By Danielle Vivian Photography
The one regret I've heard several times over, “I wish I had done maternity photos, too! I know now that it’s a moment I can’t get back, but I was just too uncomfortable with my body and how it had changed!” First off, it’s completely understandable to hesitate, at the very least, over the concept of bearing your pregnant belly, not to mention the rest of your changing body, for a portrait. As a mom of 2 myself, who gained more than I care to mention both times, I totally get it! Our body goes through so much during pregnancy and it’s certainly not uncommon to feel self-conscious and uneasy about posing for professional photos. But what I can guarantee you is that the moments captured from your maternity session will fill you with so much happiness and flood you with emotions in an instant when looking back, that the discomfort you may feel will be one thousand percent worth it.
To make sure you don’t miss out on this moment of a lifetime, here are tips to help you feel as comfortable during your maternity session as possible.
1) Show your confidence and love!
Trust me when I say that 10-20 years from now, when you look back at your images you won’t be seeing the extra pounds or cellulite, you’ll see all the joy and love you felt in that time leading up to your sweet baby’s arrival. You will instantly remember the flutter of little feet and re-experience all that love welling up in your heart! BUT (and I put but in capital because this is my most important tip), you’ll deprive yourself of this sweet nostalgia if you’re too nervous, shy or self-conscious in front of the camera. During this time, allow yourself to feel empowered and beautiful (because you most definitely are!), so wrap that baby bump with love, show your partner how much you care and most of all try to have a little fun with it!
2) Preplan poses!
Creating a vision board in Pinterest is the best way to show a photographer your style and the feel you’re wanting to achieve in your photos. This includes how much skin you might want to show or poses that will make you feel beautiful. The more planning you put into your maternity photos the better it will turn out, and the better your final portraits will turn out!
3) Focus on your partner (and kids)!
This tip is actually for both of you. Most men don’t love having their portrait taken. Your wedding may have been the last time either of you were in front of the lens, so it’s understandable to be a little camera shy. By showing your excitement during the maternity session and your love, it will help put you both at ease and allow for some more natural expressions. Focusing on your partner will take some pressure off being photographed and will also give some candid moments—so don’t be afraid to steal a kiss, laugh together and wrap yourself in his arms!
4) Put yourself in the right shape!
I can see your face right now, “What the heck is this woman talking about?!” Trust me, women (pregnant or not should) never stand straight onto the camera. The saying “a camera adds 10 pounds” may not be completely accurate, but that doesn’t mean that we still shouldn’t try to avoid it! By turning slightly sideways, away from the camera, kicking out your front leg and hip a bit in the direction you’re turned, and turning your front shoulder in the opposite direction you’ll put your body in an S shape. This shape will help accentuate the bump. I tell all my mommas to always have a leg popped, we want to see where your bump ends and your legs start.
5) Rock those curves!
Again, embracing your pregnant body for your maternity photos is so important. Too many maternity fashions are all about hiding the baby bump, but your maternity photography session is your time to shine and show off that belly! A more form fitting dress or even just draped fabric is the perfect way to highlight your bump. The whole point of maternity photos is to flaunt that belly, so be sure to arch your back and pop out that baby belly a little more than you regularly would! Remember, photoshop will help smooth the lines, tuck in some spots, but it cannot change the self-confidence you show in front of the camera!
Including these five tips in your maternity photography session will help you feel like a goddess and love your portraits! You can see more examples of these tips being used in portraits on my website and social media. Last but not least, I recommend capturing your maternity photos between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. This way you have a defined belly, but you’re not drained of energy and uncomfortable being on your feet. If you’re interested in capturing your maternity portraits, let’s chat! I would love to hear all about your pregnancy! Please take a moment to fill out the contact form below so I can reach out and say hi!