A maternity session with Abby

When Abby contacted me to shoot her maternity photos I was thrilled to have the opportunity.  With so many photographers to choose from, I thanked her kindly for hiring Pantone Photography.  Her shoot was scheduled for a Sunday afternoon and with a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast, I was hopeful the photo shoot would not be interrupted.  She had chosen her backyard for the location.  Upon arrival, I was thrilled with her choice.  Their home is situated on a 1.25-acre plot.  With plenty of trees and beautiful landscaping, I knew we had the perfect location.  Plus if she needed to take a break or get some water, her house was close at hand.  This is especially important for a maternity shoot, where the mother to be is usually in her last couple of months.

The first thing she asked for was posing direction.  She had no idea how to pose, sit or what to do with her hands.  Like most people, she felt strange being in front of a camera.  Unless you are a professional model and it is your job to be in front of a camera it can be intimidating.  I reassured her the outfit she had chosen was fine and she looked great.  (Which she did).   Of course from her point of view, she felt like a house.  Ah, the joys of pregnancy.

After introducing me to her husband Jesse, we went out back to scout out backgrounds.  Quickly we found a few that would be perfect for the shoot.  I especially loved the mature trees.  As we chatted for a few, I was able to get a feel for what she wanted and to help her loosen up.  I find the first few photos always seem to be the most awkward but soon things become natural.

Abby materity

This shoot was no exception.  Abby was a natural from the start.  I guided her along telling her or in some cases demonstrating poses to her.  She took direction well and along we went snapping, posing, snapping, and posing.  Along the way, I stopped to check in with her to see if she wanted a break or keep going.  Keep going she said and at this point, we incorporated Jesse in the shoot.

The two of them were such a cute couple, they made my job simple.  Pose them in various spots, set up the shot, provide direction and push the shutter button.  Their interaction with each other was natural and beautiful.  All I had to do was take it all in and save the moments with my camera.  Everything I suggested they were both willing to go for it.  When I asked them to stand in the tall grasses, “yes we can do that”, was their response.  It helped that they both had long pants on.  The last thing I want to do to clients is cover them in bug bites for a shot.

Abby materity-4

The session lasted about an hour.  In that hour we were able to get a variety of shots moving around to various spots in the backyard.  They both enjoyed themselves or at least pretended very well to enjoy themselves.

As for the weather, the thunderstorm never materialized and with an overcast sky the light was perfect.  It truly was a photographer’s dream.   The overcast sky created this beautiful lighting situation that mimicked a giant reflector in the sky.  All of the photos were shot in the early afternoon.   With high humidity and what would have been harsh sunlight, I was happy with the overcast skies.

Tips for your maternity shoot:Wear comfortable clothes.  This can be a challenge at this stage in the pregnancy.  Opt for comfort over style when in doubt.

When picking your location, make sure bathroom facilities and water are nearby.  Also look for a natural setting with large trees.  Natural settings go well with maternity and trees help with harsh sunlight.

If possible pick early morning or later in the day for your shoot.  The light is best just after sunrise and before sunset.  If this is not possible, an overcast day is the next best thing.

Plan for and take breaks throughout the session.

Schedule your maternity shoot sometime between your 7th month and 9th month of pregnancy.  Too early and you might miss the “belly bump” in the photos.  Too late and you may be too swollen and uncomfortable for a shoot.

Most of all, have fun with it.

Although you may not want to remember yourself looking like this, in the future you will cherish having photos of your son or daughter before they were born.

Embrace this time of your life, capture the memory of a lifetime.

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