Are you familiar with the comparisons of "our baby is the size of a..." usually followed with a fruit or vegetable? A couple decided to add their own quirky personality to this and created a "our baby is the size of this vintage camera" pregnancy documentary shoot instead!
Celebrating a new addition to family is always an exciting time, and there are so many wonderful ideas already out there to document the baby changing and growing in size. So, how do you create something unique? A Statesboro, Georgia, based commercial photographer and marketing director, Jeremy Wilburn, who's also a enthusiastic vintage camera collector, combined his passions and skills with his fun-loving partner Jordan Wilburn, to create a way to document his partner's pregnancy in way that shows both of their personalities through and through.
Dating back to 2011, Wilburn began collecting cameras by scouring deals on eBay, in estate sales, thrift shops, and as gifts given by his family and friends. Sometimes spending as little as a dollar or two for an unwanted vintage piece, the pace of collecting eventually slowed down by the increasing popularity of vintage cameras and the subsequent price rise. However, Wilburn needn't worry because he currently has a little more than 100 cameras in his collection, with his personal favorites including Kodak Brownies, unique Polaroids, Fuji disposables, and others.
Having had interest in these long-lived cameras, Wilburn came up with the idea of the shoot and saved it in the back of his mind, until the couple found out they are expecting their first child. According to Wilburn, both of them are known in their friends circle as being a little "extra", and as such documenting their first pregnancy through this shoot was the right choice. Forget "our baby is the size of a kidney bean", it's all about "our baby is the size of a vintage camera screw"!
Using a Nikon D600 with a Nikon 85mm f/1.8D lens, Wilburn set it to f/4.5, 1/50th of a second, and ISO 320. Combining that with Nikon SB-800, Wilburn shot through an umbrella in the same spot and at roughly the same time every week to match the lighting scenario. Keeping the set up simple allowed for an easier replication every week to ensure consistency. Although not all a perfect match due to rushing and life getting in the way, Wilburn admits that one day he'll revisit the images and try to match them all.
All the way throughout this positive project, Wilburn posted images for their family and friends to see on Facebook, and provided background description about the cameras used, even taking his partner's place during the week 32 shot where he featured a 1997 Polaroid OneStep Close Up matching the size of his baby. Mind you, this particular camera is a significant piece of equipment that prompted Wilburn to set out in his photography journey for the first time, and in a way represents the birth of his passion and photography career.
The couple doesn't intend to continue the project after the birth, but with documentary photography close to Wilburn's heart, he intends to preserve the precious moment's of his son's life.
You can visit the gallery here to see the project in full.
All images used with the permission of Jeremy Wilburn.