When most people were creating make-shift glasses to watch the “Great American Eclipse” on August 21, mom-to-be Nichole Carver was planning an ambitious and unforgettable maternity shoot. Carver knew the total eclipse was the first one in the United States in nearly 100 years, which is why she hired her mother-in-law, Lisa Cruikshank of Still Pearl Photography, to capture the shots.
Carver told BuzzFeed, “I pitched the idea to my mother-in-law, Lisa Cruikshank of Still Pearl Photography, on the Friday before the eclipse.” Being a Georgia resident, the location was perfect as the state experienced a 99.1% totality — meaning the sun was nearly entirely covered by the moon.
By no means was capturing the perfect shot easy. The sun was (almost) totally eclipsed for only a minute or two, which meant both ladies needed to protect their eyes from sun damage. Fortunately, there was little pressure, as Carver and Cruikshank are already well-acquainted. “Since she is my mother-in-law, we knew there would be many more opportunities for a different kind of shoot if this one didn’t work out,” said Carver. Fortunately, their hard work paid off.
“It was hard trying to hold my eclipse glasses over the lens,” said Cruikshank, “but I closed my eyes and held the shutter down for about 20 frames and got lucky one was in focus.”
Because the sun was too high in the sky to get Carver and the eclipse in one frame, Cruikshank took two photos: one of her daughter-in-law and one of the eclipse. She later merged them together in what some might call a stroke of genius.
As you might imagine, reactions to the photoshoot have been extremely positive. Others are kicking themselves for not thinking of the same thing but most have been supportive of the creative photoshoot which no one — especially Carver and Cruikshank — will forget in the near future.
“We never in a million years expected the idea or photo to take off like it has,” Carver said. “It is a piece of art, and it took a lot of work to get the photo in just a few short seconds. In my opinion, she (Cruikshank) hung the moon with this photo.”