How to prepare for a pregnancy photo session?
A pregnancy session has always been my great dream. My husband and I rarely have the opportunity to stand in front of the camera together, and the period of waiting for the Child, for the Miracle of Birth, is so special that I just had to have a wonderful souvenir from that period. Today, with three pregnancy photo sessions behind us, I have prepared a small guide for you on how to prepare for such a session.
For a successful photo session, of course, you need a good photographer – I will write about what to consider when choosing a photographer for a family photo session in the next post. Today, however, I will focus on the fact that no matter what a fantastic photographer we are in front of the lens, it is worth preparing well for it, so that the end result is exactly as you dreamed of. The photos that you can admire here were extraordinary for us Magdalena Mizerathat traveled half of Poland to fulfill our dream of a bright, romantic belly session in the lavender field.
1. Place and scenery
For family photo sessions, I love to use our natural surroundings, such as our home, bedroom, children’s room or garden. The landscapes that we associate with relaxation and spending time with the family are also ideal here: park, beach, meadow or road. The key to the success of each session, however, is the lack of crowds – uninvited guests can spoil any photo, so before you go outdoors, make sure what times it is best to take photos there to avoid strangers in the photos.
If you have already started preparing a room for your child or even a newborn corner in your bedroom, it will be a beautiful and natural scenery for your tummy photo session, give it a personal touch and be an additional souvenir.
Nothing spoils a photo as much as unwanted elements on it, and the point is not that our photographer has to cut out the scattered socks in the photo, dust on the cupboard or other, unwanted “second background heroes” in post-production. Of course, your photos will usually focus on the foreground, but the background, even very blurry thanks to the bright lens and the use of shallow depth of field, can spoil the reception of the photo, especially if there are intense colors in the background, inconsistent with the first frame.
The same rule applies to outdoor sessions – pay attention to whether there is litter on the beach, there are no colorful screens, and there are no broken colored bottles in the park under the bench. Sometimes it is enough to take a few steps to the side to change the overall experience of a photo.
3. Time of day
When planning your tummy photo session in your home, think about when the best light for photography is there and take advantage of this time. Remember that it can be a completely different time of day for your bedroom, children’s room or garden.
In the case of an outdoor session, the same rule applies – here you should also take into account the time of year and the height of the sun above the horizon. In summer, it is practically impossible to take outdoor photos in full sun around noon. However, there is such a thing in photography as the “golden hour” – it is the hour just after sunrise and just before sunset – it provides us with unique, wonderful warm light and long shadows.
When planning the perfect time for a pregnancy photo session, consider when you feel best and most attractive. If you tend to collect water and swell in the evening, schedule your session for the morning hours. Conversely, if you are particularly tired in the morning, you will most likely have more energy in the afternoon
It’s good if your outfits match in style and colors. For each session, I prepare two variants of clothes and we make the final decision about what to wear together with the photographer who has the entire frame in mind. I try not to combine a few patterns or too many colors. It is also important that the clothes fit each other in terms of character – if I am in jeans, Wojtek does not wear a suit and vice versa. In addition to making everyone’s outfits match, think about what will set the background for them and include them in this color puzzle as well. Remember no socks! There is an unwritten rule that the photos show either bare legs or shoes. Socks never, never look good in photos.
In the case of a pregnancy photo session, pay attention to whether the clothes chosen for the photos emphasize your beautiful belly or hide and mask it unnecessarily. A black dress, for example, will not work best in this role – unless you stand sideways to the lens. If you happen to have a tiny belly or the clothes you wear don’t emphasize it, you can do it by tying a ribbon under your breasts.
5. Makeup and hairstyle
The camera is a… makeup eater, so don’t be afraid to emphasize your eyes or cheeks more, they will most likely come out in the photo and so delicately than you see them in the mirror. But be careful not to overdo it – I use the rule of one strong element in my makeup, including photographic ones, and I decide whether it will be eyes or lips. It’s good if the makeup is matte – the excess highlighter may look unfavorable in the photo, like a mirror reflecting the light, irreversibly depriving the skin of its texture in this place. On warm or hot days, it is also worth remembering about matting the gentlemen – transparent powder is perfect for this (as a Wedding Planner I always have it with me on wedding projects) or matting papers – take them with you to the session with lipstick or lip gloss if you plan use them. If your partner has a tendency to turn red, don’t be afraid to apply a little of your coverage foundation to areas that tend to turn red.
Remember to paint your day in a proven and favorite way, this is not the best day for make-up experiments. So don’t try to draw lines on your eyelids or new foundation or mascara for the first time.
Here, I also recommend focusing on naturalness, but nicely underlined. If the session is to have a natural, romantic character, fancy curls from the hairdresser will not work here. Hair nicely reflected, similar to those you wear every day, is the key to beautiful, natural tummy photos.
Also pay attention to your hands and feet, the first will certainly be the main characters of your tummy photographs.
It’s best if you look through some professional pregnancy photo sessions and see what poses work best. You can also save a few favorite items on your phone to try to play them back during the session.
There is one pose that works best – a hand on or under your tummy, or two hands at once. There is something very magical about this simple gesture.
7. Details, gadgets, props
Think if you would like to invite props to the session that will emphasize its character. Ultrasound photos, tiny shoes, a ribbon tied above or on the belly, a helium balloon or appropriate inscriptions will help you create an unforgettable atmosphere and atmosphere in the photos. You can also use neutral ideas like a flower wreath.
8. A few hours before the session
If you have bare shoulders during the photo session, do not wear underwear on the straps that day – they can leave an impression hard enough to be visible in the photos. The same applies to your legs – if you plan to wear an outfit that exposes them, avoid wearing socks that day, which can leave ugly marks where the elastic band is pressing.
9. Snacks and drinks
A pregnancy photo session usually lasts from one to even several hours and it is time spent quite intensively. So let’s prepare a set of snacks and drinks for all of you beforehand. Easy-to-eat, light snacks that are not dirty or have an intense smell will work best here. Remember to improve your lip makeup after eating.
10. In which week of pregnancy is it best to do a pregnancy session?
Most often, for the tummy photo session, the seventh and eighth months of pregnancy are ideal, when the tummy is already beautifully rounded and you still have the strength and the desire to stand in front of the lens. I do not recommend the photo shoot in 9 a month, it may turn out to be too tiring for you or you can simply not make it on time and instead of standing in front of the lens with a tummy, you will stand with the Baby in his arms. Which does not mean that a newborn session is not a wonderful idea! I will definitely write about her too.
Pregnancy is one of the greatest gifts you can get from life. I am very happy that thanks to such unique photos we are able to capture memories even better.
And how are you? Have you thought about a pregnancy photo session? Or maybe you already have such wonderful photos in your album?