Maternity Photography has a special place in my heart. Not only is it the style of photography that really started my career, but it is also hands down my favorite moment to photograph for my clients. There is no one more excited than a first time Mommy and Daddy awaiting their tiny bundle of joy. Or a family with older children excited to meet their newest sibling. The excitement and joy of an expecting family is unmatched.
Maternity photography has been around for a while but in the last 10 years it has gotten more and more popular. Back in the day (like when our moms were expecting) pregnancy was not treated the same. Although bringing life into the world has always been a precious thing, pregnancy itself was not something women really thought to capture on camera. They didn't even make appealing maternity clothes (my mom describes them as potato sacks with arm and leg holes lol). It was almost as if they were hiding their bellies and just counting down the minutes until it was over.
Well it is 2017 and I love Maternity Sessions because they encourage women to be excited about their new Bundle of joy and to embrace their beautiful baby bumps. Our bodies are amazing. We make people and that should be celebrated. Here are a few tips to help expecting Mommies and Daddies prepare for their perfect Maternity Photography Session.
1) LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!!
First thing first. Your maternity session should capture the style of you and your family. You want it to be a setting that you and your family will be comfortable in. That is why the location you choose is so important. I know we live in the age of Pinterest and the newest trends seem like the best choice. But your maternity photos will outlive the trend of the week. These are your memories and they should fit your style. So if your favorite summer hang out is the beach, then do your maternity session at the beach. If you and your family love to do picnics at the park, then go to the park. If you are from Chicago and your favorite baseball team is the Cubs, go to the cubs stadium and have your session right there in front. Don't try to be trendy. Think about what's going to look good hanging on your living room wall 10 years from now.
2) WARDROBE NECESSITIES!
I get asked by clients all the time, what should they wear to various shoots. Maternity shoots especially because moms are not their normal size and are uncertain about what will look best on camera. So I want to share a few tips. First let me say this, I DO NOT tell people exactly what to wear. If I decide for you, there will be nothing unique and signature about your photos. But I do suggest that your outfit and color choices match the location you choose. If you decide to go to the beach I suggest not wearing dark colors or anything really formal. Leave your prom dress and pumps at home, and opt for a flowy sundress with bare feet. If you decide you want a more edgy shoot, like in front of some cool graffiti, I would suggest not wearing a pastel maternity gown with your belly out. Wear those dark and/or bold colors and those stretchy maternity jeans. You want the style of clothing and your location to go together.
Another tip; Form fitting (but not to tight) clothes are a must. The whole point of a maternity shoot is to show off that belly. You want it to poke out and some outfits tend to make it look smaller. I also suggest not wearing super busy patterns unless you discuss it with your photographer. And most importantly wear something that you are comfortable and cute in. And let everyone else's outfit compliment yours.
3) INCLUDE THE ENTIRE FAMILY
This is a special moment for not only you, Mommy, but also everyone else in your family too. If you have a family with willing participants, BRING THEM! I know how difficult dads and small kids can sometimes be, especially when it comes to pictures. But they are just as excited as you are. Maternity Sessions are about displaying love, joy and excitement. The more people there are to participate the more love, joy and excitement there is to go around. Don't leave them out of this important memory.
4) RELAX AND HAVE FUN!
I know, I know! Asking a mommy to be, with a never ending 'to do' list, to simply relax is nearly impossible. You have baby shower decorations, nursery colors, and labor on your brain. And you just want the perfect Maternity Photos to remember this stressful but BEAUTIFUL experience. But you have to relax. The best photo sessions, especially Maternity photo sessions, are when everyone is relaxed and having fun. There is nothing worse for a photo session than a client that is so worried about every little detail that they can not enjoy the photo session at all. You hired an expert (your photographer) to worry about the details. Let us do the hard work of worrying about your next pose and and you just focus on having an enjoyable experience. Your photos will be 100 times better!