I’ll admit I’m spoiled. I have a lot of talented people in my life who are kind enough to share their talents with me. How else would I get to have not one, but TWO sets of maternity photos during the same pregnancy?
I’m not sure when maternity photos became all the rage, but I’m glad they have. Maternity photos can be a chance to appreciate the changes and embrace this singular moment in our lives. In future years, when the memory of the discomforts of pregnancy isn't as fresh we can look back on the photos with fondness. I’m already looking back at my photos and noticing the fullness of my face and the roundness of my belly. I can’t say I’m missing being pregnant, but looking at the photos makes me fond for the time leading up to my son’s birth. I know I was feeling desperately uncomfortable, but I can’t see that in the photos. I just see someone trying to appreciate her body and the amazing things it was doing at the time.
My first set was with Kristi Schiffman Dodson. Kristi came to my house (she does both home and park family sessions.) I had to do my own hair and makeup, but it was easy to fit into my schedule and we didn’t have to worry about having an appropriate place for me to change outfits. We found places in my house and backyard that would look good in photos (and weren’t too hard to tidy up quickly.) Below are some of my favorites. You can see she really played up the saturation of my outfits and contrasted the colors with the colors of the backgrounds. Kristi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second set was with Jaime Leuders of Amber Sky. In this case, I went to Amber Sky and her stylist Kelsey did my hair and makeup. Then we did the photos in the studio. (Jaime is available to do photos outside her studio, but in studio was what happened to work for us at the time.) Jaime had a mirror placed where I could see myself so I could pay attention to my posture and position for the photos. That left Jaime free to worry about focus and lighting. You can see that while she uses the same background, the change of outfits and positions adds a lot of variety. And the privacy of the studio left us free to take a few “for-partner’s-eyes-only” photos (Sorry friends, those are not included on this blog post.) Jaime can be reached at email@example.com.
Having maternity photos taken? Here are my favorite tips:
1. First and foremost find a photographer you like. Not personally (although that helps), but one whose work you like. If you’re looking at the photos (and you should always look at a photographer's photos before hiring) and none of them are making you feel like “I love it. I want to be in a shot like this,” then find a different photographer. Going with someone whose work you don’t like, even if it’s your cousin or whatever will lead to a set of photos you probably won’t like. Don’t hope for the best, hire the best.
2. If you want, get some help picking out outfits. Try them on for a friend who is always put together. Maybe even borrow some clothes. (I did.) I always look for patterns and cuts that aren’t too trendy or have any kind of words on them. These can make your photos look dated in the future. Choose colors that make your skin look it’s best and stand out well against backgrounds-maybe even a little on the bold side (“bold” as in a striking red, not neon.) For maternity photos, I avoid too much black or navy blue since they hide the curves that are the entire point of the photos. This is one time you can forget about slimming colors and styles, but you still want to think of flattering colors and styles.
3. Make a playlist. A shocking suggestion from a music therapist, right? But music really helps us relax and improves our mood. That will show in your photos. Pick songs that go together stylistically and make you feel happy, sexy, fun. Stuff that makes you smile, but that you can resist singing along to. (Singing pose isn’t the most flattering. Unless you like looking like a worried fish.)
4. Take it easy on yourself when you see the finals. Don't get too hung up on the few hairs that are out of place. And remember that when we look in the mirror at ourselves, we’re usually posing. So we don’t necessarily know what we look like in action. Your photographer might catch a moment of you being yourself that your loved ones will love and you won’t recognize. So look at the photos with your partner or close friends to find out which ones they like. They’ll probably be drawn to the photos that best reflect your personality.
Did I miss anything? Have you ever gotten any good photo advice?