio. 


The university studio was unfit for use. 

I would have benefitted from a stricter schedule, if I knew the makeup artist would be so difficult to accommodate.

My choice of models, outfits and props worked well. 


The photoshoots were successful even though several issues could have derailed them. 

In future I will use my own studio space and hire a professional makeup artist under stricter conditions. I will write up photo shoot schedules for sessions that have several models.

Action plan 

-Edit images

-Work with a range of makeup artists to find one who fits with my style of working

-Make a schedule template for photoshoot sessions