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Austin TX Maternity Photography | Attending the Lola Melani Workshop

Photography is just like any skill out there. Some of our skills come naturally, some don’t. Either way — a skill is something you constantly seek to improve. For this Austin TX maternity photography skill-chaser, that sentiment still applies! I am constantly finding ways to hone my craft, get better at what I do, and work with people I look up to. One of those photographers that I deeply admire is Lola Melani, who offers workshops based out of Miami, Florida. I have loved her work for years, and when I got the chance to attend one of her workshops last September, I jumped on the opportunity.

Here are some of the results from my workshop with Lola Melani!

Visiting Miami For Work & Play!

Who doesn’t want to visit Miami? Signing up for Lola Melani’s workshop gave me the perfect excuse to visit the sun and sand of Florida while also allowing me to better myself (and my client photography). In 2021, I made a bucket list of things I wanted to do during my lifetime. Attending one of these workshops was high up there, specifically because I wanted to get better at my lighting skills. Lola Melani is known for her accentuated lighting. While the pictures below are my own, you can see what I mean. This style is quintessential Lola Melani!

A montage of two photos featuring a white woman with sandy brown hair in a blue gown cradling her baby bump. Photo on the left is in black and white, photo on the right is in color.

Those who have followed my blog can probably see that although the posing looks similar to the poses I use in my photography, some of these lighting elements are newer to my work. That’s because I picked up several new styles of lighting at this workshop. Since last September, when I took this class, I have been able to implement these styles into my work at my own Austin TX maternity studio.

Pregnant model in a flowy floral dress posing with her hand above her head

Implementing Lola Melani Techniques In My Austin TX Maternity Photography

The great thing about learning techniques from established photographers is that what you take from the session will be your own. Your influence, your clients, and where you live all make a difference in the way in which you take photos. Even in Lola’s studio, I think my own personality influenced the photos I took.

Fair-skinned model with light brown hair in a royal blue maternity gown posed to the side with her hands on her pregnant belly

One thing I really loved and gained a lot from re: this workshop was utilizing lighting and gown texture in harmony. For the photos above, the drastic lights and darks accompanied by the wave-like movement of this model’s gown gives the pictures a stormy, moody sort of feeling.

Photo montage of four photos of a white pregnant model. The top two pictures are in black and white and the bottom two are in color.

I also stand behind the idea that you get a much wider range of feeling and emotion when you utilize black and white and color photography. I loved the way the lighting gave the model an angelic look in the black and white photos. Although they are the same photos, the color set has a much different feel to it while still utilizing some of the amazing lighting skills I picked up from this workshop.

Photo montage containing two portraits of a white, pregnant model wearing a black mock turtleneck. The left portrait is in black and white and the right portrait is in color.

The same could be said of the above — while the focus is on the shadow work in the left picture, the focus is on the highlights in the color picture. But in both pictures, the model looks stunning — which is the real achievement.

The one big takeaway from this is that everything I do to better my maternity photography skills is for the benefit of my clients. I want to provide alternatives to my competitors, so that means researching & purchasing new dress styles, improving my lighting, learning and implementing new posing, and providing a better experience overall.


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