If you are an expectant mom and waiting on your bundle of joy or you are looking forward to photoshooting a pregnant woman, you may have thought of getting your pregnancy photos done. You may have a lot of queries on how to be ready for the ideal photoshoot – the dress of your model, lighting, location, props, etcetera. Today, as I write this post, I’ll be guiding and sharing with you my 12 Tips for Taking Good Maternity Photos.
Pregnancy photography is such a wonderful occasion for capturing the radiating mom-to-be just before her newborn arrives! It is the perfect occasion to make her feel like a queen, be pampered, a million dollars, but you also have to take utmost care of her and to make sure that she is comfortable during what can become quite an unpleasant time for her.
Preparing for the photoshoot always decreases the magnitude of tension and stress for everybody, and it’s important that you do have a plan and keep your stockpile of tricks with you at all times. So, let’s jump right into this, shall we? I’ll be making sure that you are able to get the ideal photos to make life-long sweetened memories!
When should you want to do your maternity sessions? The photo session is planned to ‘see the bump.’
My general advice is the beginning of the last trimester and before 35 weeks. Once you reach this point, you start to feel uncomfortable. Its tough getting up and down and you don’t feel ‘beautiful.’
I would suggest you communicate and decide when the time is right for you. I also make sure that there are no complications such as physical limitations, risk of preterm delivery, the possibility of a bed rest, or you are expecting multiples. In this case, I’ll have to schedule it in the second trimester.
Position & Looks
Complimenting an expectant mama and her baby bump is always high on our list of things to do and accomplish.
We’ve seen all kinds of body types, meaning there’s numerous ways women carry their baby(s). It might be great for one mother; but for another, it wouldn’t work at all.
We generally go with the below positions and look for expecting moms-to-be (daddies are also included too).
TOUCHING THE BUMP
It’s second nature for the mom-to-be to have the desire to feel her baby bump! This really makes the perfect attention grabbing photo. This also gives her a comfortable spot to put her hands on. I’ll be mixing it up though. I’ll see if you are comfortable with hands in your pockets, on your hips, or even touching your hair.
You’ll see me mostly standing on a stool or on something or the other most of the session. It gives me perspective and is an excellent way to compliment pregnant moms and get that perfect big belly.
I might ask you to lie down on a blanket or quilt so it’s easy for me to shoot from a top angle. Shooting from a fixed height let’s me minimize body parts, other than your belly of course, that may have gotten large during your pregnancy.
I’ll be making sure your head is not completely tilted to any weird position when I look at you. It looks unnatural and can create a double chin, which we do not want to have in the photos. I’ll be asking you to fixate on any point just slightly farther from your bump.
Do not forget to smile and make eye contact… everybody loves these types of classic shots. I’ll be asking you to vary your expressions from laughing to serious based on the pose. I like having the soon-to-be dad stand behind me or to the side and dance or make jokes to get you to laugh.
I like to get couples in close and hug to get the distance out between them. I’ll ask your husband to be intimate (appropriately) with you and touch you. It helps to get half body, full body, and close ups shots of both of you together. I may sometimes even do this without your belly.
Basically a couple’s posing really works out well in this situation, and if your belly is in the way I’ll just go with it. It’s usually one of the tactics to make us all giggle in this stressed photo session.
It all depends on how ‘developed’ the baby bump is and what you are wearing. If I can show your pregnancy by shooting straight I’ll run with it. It won’t be necessary to ask you to turn to your side for this. In the case the bump isn’t too visible; I’ll ask you to turn to one side. Twisting to a side obviously is for all pregnant mothers, but you don’t have to completely turn. A 45° angle will work most of the time as well.
SITTING or STANDING
I’ll mostly ask you to sit down so you aren’t under a lot of stress and I have observed it works best when I’m taking a couple or family together. I’ll mostly avoid all those awkward angles unless it’s absolutely necessary, but they won’t be necessary.
I’ll only ask you to stand when I look to take a more flattering pose with you. I’d rather have you relaxed in your poses and not under stress so most of the time I’ll let you decide how you want to do these shoots standing up.
What I love most about these maternity images is the amount of creativity that they lend to the whole session.
Now, I’ll be playing with your angles, color, composition, and breaking most of the rules anyways… especially when I’m working with adults to take the session in a specific direction. On certain occasions, it might just become frustrating and overwhelming.
When shooting babies and kids I’ll be taking the lead most of the time, and I might stop to compose a much more interesting shot. I’ll even try and plan this before the session and we can also experiment.
I’ll be talking with you or you and your partner beforehand to make you feel comfortable as I know this might be awkward. Many people feel silly when facing the camera. I’ll reassure you and it’s perfectly normal for people to feel that way.
I’ll help you focus on your emotions during the session. When you really start to expect the joy of a new baby it shows on your faces and in your body language. I’ll be using these hormones to my advantage in making this a great and memorable maternity photo session.
I believe that any lens can be used for maternity photography. I generally use my 35mm and 85mm most times. I use longer lenses to capture the whole picture with a larger background.
I’ll only use the super wide lens to get it all in and if there is too much distortion I’ll be putting it away. I don’t want to make you look bigger than you actually are. Wide angle lenses are really great for getting the full picture and creativity.
My options for places to take the maternity photos are endless. With your pregnancy shoot we can really go anywhere. You can select outdoors, urban, your home, and I won’t be bothering you during nap-time.
My passion is mostly using the sun for gorgeous backdrops. We can even head downtown as it’s going to be impossible when your baby arrives. I’ll talk with you regarding what to expect and what you want – a fun and colorful feel, a natural vibe, or just a simple session at home.
What should you wear? I get asked this question a lot from expectant moms before the session. I always say ‘do not hide your bump… the point is to see it.’
I’ll give you the option of bringing your own clothes and will be helping you pick. I have ample changing space considering I don’t want you to be cramped in tight spaces while you change with your bump.
Clothing also depends on the location we select and the session type. We can select natural and neutral tones or bright colors and casual apparel based on how you want to look.
Doing a family maternity session is amazing, but also tricky. Older sibling(s) are somewhat stressful and it’s hard to get them to stand at one place and also have you show off your belly.
You don’t have to chase them around, and so I and dad will be helping out. I always keep it fun and light. I’ll try and squeeze in ‘classic’ photos, but my focus would be on the interactions between you and your family members.
Children generally like to be the big brother or sister. When you add kids into the photo shoot, direction and posing evolves into something else. I’ll mainly be focusing on you bump.
Pro Tip: You can bring your pets also and are a great addition to these shoots. I have met so many couples who want to include their pets in these sessions. It’s better to discuss the location when we’re working with animals.
I have done many sessions with props, and they really are popular in maternity photo sessions. In my opinion, I would want to use something that is cute, but not something that is cheesy.
I’ll be upfront with you about what my style is as I show you my previous pregnancy photo sessions. If as a new mom you want to integrate an idea or prop you’ve seen on Pinterest, I can arrange for that also. I’ll do my best to complete your vision, but remember if it’s not possible I’ll be putting my own twist on it.
I communicate up front about all things and discuss with you and plan out the sessions with you so that there is no stress, no discomfort, and you are comfortable taking the photos. I don’t want you to cut the session short and reschedule because that would be more stressful for you.