Capturing the Maternity Pregnancy Portrait

"What better way to capture the magic of pregnancy than by having a maternity pregnancy portrait taken?"

Memories aren’t expensive, they’re priceless! - JBR Photography makes this point boldly on the photographer's website and for those occasions that are temporary, fleeting but memorable this could not be more true. The photography of the maternity portrait is one of those moments.

The 'glow' of a woman during pregnancy is unlike at any other time. This is not a time she can get back and there are a variety of ways to capture the occasion. A simple way to do so is wearing a shirt that ends above the belly, or pulling it up, along with a low rise skirt or pants then having the photographer zoom in.

Think soft lighting, a mix of black and white along with color shots, photos with a sepia tone. Shoot some fun shots in a bikini and sunglasses, or sheer fabric draped over the belly. With a maternity pregnancy portrait this isn't the time to hide the woman's belly but to bring it out, highlight it... but do so tastefully in a way that celebrates the expecting of a child.

A dark room and a flash can highlight the focal point of the woman's belly either clothed or unclothed. Use a candle out of view to highlight the front of the subject. Use color! Some beautiful results come from laying on sheets or fabric with a matching bra. This is a simple but celebratory way to capture the mood with the use of color.

Posing need not be fancy. A semi-reclining position with a flashlight behind the woman and no other light can make a simple but memorable maternity pregnancy portrait. Another easy pose is with a brother or sister touching or kissing the woman's belly.

Many women don't like to be photographed but still want to capture their pregnancy. Backlight the woman or the couple either outside with natural light or inside can provide a silhouette effect. A classic feel comes from having the husband stand behind her, clasping her hands around her belly, photographed from the front or side. Capture the romance between the couple as well as the images.

For the expectant mom who already has children include them in the portrait. This might be the couple reclining with the child sitting next to them.

Another simple way to frame the belly is using a button down shirt or a blanket wrapped around but leaving the belly exposed.

Think texture - heavy bathrobes, coats or other fabrics can reflect the time of year as well as the pregnancy itself. The use of a baby blanket, baby items or a stuffed toy is another way to highlight and personalize the occasion.

The use of shadows can be dramatic and while in many types of photography shadows are bad, in this use it is good as it accents the light. The use of a natural setting without makeup or other alterations creates a one of a kind photographic image.

Bring the couple's personality or interests into the shoot. This might take some creativity but especially when combined with other personal touches creates a once in a lifetime portrait that truly captures the couple or family at this special time. If the couple is athletic have a soccer ball in the photo or the husband tying her shoe. Be creative!

This is a type of photography that can hold great rewards and is relatively simple to set up and do. At the same time, simplicity and attention to detail including the lighting, creativity, color and texture takes somewhat of an artist's eye. After all you're capturing more than a physical body... you’re capturing a feeling. While not expensive it is something that sometimes can’t be shot again the following week if nothing works.

Planning, creativity and capturing those feelings is what keeps this a subject that is like no other you can photograph. You're capturing some of the first photos of a family if this is the couple's first child. Use sensitivity but making personal touches creates a one of a kind maternity pregnancy portrait that is tailored to this couple.

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