Maternity photography has really gained in popularity through the last few years. Photographers are getting more and more creative with women and their baby bumps. It’s fantastic to see so much brightness and life in this new wave of photography. However, with any specialty there are always a few things to keep in mind when starting out.
1. The Time is Right
It’s hard to say when the exact right time to photograph a pregnant woman would be, but in most cases 7 months is the ideal month. This is usually when the baby has dropped a bit in the tummy and when moms are still relatively comfortable in moving their bodies. If you wait until after the 7 months, sometimes it can be uncomfortable for the mothers, plus they have a lot on their plate the closer they get to their due date. As a photographer, you’ll also want enough time to edit and print these images before the baby arrives. This should be plenty of time for your client to order images and share them before the wee one enters the world.
2. Preparation is Key
Maternity photography should be treated just like modeling or head shot photography. Have your client come prepared. Moms should make sure their nails are groomed and you might even suggest having the moms have their hair and makeup professionally done. It’s a little bit of pampering but it goes a long way in making the clients feel great about themselves. Have a candid discussion with your client regarding what to bring and make sure they bring water, snacks and a robe (for in between shoots) so they can feel as comfortable as possible. Also, remind them not to wear anything too confining around the belly before the session (like elastic pants). This can often leave marks on the tummy in which you’ll have to photoshop out later. So save yourself some time with this little tip.
3. Try New Angles
Ok, so you’ve done the traditional photo of mom standing up with her hands on her belly, now what? With maternity photography, it’s important to get the best angles and lighting as possible for the expecting moms. Try shooting from above. This is a great angle as it is almost always flattering . At this position, you can focus on her bright eyes or her hands on her belly. She can be looking straight at you or down at her bump. Any of these combinations will work as this angle is flattering and slimming to the face.
4. Get Creative
Think outside the box and get creative. What I love most about today’s maternity photography is the abstracts. I love the focus on the belly and flowers. Or maybe the feet are in focus and the tummy is out of focus. Or you can be clever in announcing the sex of the child by including elements to give clues. Try a pair of boy’s baby shoes in the photo or maybe fill the room with pink balloons. It’s fun to get creative and your client will have fun as well.
5. Get Loved Ones Involved
It’s not just mom who is excited about the arrival of the baby, it’s the dad, the partner, the pets, the siblings, the grandparents, the aunts, the uncles, you name it, everyone is anxiously waiting. So now is the time to capture their excitement too and include them in the maternity photo shoot. Dads and partners can come in and wrap their arms around the mom. Siblings can come in get up and close to mom’s belly. Finally, let Fido in on the action too, he’s a part of the family too and his life is about to get a whole lot better with more table scraps coming his way in a few years.
The important key to remember with any of this is to always make sure your client is comfortable. Keep relaxed but take this seriously. Your clients will love the extra attention and details you give them. Photographers are family historians and this is one of the most important jobs in the world.
Newborn photography takes a lot of patience. This is no surprise to the photographers who specialize in newborn photography. Sessions can last anywhere from a half an hour up to four hours. This is one photography specialty where the client is in complete control. For those of you just starting in this category, there are a few things to keep in mind when capturing those tiny clients. Here is our 5 tips on photographing newborns
Newborns are not able to regulate their body temperature. Keeping babies warm helps them stay healthy and comfortable. So with this in mind, you’ll be able to have a successful baby photo shoot. Typically, start with them all bundled up. You might also want to think about warming up your studio or bringing in a space heater to warm up the area. When doing photos of the baby without clothes, start by undressing them and laying them with their diaper on (but unhinged) and resting skin on skin on their mom or dad with a blanket over them. This way when you transfer them from their parent to the set up, you are also transferring that heat with the blanket over them. Let the baby get settled in before taking off the diaper or transferred blanket.
2. Know their Happy Times
Babies have happy times. Typically it’s usually right after they feed or they wake up. Identifying these times will typically lead to a better photo shoot. Newborns rarely have control over their muscles including smiles, so if you or the parent are waiting for the baby to smile, know that it’s rare to get these and in fact a lot of those smiles come in their sleep. The main objective is to make the baby comfortable.
3. Get a Close Up
Those eyelashes, those cheeks and those tiny fingers and toes are so important at this stage. Change your lens out from a portrait to a macro. Focus on all those little details, which will never be this small again. I personally, like the photos that show the scale of their tininess. These detail shots also make for a great addition when you are putting together a photo book for your client. Fill those pages with portraits and details and you’ll have an ecstatic client.
4. Lights, Sound and Action
Babies are very sensitive to noises and light. So with this in mind, you’ll want to be prepared. Try diffused light when photographing babies. In other words, try window light. If you must use strobe, then I would find the biggest softbox you can find to diffuse the light as much as possible. The main thing is to not keep flashing a strobe in a baby’s face. Choose your shots carefully. As far as noise, they love constant soothing noise. There are free apps out there that can provide you with white noise. Remember, it was very noisy in the womb for babies and they tend to like muffled white noise to comfort them.
