Top 10 Tips for Photographing Pregnant Women

Pregnancy can be a wonderful time to capture on camera, but it may not be easy. The first thing to remember is that just as everyone is different, every pregnancy is different, so you will have to be patient.

by Kirstin McEwan, Mindful Mum, 21st December 2011

This is one shoot that you will have to wait for if you want to truly reflect what can be a magical time for, not only the mum to be, but all the family. So here are my top tips for those handy with a camera to ensure that you capture that amazing moment.

  1. Be patient
  2. Be prepared to take pictures at any time
  3. Be understanding
  4. Share the pictures
  5. Include Mum’s other children
  6. Include Dad
  7. Be bold
  8. Be in it for the long run
  9. Be aware of lighting
  10. Believe in what you’re doing

Be patient

There’s no point trying to get great pictures a day after the pregnancy is confirmed. Wait until the bump has really started to show, probably sometime nearer the second trimester.

Be prepared at any time

Be prepared to take pictures at any time. Arranging to do a set of pictures on a Friday morning may suit you, but your pregnant model may not be up to it after a sleepless night and a bout of morning sickness. When that special day comes, and she’s glowing with health and well being, get over and start taking pictures.

Be understanding

Going from a fashionable size 10 to wearing Mother Care dungarees is not every woman’s ideal fashion statement. She may want to change several times before being ready to have photographs taken. And always be aware that things will take that little bit longer. Rushing your model will leave her flustered and the images may look less natural.

Share the pictures

If you have a great image, pop round and show her. She will be delighted to see the photograph and if it’s not so great, you can point out how it could be better and arrange to shoot the pictures again.

Include Mum’s other children

They may be feeling a bit left out with all the attention their Mum is getting. Try taking them to a local park or a farm. Straight forward pictures of mum and her family walking towards the camera are often winners, but be sure to watch your background. Use a telephoto lens (a telephoto lens is a type of long focus lens, the actual length of the lens is shorter than the focal length) and a short depth of field (depth of field is when you completely throw your background out of focus so that your subject in the foreground is the main focus of the picture).

Include Dad

These photos can be a bit more intimate. A simple image of the couple holding hands on top of the bump. Go close in on this one, zooming in on their hands and her bump. You could also try a shot with the couple standing back to back and dad behind with his arms around mum. Don’t forget to get the whole family in a shot as well.

Be bold

Yes, that naked silhouette is the picture we all think of when pregnant women are photographed. They can work very well and can be very personal and intimate if done the right way.

Be in it for the long run

A record of the last few months ending with the happy event can provide a great set of pictures. But don’t spoil it by including dozens of images. Edit them down to 6 or 7 really good ones and family favourites.

Be aware of lighting

This is a special time for the mum to be and subtle natural light and soft lighting will show her at her best. Try using a soft box to get a light glow.

Believe in what you’re doing

It’s not a simple case of booking a studio for 30 minutes on a Saturday afternoon. Most of your pictures will be taken in your model’s house. Use a combination of techniques. Try some pictures of dad or the kids with their ear pressed up against Mum’s tummy, listening in on the baby. But remember to get that simple but really effective picture of “the bump”, with the mums hands resting on top. Use light with care, bounce the flash (to bounce the flash means to reflect your flash off maybe a white ceiling or umbrella which then reflects light onto the subject. Its better than using direct flash because the lighting is not so harsh and it looks much softer), or if it’s a sunny day use natural light.

As I have said, every pregnancy is different, and it may not be a simple job to get the best image. However, if you are patient the photographs will be very rewarding to not only you, but the family as well.

Where to now?

Pregnancy Week by Week Pregnancy Week by Week
Read our Pregnancy week by week guide for updates on baby’s development, pregnancy tips and articles on preparing for baby.
Baby NamesBaby Names
Looking for inspiration for your baby’s name? Read the top 100 baby names, celebrity baby names and more in our baby names section.
Pregnancy Photo Ideas
12 stunning pregnancy photos to inspire you to capture youre pregnancy.
Photography: Krzyboy2o@Flickr

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