5 Tips on Creating Beautiful Maternity Photos
1. Be patient in capturing the essence of motherhood.
Every pregnancy is as unique and beautiful as every woman. But there is a window of time in which similarities come to the front. Professional photographer Natalie Brenner says the best time to shoot pregnancy photos is between 32 and 36 weeks. I agree with this and feel it is best because the beauty and miracle of pregnancy are most apparent. Your belly should be round and full enough to capture the essence of motherhood. The entire photo session should focus on the mother, her beautiful bump and the precious life waiting to enter the world.
2. Pay attention to the surroundings.
Since the focus is on pregnancy and motherhood, make sure you are in an environment that does not detract from this precious time. Remember, you are trying to communicate the uniqueness of this real-world miracle in a two-dimensional photograph. The background, lighting and overall atmosphere should support the emotion and ethereal bond between mother and unborn child. Bring all sense and your imagination to bear in creating the portrait. Be patient and inspect everything as you look through the camera’s lens and at the surrounding area. You should reposition, replace or remove anything that causes you to pause before pressing the shutter.
3. The Pose and lighting.
The hands on the belly will always be a staple in any pregnancy photo. Gently touching a bare belly reveals externally that which is internally complete. Poses of a caress or tender glance, convey thoughts of love, safety, and assurance to anyone viewing the picture. Remember, light, gentle touches to the baby bump to avoid indentations or to wrinkle the skin.
Many angles can be used to express the connection between mother and unborn baby. Since the shoot is about the mother and her beautiful bump, remember to keep that in mind. Try to relate every pose to the universe and nature. My favorite is a straight on shot, having mom place one hand on the top of her belly and the other below it. Her head tilted slightly down. It simulates the universal balance and unity that exist in every woman.
Although I have had many in-studio pregnancy shoots, I feel natural light is best because it accentuates the intrinsic beauty of the moment. An open window, a warm sunrise or golden sunset, breaths more life to the mother-with-child magic. The same setting is possible but challenging to recreate in a studio setting. A mixture of an off-camera flash in an outdoor, nature-filled environment, can highlight you and your pregnancy while enhancing the brilliant colors that surround you. It brings to view the uniqueness of the moment as you represent the fullness of nature.
4. Wear clothes that reveal the bump.
The purpose of the shoot is to show off the elegance and beauty of the baby bump. So, make sure you wear clothes that highlight and reveal the roundness of your beautiful belly. Tight and stretchy clothes do a better job than loose fitting ones as you are trying to convey and celebrate your little miracle. Wearing colors that stand out from the background bring the focus to the mother and her belly. If you are choosing a natural setting, earth tones might be a better fit. Create an exotic feel by wearing your favorite jewelry or bright floral’s. These are portraits you want to display proudly for years to come.
Another great idea is to wear a top that will expose the belly, which takes you to my last tip.
5. The eye of the photographer.
Every photographer is different and has their unique style of shooting maternity photos. Finding a person that can see the beauty of your pregnancy is key to a lasting portrait. You want to find someone you feel comfortable showing your belly to and someone you trust to bring out the essence of the moment. That person can be you, a family member, your best friend, or your photographer. These are moments to remember and should be cherished just as strongly by the person behind the camera as it is by the person in front it.