Ask any mother and she will undoubtedly agree that pregnancy is one of the most amazing periods in a woman’s life. No wonder so many women dream of having their maternal radiance captured on film. A beautiful pregnant woman deserves the indulgence of a professional photo shoot; however it makes sense to invest some time making sure you select the right candidate to help create this timeless memory.
If you are lucky enough to live in a metropolitan area, the chances are you will be spoilt for choice, since so many photography studios have embraced the maternity photography trend. If you use the following essential tips you are sure to end up with enduring images you will cherish for a lifetime.
Timing is everything.
Choosing the best time for a pregnancy photo shoot very much depends on each individual. Women with a petite belly should consider waiting until the baby bump is clearly visible, whereas women carrying a larger baby could consider scheduling the shoot earlier on in the pregnancy, perhaps around weeks 28-30. Typically, anytime between week 30 and week 36 is ideal. But remember, a maternity shoot can be hard work, so don’t leave it too late - you don’t want to risk giving birth before the session takes place!
Choose your outfit with care.
You decide what you want to wear. It’s that simple. Although some mothers opt for a tasteful ‘au naturel’ shoot, you might prefer something different, something more personal. Forget about props, something as pure as pregnancy doesn’t require any superfluous paraphernalia. In fact, additional props may make your photos look rather dated in a few years’ time. Keep it simple, keep it uncluttered and let the glowing mum-to-be be the star.
Feel comfortable with your choice of photographer.
This goes beyond simply checking the photographer’s previous work (but make sure you do!). It can be a fine line between tasteful and tacky when it comes to pregnancy photography. Check to ensure the photographer’s work exudes style and class. If you don’t like the style of photos in his/her portfolio then it’s probably best to walk away. Remember, the images in a photographer’s portfolio represent the best images he/she has captured. Consider for one moment the images that didn’t make it into the portfolio!
Insist on meeting the photographer beforehand to see if you click. Do you feel comfortable around him/her? If you don’t click or feel comfortable, then move on – no matter how good his/her portfolio might be. Also if you are considering a larger studio, which has many photographers available, make sure you meet the actual photographer who will be working with you on the day.
It is also important to remember that experience counts. The art of dealing with pregnant women in a calm way, of being able to put them at ease, and then delivering beautiful shots is something typically reserved to veteran maternity photographers.
Finally, try to check out the studio before you commit. Is it clean? Is it warm? Does it have the necessary amenities? Never underestimate the difference a comfortable wash room can make – allowing the mother to prepare for the shoot in a relaxed environment is absolutely essential.
Take your wish list with you.
Chances are that you have some distinct wishes and preferences in regards to your shoot. Make sure these wishes are heard. If it helps, make a list to take with you. A maternity shoot is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your pregnancy and your wishes should definitely be heard and considered.
At the same time, respect the expertise of your photographer. If you have followed the previous tip, then you have chosen a highly-trained and highly-skilled individual, who knows exactly what works and what doesn’t. Respect his/her authority while remaining as close as you can to your specific requirements.
Take advantage of these four top tips and with a little planning and preparation, your efforts will be rewarded with amazing, timeless photos that you'll treasure forever!Written by William Lamb, Essential Photography in East-Ringwood, Melbourne