Resources to Take Pregnancy Photography to the Next Level

Pregnancy photography isn’t just about scoring the sharpest photo of a mother carrying her child. It’s about being part of the bringing of a new life into this world. Once you do understand that, it will be easy to take pregnancy photography to the next level and truly amaze the people hiring you for it. All you need are a few helpful tips to get you from photographing bellies to creating works of art. We’re here to help!

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Don’t be afraid to go meta with your pregnancy photography!

The relationship between a mother and a child is outstandingly special. You need to capture that. In that pregnancy rest the hopes for the future: the thought that maybe the little one will grow up to live in a better world. Think of how many generations of mothers have gone through their 9 months with that on their minds. You need to capture that as well.

Emotions are complicated to convey, but they need to be accounted for when building your pregnancy photo shoot. So to help you plan your angles and score memorable snapshots, we’re going to give you the dos and don’ts of pregnancy photography. Maybe you’ve done some of the don’ts, haven’t some of the dos; either way, try your mind at these cool ideas:


Quirky & Useful Pregnancy Photography Ideas


Aim for Comfort

The subject of your photo must never feel pressured to do anything that she doesn’t want to. That means that the degree of skin exposure and nudity is up to the model and not to the photographer. If you feel that a particular shot would look better if the belly would be exposed, ask politely. There are more than enough ways to capture a perfect pregnancy photography poses without unclothing the model.

Explain your Concepts

Before setting out to make a pregnancy photography shooting, sit down with the star and tell her what you want to do with the photos. Explain the setting, the concepts that you want to incorporate, the symbols that they will convey, as well as the general meaning that you want the viewer to get from the photo. An informed mother can be helpful and receptive, and if she doesn’t like your ideas then maybe it wasn’t meant for you to do the shoot.

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Hands holding baby booties – a really nice idea.

Basic Wardrobe Choices

Start with a simple dress. Something stretchy and tight is what you’ll want since you’re looking to bring the pregnancy to center stage. Maternity clothes are designed to hide the pregnancy since many mothers feel insecure about their looks when carrying a baby. A basic getup can do wonders when shot in the right light, with the right amount of exposure and contrast.

Try Poses, but Not Too Many

Make a catalogue of the poses you like the most. There are a lot of things you can take inspiration from. For example: yoga. Handpick the ones that put the least strain on the mother. Then add others from basic pregnancy photography poses to more abstract poses. Make the model choose from these poses and then let her position herself in those that she can. If at any moment you see her struggling, say that you’ve gotten enough photos from that position and move on.

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Simple contrasts and flower model dresses are great pregnancy photography ideas.

Maybe Bring a Hair Stylist Along

Ask the start of the photo shoot if she’d like that and then bring the hair stylist with you. Try to work with the hair stylist and make the shot into an authentic one. It needs to inspire feelings of empathy, amazement, and joy: try to express that when you take your shots. If you’re aiming for a nude pregnancy photography shoot, make sure the hair is not too fancy or coquettish. Consistency is key so for au naturelle shots, make the hair naturelle as well.

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Outside pregnancy photography can work really well when it’s sunny.


Pregnancy Photography Things to Avoid


Never Make the Model Do All the Effort

Remember that she’s the one carrying a new life and not just one of the typical pinup girls you see in ads. The rules of basic photo shoots do not apply for pregnancy photography, no matter whether you’re shooting pregnancy announcement photography, nude pregnancy photography, family pregnancy photography, or outdoor pregnancy photography.

Don’t Start off With the Flash

I’m not talking about the superhero, but about the actual flash of a camera. When snapping pregnancy photos, it’s a good idea to use the natural light available and work with it. This will give the photo a heaven-like look. A good sensitivity to use is 640 ISO – this will give the photo that misty look that you see everywhere in pregnancy photos.

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Rule number one: try to highlight the parents in your pregnancy photos.

 

Avoid Cliché Positions at All Costs

Don’t just tilt the model’s head back or in the front. Avoid pregnancy photography poses that you’ve already seen countless times. Make the mother feel unique and happy with her body. Don’t impose your beauty standards on her and don’t ever try to shape her into a contorted pose the likes of which only master yogis can achieve.

Advise Against Pregnancy Photography When You Feel Like It

The recommended pregnancy age for pregnancy photography poses is up to 30 weeks. More than that and the baby may be at risk. So if a mother that’s passed that period is asking you for intimate pregnancy photography, try to decline. If the mother insists, then agree while keeping in mind that all the photos must be taken with as little effort as possible from the mother. Don’t wholly decline as the mother may end up going to an untrained photographer or worse yet try to take the photos on her own.

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Beautiful young pregnant woman in autumn park; great ideas for pregnancy photos.

Pregnancy Photography Conclusions

There aren’t that many practical tips when it comes to pregnancy photography. The usual suspects still apply: avoid background clutter, make sure the lighting is appropriate, use Photoshop in good taste, so on and so forth. We’ve tried here to highlight the most important things that, in our opinion, can make the difference between a successful pregnancy photography shooting and a poor one with an inauthentic look.

Always remember the ethics of pregnancy photography.

Image sources: depositphotos.com.

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fundy@fundysos.com' About Andrew Funderburg

Andrew "Fundy" Funderburg is a father, husband, photographer and the creator of Fundy Software. He lives in the Portland, Oregon metro area.