Tips For First-time Maternity Shoots

Doing first time photo shoots for clients can be extremely stressful, especially when they’re for certain occasions like weddings or engagements but they’re also exciting!

I had the chance to do my first maternity shoot with my friend and coworker Audrey, and can I say that she is quite the babe (some pun intended.) But doing shoots like these aren’t as easy as having a great model. They take a lot of work, preparation, and creativity to avoiding having a meltdown. Here’s what I learned about my first time shooting a mom-to-be.

Location, Location, Location!

Audrey and I were trying to figure out the perfect location for the shoot for a couple of weeks and while your client will have an idea of exactly what they want and where, don’t be afraid to offer your own creative options! Also, don’t be afraid to change plans at the last minute. We mulled over several locations for a while before settling on one and then having to change it last minute, so try not to get too attached to “set plans,” because when it comes to life, nothing is set!

Be courteous (of your model)

When it comes to moms (and any model in general), be very attentive to their needs and their safety. Photographing a mother isn’t hard, but when you consider that pregancy often includes swollen feet, a weak bladder, heat flashes, limited mobility and moodiness, it’s a good idea to prepare for all of that. In terms of safety, while getting beautiful shots of mom sitting on a tree branch would have been lovely, it isn’t practical to have a pregnant woman try to climb a tree for a photo even if she is an absolute trooper about it! Consider safety before the “perfect shot.”


Be Creative

In case you didn’t notice, photography takes a lot of creativity especially with moms-to-be. Some of the most stunning maternity pictures were created because the photographer wasn’t afraid to get a little creative and a little daring. In Audrey’s case, she wanted to be surrounded by flowers and have very feminine shots, but her dress and hairstyle already captured that feminity. I wanted to capture how dynamic her personality was and show off a small side of that kickass mom vibe I get from her. Using angles and a towering bamboo background, I made à mom-To-Be appear a lot larger than life and it’s one of her favorites!

Keep Your Camera Up!

For almost all of my shoots, I typically keep going until I have about 10 good shots. In Audrey’s case, we stopped at 5. But to get to the great shots, you sometimes have to bypass the crappy ones and just keep shooting. For me, that sometimes means taking 100+ photos for a few good ones. Part of being a photographer is being prepared and having your camera ready at just the right time to catch those lucky moments and often times, the light. For us, our moments happened to be when the light decided to make her glow. Light is a photographers best friend, so wait for it! Always keep your camera up and you’ll be sure to catch some sweet and funny shots to include as well! Audrey_Maternity1

Set Your Boundaries

Despite the shoot being all about mom, always know your boundaries as an artist. Know what you will and won’t do and don’t be afraid to voice them. If a subject really want to take pictures at a location that is off limits but you don’t want to risk trespassing issues, say so. If they bring along their entire family for the shoot and it’s getting a little rowdy, say so. It will give you peace of mind and I’ve found that generally, clients are just as respectful of your wishes as you are of theirs.

Well, thats it for now folks! Be sure to check out the rest of Audrey’s shoot here and let me know what you think in the comments below. And for all my photographer friends and reasons, add any additional tips as well!


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