Pregnancy is just one of the most amazing phases that any woman can ever have to go through, and it is such an incredible privilege to be able to experience it. This is one of the many reasons why a lot of women would always choose to document every memorable chapter, without missing anything as much as possible. This is where maternity photography comes in. This kind of market has increasingly become very popular among women and couples who are expecting a new addition to the family. Some photographers may find this session as very tricky and challenging assignment. With several tweaks and tons of creativity and passion, you are to be able to produce the best and most special pregnancy photos that your clients will definitely love.
The same thing goes with all the mothers and couples who want to do this kind of photography on their own – it is not just about the skills, but more so, your desire to come up with beautiful and unique shots that you would love looking at for the rest of your life. Here are some tips and tricks that can surely help you out as you go about documenting and capturing this very special chapter.
For The Photographers
Whether it is your first time or not to work on this kind of shoot, it won’t hurt to take with you some tips that might just save the day. Take a look at this list below so you can add a few new ideas for your next maternity photography shoot.
Timing is everything
Not all photographers would agree about a certain time or period when a maternity shoot should be done, but most would definitely recommend that the 7th month should be the most ideal timing. The size of the tummy is just about right at this point, round but not too big, and very beautiful to photograph. You don’t want it to be really big that your model might probably feel uncomfortable about it, especially with the stretch marks and water retention that are starting to happen. Besides, if you will wait until after 7 months, your model will probably a lot of things to do already and she might not just have a lot of time to spare just sitting or posing under the light of the afternoon sun. Also, you would need to have a lot of time to edit and then print the photos before the baby comes. You want your client to be able to share the photos to their friends and relatives while the baby is still inside their tummy.
A pregnancy shoot should also be treated as another head shot or modeling photography, but of course with a twist. Before the day of the shoot itself, you may want to meet with your client first so you can talk about what you are planning to do with the session, as well as for you to be aware of the things that they are expecting or how they want the photos to come out. This is also the best time to remind the client of what to bring or wear, so they already know.
Where to shoot
As with any photography projects, you can choose to either shoot in a studio, outdoor or at the client’s home. All these locations have their own advantages that you can always consider. Studio shoots are best when you want to have more privacy and if you plan to play with various backdrops or designs. On the other hand, shooting at home is perhaps more advantageous to the client, as they will feel more comfortable and at ease when they are just around the confines of their own place. This is also a great opportunity to include everyone in the family in some of the shots, such as the siblings if there are any, the father of the child and even the pets at home. Make sure to take photos of the client in different parts of the house, particularly the living room. Lastly, outdoor sessions are also perfect in a way that you can play with a lot of scenarios, with nature as your great friend. There is nothing more beautiful than photos that are taken under the setting sunlight, wind blowing on the subject’s hair and even her clothing.
Appreciate the beauty and work around it
No matter where you and the client decide to shoot, there is one thing that you need to always do – and that is to appreciate the beauty of a woman waiting in anticipation for the arrival of her child. One great thing about pregnancy is that you do not need anything or anyone else to help you tell the story. This is why you need to be very careful when choosing your background or setting. You do not want to go for something too loud or too bold because that can only steal the attention away from your real subject.
Help your subject to feel confident and beautiful
The thing about pregnancy is that it tends to make a woman feel insecure or perhaps a bit unconfident about herself. This is where the tricky part comes in, the challenge of making her feel otherwise so that her confidence will reflect on all the photos. Shower her with a lot of encouraging words and just keep on telling her how perfect and beautiful she really looks. But then again, make sure you are genuine about it, she can feel when you are just doing that to patronize her. Woman’s instinct works even better when pregnant.
Everybody loves a little bit of uniqueness every now and then, and this is exactly true when it comes to maternity photography. You might want to stay away from those cliché and usual types of poses, unless of course the client specifically asks for it. Try to be creative for a change but make sure you inform your client of what you are planning to do. Get her involved in anything you want to do and you’ll be surprised to see the excitement on her face.
For The Mothers
For anticipating mothers, there is nothing more worth-remembering than the journey of pregnancy. If you want to document this chapter personally, you can very well do so. All you need is just a good working camera, your beautiful tummy and of course, your husband’s support can go a long way, too. To help you out, take a look at these tips and tricks that will surely make your special project even more enjoyable and productive.
