I am very pleased to share with you a guest blog from a very talented maternity photographer (who also did my headshots!) Jo Douet from Jo Douet Images, based in Walton on Thames, Surrey.
I am a maternity, newborn and family photographer based in Walton on Thames, Surrey. I am a mum to two beautiful girls (and yes, I am biased).
I so wished I had had some beautiful professional photos taken whilst I was pregnant with my babies, except the sideways pose lifting up my top to expose the bump just before heading off to hospital!
I think that many pregnant women may be hesitant about getting maternity portraits but the right maternity photographer should make the process a fun and enjoyable experience.
What is the best time to get Maternity portraits done?
I tell my clients that the best time to get their pregnancy photos done between 34 – 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Before that, you may not be fully showing but also importantly best not to leave it too late on in the pregnancy as the mum-to-be will be more uncomfortable and also the baby may make an early appearance and you may miss the opportunity altogether.
I always tell my clients to contact me after they have had their 20 week scan to book in a session. As with newborn sessions, these sessions are flexible and can be brought forward or backwards if needed.
Help Her Feel Beautiful
As a maternity photographer you want to help the Mum to be feel good about her ever changing body. Most women in stages through out their pregnancy will not feel that great about their new growing shape, so it is my job to make sure I light them and position them in a way that emphasizes their bump, but also makes sure it is a flattering pose and above all a comfortable pose for them to hold.
Don’t Forget the Partner, Siblings… or the dog!
Including the rest of the family, even if it’s the pet pooch can make the shoot more relaxed and fun. Siblings are adorable in maternity portraits and involving them and your partner is an important part of them bonding with their unborn brother or sister, son or daughter and highlights the connection you all have.
What to wear?
It is important that you take into account your sense of style and types of photos you are looking for, as well as your level of comfort. Whilst some women prefer conservative and ‘traditional’ looks, many more are beginning to choose artistic (even nude) approaches. Either way, the mum and the belly are the highlights – make sure to choose clothing that won’t take any attention away from the true ‘stars’ of the show! Avoid clothes with busy patterns which can be distracting.
Form fitting clothes – boob tubes, strapless bras, tight tank tops, a mans buttoned down shirt, under the bump jeans or yoga pants, empire line dresses and so on are great items for a shoot.
Refrain from wearing any overly tight clothing prior to the shoot. This primarily applies to elastic in waistbands, bras, and socks. Tight elastic will leave marks on the skin, and won’t look very good in the photo.
The photographer will experiment with different angles such as standing, sitting on the edge of a seat, or laying down on a blanket. Poses can be limited as the mum-to-be may not be able to move about so easily and may find some poses uncomfortable so choosing the right angles, varied angles and lighting is so important during a pregnancy shoot.
Keep hair and make up simple and natural – This is no time to be experimenting with a new look. Clean finger and toe nails as these may be in shot!
Where should my shoot take place?
Studio ~ So many maternity sessions are done in studio ~ this simplifies your surroundings in a dedicated photographic studio – no back ground clutter to take the attention away from you and your bump.
Lifestyle ~ either in your home, baby’s nursery, familiar surroundings and artifacts in the photo’s – The mum to be may feel more relaxed in her own home or in the great outdoors amongst nature – perhaps a favourite park or venue.
Clients should look at the photographer’s portfolio to see which type of session produces the type of photos they actually want to have. And lastly a good photographer should have web presence, showcasing his or her portfolio and testimonials recommending and raving about their work.