Maternity Fashion in Nature
Recently I was found myself lucky enough to shoot a very active model and fellow photographer who was pregnant and still very active in modeling. Maternity shoots can bring new dimensions to a portfolio as well as be very important to the woman as an important point in her life.
There are things to consider, like any concept, when planning this type of photoshoot, not the least of which is the model. In most cases, the woman will be noticeably pregnant somewhere around 25-30 weeks along. At this point most, but not all, women are past the period where they are incredibly nauseated during the early stages of their maternity and yet it is not so strenuous to move as in the later stages. Obviously, there are no hard and fast rules with pregnancy and activity. Some women may need to be bed ridden through much of their pregnancy while others are fairly active right up to the point that they deliver.
If you choose to shoot outside, ideally you will want a day that is not sub-zero if shooting during winter months, nor when shooting during the summer do you want a very hot and humid day. Like any model, the more comfortable the temperature the more comfortable the model will be and the better the final images will impress everyone.
Wardrobe can vary, but in these shots we chose a long white form fitting dress. Avoid anything too baggy since you want to easily be able to show the baby bump, and long free flowing dresses act just a little bit of grace to this concept. The off- the- shoulder look to this outfit was perfect in that the highlights (white) were focused where we wanted the viewer to look. If the fabric has a little texture to it, so much the better. The model (or client for that matter) should be wearing comfortable shoes while walking and may choose to be barefoot for the posed shots.
The model wanted shot of her walking though this wooded area. As with most maternity shots you subject can either be looking at her baby bump or supporting her abdomen with her hands. This was not necessarily a glamour shoot in which I was looking for just head and shoulder shots but full length shots added interest to the image when paired with the gown. This mixed with gentle shadows added a very natural and almost serene look to the images.
Of course, additional elements could be added to these images such as her husband if desired. His clothing would be rather casual and more subdued as compared to hers so as to keep the focus on maternity rather than a typical couples photoshoot. Even so, a gentle connections between husband and wife could be shown such as hand holding, the husband gently touching the baby bump, sitting together both looking at her expected child etc..
A nature based fashion maternity shoot may be just what certain women may be looking for as they prepare for their newborn child.
-Bob Barford is a PA based portrait and glamour photographer.