Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! Fellow DPS photographer Natalie Norton wrote an article awhile back giving tips on shooting pregnant tummies outdoors. When mentally preparing for a photo shoot, it’s good to have an idea of what type of images you want to end up with.
I had a giant roll of white paper still in its tube that I ordered from B&H for about $40. As a side, background paper can also be converted into gigantic paper airplanes when you’re finished. For the black background, I rummaged through our closet and found our trusty fuzzy black blanket and hung that on the opposite wall. For my setup I used 3 standard SB Nikon flashes in remote mode and two inexpensive umbrella stands. If you’re putting together a kit, I recommend you pick up a pair of barn-door attachments to better control the light coming from the strobes. My advice is to act what may seem overly confident, constantly giving positive feed back and reassuring your subject that they are looking great. No matter how good your images look straight out of the camera, you can always add a little punch in post processing.
These tools allow you to convert the images to black and white, soften skin, bleach or saturate colors, and much more. Subconsciously I tend to shoot a little wide knowing that it provides more options in postproduction. This is definitely the type of assignment that demands a good conversation with the subject.
Black velvet is the best fabric for absorbing light, and will work better than most other black materials. I used a large piece of black felt when I did an at home photo session of my little guy and it worked better than I had hoped! I just used a soft box on low setting and used a dark backdrop- very soft lighting on my subject. Also, after having a great pep talk from Natalie who features on here quite a bit,I wasnt nervous at all. Maternity photography is something I would like to add to my portfolio for confidential portraits. Very helpful, I recently did my friend and it was hard to make her feel relaxed while posing. In order to make smart use of your employees and support system (while your on leave or not) you need to equip them to be self-sufficient. Be careful not to make any commitments to other people for the last three weeks or so of your pregnancy. Given that I’m an entrepreneur I’m aware of just how hard it is to disentangle yourself from your business.
It’s important to mention that each maternity leave has forced me to reconsider what truly needs to be done by me.
IGC has given me three essentials for the health of my business; connections, support and learning. Loose, blousey tops will likely continue to fit, though you may want to use a skinny belt to create an empire waist. These two words together are so completely unsexy, but so completely awesome during pregnancy: maternity jeggings. Some dresses will work throughout your pregnancy, though they will get shorter and shorter in the front as your belly expands.
Even if you give in to comfort (like me) in this department, you’ll probably want at least one normal bra that makes you look good. Whoever you’re leaving your child with, you will need to practice leaving your baby in their care. Buy yourself a new outfit ready for your return, it will help you feel more confident when you start – and you deserve to treat yourself.
Make sure your child is in a good bedtime and morning routine, so that they don’t suddenly have to get used to going to bed later or getting up earlier. Do as many household chores as you can in the evening, so that you can spend your days off with your baby.
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Please tick if you would prefer not to receive news & special offers from Hearst Magazines UK, publisher of Good Housekeeping. Please tick if you would like to receive news & special offers from selected partners of Hearst Magazines UK. Maternity photography - 7 tips great shots, 7 tips toward capturing creative maternity photography. For both studio and outdoor sessions, much of the mood in an image comes from the background.
I used duct tape to hang the paper from the top of the wall down onto the floor where she would be standing, creating what the industry refers to as an seamless background. The fuzzier the blanket is the better, as it absorbs light without bouncing it back into the camera.

