I adore maternity sessions and I’ll tell you why. It’s not because they’re big sellers, or I prefer to work with adults, or they go by quicker. It’s because I love taking this time with the parents-to-be to get to know them and their tastes and really get a feel for their style and what they’re looking for in their newborn or baby session. I love using the maternity session as almost a consultation for the newborn session. It’s also great to meet the parents while they’re still expecting their little bundle. Nothing like it!
But how do you have a successful maternity session? Well you’re in luck! Here are my top five tips for a successful session!
POSING // This one variable alone will make or break your maternity session. It will help you make your mama-to-be look her best….. or not. Simple tricks like having her keep her upper arms slightly off her body and ensuring that her front leg is always bent will help keep the images as flattering as possible. Study women’s posing. It will help you immensely in your sessions.
KEEP IT LIGHT // For most women, this could be their first or second time (other than their wedding photos) in front of the lens of a professional photographer and for some women, they’re not feeling their most beautiful by the last 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. Keep the session light! Joke around, chat about baby, ask about their preparations and if they have names. Get them laughing naturally to evoke more natural expressions. Try to keep their minds off the fact that the lens is pointed and focused solely on them.
EDUCATE YOUR CLIENT // Once you decide what you’re style is, make sure that each and every maternity client is fully informed on what you expect from them or what you need them bring/wear. Give them lots of ideas on what to wear, and more importantly, what not to wear! Make sure they know exactly what to expect at your session and how it will go. The more educated they are about the process, the smoother the session will flow and the better the resulting images will be.
LIGHTING // Whether you use natural light or studio light, make sure that you learn the tricks of the trade sufficiently to really flatter her curves and tone down any attention to spots she may be a little more uncomfortable with. One of my favorite maternity lighting setups is a high key, over exposed background. I love shooting with my maternity models in front of a bright window and allowing the light to wrap around them and envelop them. It truly is extremely flattering on the pregnant figure and gives somewhat of an angelic hue to the image as well.
TAKE IT OUTSIDE -Even though I have a commercial studio space, I still try to take my maternity sessions outside whenever possible. Now, I do live in Vancouver, BC (arguably the rainiest city in the world!), but when that weather gets a bit nicer, we head outside. It can be anywhere from an overgrown field to an urban landscape. But wherever it is, I can guarantee you that both mom, dad and any children will be much more comfortable roaming around outside than in a stark studio filled with lighting, backdrops and props. Make your best effort to make those mamas feel their most comfortable and it will reflect in your final product!
Article written by Jillian Kirby of Jillian Kirby | Baby