Before and After: Kala Rath
Kala frequently pulls on the maternal/paternal heartstrings of many with her work. All of her images get positive responses and even though her work is very niche, the scope of variation in how she captures is very broad yet very stylised. I couldn’t pick just one image to feature, so here’s a few!
A little about Kala and her work:
I am a Northwest Arkansas based motherhood photographer specializing in maternity, newborn and breastfeeding photography. I love my images to express raw emotion and connections while maintaining minimal processing. I want people to feel what I see when I capture photographs. When I am not working, I can likely be found spending time with my husband and our husky, Lizzy, cruising in my Challenger. 🙂
I haven’t always had “this” look or style. In fact, it was just last year that I did a major overhaul and did a full rebrand. I used to be very technical with my work, lighting and posing. I did studio newborns and posed them in shapes known as “taco” and “froggy” etc. I had a major change of heart at the end of 2013 and realized that it was those pure emotions I captured of mom and dad with their newborn in between setups that made my heart happy. I love to see the way a mother looks into her new babies face while she is sleeping. I love watching dad staring at his wife who has just become a mother in the most tender expression you have ever seen him look. I love being in their home where they are building memories. But I am not going to lie, It was honestly the most terrifying thing I have ever done – to throw away a business I had spent three years building to change everything when I had no idea if it would even work. All I knew is where my heart was. My current work may not be as technically “perfect” or as “good” measured by standards of the type of work I was doing before, but my work is exactly where I want it to be now. It is a reflection of me and my heart. I photograph with my heart first and my eyes second.
I shoot with a 5d MKIII. While shooting indoors, I likely have my 24-70 or 50mm on and while outside it is usually always my 135 and occasionally the 24-70. As far as my processing….very very minimal. I will generally make minor adjustments in Bridge while adjusting the exposure, shadow and/or highlight sliders and my go to film is Fuji160, Kodak BW400 Contrast + Fade (and remove grain) and Agfa Vista 100+ or +cool. I try to keep consistency with my processing, but I have a tendency to both shoot and process with my emotions. I just use what suits my mood first. I will give it a couple days and see how I am feeling and sometimes I end up re-doing everything all together. I just see where my mood takes my work overall.
Baby In Crib
5D MK III, 24-70/2.8 – shot at 24, 1/100, 3.5, ISO 800.
Baby In Crib – Agfa Vista 100++ – Kala Rath Photography
Baby In Crib – SOOC – Kala Rath Photography
5d MKIII, 24-70/2.8 at 57mm and 3.5, 1/60, ISO 40.
Kodak BW400CN – I brought the exposure down to -.70 and shadows -37 then removed grain.
Breastfeeding Mom – SOOC – Kala Rath Photography
Breastfeeding Mom – BW400CN – Kala Rath Photography
Laying down nursing
5D Mk III, 24-70/2.8 shot at 46mm and 3.5, ISO 400, 1/100.
Applied Fuji 160, brought highlights completely down and that’s it 🙂
Laying down nursing – SOOC – Kala Rath Photography
Laying down nursing – Fuji 160 – Kala Rath Photography
Mom holding baby in peach orchard.
5D MK III, 135/2.0 at 2.0, 1/6400, ISO 200.
Adjusted highlights and applied Agfa Vista 100+.