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.
May and June are typically the months when wedding photographers start to get busy as the season starts. I truly believe, wedding photography is one of the hardest specialities. The reason : You need to be a photojournalist, stock photographer, architectural photographer, portrait photographer, food photographer, a commercial photographer and the list goes on. You need to have knowledge in all these areas to be truly great at your craft. Aside from the technicalities of wedding photography, there are a few things you should keep in mind when photographing the couple on the way to the altar.
I can’t say this one enough. Preparation is key. Have a questionnaire for your couple. In the questionnaire,you should ask the basics : start time, venue location etc. Also ask, about relations and the names of family and wedding party. It’s hard to remember everyone’s name in the wedding party, but learning the names of the parents, grandparents and siblings will take you far. Also, ask if there are any family situations to be made aware of, such as divorces or deaths. It’s important to set expectations with your couple ahead of time instead of having a surprise or problem on the day of the wedding. Remember there is no such thing as too much information when it comes to wedding photography. As far as preparing equipment, check and charge everything the night before if not earlier.
2. Scout your Location
I have always scouted my locations a week before the event. The reason being, I needed to know where the sun set in the sky during the time I would be taking wedding pictures. I may have been at this venue before, but generally the time of day and seasons may have been different. Also, I check to see if there are any races or street fairs I should know about on the wedding date as this might affect traffic to and from the ceremony or the reception. You also want a back up plan. If it rains on the wedding day, you should be prepared with a plan “b”. A plan to execute in case it rains, you don’t want to be left high and dry without a back up plan.
3. The Power of Light
Know your light. Everything from natural to flash to strobe. When working with natural light, do you want a sihlouette or do you want to work with the sun? This will make a difference in your settings. For flash, there are a number of ways to diffuse your flash to make it softer on your subjects. If you don’t know how to use your flash manually, try using a diffuser . You can also bounce it off walls, ceilings, even off reflectors. If you are using strobe, make sure you have tested your triggers or you have plenty of extension chord if it’s a plug in. The key is to have the most flattering light possible on your subjects.
Your couple has spent a lot of time picking out the right shoes, the right tie, the right rings, the right dress , the right suit. Spend some time getting images of these various articles as well as all the little details at the reception. You would be amazed how these detail shots help in setting up a wedding album. They often make the perfect filler or background.
5. Social Media Savvy
I can’t think of a better event to be social savvy at than a wedding. Your opportunities to market are endless. From your questionnaire on step 1, ask for the bride and groom’s soial media handles on facebook ,twitter, instagram and such. Go over your plans with the couple on how you will present their images on your website, facebook and other channels. Some people are still very private, so it’s important to know this ahead of time. Make it fun and get everyone involved. Sometimes coming up with a fun hashtag on Instagram can get the wedding party and guests involved. For example, #MikeandSallyTieTheKnot. Or when loading photos to Facebook, have your couple invite their friends to “tag” themselves in the photo. At the reception, print out little cards with the website and password to the images for the wedding. Marketing is a different world now days with the internet and it’s important to not only discuss this with your couple but to also stay one step ahead of the technology curve.
There are so many more tips and tricks to wedding photography, but these are definite starting points. I have been a wedding photographer for 13 years and I can honestly say, it is one of the most difficult and demanding photography specialties. I admire those who have been in the business for years and I admire those just starting out and pushing the boundaries. Documenting a couple on one of their most cherished days is an honor and more importantly, giving them beautiful images documenting their wedding day is the best marketing you can do for yourself as they show them to their friends and family.
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.