Be Inspired At home maternity session | Feature by Autumn Chittum-Vestal of Grey Storyline photography

Be Inspired At home maternity session | Feature by Autumn Chittum-Vestal of Grey Storyline photography

Tell us a bit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.

My approach is to capture human emotion. I didn’t have the best relationship with my mother growing up. It’s something even now we really work on. When I became a mother 5 years ago, I was scared. Would I be enough? Do I know how to do this? When my son finally arrived, it was a wave of emotions. Motherhood has single handily broken me and rebuilt me into something so much better than I could have ever dreamed of. When documenting my clients, I look for those moments- the moments of beauty and connection, or heartache and struggle. I offer each client a pre-session questionnaire so I can learn more about their story. When I’m photographing their session, I’ll bring up bits of it if it makes sense. I allow them space to talk and feel and connect with their family. I allow for their emotions and thoughts. It’s very go with the flow. 

After getting diagnosed with chronic illness, I knew I needed to invest in something outside of myself and get out of my head. I began reading and watching all the videos I could find on photography summer 2017. I’m an art school dropout, and I was determined to create art. I would not let my song die within me. I knew I needed to create and I was so determined to make this dream come alive. I submitted to Dear Photographer around 6 months later, and I received my first acceptance to be published. I sat on my stairs and cried. My son ran to me and hugged me saying, “Mom, I am SO proud of you!” I’ve never had a support system like I do now. My husband and son are simply the best.

I’m a work from home mama to one child, my feral boy. We homeschool in a real life, nature-based way. We are currently selling most of our possessions and our home to live in a camper for the summer so we can get back in nature fulltime and live an unbusy life while househunting. I’ve been married to husband for four years, and I’m so grateful he listens to every single thought I have about life (which is a lot!). I adore watching my son evolve into his own person. Giving him the tools to become exactly who he wants to be while loving him unconditionally is one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve never been happier.

What makes you the most nervous during a session?

I’m an observer and documented, so I have to remind myself to keep the session flowing and moving forward. I’m a talker, so I have to be mindful of talking too much.

What about this session was most memorable?

So much. Honestly, it was magical. The way her daughter looked at her mother. The way her mother held her daughter. Listening to her daughter play the harp while her mother watched on. The intimate family cuddle session. It was pure magic.

Were there any hurdles?

I met this client for a pre-consultation in person and toured her home before the session. That mad a huge difference in my comfortability with the family and in their home. I already knew how the light would fall, we planned their outfits, so I feel like once I showed up, any hurdles were already taken care of.

Your best photographer/session advice?

My little secret is to get myself into an emotional space before I start shooting (all I can think of after typing that is “I’m trapped in a glass case of emotion”). It’s easy to get nerves before a session or have a monkey brain bouncing around about all things stressful while traveling to the session. So instead, I turn on some Brandi Carlile (always Brandi Carlile “The Eye”) and listen to her croon these amazing stories that touch my heart. I sing my guts and I feel so relaxed and thoughtful afterward. I feel ready to connect with my clients on a deep level after I connected with my own heart on such a deep level.

What is one goal for your business ?

My goal for my business is to stay intentional and never get too busy. I want to invest in my clients and truly create art of them for them. I never want to stray away from my purpose of making fine art photography that evokes emotion and connection.

What gear was used to achieve these?

I used my Mark iii and 35mm 1.4 L II lens on most of the session. I think I pulled out my 85 1.8 for a few shots, too.

Any presets used or hand editing?

I used BabyRose presets on this set!



ABOUT THE ARTIST:

HOMESCHOOLING MAMA, ARTIST, AND LOVER OF ALL THINGS STORYTELLING. I’M A DAYDREAMER, OBSERVER, AND EMPATH. CRUNCHY, HIPPIE, ACTIVIST, AND BELIEVER. I CAN SEE AURAS SOMETIMES, AND I WILL TOTALLY TELL YOU IF I SEE YOURS! I LOVE BEING IN NATURE AND READING BOOKS ABOUT NURTURING THE SOUL, SPIRIT, AND SIMPLICITY PARENTING. I LOVE THE EPIC DANCE PARTIES IN MY KITCHEN WITH MY HUSBAND AND SON. I LOVE MINIMALIST COZY LIVING SPACES, BARE FEET, AND GOOD CONVERSATIONS. ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS IS TO MEET THAT ONE PERSON BY HAPPENSTANCE AND WE POUR OUR SOULS AND MEMORIES INTO A CONVERSATION JUST TO SAY “IT WAS SO NICE TO MEET YOU”. I LOVE MOTHERHOOD AND ALL OF ITS UPS AND DOWNS. IT’S MY FAVORITE THING TO CAPTURE, TO OBSERVE, AND IN MY OWN LIFE, EXPERIENCE. MY DAYS ARE SPENT AT HOME WITH MY FERAL SON AND TWO RESCUE DOGS, CLOVER AND ROSIE. ART SCHOOL DROPOUT, IM AN INTERNATIONALLY, PUBLISHED PHOTOGRAPHER AND DOCUMENTER OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE. EMOTIONAL, PASSION-DRIVEN, AND THOUGHTFUL- I SHOOT FROM THE HEART.

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