Lake Balboa Park in Encino is a jem of a spot in the Valley. Before each photo session, I discuss with my clients the mood they’d like to achieve. Overall, we wanted a romantic and nature inspired maternity session, and Lake Balboa Park offers a lovely complimentary background to suit this mood. Starting the shoot one hour before sunset, I was able to accomplish ethereal shots with dreamy backlighting and romantic bokeh. I used my Canon 70-200 and shot primarily at f 3.2 (except for my sunburst shots). Even in late afternoon light, I rarely have my subjects turned into the sun. I think backlighting can be so effective and a reflector is essential to fill some light back onto them. In this shoot, I used the silver side of a reflector. Fill flash from a speedlight can also be effective, but if you can hold it or have an assistant, the reflector adds just enough natural looking fill. If I can incorporate a sunburst or a silhouette photo into a maternity session, it makes my day. To me, the mood these 2 types of images portray, just defines strength and motherhood. With that, please enjoy this stunning couple.