skip to Main Content
How I Got The Shot – Mari Agory Fine Art Nude Maternity Session

How I Got The Shot – Mari Agory Fine Art Nude Maternity Session

Congratulations to model Mari Agory on the birth of her son! I recently had the honor of photographing this incredible beauty during her pregnancy, and am thrilled to share the images!


I’ve photographed Mari Agory many times since I first moved to NYC, and I’ve always considered her a bit of a muse. No matter how many times I’ve photographed her, I’m inspired with new energy each time she steps in front of my lens. Truly, she is one of my favorite models I have EVER had the honor to work with. She is stunning, elegant, and possesses a unique look in the modeling industry.

Not only that, she is what every photographer dreams of when working with a model. She works hard with you to help achieve the goals of your photoshoot. She doesn’t just ‘stand there and look pretty’, she works her poses and emotions to help channel the essence of your shoot. She has endlessly long legs, incredible physique, and she knows her angles to create beautiful lines.

On top of all of that, she is an absolute joy to work with on set. She has a glowing and fun-loving personality with an infectious smile. She is smart, hard working… and I just can’t say enough about her.

I hadn’t worked with Mari for probably a couple of years when recently I checked in on her social media and realized she was pregnant! I am so happy for her and this new stage of her life, so I reached out and asked if she’d be interested in collaborating to create some fine art maternity images.

These would not be the ‘usual’ maternity shots of a woman looking soft and protective. Instead, we would make images that were powerful and dramatic. I would infuse fashion editorial sensibilities into the shots. Thankfully, she agreed and we were able to create some really striking imagery that the entire team was enchanted by!

I’ve shot Mari several times with the help of my makeup artist Griselle Rosario, and she was more than thrilled to jump on for this project.

For this particular shoot I brought along a few inspiration images for lighting, but decided to gain a great deal of inspiration for posing in the moment. I wanted dramatic curves, powerful/regal stances, and elegant lines. Nothing would be ‘soft’ or quiet. I wanted to show the strength that Mari exudes and the power behind this strong mother-to-be.

Creative Team:
Model, Mother: Mari Agory
Makeup Artist: Griselle Rosario

Canon 5D IV
Canon 24-105mm 4.0
TetherTools Tether Cable

The Shoot, Lighting


Series 1

Lighting Set 1:

Lighting Diagram - Lindsay Adler Photography
(2) Profoto D1 Air 500 Watt
Profoto Air Remote
Profoto Deep Umbrella White XL with Diffusion
Profoto 20 degree Grid
White V Flat
Gravity Backdrops
Profoto Silver Bounce Reflector Medium

The first series of images I shot on a hand-painted Gravity backdrop in a sort of maroon/red tone. I wanted these images to look a bit more painterly in the lighting and poses. In some of the images I knew I would shift the color of the background in post-processing to be a bit more similar tonalities to her skin while others would be in black and white.

During the shoot I shot tethered into Lightroom so that I could see the images during the shoot. I could play around with toning, processing and localized adjustments to be sure I could envision the end rendering of the shots.

I pushed my creativity a bit more in these shots, trying to do more unusual maternity poses than I had ever shot before. Furthermore, for some shots I took much lower and dramatic angles to create exaggerated and powerful plays on perspective. My goals for this shoot — don’t shoot ‘typical’ maternity, create art, convey Mari’s stunning mix of strength and elegance. I didn’t bring along maternity shots for inspiration– but instead fashion images!

For this setup I used 2 strobes. In this first series of images my main light was a Profoto Deep Umbrella White XL with diffusion (a large soft light source) to the right of the frame. I wanted to create a bit of glow on the background behind my subject, so I used a 20 degree grid to give a bit of illumination. This light was pointed from the right hand side of the frame back in toward the background behind my subject. To the left of the frame I placed a large white V-flat to kick some light back toward my subject. This created a subtle highlight and separation on her back an the side of the body to the left of the frame. Finally, I had another assistant with a silver reflector to the front left of the frame. The assistants goal was to catch just a tiny bit of light from the umbrella and bounce it back toward my subject. Griselle covered Mari in baby oil, and this extra reflector would create a bit more sheen on her skin.

Click to view images larger

Series 2

Lighting Set 2:

Lighting Diagram - Lindsay Adler Photography
(3) Profoto D1 Air 500 Watt
Profoto Air Remote
Profoto Deep Umbrella White XL with Diffusion
Profoto zoom reflector
Profoto white beauty dish + grid
Savage Black seamless paper
Vintage Apple Box

In this series of maternity images, I planned the shots based on the lighting from a cover of a fashion magazine featuring Giselle (NOT pregnant, but just a strong nude). I didn’t want these images to fee typical.

For this scene I placed Mari on a Savage Black seamless paper and standing on an apple box to give her even more of an elevated stance in the scene. I wanted her to feel royal and powerful.

I used 3 strobes to illuminate this scene. The main light was the Profoto Deep Umbrella White XL with diffusion placed high above my subject and angled downward. This gave more dramatic shadows to the scene and feathered the light off of the background. Because of the very high angle, however, a lot of light wasn’t able to reach the lower part of Mari’s body. For this reason I added my second strobe– a beauty dish (white) with a grid. I could keep this light low powered to kick in just enough illumination to create a shine on her lower stomach and legs.

Last, I added my background light (the third, and final strobe). I wanted the scene to have a dramatic gradient of light behind the subject. I placed this strobe (with nothing but a zoom reflector on it) on a boom arm at a high angle and feathered it down the background primarily I wanted the lightest areas to serve to emphasize her baby bump and her long legs.

This second series of images were meant to be a bit more fashion-influenced and therefore the posing, lighting and props reflected this tone.

If you’d like to learn more about posing for maternity, you can check out my posing maternity guide (see here) as well as posing bundle (including a video tutorial dedicated to maternity posing).

Click to view images larger

I cannot wait to see these images in print!! Mari looks absolutely stunning and I know these photographs will be a powerful keepsake for her that represents her strength and stunning elegance.

Congrats Mari! Can’t wait to meet your son! <3