Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Photography: how to take beautiful maternity portraits

The glowing beauty of a pregnant woman is a rare and wonderful sight. Most doctors confirm that the most wonderful part of their work is delivering a new baby, and an expectant mother has that air of expectancy and serenity surrounding her.

A typical woman experiences a pregnancy only a few times in her life, and it is usually during the first pregnancy that the opportunities for taking beautiful maternity portraits abound. When there are already other children, the opportunities somehow diminish! Seize the moment and capture this wonderful event while it is taking place. Taking maternity portraits is a great pleasure for the photographer and the portraits will be treasured forever.

The best maternity portraits can be shot with the mother either nude or wearing a light see through night dress. Pictures may be repeated at various times through the pregnancy documenting the growth of the baby and the ever changing curves of the woman's body.

Lighting is important in creating the right effect. Evening or night shots by candle-light without a flash are very effective. A single flash bounced off a white ceiling or wall or a diffused reflected light will produce the desired soft effect. Back lighting with a little fill in light to the front is very effective, highlighting the pregnant curves. Avoid harsh direct lighting as this hardens the picture.

Photographing in colour using pastel shades with some drapes as a background can be very effective. Black and white or sepia adds a very romantic feel to the pictures.

Pay some attention to the composition of the picture. Arrange furniture and other items in the background to suggest a feminine bedroom. Try to avoid her standing and facing the camera directly in the centre of the screen. Side views, or with the subject facing slightly towards your right or left are very effective. Leave more space in the frame to the front of the woman than behind her - try to follow the rule of thirds.

Make the subject feel at ease by engaging her in conversation, and complimenting her beauty. All women respond well to compliments and this will help to make her feel more comfortable. She may feel more at ease if she knows that the pictures are to remain private.

Arrange the photos with the subject in advance. She will want to look at her best and have time to prepare. Take a variety of shots from various angles using a variety of lighting conditions.
These beautiful maternity pictures will be yours and hers to treasure for many years into the future.

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