You will have to take my word for it when I say I was not the cute, tiny, pregnant person that I always dreamed I would be. In fact, it was quite the opposite, I had an affinity for vegetables as long as they were battered and deep fried and I had neighbors who egged on my constant and incessant need for chocolate pie in hopes that they might get to eat the leftovers, that is, if there were any leftovers. As a result, when the time came to do maternity photos, I took one peek in the mirror, decided I looked much too similar to my beloved Papa and his ample beer belly, and I backed out.
Six years later I don’t really know or accurately recall what I looked like when I was pregnant, and all I have to prove that I did in fact, procreate, aside from the child herself are my tent size sweat pants with the super stretch waste band. While this is not the case for every woman, there are surely many of us that are moody, irrational, gigantic and otherwise unapproachable. Here are a few maternity Photography tips to catching in between the crazy and documenting the miracle that creating another human being really is.
Maternity Photography Tips
- Encourage the mother to feel beautiful, get their hair done, makeup done, buy a new outfit, what have you. Take it from me, women in general and pregnant women specifically will feel much more comfortable if they are just a little extra sparkling on the day of the photos.
- Pay attention to every problem area that we women normally have, and make sure you are posing to avoid accentuating them. (ie, when I was pregnant, my face was particularly pudgy, as a matter of fact, I looked like I had been smashed inside a fat suit and I was acutely sensitive to that fact. If I was posing me up for a maternity session, I would try to shoot down on me, maybe having me look up towards the camera, I would certainly be aware of the camera angle if I was shooting straight on, having me look down and smashing all those chins together while lovingly admiring my bulging belly.)
- Be encouraging. Talk to your client, tell her when she looks particularly beautiful, show her the photo if you got a great one, help her to know she is gorgeous. The more confident you help her feel, the more the confidence will come through the lens and the more she will love her photos.
- Shoot small details. Get in tight on the belly, shoot the adorable little baby items that have been lovingly arranged in the nursery, pay attention to the things that your client has paid attention to, these seemingly little things are so precious and so nice to have memories of.
So, there you have it, nothing too specific, I try to treat a maternity shoot with all the empathy I can possibly muster and help the momma to be feel even for a short while, like she is absolutely stunning. Good luck and happy shooting!