15 October 2009

Jane’s maternity shoot

On Sunday morning I had a maternity photo shoot with Jane who is expecting twins in just over a month’s time. We have been planning the shoot for just under a couple of months now and it came about after she saw some examples of my other maternity photos.

Earlier in the week I had sent Jane a set of posing ideas that I have put together and which would give her an idea of some of the setups that she might want to try. I feel that this is an important step to undertake with maternity (and also boudoir) photo shoots as it can give the client some ideas that they may not previously have thought of trying out.

After setting up my portable studio in their living room, we set went over the posing sheets I had sent her and discussed what she might like to try. We then started with the photo shoot itself. As Jane has a young daughter, I thought it would be good to get some shots of her with her mum and connecting with her soon to be new sisters. Ellie was a star in her own right and we got some great photos – one of which can be seen below.

We then built the series of shots up to include the whole family and brought in her husband to get them all together for a few photos. When working with children, I feel it is very important to get them involved but also to make sure that if they are taking part in the shoot that they take part at the earliest opportunity. They can soon lose interest and want to go back to playing with their toys or watching their favourite DVD! When that moment arrives, there is little point in making them carry on as children will just play up and you can’t easily get what you need. Letting kids do their own thing for a while will usually also mean that they may well come round to the suggestion of having a few more shots later in the session – it certainly worked in this case!

With Ellie off playing, I was able to spend some more time getting shots of Jane using a selection of the different backgrounds and voile drapes that I had brought with me. As the shoot progressed, Jane’s confidence grew and she was up for trying out more adventurous shots. I never push clients into trying things that they aren’t fully comfortable with – hence one of the reasons for sending over the posing ideas sheet before the shoot. That way, clients can get an idea of what they might want to try and what they might not. I very much see a photo shoot as a two way collaboration which needs both the photographer and client to connect in order to get the best from a session. With Jane’s increasing confidence she was happy to try some of the more challenging poses as she wanted to get as much a record of her pregnancy as possible – the twins are likely to be enough to keep her hands full for a while! The following are a few more photos taken during the session.

The last photo in this post (above) showing Jane lying down with her legs pointing in the air to the ceiling really shows off her neat bump and was a shot we obviously had to catch quickly for Jane’s comfort! Luckily the effort paid off and the result is great.

For me (and hopefully my clients!), the real essence of maternity photography is to capture the mum-to-be in her blossoming stage and her bump in the most flattering way when I take the photos. By directing Jane into different poses, with subtle placement of her hands to protect her modesty and careful lighting set ups we have ended up with a set of fantastic photos that I hope she will treasure for years to come and want to show her new girls when they are old enough.

If you are interested in having a maternity photo shoot of yourself, or perhaps you know someone who would be interested, then please make contact with me via the website John Wood Photography and I would be delighted to talk you through the various options and packages I offer - ranging from one off ‘bump’ shoots through to a 5 session ‘Bump to baby’ package which includes a maternity shoot and then 4 shoots during baby’s first year.

I generally find that maternity ‘bump’ shoots are best undertaken during the 34 – 37 week stage of your pregnancy but that doesn’t mean that shoots taken any earlier or later than this won’t capture you at your finest as every woman is different.