maternity photos

Who doesn’t love a baby? Well before the baby arrives be sure to schedule your maternity photography session. I have heard every excuse why not to get them done from “I look fat” to “I have stretch marks” and sometimes the “My (husband/Mother/Mother in-law) is making me get these done” The biggest single piece of advice I can give any expecting mother is….

…Be yourself. Don’t come in with a preconceived notion of what maternity photos should look like. Don’t obsess over flawless-looking moms on Pinterest and other websites, because Photoshop is an amazing thing and most of what you are seeing is highly retouched models. Be yourself! You are bringing a life into this world, maternity photo sessions should capture this love and feeling, not some ideal vision of being the perfect mother. There is enough pressure on expecting mothers already, don’t let your maternity photos add to that.

Maternity photos can be some of the most beautiful and intimate photos that you’ll ever take and having a great outfit is key. Robert Bowden Photography has been photographing expecting mothers for over 10 years. Here are some tips we have found useful to our clients over the years.

So what to wear for your maternity photos?

Solid Colors – Solid colors help you stand out and highlight your bump. This is why most maternity dresses that are designed for photography are a single color. Some photographers say to avoid bright strong colors and white. I love color, the brighter the better! Lighting is the key and with the correct background, almost any color will look amazing. (I have yet to have someone bring in tie-die or neon, thankfully!) When having the father in the photo this gives us the opportunity to break the solid color rule. One of you should be in solid while the other can wear a pattern. So if mom wants to wear a patterned shirt or dress make sure dad is in solid colors.

Tight Clothing – There are a lot of feelings and emotions that go into maternity photos. For some people, they are very self-conscious about their bodies and are afraid of getting maternity photos because they will have to show too much skin to get the image they desire. This can not be further from the truth, especially when it comes to silhouette images. With tight clothing, all you see is the curves of your body in the final image, you can be fully dressed and still get the stunning effect such as the little girl kissing her mother’s belly below. The key to this is tight clothing since any ripples in the clothing will be seen in the final image, leggings and a tight shirt or tank top are a perfect solution.

Maternity Dress – A huge range of dresses are available online that start from as little as $30. The more affordable ones tend to be sheer and lace. You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on clothing for your maternity session. Talk to your friends who have had kids, borrow a dress and share it with another mom to be after your session. I love maternity dresses because these dresses flow over mom’s body.

Dads don’t always get to sit back and sip coffee during my maternity photoshoots, I put them to work. Jim was very helpful in creating the image of Meghan’s maternity dress flowing. I have photographed Meghan and Jim more than 10 times over the years so he is always a good sport when I ask for a hand.

A Belt or bow – A belt or even a simple ribbon will help accentuate the baby bump. This is a cute way to announce the gender of the baby if using a color bow and has the added benefit of defining your waistline.

Have a session for every baby – Meghan and Jim were living in northern Michigan when she was expecting her first so Jessica and I packed our car and drove up for a weekend with two of our best friends. By the time Megan was ready for maternity photos for her second baby she was living back downstate and was able to come to the studio for our session.