Community Critique – Jenna

This week we have a new image critique from a Fresh 48 session sent to us from Jenna of Jenna Christina Photography.  The photo was shot on a Nikon D750 using a Sigma 35mm.  Below is what the 3 contributors Jenna selected had to say:

mom yawning and holding baby during Fresh 48 session - Documentary Family PhotographyCelina:
I just love the moment captured in this image, it really depicts how a mom feels after giving birth. The fact that it’s broad daylight adds even more to the story and the beautiful side light definitely helps. It has me wondering if she gave birth early in the morning or during the night.  My eye goes straight to the mother’s face and expression, then my eyes circulate around to explore the scene and I discover the little baby’s head. It wasn’t clear to me that she was yawning at first, I thought that maybe she was in pain or crying. I am not sure if a slightly different expression would have helped or perhaps getting in closer might have done the trick. In a perfect world I would have loved to have seen more of the baby’s face. I realize that changing position would have made it hard to capture the intended story. Perhaps taking the photo from a slightly higher angle would have helped or again by cropping in or shooting closer. That would also we get rid of the wires to the right which I find don’t add to the story and can be a little distracting. I think making the photo black and white was a great choice and the conversion is beautiful. This photo brought so many memories and a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing.

​Let me start off by saying what a special time to ​capture! However, I thought at first if she was in the pains of labor, until I noticed the cap on the baby. Her expression is somewhere between mid yawn and crying, which is what confused me. I feel that if you had positioned yourself more towards her shoulder to be able to get a peak of the baby’s face, it would tell the story a little stronger. I love the black and white, but think the shadows, especially around the baby and her left arm, need to be slightly lightened. Also the hot spot on her right hand to the crest of the blanket could be toned down. The exposure on her face is lovely! Shooting in hospital rooms can be tough, and I think you did very well with the composition and framing. You captured visual interest, and a moment any new parent would be happy to have in a birth session.

I like this moment that you’ve captured, it brings back a lot of memories for me & makes me smile. I’m sure that many Mums that see this would be able to relate to this moment – the tiredness of just giving birth. I think that the choice of the black & white conversion is a good one – it brings the focus on to the mother & away from the hospital equipment. I think that if you were to have got in closer, cropping out the cables & side table on the right just to the outside of the bed rail, you could have cut out those distracting elements & made a stronger image. You would still be able to see that she was still at the hospital by the bed & the wrist tags etc, all of that stuff to the right of the bed doesn’t add anything to the story. I really like the light on Mum’s face, it really leads you to her expression. I also like how her face is framed somewhat by the white pillow above her & to the left & then with the white baby blanket & the little hat on the baby’s head. Again, that helps draw the eye right where you want it. I think you made a good choice with the DOF that you used. The highlights are a little blown on the baby blanket & kind of compete with the light on the pillow to draw your eye away, so I would burn them a little if you could.
If you’d like to have an image critiqued by 3 of our contributors, head over to our Submissions page.