Photographing a pregnant woman is an opportunity to capture unique beauty. Professional maternity photography requires various skills. You must know the technical aspects, be able to arrange poses and make the expectant mothers feel comfortable. Here is everything you need to know about maternity photoshoot.
Questions before Maternity Photography Session
If you are going to photograph pregnant women, you will face a wide range of clients, with unique preferences. Make sure you ask these questions before starting maternity photography session:
- What is your personal style preference?
Some clients like elegant or classic themes. Others are more adventurous and don’t mind being outdoor during the session. Make sure you understand these personal preferences to do the perfect directions.
- How much skin are you comfortable to show?
Pregnant women have different levels of preferences when it comes to showing skin. Some are comfortable showing much skin or even doing it nude. Others prefer something more covered. Follow each client’s preference and respect her boundary.
- Who will see the results?
Pregnant women may want to show their photos to other people. However, some pictures may be available only for the closest people. Other may be suitable to show to colleagues or bosses. Make sure your clients get what they need for the results.
If possible, you can draw several crude poses and show them to your clients. Ask them what kind of poses they want to do during a maternity photography session.
Technical tips for Maternity Photography
Capturing a woman’s special “maternity glow” requires an understanding of technical aspects. Here are several tips you can try:
- Choose natural lighting first
Natural lighting is your best friend in maternity photography. When used right, it will better capture the natural beauty and appearances of pregnant women.
- Make use of golden or blue hour
Golden hour is the time right before sunrise/sunset, while the blue hour is right afterward. These hours are great for outdoor maternity photoshoot, as they provide natural golden light or purplish-blue background.
- Avoid flash or reflector at the beginning
Don’t go crazy with reflector or flash when starting. Pregnant women have naturally glowing skin due to increased oil production. Using flash or reflector can make their skin look too oily and unnatural.
- Alternate with black-and-white shooting
When taking pictures, try alternating with black-and-white shots. Some women develop apparent skin condition that is hard to cover up, such as blotches and stretchmarks. When taking pictures in angles or distances that make these blemishes too obvious, you can try black-and-white shots.
You can also try different backgrounds for repeated poses. Different backgrounds create a unique atmosphere, even if the poses are similar.
Posing Tips for Maternity Photography
When arranging poses in maternity photography, you must consider things such as comfort, angles, and focus. Here are some posing tips to consider:
- Start from sitting poses
Sitting poses are passive but comfortable. They are great to ease a pregnant woman to enter your session. You can also create casual, elegant, or fun poses in a sitting position.
- Don’t make the client tired
Avoid ordering your client to do tons of poses at once. You are the one who must move around and move the client to the desired position. Make sure the client moves as little as possible.
- Experiment with different angles
Don’t hesitate to suggest various maternity shot poses. Make the client look away from the camera, drawing more attention to her belly. Try close ups, wide angle, full-body, or panoramic angles.
- Experiment with head positions
There are two basic head poses ideal for pregnant women: looking down (gazing at the belly) or slightly looking up. Experiment with these poses to get beautiful pictures.
- Find out the client’s preferences
Different clients have unique preferences regarding their bodies. Some love frontal poses, while others feel better when photographed sideways. Discuss these preferences with clients to find the best angles.
Planning the poses before the sessions is important in professional maternity photoshoot. However, you must be ready to improvise when seeing good chances.
Props and Partners in Maternity Photography
Plan your props before every photography session. You may offer various props or suggest something personal from the client’s possessions. Baby shoes, clothes, books, or flowers, for example, are great maternity photoshoot props. Having a discussion about props beforehand also serves as a good icebreaker with the client.
Another thing to consider is the presence of partners. Some women want to incorporate their loved ones in maternity shots, such as spouses, older children, or parents. While this is good, remember to make the client your actual star.
Finally, discuss with the client’s partner beforehand if there is going to be nude or partially nude shots. The client’s spouse, partner, or other trusted person must be present during maternity photography sessions with nude poses.
Photographing pregnant women is a privileged job. You have a chance to create pictures that serve as beautiful memories. Make sure to act professional and apply proper techniques to win trust. Plan everything before starting a maternity photography session, from poses to technical aspects and sensitive things such as nude pictures.