When it comes to taken maternity photography, there are a number of pitfalls that people fall into again and again. This is a real shame, because it looks images look amateurish and pedestrian, which is exactly what you will want to avoid. Luckily, it shouldn’t be too hard to create amazing maternity photos if you know what you are doing and how to avoid those pitfalls.
It may be a lot of fun to use muslins or other textured backdrops, but they are often not very professional in look. The visual is often very interesting, but you have to remember that the emphasis here should be on the pregnant bump and not on the artistic feel of the background. Similarly, you must be careful about the colors, as it is easy to swamp a model completely. If the model is dark haired, for instance, you will want to avoid a solid black background. However, if you have a really good spotlight to highlight the model’s hair, then it suddenly becomes very interesting again. This demonstrates how important it is to think of the three elements in the shoot: the model, the background and the light.
On the subject of lighting, never, ever put on the flash of your camera.
Poses are hard to get right. Unless the woman coming in for maternity photos is a professional model, it is reasonable to assume that she doesn’t really know much about how to best accentuate her body and create a professional-looking look. Hence, she will need a lot of direction from you and it is up to you to make sure that you don’t make things stale and boring. For instance, the hands of the belly, or the arm covering the breast is beautiful, but it has been done. Feel free to take that picture, because it works, but don’t be afraid to be a lot more creative as well. Naturally, you do have to make sure your model is always comfortable and safe, so don’t push her poses too far. Add excitement with different environments and various props and make sure you speak to the woman about what she is actually looking for.
The composition is also very important. The fashion of having a model in the middle of your frame is long gone and you need to avoid it. It is now all about the Rule of Thirds, this means that you have to divide your frame into three equal sections, and place your model in one of those instead.
Although certain types of clothes may look beautiful on a woman normally, the may be highly distracting on a photograph. It is best for her to dress in something neutral, without any real patterns or bright colors. Contrasting colors between the woman and the background also work very well, so wearing a white shirt against a black background will be absolutely stunning. Again, the light is very important in this aspect as well.