As I mentioned yesterday, choosing a photographer to do my maternity photo session was easy for me. Tamara of RTC PhotoWork and I had not only met a few different times in person, but we also created inspiration folders on Pinterest. This allowed me to put photos that I liked in one place and tag Tamara to see what she thought. She would also suggest photographs and from that we came up with a list of poses to try. I believe that with professional photographs, rapport is one of the most important things you can have with the photographer and we definitely have that!
Rapport is not the only thing you want to consider when looking for a photographer though; Tamara discusses some of the other things to think about below . So with that…
TAKE IT AWAY TAMARA!
You are ready to celebrate your pregnancy with maternity photos. What next? Figure out what you want. Do you want boudoir style photographs, studio, outdoor, with your partner or kids? Then, get online to do research and ask your friends if they hired someone for their maternity photos. Look at as many photos and photographers as you can. When you find one that stops you in your tracks to think, “I want photos like that!” (even if you follow that up with, “but I don’t think I could pull it off”) contact that photographer right away! You found what you want. I can guarantee you the majority of a photographer’s clients fall into 2 categories: 1) “I could never pull it off. I don’t look like that!” and 2) “He/she must be really good if every client looks that good!” Don’t feel bad if you’re in the first group.
I can also guarantee you that if they are getting either of those 2 responses from you, they know what they are doing. Good lighting, poses, careful styling, and a deep understanding of photography and editing will bring out the best in everyone.
First and foremost, do NOT go with the cheapest photographer you find. He/she will typically not have the experience to guarantee awesome results or to inspire confidence in you…and the last thing you need when you’re feeling insecure in your new body is to be with someone unsure how to get you comfortable or how to create beautiful, flattering photos for you.
Second, do NOT wait to hire a photographer or book your session. As soon as you realize you are pregnant and wanting photos, start your search! I recommend having your session between 30-34 weeks. Most women have a very pregnant shape by the beginning of the third trimester, so don’t get caught in the trap of “I want to make sure I look pregnant” and end up waiting until you could have your baby any day. I firmly believe that 30-34 weeks is best for most women because they still have some of that second trimester energy, the belly button is more likely to not have popped out yet, and lying down isn’t so uncomfortable. I recently had a session with a woman who was due within days of her session, and positions that I would typically include like lying down were uncomfortable for more than 1 or 2 shots. Discomfort is the last thing I want to give to any of my clients, especially the pregnant ones. Having your session earlier in the third trimester also gives you time to actually enjoy your photographs and not feel rushed to pick something before you go into labor or, even more stressful, when you’re picking out your newborn photos. You also want to make sure that you get the photographer you want to work with and that you won’t miss out because they’re already booked up.
Third, if you are insecure (about the linea nigra, stretch marks, etc.) and are sure you want them removed, make sure you are working with a photographer who is a proficient retoucher. I don’t un-pop a belly button, but I can and will remove that line and stretch marks so that no one will know they were ever there. I also help a woman’s figure a little bit because I never want her to look at her photos and wish she wore something else or didn’t have photos created at all. It is my job as a professional photographer to never let a client see photos that is unflattering, and and it is my job to create a beautiful documentation of this time in your life. (This is another case for not hiring the cheapest you can find. They may not do any retouching at all. They may literally give you EVERY photo they shot, and trust me when I say you don’t WANT every shot!)
What are some questions to ask yourself when hiring a photographer for maternity photographs?
- Does he/she have a pre-session consultation to go over your concerns, ideas, and session in depth before the day of your session. (This is CRUCIAL to you having confidence in the photographer, his/her process, and in yourself in the session.)
- Does he/she listen to your concerns about your body? Does he/she seem to understand and have solutions?
- Does he/she collaborate with you about your session?
- Does he/she respect styling/nudity boundaries you set? (This goes for the session itself plus the use of your photos for marketing purposes.)
- Does he/she inspire confidence and comfortability or take away your concerns and fears? (Have you noticed a theme? Confidence and comfort are number 1!)
With that, I say to you congratulations and have fun with your photos! This is a special time for you and your growing family, so do try and forget all that other stuff that’s getting you down!
Thanks Tamara! Be on the lookout for the results of our photo session soon. Until then, does anyone else have input on choosing the right photographer (no matter what the occasion)?
If you or someone you know is expecting or just delivered, contact me using the contact form. Photos and written content provided by Tamara Curry are copyright to RTC PhotoWork and are posted on the Mommy Moxie blog with permission. None of these photos are to be printed or posted anywhere, whether in part or in whole, unless given the express permission of RTC PhotoWork. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for permission if you would like to repost any images or content.