Dress well but properly and comfortably
Your type of clothing and even accessories will depend on the photos you want to have. If you plan on baring your tummy, make sure to wear loose-fitting clothes to avoid any elastic or tight marks anywhere. You can also moisturize your elbows and knees to make them look nicer in photos. If you need to apply lotion, apply it at least an hour or so before the photo shoot so you can avoid having that shiny belly look and also to prevent it from staining your clothes. If you want to focus more attention on the shape of your tummy, try wearing clothes that are of solid colors. As much as possible, stay away from big or loud prints such as stripes, plaid and swirls as they are quite distracting. If you want to appear slim, black clothing can help you achieve that look, so you can go for black tapering yoga pants or dark jeans.
While long sleeves can be really flattering, you can also consider spaghetti straps and sleeveless for a more defined and glowing aura. If you have plans of showing your belly, wear a top and skirt or a pair of pants, as long as it won’t leave any binding marks on your tummy. Consider wearing cotton and silk fabrics as they can drape perfectly around your pregnant body. To enhance your shape, you can choose from button up shirts, drawstring skirts that run long, tank tops and empire-waist dresses and blouses.
Choose your footwear according to the type of clothes that you plan to wear. Don’t forget other grooming essentials such getting a manicure and pedicure. You can also consider getting the services of a professional hairstylist and makeup artist if that will make you feel more beautiful and confident. If you want to show your fashion style, you can always pick a really nice sweater or a stylish scarf, as well as different jewelries and accessories to accentuate your look.
Include your other kids
If you have other children, you can always bring them into the picture. Not only will this help you create happy photos but also, you will be encouraging your children to be cheerful and excited siblings to the baby. You will find it rather surprising to see and feel how enthusiastic they will feel throughout the shoot, knowing that they are given importance and that they are playing a big part on the project.
Try a variety of poses
Instead of just sticking for one or two poses all the time, why not try different poses for your maternity photography session? You can take a close up shot of your belly or you can also lie back on a couch and make it look like it’s just another ordinary day waiting for your husband to get home or something. Your other children can kiss your belly and make sure to snap that right on. Other pregnant women also try yoga poses that they know and capture them on camera.
Don’t get too nervous or stressed out
Remember that this is your photo shoot and that there is no right or wrong thing that you can do. The last thing you will need is to get yourself too stressed out about the whole thing. Not only will it reflect on the photos but that can also affect your little munchkin inside. Just embrace the moment and make sure to enjoy every moment of it. Keep in mind that this should be a fun and thrilling experience, not the other way around. Just relax and take a deep breath, rest whenever you are feeling tired or anything. Just be yourself, be comfortable and be happy about everything.
If in case you want nothing but the traditional photos for your session, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But then again, try to at least give some room for new ideas. Talk to your photographer and see if he or she has something unique to offer, and you might just actually find yourself liking it. You can try different ideas when it comes to your clothing, poses, accessories and even the scenarios of the shots. As long as you feel comfortable and beautiful doing them, don’t hesitate to try it for a change. Remember that it is not every day that you get to have a maternity shoot, so might as well make the most out of it.
Other Things To Remember
Aside from the different poses mentioned above, don’t forget that the mother should always feel comfortable. If you are a photographer, don’t let her do a lot of poses, especially those that can be quite tiring or numbing. Pregnant women are more sensitive and they get tired really easily, so you have to be very careful about that. If you have decided to go for an outdoor location, choose a place where the subject will feel safe and secure, so don’t go for dangerous or too secluded places just for the sake of capturing extraordinary backgrounds.
If you need to use any props or accessories, choose those that are not too heavy and dangerous. A maternity photography shoot can be as simple as possible but would still turn out beautifully with the right lighting and angles. Be sure to bring extra batteries and food, too! Pregnant women are always hungry, like always. You definitely do not want to change the mood of the shoot just because you have been taking pictures for hours and your subject is almost frowning because she is already hungry.
Pregnancy is but a beautiful thing, something that is almost compared to a miracle. There is nothing rewarding for a photographer to have the opportunity to document such rare situations. Even after you have gone through a lot of maternity shoots, each one will always be unique and special. Treat each session as your first one always, with the desire to give your client nothing but beautiful photos and memories that would last a lifetime.