How to Prepare for a Maternity photography session | What to Expect

Preparation & What to Expect Guide.

 

Getting Ready.

Outfit selection and coordination are important elements for a successful photo shoot. Great outfit selection and coordination can add to a gallery by adding beautiful color, a positive mood/vibe, as well as unify the gallery, while poor outfit selection and/or coordination can distract and take away from the focus, which is you, your growing baby and other loved-ones being photographed with you. If you're unsure of what will photograph well, bring a few options with you so that we can choose something together that will photograph beautifully and flatter yourself as well as your gallery's overall tone and feel.

Remember that the colors or outfit that you select can set the mood for your images. The colors you wear as well as the colors in the background will be the colors displaying on your wall in the final print. Pick a color scheme and keep your color scheme in mind when selecting your outfits and location.

  • For clothing, neutral colors photograph beautifully and don't compete with the background or other colors in the frame. Patterns/prints could work if paired and coordinated with solid colors. For example, if one person is wearing a pattern/print have the other wear solid colors. 
  • Logos or branding of any sort can be distracting in photos, it would be recommended to not wear clothes with logos or branding.
  • Color coordinating outfits with your partner will ensure your images look unified and are not distracting or taking away from anything else in the frame. You want the focus to stay on you! Remember, the colors that you choose to wear are going to be the colors present in your photos. 
  • If you plan to display prints in your home, try to consider your home decor when planning outfits or opt for neutrals like gray, shades of beige, cream, taupe, nude, tan with perhaps just a pop or color, or accent color. 
  • Opt for gray instead of Black. Black for a maternity shoot is not recommended as it could be difficult to see depth in a flat image while in forward facing poses and could slim your belly which may be ideal for other photo situations but isn't typically what you want for a maternity session. If you must wear black, it is not recommended to have your partner wear white if you are planning on being photographed with your partner or child. If you have chosen to wear black, stick with the darker color scheme, pairing with other dark shades would work better than pairing like light creams, or other light tones.

(These are all just tips and recommendations, you have the final say on anything related to preparation.)

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True black paired with true white can result in overly contrasted images, aberration and can make the photography and editing process difficult in terms of exposing for your faces while showing detail in true black and true white areas. Wearing black and white together, or plain black on its own could set the mood in a way that isn't ideal for maternity photos that should have a happy and uplifting mood. This, of course, is not always the case but it could be depending on the other elements of the photo shoot such as background, light, time of year etc.. Black or white on their own can work well, however, to avoid these issues stay in a chosen tone range. These are just general rules, use your best judgment when it comes to fashion selection. If you are a fashionista and you know something will work perfectly don't hesitate. 

Photo from style me pretty and photography by Christine Choi photography. This is a pretty example of good outfit coordination, They stay in the same tonal range.

Photo from style me pretty and photography by Christine Choi photography. This is a pretty example of good outfit coordination, They stay in the same tonal range.

Choose a Color Scheme.

If you decide to style with color instead of a neutral pallet, keep the color wheel in mind. Opt for a less saturated hue when pairing instead of going for bright, punchy, and saturated versions of your color choices.... unless bright, punchy and maybe edgy is the look you want in your photos as opposed to a softer and elegant look. Wearing colors that are less saturated will keep the focus on you, your spouse and your new baby bump as opposed to your clothing items.

I recommend an analogous (colors next to each other on the color wheel) or monochromatic color scheme, (Shades of a single color) An analogous color scheme with a complimentary accent color can work well. (see below.)

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Example of good clothing color coordination. 

The below photo is a PERFECT example of great clothing color coordination.

Why it works.

The couple are not wearing the exact same outfit (example: blue jeans with a white shirt) however, the detail and accent color of her dress match and work perfectly with the solid colors of his outfit choice. Blue and green are beside each other on the color wheel, following an analogous color scheme. Red and Green are complimentary colors, meaning they appear exactly across from each other on the color wheel and compliment each other well due to perfect contrast. The pop of a burgundy accent color (shade of red) compliments the green tone of the man's trouser. They went with are a more subdued version of the color as opposed to going super bright and punchy, and the beautiful print of the women's dress adds interest to the photo.

 

Photo from Bethney Backhaus bethneybackhaus.com/

Photo from Bethney Backhaus bethneybackhaus.com/

Analogous Color Scheme. Colors that are beside each other on the color wheel.

