How I shoot maternity photos

How I shoot maternity photos

There is something very special and warming that comes with shooting maternity photos. There is always so much love and happiness and excitement that you can feel in the energy around you. It’s such a beautiful moment in the parents’ life and I am always so grateful to be part of it. I had the honour of shooting Stephanie and Zak’s maternity session yesterday and I am so happy to share it with you today.

The key to a successful shoot is having a solid team that backs you up. My team this session was Fatima, my makeup artist and Vince, my assistant. I couldn’t have made such beautiful photos without them.  I always encourage my clients to get their makeup and hair done by one of my stylists, because it makes a huge difference in the quality of the pictures. It’s also one less thing for the client to have to arrange and when they see the results after getting their makeup/hair done they are usually so happy and motivated to do the shoot. There are not many times in most people’s lives when they get professionals to do their hair and makeup so I encourage them to treat themselves. Having Vince, my boyfriend, on set and assisting is also a blessing. I come to every shoot with lots of equipment. He helps carry my small foldable ladder, the reflector and I carry the rest, but that makes a world of difference when walking around for an hour or two to different spots. He has mastered using a reflector which makes a big difference in the lighting quality and always has an eye open for location suggestions. I have 101 things on my mind when shooting and it’s incredible to have someone like minded with me. We are both very detailed oriented.

Before the session I always ask my clients to look online and find photos for inspiration. Stephanie did an incredible job and gave me around 20 photos she loved. She had a mix of photos indoors and outdoors. I want to always make my client happy and give them the most I can within the time possible. As much as possible, I try to have the hair and makeup done at my place (studio) even if I am shooting on location. This gives me the opportunity to take some studio portraits for the client and portfolio shots for the makeup artist ahead of time. In this situation, I had two spots in my house set up. The living room was used for the first photo and my bedroom for the second photo. These are very similar photos to what Stephanie had wanted. I really wanted to nail those before going outside where I can’t control my environment (weather/ mainly sun). I showed her some of the raw shots from the back of my camera and she loved these photos. Perfect! I built her trust in my photography capabilities early on in the session so she knew she was going to be a happy lady at the end of the day. These photos were both taken with my Canon 6D using my 24-105mm f/4 lens. I used my Elinchrom BRX 500 strobe for a key light and had a large octobox attached. In the first photo, I only used the natural light that was coming in from the window and a reflector to create this image. In the second photo, there was natural light backlighting her and the strobe was in front of her with a reflector for the fill light. Pretty simple!

Because this shoot was done yesterday (June 9th), we missed the spring bloom of the crab apples at the arboretum but that is fine. There are so many beautiful other trees/plants in bloom. I look for spots that are in the full shade (if possible) and have splashes of colour. Here is where you are ready to pose your clients and make magic happen. I brought my phone which I saved all the inspiration photos she loved and picked poses that matched the spot before venturing to other poses after that I like.

I love having photos with both parents. Men are always so supportive, in my experience, and I absolutely love taking photos that you can see the love between the two people. It  melts my heart.

Lastly, for maternity pictures, ALWAYS get close up photos of the baby bump. I get solo shots of the baby bump first but I love getting the father in the photo as well. I think they look more intimate with both parents but I give the option of having both for them to choose. This is something I learned recently. My first few maternity shoots I missed the close up belly shot (amateur mistake) or only had a photo of the mom in the close up. You live and learn.

I hope you liked my photos and hope this inspires you to have maternity photos taken or take photos yourself. It’s a lot of fun! Stephanie and Zak were incredible to work with and are very nice to let me and my team use the photos for our own promotion.

To check out more of my work or my teams you can find us on instagram:

Fatima: @beautytouch_byfatima

Vince: @vincentpunch

Myself: @angelaholmyardphotography

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