Portrait of a smiling, pregnant mother surrounded by balloons.
Jayde & Aris’ first photoshoot

Baby’s 1st Photoshoot

I created this image of Jayde & Aris in their first photo shoot together. Jayde and I created magic. We filled that studio set with love, joy, and balloons! As a result of all that “good stuff,” the shoot was really great. Because Jayde was seven months pregnant when I photographed her, she really had a nice baby bump to share with us. Take a look at the smile on Jayde’s face in this photo because that smile is just one of the reasons that I love what I do and one reason why I love the people that I get to do it with!!!

How to Create a Great Maternity Portrait

Several people have asked me on a few occasions how I create maternity portraits that look so natural and joyful. The fact is that when I created this portrait of Jayde and Aris I only did half the work. Most of the work, or at least most of the really important work was done by Jayde! Jayde was the one who was carrying little Aris and as a result, she was full of joy and excitement!

Add Joy and Excitment

I have found that Joy and excitement are two of the most important ingredients in a successful photo shoot. A photographer has the responsibility of helping their subject(s) find, and emote that joy and excitement that they are carrying inside them. That isn’t too difficult when it comes to maternity photo shoots because the expectant mothers are already happy and joyful. You don’t have to do too much to get them to let it out. One reason that some photographers find it somewhat difficult to get their subjects to show their excitement and joy is because of the fact that their subject may be afraid to be in front of a camera!

a pregnant mother is preparing to have her portrait made.
Attention to Details

I have heard more than too many people tell me that they don’t like taking pictures because “they never come out good.” I used to hear that a lot! It makes sense if you really stop to think about it. In a lot of cases people are thinking “what do I do? How should I look? Should I smile or not? How should I smile?” They are worried about looking a certain way of really trying not to look a certain way. They don’t want to look stiff or stupid. And I can understand that. I don’t know too many people who actually want to look stiff or stupid. So as a photographer it’s my job to help them and to make the process easy and fun.

Set Your Subject at Ease

It is so very important for me to set my subject at ease, to make them feel as comfortable as possible. I must help them to understand the process with be fun and not a chore. I have found that the best way to accomplish this is by starting out the consultation session by telling them “don’t worry and it will be fun!” You just have to face that possible negativity head on!

Find Out What Makes Them Happy

The next thing to do is to make a great portrait and a great maternity photo shoot is to ask more questions. I have found that it’s always a positive thing when I ask questions that help me to get to know my subjects. As a result, one of my first lines of questioning is aimed to uncover the things that make my subject happy! I have found that when I ask them about what makes them happy they tend to stop focusing on the things that may be causing them to be nervous and begin focusing on the things that make them happy. Then you have them! They are moving closer to being excited and joyful instead of being scared and nervous! That’s when the magic begins to happen.

What is Their Vision?

You should take a little time to find out what your subject’s vision is. You may be surprised to find that they have it all mapped out in their minds. However, if I never ask, I may never find out. In the event that your subject isn’t sure of what their vision is, then help them to define their vision.

The Takeaway

The takeaway to everything that I have been trying to share with you is, if you are a photographer, take or make the time to build a good relationship with your subject, it’s more valuable and any piece of equipment you could ever have. If you are a person that wants a super great maternity portrait then find a photographer that truly cares about you and this special time in your life. Find a photographer that you can connect with, one who takes the time to understand the things that are important to you!!! If you do this everything else will just fall into place! Now go out and have fun making memories!!!

Nat

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