Odds are that you have at least one friend who’s pregnant (or attempting) – what a great time to test out your maternity photography skills! Here are some tips on getting great photos:
You want a big belly, but you don’t want mom to feel exhausted or have too many pregnancy related side effects (stretch marks, water retention, etc.). There’s also the risk of an early delivery, so about 7-8 months is when you want to plan to get those maternity photos completed.
Ideally you want your shooting location to be as simple as possible, so that all the focus is on the expectant mother. A simple couch, bed, or bare room is a good start, with soft, neutral colors all around. Outdoors is great too, it just requires a bit more planning and flexibility.
Soft, white or pastel colors work really well in maternity photos, but it depends on your background as well. Obviously, for black and white images you’ll want very light/dark clothing that contrasts with surroundings and mom’s beautiful skin. Make sure your client brings a few changes of clothing, just in case!
Try to get at least one silhouette shot by placing mom against a bright background and underexposing your image – these types of maternity photos are always really popular and look artistic, so even if it’s your first maternity session you’ll have a great photo!
Fully-nude maternity shots are not for everyone, although they are gorgeous. Try to work with your subject’s comfort levels. Having a sheer sheet on hand is a great in-between option; you can drape it artfully to cover the “bits” but still leave the bump, legs, and arms exposed. Mom can also pick up a bandeau (strapless bra) and underwear in a nude tone to create the illusion of nudity, without the nude.
You will have more control over your set indoors, but outdoor maternity shots are just as (or more) gorgeous, particularly if can find a quite park or piece of beach at sunset. Even if it’s winter you can get some gorgeous photos, as long as mom is willing to wear something tight-fitting for the shoot!
Besides getting some “just mom” photographs you’ll also want to include the dad-to-be, siblings, even pets into your maternity photo shoot to give a nicely-rounded group of photos to your client/friend. You can also include props like baby shoes, chalkboards (with a due date), sonogram photos, balloons, ribbons, flowers, even write on mom’s tummy with some washable paint! Also ask your subject if there’s anything they’d like to include.
In case you need some more inspiration, here’s an awesome Pinterest Board of amazing maternity photos!
This article may contain affiliate links
I love this stylish and functional camera bag. It’s sturdy yet stylish – who could ask for more?
Now this is one sturdy carrying case – it’s built so well to hold all of my gear – it’s especially great for traveling with my gear. I couldn’t do my job without it.
Oh the latest Canon 5D – it’s a dream to shoot with and I love it so much. It’s my second child! It builds on the powerful legacy of the 5D series, offering amazing refinements in image quality, performance and versatility.
Whoever said zoom lenses aren’t amazing didn’t have this one. It offers a great zoom range (perfect for moving targets like toddlers) yet it has a wonderfully large aperture throughout its focal length.
I love this zoom lens – especially when you are further away from the subject – great for capturing your kids playing sports.
A fantastic prime lens perfect for portraits
The lens is suitable for any shooting situation, with a lens coating and construction type that are optimized to minimize the ghosting and flare that frequently occurs when lenses are used with digital cameras. The lens also offers an ultra-large aperture that produces a narrow depth of field and the type of soft background blur so loved by photographers everywhere.
OTHER EQUIPMENT and GOODIES
This speed lite delivers impressive power, responsive performance and advanced, wireless communication for those who demand the very best in flash photography
I love the Gary Fong diffuser – helps to give your speedlight flash that wonderful diffused light on the go!
You can never go wrong with using a reflector for fill light – I like the Neewer 43inch for portability and size.
If there was one product (apart from my camera) that I would take to every newborn shoot it has to be the Sleep Sheep. Press Ocean sound and babies love it as it is so calming!
I always get asked what consumer camera to buy and I have found that the Rebel t6i is by far the best for my clients to take gorgeous, high-quality photos and videos that are easy to share