Nicki Bergeson + The Story Behind

The photography community amazes us. They really do. The way they are continuously thinking outside the box and rethinking what the norm is when it comes to photography is astounding. Nicki’s photo is no exception. When we spotted it while scrolling through our IG tag, we stopped and studied it. We were mesmerized how she used a lace dress and light to place a perfect pattern on her subject as well as using it as leading lines. We are super stoked to have her in this week’s installment of The Story Behind.

IG Handle:.

Where was this photo taken?
This Photos was taken in our downstairs/ playroom in our home in Oregon.

How did the location add or hinder to your image?
It’s our playroom so its always a bit of a mess. There were a lot of toys and games out. I moved a few brightly colored things out of the background but was able to use the dress to block out anything else that might be distracting.

DSLR, iphone, instant or film?
Nikon D750 with a Sigma 35mm Art 1.4 lens.

What were your camera settings for this image?
ISO 250, f2.0, 1/25000 sec

Can you tell us “The Story Behind” this shot?
My youngest daughter was playing dress up in our playroom and was struggling to put on this lace dress. she was standing across from our sliding glass doors and I noticed how the dress was making shadows on her skin and thought it was so beautiful, I pointed it out to her and asked if we could take some photos together. I ran to get my camera and moved her over to the middle of the room so that the shadows were more pronounced then I put my head through the neck of the dress and draped the bottom over her and we just played in there while I photographed her.

What speaks to you about this image? What specifically made you press the shutter?
I loved the way the shadow is falling across her face and framing her eye. She was looking directly into my lens which is rare since so many of my photos of her are so candid. I like that she isn’t smiling, just staring, like she’s gazing right into my eyes.

What was your composition technique with this shot?
I tried to use rule of thirds when composing this and wanted the first thing the viewer noticed to be her eyes. It was really quite a circus with us playing together under the dress, my head was through the neck hole and she kept getting reallllly close to me and we were moving and laughing a ton. It isn’t quite rule of thirds but I liked the way it turned out.

Did you have any lighting challenges/How did you light the image?
The lighting situation was perfect because she was across from our big sliding glass doors with a lot of sunlight filtering in, no other lights in the room were on so I didn’t have to change anything, I moved her a little from the place where she was originally playing so that she was more evenly lit.

Did you use any special techniques – freelensing, prism, etc?
I wrapped myself in lace! Is that a technique?!

Was this photo happenstance or did you visualize it prior? If so, how did you envision the image and set up for it?
She just happened to be playing with this dress across from our sliding glass doors in the playroom when I saw how the shadows fell on her skin I knew I wanted to photograph that. At the time there were only shadows across her belly but I knew I wanted to photograph her face. I’ve seen similar photographs in the past and have always loved them.

Did you use a preset to edit this image, your own selective edits or a combination of both?
I used Lukas Korynta presets that were made for Tribe Archipelego with just a little bit of tweaking.

Do you have any addition information you would like to share with our readers?
I love photographing my girls so much but they don’t always love to be photographed. I have found that if I ask them for their input and ideas first they get excited about being in the pictures and we make the photographs together. They come up with some really great ideas sometimes too and its fun to see how excited they get when I show them what we’ve made. For this photo, instead of just grabbing my camera when I saw the shadows on her skin, I pointed them out to her and said “look how pretty this is! Can I get under there with you and take some pictures? Should we put it on your head? etc..” We both had fun with this and then she sat with me while I edited them and bossed me around about converting them to black and white or “showing the colors.”

Continue to be inspired by Nicki at the following:


  • December 7, 2018

    Cindy Bergeson

    All I can say is “WOW,” and I really enjoyed reading this, as Nicki is my daughter-in-law!!! She is such a talented young lady, incredible wife and mother, and her warmth and beauty shines through in whatever she does!!! Love you, Nicki!!!♡ – Cindy