Maternity Photo Shoot Tips

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Maternity photos that capture the beauty of carrying your unborn child are something you will cherish for a lifetime, so we are elated that professional photographer, Katie Pegher, has joined us today to share her tips and tricks for achieving maternity photos that you are sure to be happy with!

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Credit: Photographer Central Pro Katie Pegher

Having a baby is every bit as much a life changing event as getting married. Yet, in our culture, maternity/newborn doesn't get as much clout as wedding photography. That's OK. But don’t underscore the importance of capturing and savoring this milestone on the very same level as a wedding. In your own heart and mind - documenting this professionally and budgeting for it should be the same. Our lives are ever-changing and these things matter. Your lives are authentic and important. Document it!

1. Remember, you are beautiful and embrace this change

Especially for first-time mothers, this can be hard to grasp. Your body feels more like there's some odd alien takeover happening. Your young tight abs have now been replaced with a heavy stretched out "I swallowed a watermelon" thing! But that's not the case at all. What is happening to your body is a miracle. Your curves are an outward symbol of the inner beauty and magic of what is taking place. Curves are good. Curves are attractive. You are beautiful. Repeat. Repeat. Believe.

Whenever you think about how gross your "cankles" are... think about all of the women in this world that are dying to get pregnant. They are going to crazy lengths... lists, probing interviews, sticking themselves with needles on a daily basis, spending thousands of dollars and even traveling the globe to become mothers. They would just as soon cut off their right arm as to have the opportunity to have "cankles." Without getting too personal - I am the child of one such mother. I myself was adopted by two marvelous loving parents and so I know the depths to which young would-be moms and dads will go to have a child. The stress of it is outrageous and all-consuming. So embrace the beautiful change happening to you. Count yourself as lucky and blessed. There are millions of women out there who would kill for your swollen feet and aching back.

2. Don’t forget dad’s role

As parents, as soon as the baby arrives we sort of vanish from the photos. We are inevitably the one behind the lens for the foreseeable future in many instances. Take this opportunity to document your love for one another. Incorporating the dad-to-be in the photo shootensures that the mom-to-be is at ease. A maternity photo shoot doesn’t have to be all about capturing the mom-to-be’s body, curves. Plus it showcases the love, emotion and joy you share as a couple who just can’t wait to welcome their new baby into this world.

Your children will one day appreciate it as well. I look at photos of my parents at that time and think - holy cow - my mom was such a babe! And the same for my dad - what a dashing, handsome guy! I absolutely love this piece of my history - and your future children will too. Consider this perspective when deciding.

3. Choose the right photographer

Now that you are convinced of the importance of this life-event.... it's time to choose someone to bring your brand of magic into reality. There are a few things to consider here.

  • Portfolio - Is this person proficient with their gear? Are their technical skills sound? Or will you only end up with one lucky shot in your finished collection? Is their style something you gravitate to? Do they do a lot of maternity and can effectively pose that body type in a flattering way?
  • Interview - Call them, speak live (via phone) or in person (even better) and see if you connect personally. Email may be convenient but this is a personal thing. If you are feeling insecure you'll want someone who will lift you up in that regard. Having good chemistry, a love-connection with your photographer means a great deal in my opinion.
  • Ask around or look online at free directories of professional photographers such as Photographer Central. Has anyone in your circle used this person before? What was the process like? Did they offer great customer service? A timely turnaround? Did they communicate effectively? All of these things will funnel into a great experience for you. Great photographers don't always make great businesspeople. Just remember that.

4. Budget: Not as important as you may think

This is obviously an important factor - and certain photographers might just be plain out of reach. But I find that if someone meets the three criteria above - they are totally worth the extra dough. Too many people hire under-skilled photographers who don't communicate or deliver and that disappointment is harder to swallow in the end than the cost of hiring someone good. After all you can't rewind and go back for a re-do.

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Credit: Photographer Central Pro Katie Pegher

5. Wardrobe: Show off your curves

God bless the internet. We have so many wonderful sources of inspiration at our disposal. Blogs, Pinterest and Instagram are among my favorite outlets. My advice for wardrobe is dress to show off your curves. You'll want something that hugs your figure and shows off your belly. I mean - we need to convey that this is a MATERNITY session. Anything to avoid? I steer my clients away from horizontal stripes. They can be misleading and more challenging when posing. I also say stay away from anything baggy and black. I once had a very tiny and skinny pregnant mamma-to-be show up in a black maxi dress. There was a breeze and all that fabric just made her look like she was wearing a Hefty bag.

Sometimes it's helpful to start a little Pinterest board of looks you like and share that in advance with your photographer to look over. This is helpful in styling the session around your vision. As in any relationship communication is key. Also try if the time permits with your session to vary your looks. Maybe the first outfit is a form fitting top and jeans and boots. The next might be a cute sundress that the sunlight can filter through and show off your bump. You'll get some variety in your finished collection and have some buffer in broadening your choices later if one outfit worked more than another.

6. Attitude: Just breathe and let go

This goes for wardrobe as well as day-of attitude. Always wear what you feel you look your best in. If you aren't convinced you look hot - the camera won't lie. In many cases, a woman's closet has about half the normal options based on fit alone during pregnancy - so when all else fails - just put on the thing that you feel prettiest in - regardless if it's dressy or casual. Then - when it comes time to hop in front of the lens - just let it all go and trust your photographer. Their job is to pose you in a way that flatters your body, to find and place you in amazing light (or create it) to enhance your collective vision, and if you just breathe and let go - trust me something amazing will happen.

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Credit: Photographer Central Pro Katie Pegher

Photographer Central Pro Katie Pegher is a portrait and wedding photographer on Maryland’s Eastern Shore specializing in newborns and families. Katie is one of thousands of professional photographers available for hire on www.photographercentral.com, a free online directory allowing clients to quickly compare and find the right photographer for whatever occasion.

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