You may remember the controversy surrounding Lucille Ball’s real life pregnancy in 1952 that was written into the story on I Love Lucy. Producers initially insisted they couldn’t show a pregnant woman on television nor say the word “pregnant.”
The show ended up with record-breaking ratings during the seven-episode arc. This was the beginning of redefining the perceptions of pregnancy. Four decades later, Demi Moore’s famous maternity photo on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991, gave women permission to celebrate the beauty of the pregnant body.
Fast forward to today and the maternity photo shoot continues to climb in popularity especially with first-time moms. When I was pregnant for the first time I loved my belly and had my husband take a Polaroid the night before I suspected I would be giving birth. The photo is faded and taken in the kitchen of our first home in a spontaneous moment but I treasure it.
When women contact me about a maternity shoot to discuss options, pricing, and photography style, I encourage the women that even if they choose not to hire a photographer for maternity photos to be sure they have their husband take a few photos so they will have some documentation of this beautiful time in their life.
I loved pregnancy for myself. I felt great, I loved my growing belly and the miracle that was happening inside me. I adore the excitement, hope and love that a first-time mom has bubbling out of herself. I take all of this emotion and put it into my photo shoots for my clients.
I encourage women to bring the following to a photo shoot:
- Black or white tank top
- White buttoned down shirt
- Brightly colored clingy top or dress
- Anything that makes them feel beautiful that they want to be photographed in
I discuss what type of photos they want for themselves and if other clothing options come into play then the client will bring something different along.
Again, this depends on what the client has in mind. My studio works well for maternity shoots because it allows privacy and it gives the opportunity to have outdoor images in a private setting using the property my home studio has. The comfort level of the dad is also a factor. Some men agree to the shoot because it is important to their wife and having a private setting works best for them.
What type of photos will we take?
I show clients examples of photos I’ve taken to see what stands out to them as something that fits their personality. Some of the photos I take have a humor aspect and some are more serious in nature. I find out how modest the client is and what skin exposure they are comfortable with and how comfortable their husband is with all aspects to the shoot. I discuss with the client if they have something specific in mind and if they have a Pinterest board they want me to view. We talk through what the client might want to do with the images from the shoot. I will come up with a shot list once this is done and decide if there are any special props I need to secure.
Each client is a little different so what happens with the photos after the shoot will be different. Here are some examples of what clients do with their maternity photos:
- Framed photos for the nursery from the maternity shoot.
- Photos used for before after images planned in advance.
- Digital files for client to keep.
- Prints for an album the client puts together or a customized photo box storage we offer.
- Images kept on file with me to create a baby’s first year album.