Learn the best maternity photography tips and tricks – from when to take maternity pictures, what to wear and how to pose for maternity photos.
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Maternity Photography Tips
After weeks and weeks of carrying a new baby it gets harder to feel as special and beautiful as when you first discovered that little bump exposing itself to the world.
What exactly is Maternity photography?
Maternity photography is a great option for families who want to document how beautiful it is to bring another member of the family into the world. After all trying to take selfies of anything round is a hard feat without the right angles. Below I have included a few maternity photography tips and tricks that have helped me in my sessions with my clients.
What should I wear for a Maternity Session?
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS consult your client/photographer with wardrobe options. Some photographers have their own closet of various maternity outfits for any momma-to-be’s dreams. Others have a quick how to guide on what not to and what to wear, both are great options. I choose to consult over the phone and get to know my clients personally. I ask questions like… would they want something more casual or an elegant maternity dress to blow in the wind? This also helps me decide on the perfect location for the session. Choose together to get what you are both looking for in the session which will guide you in better knowing what to wear for a maternity session.
What’s in my camera bag?
Best Lenses for Maternity Photography
Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 sport: I love this telephoto lens for portraits, There is a wide aperture and you have so many options as far as distance.
Sigma 35mm 1.4 art: Prime lenses are just sharper than zoom lenses and when photographing wide open the Sigma 35 mm art 1.4 has such a soft bokeh. I love it because I can get close and personal with my clients or step back for a beautiful sunset or landscape shot.
When photographing with two lenses and one body make sure to plan out where you will be using them to minimize switching lenses too often or invest in a lens holder that includes a strap for easy access.
Outdoor Maternity Sessions
I love sunsets for Maternity sessions, really any session, but when it comes to an expecting mama I love being outdoors. It is just so romantic and warm. literally an hour before sunset gives you enough time to meet your clients, take some golden hour photos and get the whole package as far as lighting comes.
Back light looks beautiful as it highlights hair, and when posed correctly, mommy’s belly too. If you cannot make sunset work, make sure you stay away from harsh lighting such as during the middle of the day…it is not as romantic and will give off very harsh shadows, so stick with a shady location or a cloudy day.
Unique Maternity Photos
The best way to get unique maternity pictures is to find a location that best fits the expecting mom, her choice of wardrobe and a location that isn’t the “normal”. Keep in mind if you get creative any location can work as long as you minimize distractions. That is the key! You don’t want a Mom posed graciously in front of a small parking lot or road with cars driving by. After all, she and her baby are the focus of this session. I love photographing at a local state park, you can always find discrete places to get beautiful backdrops and leading lines. Try two to three different locations for a one hour session and don’t be afraid to try out new poses! Speaking of new poses….
How should I pose for Maternity Pictures?
I get this question quite often…and if a spouse is there for the session have them talk and tell jokes to each other, dance around and even lean on trees. An easy pop of the front leg helps show off that belly even more.
Remember your focus here is really that baby bump but also the love it took to make it. One of my favorite prompts can be used in almost any pose. “Look down at what you’ve made. Okay now take a deep breath and when you breath out think about how much love you have and smile.” It gets them every time! Capture that LOVE!
Details also help so I suggest them bringing a small token; in the past I have had clients bring baby shoes, a family heirloom or jewelry. It just brings a little variety in the album when delivered and helps your clients really connect with them!
When should you take your maternity pictures?
I’ve have moms come to me at 28 weeks with a big round belly ready for photos and I’ve had moms come who needed a little extra time. I would say the sweet spot is between 32-36 weeks, that way they aren’t so far along they are miserable when posing. I love to go on walks with my clients so I always choose with them when the best time would be for them!
Soon after your maternity photos are taken you’ll be snuggling your precious newborn! Here are a few resources for documenting your own hospital newborn pictures to some DIY newborn photography tips!