5. Get the Siblings and Parents Involved
This is such a special time for the whole family. Now is the time to get them involved. Have a sibling kiss the baby’s forehead. Have the parents kiss the toes or fingers. It’s fun to see how proportional the baby is to the rest of the family. Remember, from this day on, this is the tiniest the baby will ever be again.
There is one other tip that was not included but it’s probably the most important, patience. Newborn photographers have the patience to wait for the baby. Babies have a way of not doing what you want them to do, so relax and be patient. This is the baby’s shoot and he or she is running it. You just need to know what the baby needs and make sure they are comforted at all times. This will ensure a happy baby, happy parents and a happy photographer.
Special thank you to Milwaukee newborn photographer, Christine Plamann of Christine Plamann Photography for supplying us with the adorable photos. You can check out more of her work on her website or blog.
Your passion is photography. Our passion is preserving it. However, we need your help once it leaves our doors.
If you’ve made an Adoramapix Photo Book of a big event in your life, I’m sure you put a lot of work and energy into its creation. In order to save your precious memories for future generations, you’ll need to do a little more work to take care of those photo books. Here are some great tips and reminders to keep your treasured memories safe and sound.
1. Handle your Photo Books Carefully
We pride ourselves on using true archival photo paper. Photo paper must be handled carefully. You basically have a large print in your hand that is heat pressed into a photo book. So with any photo paper that is not protected by glass or a frame, handle it carefully. Although our books are very durable, human hands contain oils and salt which over time can take its toll on a print. We suggest to turn the pages with your fingertips and make sure you, or anyone else looking at your photo books has clean hands before sitting down and admiring the memories. Also, if you notice a fingerprint on your photo paper, take a soft, dry cloth to buff it out lightly.
2. Humidity and Sunlight
Humidity and sunlight can have damaging affects on your photo books. Try to store your photo books at room temperature. Humidity can cause moisture to get locked between your photo pages and cause the photo pages to “stick” together. Once they stick together, unsticking them may mean the paper will rip. Direct sunlight will fade the colors of your photo book. This also means, not storing it in a basement where mold and mildew may accumulate or worse flooding. Also, same goes for your attic. Heat rises, it gets very hot in the attic and fluctuating humidity can permanently destroy your photo books. You want to be able to control the natural elements in order to preserve your photo book for future generations.
3. High Traffic Areas
I recently was contacted by photo book member Allison of Everyday Adventures. She loved her Adoramapix Photo Book of her wedding, so much so, she had it displayed lovingly on her coffee table for all to see. She was kind enough to send me pictures of the aftermath. Unfortunately, a number of combinations may have led to its damage. One being humidity (see tip #2). Secondly, it was in a high traffic area. A sneeze, a spilled drink, water from someone’s overcoat all could have contributed to her pages sticking together. The pages in your photo books have a surface coating (an emulsion) which, upon getting wet and then drying, will more than likely adhere itself to the print next to it. Which in this case, was the next page. You want to be able to control the human elements in order to preserve our photo book. This means, keeping it out of high traffic areas, instead store it and bring it out on special occasions for viewing.
4. Lay Flat
Your Adoramapix Photo Book should be stored flat. In other words, do not rest it vertically on a book shelf. Instead it should lay flat or horizontally. This helps minimize any warping to the pages. Photos standing by themselves upright will warp over time.
5. Archival Boxes
These are your photo book’s best friends. The archival boxes we sell are the best guarantee for long lasting beautiful photo books to stand the test of time. By using the archival photo book boxes, you can create a smaller, controlled environment that offers protection from dust, UV light and the human factor.
Each week we will give you a quick tip to enhance your photo book making through our PixPublisher online software. We decided that since it so robust ,we will take a little time each week to hi-light some of creative elements.
We are excited to announce a fun new addition to our PixPublisher. In addition to adding regular text captions to your photo books, Pixpublisher now has support for dynamic chat bubbles. Give your photo books some character with our new chat bubbles. We have both talk and thought bubbles in a variety of shapes and styles. Just drag and drop one onto your photo book, double-click inside and start typing. It will automatically change size and shape to accommodate your text or any changes to your font size or style.
In this week’s tip for our PixPublisher, we focus on a feature that will bring color to your photo book. One of the most power features of PixPublisher is the ability to change the color of any sticker or frame to whatever color you want. This can be done by the use of the color fill option. Changing a sticker’s color is easy, just follow these steps:
1. Select a sticker or frame in by clicking on it.
a) choose a color from the palette
b) manually enter a color code into the input box
c) use the eyedropper tool to pick a color by clicking anywhere on the screen.
4. Once you’ve chosen a color, you’ll see the sticker or frame change to that color.
Changing colors is an extremely powerful feature that can be used in many creative ways. Not only can you change the colors of stickers to suit the palette for your project, you can use a combination of color fill and opacity to tint your photos by adding colored layers over them. You can also create custom colored backgrounds by re-coloring transparent overlays, and much more.