I started with the typical two-light setup, each at 45 degrees as shown in the diagram below, with the third flash directed behind the subject onto the backdrop to eliminate any silhouettes and shadows. You can’t go wrong at only $10 a pop and they allow you to focus the light where you want it. This relieves the pressure of having to remember all the sitting positions and lighting techniques you want to try. This usually amounts to picking your favorite raw editor such as Lightroom or Aperture and perhaps a few colorizing filters or effects. Most have probably never done a shot like that and we should make sure they are comfortable with certain aspects of it before starting.
I have several maternity sessions coming up in the next few weeks and have only done a couple in the past. It was really cheap to get what I needed from the local craft store and it can be used as a felt board background in my elementary school teaching lessons.
I have only done a few maternity shots, so it’s great to have some more firm advice to go by. A friend of mine is due in 4 weeks time, and asked me if I could take some of her and her lovely bump.
You'll get some very cool effects with it and expecting mom's are often less concerned about how their figure looks in the shots :) I'd have at least one other lens handy, preferably in the 50 to 85mm range.
I've got an uber sweet wide angle, but I'm worried that it may distort the poor mama-to-be. Given the way that I worked for the first 6 years I was an entrepreneur I would have never thought that any time off was possible, but it is.
Spend your last trimester (or longer) identifying processes that tend to get bottlenecked with you. The very thought that something big and bad could happen while I wasn’t watching kept me too involved the first leave I took. Then I want to start having my finger on the pulse again but I don’t want to be accountable to folks. There are some parts of our business or our roles that can’t be shut off or that we might not be willing to outsource. Every time I’ve relinquished at 1-3 tasks that I was previously convinced no one else could do.
Both those for when you will return to work and those you give to clients once you have returned.
IGC’s membership contains all the ingredients for growth, both personally and for business. It is possible to maintain your sense of style through pregnancy though, and below are my tips. Any that you already own will still fit, charmingly unbuttoned or open to show off the belly. Get yourself a pair that resemble actual denim and they will be your go-to wardrobe staple. A flowy jersey skirt is not as polished, but it’s still cute and it will be super comfy.
They do tend to tent in a pretty unflattering way towards the end, so if you wear a lot of dress (like I do), you may want to buy a couple of maternity versions. Yes, your boobs are smooshed and the look is normally not the most flattering, but I don’t mind the silhouette coupled with a baby belly.
Low-rise is good too, but whatever style I pick I do like to feel like my rear is covered and they’re not going to fall off.
I'm updating a Victorian just outside of Chicago in Oak Park, IL, transforming the so-so, and keeping busy all around. On top of entering a previously familiar environment that could now be unrecognisable, you might also be leaving your baby for the first time. For the first time, plan something nice to do, such as a pamper session or lunch with friends to keep your mind busy.
Are there nearby family or friends that can pick up your child if there is a problem with your childcare?
I questioned whether an article about maternity photography would be useful to many readers, but in the end, most of the tips shared here can be used for many types of portrait photography, be it mothers-to-be or couch potatoes with beer bellies. Also remember the basic rules of lighting, the brighter you make your subject, the darker the background will appear to be in the image.
Once you’re set up, the three flash units can be moved about the room to experiment with more artistic and dramatic lighting techniques.
As much as they seem unrelated, your ability to interact positively with whomever you’re shooting is as important as having the proper technical skills to take the picture. Although I have learned to do most everything directly within Photoshop, these days I generally turn to products such as Viveza, ColorFX or Kubota. Lately I’ve even found myself adding in a touch of grain or noise, something I always removed previously. Notice the different feel in the two images below that is conveyed with slightly different cropping and coloring. I will be using a small Interfit portable studio kit for the first time – and will be living on my nerves. I will be using a small Interfit portable studio kit for the first time - and will be living on my nerves.

You can also take up the time to set up “promotional” or “newsletter” folders for list you want to stay on but emails that you don’t need to be distracted with during your leave. There’s nothing worse than being under the gun and fearing that you may also go into labor.
You can refer people internally or to a VA or you can go so far as to refer people to other providers. Then usually around 6-8 weeks I’m ready to be “on” but perhaps on a different scale than before. Although some claim that kids make them more efficient workers, you will not “own” your time the same way that you did before.
My little one is now 5 months old but I was able to enjoy my maternity leave because I also took time to prep and delegate – the bottleneck piece is so important. I just bought colorful tights in a larger size with no control panel and that worked out fine.
Basically, wear it all while you can before you have an adorable little baby that wants to grab everything! I wanted two dramatically different backgrounds typical for this type of shoot: black and white. Also, don’t be afraid to try cutting off heads, feet or other body parts to emphasize areas of your image. I only have 1 SB800 (my other was stolen!) – any killer advice, technical or otherwise would be much appreciated!
I only have 1 SB800 (my other was stolen!) - any killer advice, technical or otherwise would be much appreciated! Even if you're feeling flustered don't let it show on the outside otherwise your subject will pick up on the negative vibes. Instead fill the last “pre-maternity leave” weeks with projects that would be nice but aren’t necessary. Know that you’ll probably be easing back into things over the course of your maternity leave until you’re truly ready to be “on” again. Sports bras feel the best to me, and I’m all about comfort when everything else can be so uncomfortable. I work my way up the sizes as I get bigger, then back down as I return to my pre-pregnancy shape (or an approximation of it). At work, find someone who can take over any urgent tasks if you have to return home unexpectedly and who you can trust to support you. For this shoot I had a white tablecloth on hand and large paperclips that converted it to something wearable.
I find myself talking to my self-employed friends about the specifics of maternity leave a lot. Allow yourself to be creative and think about those projects that you “always wanted to do but couldn’t take the time to.” It’s a luxury!
If you’re anxious about picking the right date remember that auto-responders are easy to edit.
It’s up to you what that transition looks like, how many phases there are and how quickly you go through them. Generally I would set aside one short window of time per week to log on and pay bills online. I thought it would be helpful to share some of the lessons that I’ve learned from my own experience as well as my clients’. This time around I’ll probably keep my email enabled but change the “push” settings so that I have to fetch the emails.
All the mail would be held in a pile until then and I attacked the task surgically – determined to not get sucked into doing anything else. So, to get a smoothly lit background many studios turn to the high-tech material commonly known as paper.
I yet to have a background or stand so your ideas of a makeshift background is the key for me.
And by the way, these are great tips for ANY time off – extended vacation, summer getaway, holidays, and sabbatical. She would flag anything that was “important” and knew to call me if there was anything truly urgent.
It’s a terrible feeling and distraction to watch the little red number of emails climb while you’re trying to get rest or enjoy time at home. The extra layer can help camouflage your belly button too when it starts showing through your clothes. That way I could rest-assured that nothing truly catastrophic was going to happen (at least without me knowing). I’ve found that if I have to actively decide to fetch the emails I’m more conscientious about when I do so and better about not letting them seep into my day all day.

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