Photo by Tracy Koenke Photography
I don't know about you, but when I see maternity photos I see a lot of the same thing...
There's the required pose with the father and the natural light portrait by herself at Golden Hour.
Usually, there's some indoor shots too, maybe a lifestyle portrait of the mom-to-be relaxing.
There's nothing wrong with these kinds of photos, that's for sure.
In fact, they can be both beautiful and meaningful for the expectant parents.
However, if you want to expand your maternity photography horizons, I'd recommend that you venture into something a little more unique.
Let's have a look at five beautiful examples of maternity photography that you might not have seen before, and explore how you can replicate each one.
Photo by Shutter Darling Photography
Taking your maternity photography outdoors is nothing new.
Outdoor photo shoots not only allow you to take advantage of the natural lighting I mentioned above, but it also gives you the opportunity to show the beauty of pregnancy in a natural environment.
The tricky part is often balancing the beauty of the outdoor scene with the beauty of your subject.
After all, you want her to be the focal point - not the environment in which you're photographing her.
One option to help in this regard is to give your photos a rustic feel like the image above.
All the natural colors, tones, and textures of the logs give you the best of what an outdoor shoot has to offer.
Note how the image feels casual, yet sophisticated (which is certainly helped by the maternity gown), while at the same time benefitting from a background that doesn't allow the eye to stray.
Instead, we're focused on the model in all her beauty and getting a distinctly rustic feel in the shot as well.
Have a Mom Party
Photo by Vic and Marie Photography
No one ever said that maternity photos had to have just one mom...
If you find that you have several moms that know one another, a group photo can be something they all cherish for years to come.
Naturally, when there are multiple moms (and bellies!) in the shot, the key to making a successful photo is to ensure that there's nothing in the frame that takes attention away from the subjects.
Some photographers would take this as an opportunity to take the photo shoot indoors. However, if you frame the shot right, you can get a beautiful shot outdoors too.
In the example above, note how the elevated perspective of the shooting position allowed the photographer to look slightly down at the models.
The eliminates the horizon in the background and fills the surrounding space with a sea of wildflowers.
Combined with eye-catching wardrobe choices, this has the makings of a powerful maternity photo that's quite eye-catching too.
Incorporate a Child
Photo by Lauren McCormick Photography
If mom already has a kid, adding them into the shot gives you a chance to highlight mom's relationship with her child and the one that's on the way.
These "mommy and me" photos take on a different level of meaning if you incorporate elements that give the photo a dash of uniqueness.
In the image above, for example, the way that the mother and her daughter are interacting demonstrates their love for one another.
What's more, the simple indication of action - the daughter kissing mom's belly - adds additional visual interest to the shot.
Speaking of visual interest, there are other elements here that make this a gorgeous photo, namely the black and white conversion and the addition of a beautiful gown that gives the shot some lightness and texture.
Photo by Shanna Brophy Photography
You don't have to add in a child or take your pregnant subject to a beautiful outdoor location to get a photo that has tons of visual appeal.
For a bit of a unique take on maternity photography, you can create a high-key look as seen above.
By going with a high-key look, you give the image a lightness and airiness that elevates the look and feel of the image.
And, let's face it - nothing about pregnancy is easy. Giving mom a light, bright look that's glamorous will help elevate her mood and remind her of the good things she experienced while she was pregnant.
Photo by Glow Portraits
One thing to bear in mind when creating a high-key maternity photo is to add props to the shot that make up for the lack of color and light contrast.
These items needn't be overly heavy or detailed, either, as seen in the image above.
The addition of the array of candles adds a little bit of shape and height, while the form-fitting maternity gown adds a nice element of shape that contrasts well with the linear lines of the draperies behind the model.
Take a Wide Approach
Photo by So Cute Photography
There is no maternity photography rule that says you have to be up close to the model.
In fact, there's no rule that says your model even needs to be the most prominent feature in the shot.
Looking at the image above, you can see how this concept plays out.
With the wide angle of view, we get some context to the environment in which mom is standing. That benefits the shot because of the inclusion of the repeating patterns created by the columns, archways, and doors.
However, as noted earlier, when creating an outdoor shot, you have to be leery of losing mom amongst all the details.
By putting the model in a gorgeous gown that's a deep, opposing color that contrasts with her surroundings, our eye is still drawn immediately to her, even though she's not placed in a prominent position in the shot.
Photo by Bailey Smith Photography
Of course, taking a wider view doesn't mean you have to go as wide as in the previous image...
In the image above, you can see the value of taking a few steps back to once again put mom into the context of her surroundings.
This time, however, by taking up a closer shooting position, the photographer was able to minimize foreground elements that could be distracting. What's more, with the use of a much lighter color wardrobe, a closer view of mom ensures that we keep our attention squarely on her.
Really, whichever of these maternity photography ideas you use, you'll be able to create an image that is both memorable and unique.
A large part of that is composition, and other typical photography-related factors like focus, lighting, and so on.
But as we've seen in each of the photos above, the wardrobe selection can elevate the image to another level as well.
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