Maternity photography is a fast-growing market for professional photographers, but documenting a woman’s body during pregnancy can be challenging. However, with a little sensitivity and planning your shoots carefully, your maternity photography can give expectant mothers not only pregnancy photos they’ll cherish forever, but an experience they’ll never forget – and hopefully recommend to others!
Like all subjects sitting for portraits, pregnant woman want to look gorgeous in their maternity photos. In her latest post, portrait photographer Kelly Weech reveals her top maternity photo ideas, posing tips, lighting techniques and other tricks of the trade to ensure all photographers can live up to their subjects’ expectations.
We’ll start with some important maternity photography tips to consider before and during your shoot. And then we’ll suggest five really great ideas for pregnancy photos that both you and your subject will be proud of.
Maternity photography tips for before and during your shoot
- 7 months is the prime time to shoot your maternity photography. By this point the mother will feel and look her best. By 8 to 9 months she may possibly have water retention, more stretch marks and feel too heavily pregnant to feel confident about her shape, and that confidence is key to your pregnancy photos.
- Encourage your subject to have her hair and makeup done beforehand to help build this confidence and feel more special for the shoot – or even ask a friend to do it.
- Listen to your subject and work around her insecurities rather than highlighting them in your pregnancy photos.
- Shoot from a higher angle to flatter all body shapes.
- If you decide to do the shoot at your subject’s home ensure you clear the space of clutter. Usually the living room or bedroom is a good choice.
- Keep talking to your subject and build her confidence about how beautiful she looks. Also, if the father is present get him to reassure her through the shoot.
- Use props from around the home to incorporate into your maternity photography. This could be the baby’s scan picture, baby booties or a cool vintage plaque. I like to try to personalise the pregnancy photos to each couple.
- Always shoot in colour. Many people will ask for black and white photos at the beginning, but it’s important to shoot colour so you have both at a later stage if they change their minds.
- Reproduction of your pregnancy photos presented is important so even if you don’t remove blemishes or stretch marks I would always soften them.
- Ask your subject to bring a robe or a shirt from the father-to-be so they can cover up between lighting changes etc. This will help them feel more comfortable.
- If you go on location for your maternity photography, try to capture a silhouette shot by exposing for the background. These types of pregnancy photos always prove popular.
- Don’t forget the siblings. In the past I have asked the baby-to-be’s siblings to write a message on mummy’s bump, and this interaction always results in natural, happy pregnancy photos.
PAGE 1: Maternity photography tips for before and during your shoot
PAGE 2: Use light and shadow creatively
PAGE 3: Include her partner
PAGE 4: Use soft, natural light
PAGE 5: Cover her arms
PAGE 6: Take it lying down