First things first, this shoot is not about your BELLY, it is about your family. I will take photos of your beautiful changing body, but I will focus on the emotional aspects of this change and the connection between all members of your family (including the unborn ones).
- Plan to have fun!
If you are taking your photos with your partner you ultimately want to enjoy your time together, this will be reflected in your pictures. Just do the things that you’d normally do when spending time with them. We will be strolling a bit most likely so pretend you are on a date – talk, laugh, hold hands. The goal is for you to eventually forget about me, and just be yourselves. These will make the best pictures, just interacting like I’m not even there.
If you have additional children it is the same premise. In many ways this will be similar to a normal family shoot (see tips for those here: http://www.desireewaltersphotography.com/tips-for-your-outdoor-family-photo-session). What will be different is I will try and highlight the bond that is already forming between your older child(ren) and your unborn baby. I'll ask you to engage in activities that you typically do, where you have your child tell a secret to the baby, see if they can feel movement, or just snuggle in general. But most of the time will be the children interacting with parents (not just the belly).
- Where to look
When you are together most of the time I will try and get photos of you looking at each other, looking adoringly at your bump, or some combination of these gazes. I will let you know when to look at me for a couple of portrait style photos. When mom is solo, which will probably feel the most unnatural (unless you are an accomplished model) I’ll help direct where to look and how to pose.
- What to wear
Put something on that makes you feel AMAZING! You definitely want to wear something that accentuates your bump, something form fitting, but not too tight (you want to be comfortable). Stretchy or clingy is most flattering, as well as side ruching (I loved these during my pregnancy!). If you want to wear a dress I’d suggest something that accentuates your bump, you want to see that shape. For sleeves, long sleeves, spaghetti straps, or strapless are most flattering. I always suggest staying away from loud patterns or items of clothing with logos on them (you don’t want your photos to be dated, and you want them to be about you and your family, not the clothes). This goes the same for your partner. Children can get away with loud patterns, but still try and avoid logos. For colors I wouldn’t match each other per se, but you want your colors to be complementary (all wearing spring colors, or all wearing fall colors, etc.).
Don’t forget details – make sure you and your partner’s nails are groomed. Also, accessories that are meaningful, or some beautiful shoes can add a lot to a photo. A lot of what your maternity shoot will convey is what a strong, sexy, stylish mama-to-be you are. You want to show off these fun parts of your identity, despite this new and upcoming change.
- Think about if there are any specific shots you want.
When we start the shoot let me know if there is anything in particular you are looking for and I can make sure I try and get it.
- Don’t get upset if your plan doesn’t work
You planned everything, but at some point it went to a completely different direction? Please don't be upset! Remember, that life is what happens while you are busy making plans. Enjoy all the spontaneous changes!
- Plan ahead to make the shoot go smoothly
To reduce the amount of stress you feel before your shoot select your outfits the day before. If in your home just be sure to open up all your windows before I get there, I’ll look for the best light and we will set up there. If outside plan to be 15 minutes early (so that when the train breaks down or the dog gets sick you aren’t stressed about being late). Also make sure that you are well fueled, eat beforehand and bring water and a snack (if your pregnancy is anything like mine were you might feel hungry all the time).