Bringing a child into the world is one of the most beautiful parts of anyone’s life, and can really define what it means.
To be a family, coming together over a shared joy. That’s why the maternity photo shoot with family is such a popular service offered by photographers, as well as such a joy to shoot for all involved. So, if you’re looking to break into the photography industry with one of the most special niches around, then taking maternity pictures might be your calling.
What You Need To Start A Maternity Photoshoot Business
As with all photography businesses, the first place to start if you’re hoping to get into maternity photography, is of course, your camera. Luckily, maternity photo ideas never get too out of this world because of the simple nature of cute maternity pictures. What this means is, your camera doesn’t have to get too out of this world either, with a simple entry level photography camera being more than adequate if used correctly.
The Best Cameras For a Maternity Photo Shoot With Family
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV
With a new 20MP sensor, incrementally improved in-body image stabilization, and a new flip-down and tilt-able monitor, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV has plenty to shout about. Retaining the 4K video and attractive styling that made the Mark III so attractive to consumers, the Mark IV is a great choice for anyone looking for an entry-level camera that can do pretty much everything. This is one of our favourite pint-sized cameras ever: it’s small enough to carry around anywhere and much more powerful than it looks. The OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a camera that could be with you for a long time and really help you maternity photography career flourish.
Nikon Z fc
The Nikon Z fc is a retro-styled mirrorless machine with dial-based controls, and is an absolute joy to handle, use, and be seen using.
Internally, it uses an APS-C sensor and processor with a few extra features like a built-in flash, useful for less formal maternity shoots, and candid style photos. While it’s not the cheapest camera for beginners, you get a lot of features for your money, and its looks alone could inspire you to take up photography seriously.
“A simple entry level photography camera being more than adequate if used correctly.”
One of the easiest grab and go DSLRs the Nikon D3500 has a brilliant ‘Guide’ shooting mode that acts as a fully interactive guide to photography and camera settings, delivered via the rear LCD screen.
The D3500’s controls are straightforward and easy to get to grips with, and perfect for beginners. Additionally, the Nikon D3500’s image quality and performance are extremely good for the price, and the 5fps burst rate is quite impressive for an entry-level DSLR, making this a good choice for anyone looking to get into photography, and doubles as a great work horse for any of your maternity photo shoot ideas.
How To Take The Best Maternity Photos
Once you have a camera and you’re familiar with the basics of photography, its time to start exploring all the other factors that can help your final product, and then, once you’re satisfied with your setup, you can finally dive in and start taking your first maternity photos! But first, the top tips for getting the best out of your shoot:
Prepare For The Shoot Beforehand
The best maternity photographers know to be ready for anything, and this means ensuring you’ve done proper preparation for the shoot. To start with, make sure you bring all the gear a professional photographer relies on, such as diffusion rigs, gels, bounce boards and gaffer tape. Once the photography side is covered, try thinking about what you can prepare ahead of time to make your client and their entire family happy.
If you know the client has other children, maybe have some toys ready to keep them happy and entertained in between shots. You could also start your own collection of costumes, with baby shoes, hats and whatever else you feel could elevate your photos that you could quickly loan to your clients for the shoot.
If you’re also taking maternity portraits on top of the family maternity session, consider having some select refreshments for the family while they wait for you and the lucky mother to finish up. This will ensure you keep your clients happy, have great results, and maybe even get new clients through recommendations.
Make Your Clients Comfortable
“Creating a relaxed environment should always be your top priority.”
As pregnancies progress they can be uncomfortable at times, both physically and emotionally. As women approach their due date, they may feel self-conscious about their bodies and uncomfortable being photographed, while also being physically in pain due to the burden that pregnancy has on their bodies.
As such, your first job as a photographer for a maternity shoot should be put your client at ease. This can range from having a comfortable place for them to rest in-between set-ups, having food and water on hand ready for them, or even just simply allowing them a few seconds to rest as you go. If you want to help your client be even more comfortable, physically and mentally then putting on some music and doing whatever you can to create a relaxed environment should always be your top priority.
Give Directions Where Needed
Telling your client how to pose throughout the shoot will help them to feel more comfortable for the whole process.
As you wont be shooting professional models, guidance as to posing will be greatly appreciated by any client, and it will also ensure that you get every shot your want from the session. In terms of what to actually shoot however, coverage is key. Get wide, medium and close-up shots and include partners and older children in some of them to ensure you capture the whole family aspect of the maternity shoot.
Once you have your basic shots, feel free to shoot from different angles and keep in mind that people often look their best if the camera is slightly above them.
As such, try posing the lucky mother at a 45-degree angle to the camera to show off the baby bump, paying close attention to how every part of the subject looks. Don’t hesitate to rearrange wardrobe or hand placement for the best look, as this will ensure that you have a great product after the session is complete.
Adjust Your Camera As You Go
As with all photography, its very important to be aware of and on top of your camera’s settings. The worst thing a photographer can do is frame up some beautiful shots, only to realise that they’ve been rendered useless later once you review your footage thanks to an incorrect ISO figure or shutter speed. As such, when doing a maternity shoot, make sure to look at your camera settings throughout the shoot to ensure that you’re capturing as much detail as possible. If you’re shooting outside at sunset, check your histograms and keep adjusting your settings as you lose light. You don’t want to get home and find that half of your photos are dark and grainy.
Watermark Your Maternity Shoot
“If you want to make your maternity photos, safe, professional and stylish, look no further than WaterMarquee.”
The best thing to do for you photography, no matter the niche you decide to work in, is to watermark your portfolio every step of the way.
Watermarking is an important part of the process as it protects the copyright of your work and ensures that it cannot be reused or altered without your permission. This is perfect in the online photography world as it allowed you to publish your work without the threat of theft, letting people still preview your portfolio of work without the risk of thieves coming along and misappropriating your images.
On the other end, watermarking can simply be used as a branding tactic. Much like a painter that marks their work with a signature, digital watermarking is a way to get your name out there and heighten brand awareness, so you know that any time your work is shared, say on Instagram for example, your name or brand is always attached to it.
The best thing about watermarking however, is that it is simple and free when using WaterMarquee! WaterMarquee offers a free online watermarking service where you can simply upload your photos and get them back with a custom watermark in no time at all. WaterMarquee also offers premium services that will really help elevate any work you produce, and mark you as a true photography professional. So what’re you waiting for? If you want to make your maternity photos, safe, professional and stylish, look no further than WaterMarquee.