How To Get The Best Photographs From Your Maternity Photography Session
Pregnancy is a melting pot of emotions, full of ups and downs. It can feel like a long hard slog at certain points and yet over in the blink of an eye when looked back on. Every woman’s pregnancy is different and will undoubtedly be special in its own unique way.
A maternity photoshoot will keep the memory of this fleeting landmark in your life alive for years to come and enable you to share it with family and friends. Of course, photographs are something anyone can do themselves but for images that are truly exceptional, a professional maternity photographer could be the right choice.
The place to be
A key decision to make when planning a maternity photography session is the location. Are there certain places that feel extra special to you? Perhaps you enjoy gentle strolls through a local park or green space, or favour a more urban feel of a city setting. There is, of course, the ever-popular option of holding your photoshoot right at home in your house or garden. It completely depends on your individual preferences and the aesthetic you’re after, not forgetting to take into account any practical considerations relating to being heavily pregnant.
As a lifestyle photographer authenticity is at the heart of what I do, which is why I don’t have a photography studio or use staged lighting and props – it’s natural light all the way. For outdoor shoots, bright sunshine can be used as a backdrop to highlight the optical contrast of light and shadow, creating a striking silhouette with a perfectly defined pregnancy bump. Trees can add interest to photos by offering up dappled light that creates a feeling of peace and serenity. If your photography session is taking place indoors, you may be concerned that daylight is limited but even one small window will provide me with enough light to work with.
Where your maternity photoshoot takes place is entirely up to you – although I’m always happy offer advice!
Dress the part
Whether you want to add a touch of glamour to your maternity photographs by dressing up or you want a more natural, laid-back approach to your styling, choosing an outfit you feel comfortable in is so important. A long, flowing empire line dress will help you achieve an ethereal look whereas a figure hugging, bodycon top or dress will really show off the curves of your rounded belly.
For the most part, simple is almost always better and I would also advise staying away from elaborate patterns as they can be very distracting. Muted tones are a popular choice these days but, if that doesn’t suit your personality, go bold with some bright colours – just mindful that they don’t clash with your surroundings and what your partner or children are wearing.
Whatever time of year it is, embrace the season. Wrap up in snuggly knits for winter and switch to light layers in the heat of summer. For outdoor maternity shoots, be prepared – don’t forget hats, scarves and gloves to accompany your heavy winter coat and sun cream to protect skin against the UV rays.
Mix it up
To get the most of your maternity photography session, I like to get a wide variety of different images. Of course, as the star of the show, I’ll snap plenty of you lovingly caressing your bump as the sheer joy of what’s in store shines through. As parenthood imminently approaches, I’ll click away as you and your partner share a warm embrace or gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes. If your new baby has older siblings, I encourage them to get involved too. And don’t leave out any furry friends – cats, dogs and any other pets are more than welcome to be part of the experience!
For maternity photoshoots that take place at home, candid shots of you going about baby-related chores work well to really capture the moment. Hanging up freshly washed baby grows, holding up a pair of baby booties or even packing your hospital bag as you prepare for the big event all make for wonderful memories to hold on to. A beautifully decorated nursery ready and waiting for its new dweller can be a super addition to a maternity photo album.
Timing is everything when planning a maternity photography session – arranging it too early and you may not have a nice, rounded pregnancy bump to showcase but if you wait too close to the birth and you might feel tired and fed up. I recommend organising your photoshoot to take place before 34 weeks but during the last trimester. To make sure there’s availability at the right time, I suggest booking your session in advance.
Whether you’re after dreamy and romantic, elegant and traditional or a little bit crazy and offbeat, I can create the perfect maternity images for you. In need of inspiration? Take a look at my previous maternity photoshoots to discover what’s right for you.