As a photographer, one of the most challenging, and yet most fulfilling, photography sessions that you will ever have is maternity and baby photography.
If you photograph mothers, you will share the joy and excitement that they have for the baby that they are about to bring to this world. For babies, you need to find the right angle to get that perfect shot.
One problem you may have is the kind of poses that you should ask your clients to do. Here, we will be providing the answers to that. The posing tips we will give you are:
- Solo Mother
- Mommy and Daddy
- Posing with Props
- The Wardrobe Focus
- Scenic Poses
- Sleeping Baby
- Playing Baby
This is best taken when the mother is about six months old. The tummy is already pronounced, and it is evident that she is nearing childbirth.
Some favorite poses are the half nude takes usually seen in magazines, but many moms may not feel comfortable doing it.
What you can suggest to your clients for maternity and baby photography is to dress up in maternity clothes, with a color that is vibrant enough to exude the joy of pregnancy.
For poses, the most common is with the mother’s hands on her belly. You can make several variations of this, like the mother looking far away, or the mother looking at her stomach, as if in anticipation of the coming child.
A solo mother photoshoot is taken once the baby is already out. You can take this shoot a few weeks after the baby was born, or once the baby is nearing a year old.
You can take the shot on a playpen, with the mother looking at her child, or you can take this outdoors.
One of the all-time favorites is a pose where the mother carries her baby. In this pose, the mother’s back is shown, and she has to look back, so both she and the baby’s faces are captured in the shot.
Mommy and Daddy
This is a family pose, and this time, it will involve the father. There are various poses that you can employ, such as these two:
Kisses – here, the mom and dad sandwich the baby, and both of them are kissing the child. They can all lie down on their tummy, or you can take it while one of them is holding the baby.
This is an excellent option because the baby is likely to laugh or smile once the parents kiss him.
Hug – here; the mother sits on a couch or chair holding her baby. The father has to stand behind her and crouch a little to hug her, with one hand around her shoulders and the other one wrapped around the baby.
This pose is excellent whether the baby is awake or asleep, but your job is more comfortable if the baby is sleeping.
Posing with Props
This is not so much of a challenge, as it takes only a few things to make your set fantastic. Just make sure you do not use anything toxic or a choking hazard.
The themes for posing the baby with props are endless. You have many options, like having him dressed as a cowboy, or having the children play with kitchen sets.
Flowers and gardens are also great options, provided that the baby is not so sensitive to grass.
Should you be taking this, do not limit your imagination. You can put the baby in a basket, or a large drum or kettle. Babies look cute no matter where you put them. Just remember the colors must be vivid.
Try to avoid using mascots or animal dresses; are these are all too common and will not age well as time goes by. It also does not make a lot of sense if you just take photos of the baby with the shirt he came by.
Concentrate your effort in making the baby look like an adult. You can add props here and there, but remember to accentuate the clothing and not the props or background.
It is best to take these photos by the time the baby can walk.
These are outdoor photos taken with the baby, the mother and the baby, or the whole family. This takes a lot of preparation, as you need to visit the spot before you even take the clients there.
If the client wants a sunset photo, you must go to the beach at different hours and take photos without the clients.
Compare the shots, and then you can let them choose which ones they like. Take them to the spot at the same time their chosen photo was taken.
Sleeping babies are adorable. If you take the photos while they are asleep, you have to do it fast, and you have to be patient. Some babies cry and get startled by simple noises.
Schedule the session the studio is empty to avoid noises.
You can take the photo of the baby without clothing, with the mother holding him.
You can also try putting the baby inside a well-decorated basket, or you can try wrapping the baby’s whole body with the cloth, leaving only the head out.
A playing baby is one of the most beautiful candid shots that a photographer can take. Apart from the motion, you have to consider the depth of your photographs to include the beauty of the set.
It takes a while to get perfect shots for this, as the baby will keep moving, laughing, throwing things, and so much more.
Prepare your maternity and baby photography set and carpet before taking the shot, and capture as many photos as you can coming from different angles.
Here, you will need the help of the parents to get the baby’s attention and make him face the camera.
Some Helpful Tips
Here are some important reminders to have fruitful photo-op sessions:
Client needs – understand what your clients need, and be prepared to show a portfolio. Never insist on what you want.
Clarity – ask your clients if they will provide the clothing and the props, or if you will prepare it. If they want a scene that is not available in your studio, be honest.
Tell them that they have the option to buy the props, and they can have it after the shoot.
Preparation – you cannot reshoot a baby photo-op. You can only do it once. You have to prepare your cameras and peripherals like batteries, lighting effects, and props. This is most important if you are shooting outdoors.
If you are shooting outdoors, you need to experiment and shoot from different angles, knowing that the sun can affect the outcome of your shots.
What are the Best Micro Four Third Systems for Baby Photography
Both Olympus & Panasonic M43 camera systems offer high-grade equipment that is perfect for baby photography.
One nice setup is the OM-D E-M1 Mark II coupled with the M.Zuiko Pro 25mm f1.2 & the M.Zuiko Pro 45mm f1.2 lenses. These will give sharp photos and allow you to blur out the background beautifully.
The Panasonic DC-G9 coupled with the Lumix G Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 ASPH. & Lumix G Leica D Summilux 25mm f1.4 ASPH. lenses is another excellent setup.
Maternity and baby photography shoots are fun. But they can also be exhausting. In the end, it is really worth it because you put a smile on people’s faces.
You just put an event into a digital remembrance, so take comfort in the fact that you will be shooting photos that will be shown to many people.