Reasons You Should Consider Maternity Photos
Not all Mamas feel at their photographic “best” during pregnancy. And I’m guessing that’s why a lot of women opt out on the maternity session, or maybe it’s the cheese that they see out there on the Internet or Pinterest when searching for “Maternity Photos”. I see lots of hands in the shape of a heart on the belly, or a couple hovering over an empty crib (which is frankly just creepy). I can see why maybe some mamas might say, “It’s just not my thing”. But I’m here to argue. I beg to differ. It’s every expecting mama’s “thing”. Any Mama can document her pregnancy–even if it’s a photo of her eating cake or having her husband tie her shoes.
You don’t have to strip down and bear it all for the camera with your sexiest mirror face. There are lots of ways to document this time in your life. And you should. It’s only 9 months of your life. Even if it’s the longest nine months of your life, you’ll one day miss feeling that little nugget’s elbow poking you in the ribs or the joy you felt the first time you felt hiccups. When the baby comes, those moments fade quickly and you’re caught up in other incredible but also fleeting moments. (Another blog post).
Here are some tips and ideas that might change your mind or inspire you
1.) Be real. I’ve never personally been into having my photo taken, and I’m certainly not the type to “gaze” into the camera with a sexy expression. But I was determined to have some authentic moments captured while pregnant. Jesse and I had our photographer come to our house and document us in a “day in the life of” style. We made tea, ate cookies (like 10), went on a walk. Took a breather. Walked some more. Hung out with our dogs, laughed at the fact that my coat wouldn’t zip, etc, etc. There were certainly no “hearts” or cupped breasts in our photos but I’m glad that we had some images that really depicted some of our daily routines during my pregnancy. Choose to do a session that well represents your lifestyle. Do you cook dinner together? Do you take walks or run? Bike? A trip to Target, perhaps? A picnic? A game of UNO? The options are endless–be creative!
2.) Do it for your kid. These images will be precious to your child one day. In one of my favorite movies, The Family Stone, one of the main characters, prints, mattes and frames a 20-year-old beautiful maternity image of her boyfriend’s mother. She wraps five of them up for Christmas and gives each sibling a 16×20. Obviously, the adult children are moved to tears (as is the mother) with this beautiful gift (the mother happens to be fighting cancer). Today, when I do a maternity session, I often think of that scene in the movie and of that image–how honest it was. These images will most likely one day be heirlooms.
3.) If you can’t afford it, have your partner take the photos. Put on something comfortable and cute and go outdoors at magic hour (one hour before the sun sets). Take a few shots outdoors. If it’s cold, bundle up in a hat and scarf to accentuate the fact that it’s a winter pregnancy. If it’s summer, find a pool!
4.) Wear comfortable clothing. The most important thing about your images is that they look natural. Don’t wear a bunch of clothes that you feel insecure in. I recommend tight tank tops, boy shorts, yoga pants, t-shirts, prairie skirts, flip-flops, or absolutely nothing. Less is more here. I’m certainly not against doing nude or semi-nude sessions. I think they are absolutely stunning and if you’ve got courage to do it–ROCK IT, SISTER. All bodies are beautiful. Especially when they are carrying life. Bottom line–don’t over think the session with clothes and props. This is supposed to be a session that captures “you” at this time in your life. Be true to that.
5.) Do the Session between 32-37 weeks. You don’t want to be a swollen, cranky fat lady, but you also want the bump to be conspicuous. This seems to be the sweet spot, time-wise.