A few years ago, I was asked to write an article on choosing a maternity photographer for a local Pregnancy Magazine. I was so excited when asked as I believe it’s very important for you to make an informed choice when choosing a photographer. This type of photography is very specific and can be stressful if you don’t know what to expect. It could also be the first time you’ve hired a photographer yourself, except possibly for your wedding. Enjoy the article, and feel free to e-mail me with questions or check out my site for more information on maternity and pregnancy photography.
CHOOSING A MATERNITY PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER by Jenn Brookover, San Antonio, TX
Since 1991 when Demi Moore first bared her burgeoning belly on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, maternity photography has become one of the fastest-growing trends for pregnant mommies-to-be. There are few other times in your life when your body will go through such amazing changes so quickly. By investing in maternity portraits, you can have these memories of your pregnancy documented beautifully for both you and your child.
Why choose a professional?
Of course, you will take pictures of yourself along the way…or will you? By choosing a professional photographer, you ensure that you will have captured this extraordinary time in your life. This also allows your significant other to be involved and included in the images (instead of behind the camera). Photographers who offer maternity sessions are also trained to use lighting and posing techniques that flatter your body type. Most offer retouching of your portraits as well.
How to select a photographer
Just like every decision about your pregnancy, this is a personal one. Maternity photography can become a very intimate experience, and you will want to be sure that you are comfortable with the photographer you choose. By asking the right questions, you can be sure to find the right match for you.
Does the photographer have a portfolio you can view before the session? This might be online or in person. You will want to select someone whose work reflects your style, whether traditional and posed or casual and candid (or a combination of styles).
Where will the session be held? Some photographers have a studio, while others offer to come to your home or another location of your choice. They might also bring a “studio” to your home. Most photographers welcome significant others and siblings to be involved. You might also ask about pets if they are your “first baby.”
How will you view your proofs and place your order? This varies from immediate viewing to online purchasing. Some professionals offer in-person assistance either in your home or at their studio.
What are the photographer’s fees? What products do they recommend in addition to traditional prints? Albums, announcements, collages, and slideshows are popular options.
Does the photographer also offer newborn sessions? You’ll want to plan this at the same time as your maternity session, as most professionals prefer to see the baby within the first two weeks after birth. This window of time offers the best chance to catch your little one sleeping soundly and allows for more effortless posing. Your photographer should provide you with advice on how to best prepare for the session.
Preparing for your maternity session
You should plan your session for the time when your tummy is round and full, but you are still able to move freely and without discomfort. This is between 30 and 34 weeks or at least sometime in the last trimester for most women.
Next, you’ll want to decide what you will wear. Popular choices are a button-down shirt, pajamas, or a robe, open to reveal the tummy. Another fun option is a hip pregnancy top with texture or dramatic pattern. Don’t forget to look at your pre-pregnancy clothes. Shrugs, sweaters, tank tops, and even unbuttoned jeans all make for fabulous portraits. A tiny belt around the top of the belly can really make it pop!
A few days before your session, consider treating yourself to a manicure, as many shots of your belly will also include your hands. On the day of the session, you may want to add extra makeup (or bring it with you). If you plan to bear your tummy, be sure not to wear anything restricting for about two hours before your session to avoid indentations in your skin.
During your session, relax and enjoy being the star. It won’t be long now until your new little diva or dude becomes the center of your attention! Take this special time to bond even deeper with your baby as you create a memory that will last a lifetime.
Lifestyle photographer Jenn Brookover captures the miracle of life for expectant moms, babies, and families in San Antonio, Texas. Her work can be viewed at www.jennbrookover.com .