Friday, 20 May 2011

Maternity Photography

Whilst planning posts for this months New Beginnings theme I thought it would be lovely to feature maternity photography.  Whilst many are happy to hide their bump away I think pregnancy is a time when you can feel amazingly beautiful, so why not show this off in a special photo shoot.  Today I am thrilled to welcome Marie Donn, of Marie Donn Photography, as a guest writer to share her thoughts on this very special photography session.

When I am approached to undertake a maternity photoshoot a bit of me jumps up and down with glee. I just love bumps, and I believe the pregnant body is one of the greatest celebrations of life, so when you put those together it’s understandable why I should offer maternity photography sessions, and why I should enjoy them so much.

But what about the client, the one with the bump, the stretch marks, the insomnia and sickness? Why on earth should she want to record this time? Well, all this may be true, and I speak as someone who has never had a straightforward pregnancy in her life, but there are so many reasons why I believe a maternity photoshoot should be as much a part of your antenatal preparations as your hospital bag:
1) You’re beautiful! Speaking to others who have been through pregnancy, we didn’t always feel beautiful, or glowing, or whatever the magazines seemed to say we might at our stage of pregnancy, but in truth there is something amazing about the pregnant body, and for many of my clients something liberating about all the bumps ‘being in the right place’ for a while. Even stretch marks, if you get them, are signs of the miracle going on inside.

Fancy showing off your bump? A good photographer will suggest classic, flattering lighting, and poses that don’t require gymnastic mobility! Prefer to hint rather than shout? Why not consider hiring the latest maternity wear, such as a beautiful evening dress to lay on the glamour for the shoot, pampering yourself for the day?

Simply seeing the images after a shoot can be an amazing confidence boost, and I’ve had many customers exclaim delightedly at their portraits, when at other times they would have described themselves as unphotogenic (I’ve never met a person yet who that applies to, by the way)!

2) Memories are made of this: Undertaking a maternity portrait session can be a one-off, perhaps around the 32-34w stage when Bump is fairly high and round, or a series of sessions charting each month, but whatever and whenever they are a capture of the exciting time you’re going through, both individually and as a family.

Some of my favourite sessions are family sessions in which your growing bump is almost incidental, but I find the excitement of parents and siblings is so contagious and radiates through the images. More than one person has said to me how years later they have viewed their pregnancy portraits with the now-rambunctious toddler who has been delighted and fascinated to know that they were in the photo too (I cannot be held responsible for when you have the birds and bees conversation!). Making the shoot a family experience creates even more special bonds with the time and your memories.

3) A 9-month journey to a lifetime’s achievement. No matter how you’ve got to where you are, this is one milestone that is worth marking. The increased availability of 4D scans in recent years has enabled many parents to connect even more deeply with what’s going on inside, but maternity photography is a great celebration of all the work you have put in, physically and emotionally, to create your family, and your pride in your bump.

The key to a successful session is confidence in your photographer. Seek out a photographer who has a history of work in a style you admire and would feel comfortable with, whether that be demure, glamorous, or Rocking Your Bump! Have a chat with them, scope out your ideas - any good photographer will gladly listen to what you want from the shoot, and put any concerns at ease. Prints and books especially are an amazing addition to baby’s memory box, as well as your family albums.

And once you’ve had your baby? Well, book in for another session to celebrate their arrival…!
Thank you so much Marie and these images show that women really do bloom when pregnant.
To book a maternity session with Marie please visit her website

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