Analogous Color Scheme. Colors that are beside each other on the color wheel.

buy a maternity gown here: http://amzn.to/2jjcoy3

buy a maternity gown here: http://amzn.to/2jjcoy3

 

Makeup | Hair | Nails

  • Keep face makeup simple, less is more, Remember you must not worry about any temporary blemish that may arise on the day of your session. The retouching process will take care of any temporary blemishes. On the contrary, if you are trying to go for a bold look with lip or eye makeup, go heavier than usual so it's visible on camera. 
  • Try to stay away from makeup with SPF to avoid looking washed out. 
  • Opt for a matte finish when possible.
  • Try taking a pre-shoot selfie to see how your makeup looks on camera.
  • Remember your hands may be in the photos for close-up belly shots so you may want to have clean or done nails for these types of photos. 
Nails do not have to necessarily match your outfit in order to look good, however, your hands will be in the photos so having nice nails is a good idea. | Shot by Maternity photographer laura ann photography | Sudbury Ontario photographers

Nails do not have to necessarily match your outfit in order to look good, however, your hands will be in the photos so having nice nails is a good idea. | Shot by Maternity photographer laura ann photography | Sudbury Ontario photographers

Nails done | Maternity photography | Shot by Maternity photographer Laura ann photography | Sudbury ontario

Nails done | Maternity photography | Shot by Maternity photographer Laura ann photography | Sudbury ontario

Extra tips

  • If you have a specific pose or look you want to be captured, bring a photo to show the photographer at the time of the session so that the photographer is able to accurately bring your vision to life. If you want to include some of your own poses, check out Pinterest to give you a few ideas. (Although this is not necessary as the photographer will pose you)
  • Bring some things to the session that might be important to you, sentimental in the future or that accurately represent this special time in your life. A few ideas might be an ultrasound photo, engagement ring, baby booties, items to reveal gender, a gift that will be given to the baby when he/she is born. etc. 
This mother brought a princess crown that she had since she was a little girl. She planned to give the crown to her daughter in the future. This item is perfect because not only is it sentimental and signifies something to the mother, but it also is gender specific. 

This mother brought a princess crown that she had since she was a little girl. She planned to give the crown to her daughter in the future. This item is perfect because not only is it sentimental and signifies something to the mother, but it also is gender specific. 

 

 

Timelines | Process

The photo shoot depending on your chosen session could range between 30 minutes to 2-3 hours. Here is a guide of how long your session might take based on your booked session/package, although your session does not have a set deadline, the session will be complete when we have captured an array of beautiful images for your gallery. 

 

Session length

Mini session bronze package: 20 minutes 

Silver session/package: 45 minutes - 1 hour

Gold session/package: 2 hours

Newborn session/package 2-3 hours.

During your session, we will start by going through any poses you may specifically be looking forward to, we will then move onto to the classic posing workflow at Laura ann Photography. After going through all poses we will experiment and try new poses that will be unique to your session with any extra available time.

 

Proofing gallery and final images | Timeline

After your session, you will receive a proofing gallery where you will select your favorite photos, (the number of images will be based on your chosen package) to go in for retouching and post production work. These are the images that are referred to as your "Finals"

The photographer will go through the images captured during your session and select the best images and get rid of any poor quality photos or unflattering captures. The number of photos in your gallery may range between 10-60 photographs, this will differ based on the length of your session, chosen package, and how many different looks or poses we went through on shoot day. 

Not every photo or pose captured during a session will work out. The photographer will eliminate any throwaway photos for you. This will make the final photo selection less daunting. 

The images in the gallery will be unedited and unretouched. At this stage, the photos will be very "bare bones" until they go in for full post production work. 

Proofing Gallery - Within 7-14 days of your session. You will receive your gallery within typically within 7-14 days of your session. This will give the photographer enough time to go through and perform basic color correction and prepare your gallery.

Final digital photos

Once your final photo order has been received, your photos will go in for full post-production work. This may include, basic skin retouching, makeup retouching, coloring, color correction, black and white etc. This is the stage where the photos will get that "pop" as images are show as neutral jpegs for the gallery and RAW only for the final edit. 

You will receive the final digital photos (JPEG) typically no later than 2 weeks of receiving your final photo order. However, you will be made aware if more time is needed due to availability.

Prints

Once your final images have been through post production work, the JPEG images (digitals) will be sent to you for download, then be sent to print.

Note:

I will have your prints sent to me for approval in order to ensure the best possible results. Your prints will be ready for pick-up within 2 weeks of you receiving the final digital photos. 

 

Packages

Each package includes your session costs and comes with 1 session and 1 location excluding the gold package which offers 2 locations and belly to baby which comes with a Maternity and Newborn session. For belly to baby Each session (Maternity and Newborn) comes with 1 location as it's essentially combining the silver and newborn package. 

Terminology:

"Finals" Refers to the Final draft of the image which will be delivered to you as a JPEG file. If your package says 5 "finals" This means  5 fully retouched/edited final JPEG files. These final photos will be where you will make your final print selection from.

Your finals are the images you have chosen to both print and have as a JPEG file for future print and Social Media. 

Proofing Gallery: Your proofing gallery will contain any "keeper" images captured on the day of your session, this will be where you will select your final images from. 

Proofs: Unedited, untouched and unfinalized images. Proof images are in their most basic state to show you a draft of the image.

 

If you have any other questions or need any clarification please don't hesitate to ask. 

I look forward to taking your photos and being a part of documenting this special time for you and your family! :

- Kathleen from Laura Ann Photography