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Pregnancy Portraits - Getting Professional Maternity Photography

Aug 2, 2008
Over the past ten years, maternity photography has become very popular. The anticipated birth of each child into the family is being celebrated with a professional photography session to capture the time in the family's life. When considering getting pregnancy portraits done, there are some key elements to think about, including when to have the maternity session, who should be in it, and what to wear.

The timing of the maternity session is very important. You do not want to do the session too early and not have an impressive belly, but you do not want to wait so late so that the woman is swollen in the feet and ankles and miserable. Given these parameters, 32 to 36 weeks is a good, happy medium that usually works well. Of course if the woman is having multiples, then adjust the time accordingly.

Another thing to consider is who will be at the maternity session and in the photos? Clearly the pregnant woman will be there, but should the partner and other children also be in the session? This is a great time for a family portrait before the family expands. But it can also be a nice session to do as a more private study of the woman and the curves and the new life inside of her.

The location of the pregnancy portraits is a big consideration. There is likely to be a good amount of skin showing (at least the belly), so given that where would the woman be the most comfortable to have the session? Some women are OK with being outdoors and showing skin, while others may prefer the privacy of an indoor location like a photography studio or their home.

The style of the shot will make a big difference for the overall feeling of the photos. To get ideas of the desired style, look on the internet for other pregnancy portraits and maternity photographs. Styles can range from moody and shadowy to light and airy to modern and funky.

After having figured out the location and the styles, figuring out what to wear should be a bit easier now. For maternity sessions, the choice of what to wear includes; wearing clothes with the belly showing, doing semi-nudes with clothing, bathing suits or lingerie, doing semi-nudes with fabrics and sheers, or full nude maternity photography.

After having decided to do the session, another thing to think about is where to put the resulting prints from the session. If they are family portraits that are clothed, they may be able to hang anywhere in the house. If they are more black&white nude pregnancy portraits it may be better to hang these in the bedroom. Another great choice is to consider a fine art maternity album for the images.

After having done the professional maternity session, adding an artistic newborn photography session would be an excellent idea. Framed body parts from the maternity session including close ups of hands and bellies can be combined into a modern wall collage with close-ups of baby feet, hands and face. Creating an album from the pregnancy portraits and newborn portraits is another wonderful way to celebrate the new life in your family.
About the Author
Anna Myers is a contemporary, soulful Bay Area Maternity Photographer who specializes in pregnancy portraits.
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