If you were hoping to have maternity portraits taken recently, sadly you will have had to cancel these because of the Corona Crisis. However, all is not lost! While you can’t replicate the experience you would have in a studio, you can still capture some beautiful images of you and your partner while you wait for baby to arrive.
Here are some tips to get the best from your images. Whether you have a camera phone or your own DSLR, you will love to look back on this time when your baby is bigger!
Photography is painting a picture with light and shade, and the direction and intensity of the light will determine the look and feel of your finished image. If you are using direct light, try to diffuse it in some way – either through voile curtains, or by using the shade of trees.
Back-lit images give a soft and dreamy feel, whether indoors or outside.
One of the reasons that I love photography so much is the creativity that comes from working with light. By moving just an inch one way or another, you can create a completely different image with a totally different feel. Have a play around. If you try something and don’t like how it looks, make a tiny change and see how this affects what you see in your camera. And if you do get to have studio portraits taken with me, you will see just how little I change something to create the image I have in mind.
If you are photographing your bump in your home, take advantage of the preparations you have made for your new baby. Photograph yourself in your baby;s nursery, with the details you have spent so long preparing included in the images. When you look back at them, you will see your little one’s first ever bedroom and their toys and clothes in the background.
WHile you can’t replicate studio lights in your own home, what you will create will be personal and really important to you.
3. YOUR CAMERA
It doesn’t matter what camera you use! Whatever you have available is the right one!
If you are using a a camera phone or an iPhone, choose portrait mode so that you get a blurry background to your images. The closer you get to the subject, the more out of focus the background will be. If you want it to be more blurry, then move the person further away from the background.
If you have a DSLR and you aren’t comfortable with using it in manual, then choose “P”. This will give you an almost automatic camera and it will choose the best setting for a portrait.
Avoid using an on-camera or pop up flash. Just wait for the natural light to improve before taking your photos. Flash on a camera will give you “flat” images, without any nice shadows and highlights.
If you would like to include your partner in some of your images, you can do that by using the timer on your camera, or a remote if you have one. Get the shot lined up, prop your camera or phone in the right place and then get your other half to dash into the image at the last minute!
4. DON’T FORGET THE DETAILS
Use what you have around you and don’t forget to include all those details you have worked so hard on! Your favourite new toy, tiny shoes, an outfit, maybe even include your scan photo!
Once your baby arrives, these little things will be a bit of a blur in the first few weeks of sleepless nights and learning how to be a family. But you will love to remember how you prepared for your baby’s arrival and as your little one grows older, he will find ti funny to see his favourite toys that were around even before he was!
If you come to me for maternity photographs in my studio, I always ask you to bring any important mementoes and toys with you to record these important details.
5. WHAT TO WEAR
When you are planning your maternity photographs, you should aim for clothes that are simple and plain. The focus should be on you and your lovely bump, so avoid any really bright colours or distracting patterns. Whether you are having professional portraits taken in my studio, or trying to create some photographs at home yourself, you want your images to be classic and timeless.
If you want to show your bump off, then you can wear your underwear and a man’s shirt unbuttoned to expose your bump. If you want to show more of your figure, then black knickers and a cropped top or t-shirt looks amazing. If you prefer to cover up, choose a plain, fitted dress that highlights your shape.
If you are including your partner in your photographs, black or blue jeans with a plain shirt or t-shirt, or a bare chest, will be timeless.
This is my favourite dress I use in my studio for maternity photographs – it’s a simple, stretchy dress in a neutral colour that fits everyone!
If you do want to book your maternity photography in my Olney studio, you will find more details on this page on my website.
Special thank-you to my sister, Kirsty , and her partner, Gino, for their DIY maternity photographs that they have kindly shared!