What You Need to Know Before Becoming a Maternity Photographer

sewtrendy1 min image Abby Mathison

Becoming a successful photographer is certainly a difficult road, and not one for the faint of heart.

That's true whether your passion is landscapes, wildlife, portraits or something in between.

I have a ton of respect for all photographers, but especially so for maternity and newborn photographers.

Why, you ask?

Maternity and newborn subject matter is right up there with wedding photography as some of the most important photos a photographer can take. That's a lot of pressure!

To help ease the stress of venturing into this realm of photography, I've outlined a few key tips you should keep in mind.

Take It Easy With the Props

 image Cherise Kiel

Props can be a great addition to a maternity or newborn photo, as seen in the images above and below.

However, there's a fine line between too much in the prop department and having just enough.

You want the prop to add interest to the photo, but not so much that it distracts viewers from engaging with the subject.

In the image above, all that's needed to give the photo a bit more interest is the dainty headband. The muted color works well in the shot, and the detailing of the headband - though it's out of focus - elevates the image with just the right amount of detail.

 image Monika Thorpe

This same concept can be seen in the maternity photo above.

Note how the image is simple in its composition and in the use of props.

Again, the model is wearing a simple floral crown that adds color and texture to the shot.

And combined with the splash of color from her gown, you've got a recipe for a maternity photo that's soft, elegant, and makes excellent use of props.

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Help Make Your Clients Comfortable

 image Belly Beautiful by Karen Marie

It might seem like a no-brainer to keep your clients comfortable, but I've encountered photographers over the years that were so driven to get the perfect shot that they forgot who they were taking the shot of...

Whether it's an expecting mother that has aches and pains or a newborn baby that needs time to settle down, you need to bear in mind who your subject is and what you can do to help make the experience a good one.

That means having extra diapers, baby wipes, and blankets on hand for those occasions when new parents arrive a little less prepared than they would have liked.

That also means having the proper gear to help protect the baby's delicate head, neck, and spine as you take their photos.

 image Becca Rillo

If it's maternity photography that you do, bear in mind that the expecting mother probably doesn't feel up to a half-mile hike to get to your favorite photo spot.

Also be aware that she's probably not going to want to shift her position a bunch of times.

With that in mind, find a shoot location that's easy to get to, yet affords you several different points of view for a collection of shots that have good range.

Also group your shots so that when mom is standing, you get several photos, when she's sitting, you get several photos, and so forth.

Doing something as simple as these things can help make the photo shoot go much more smoothly, and the smoother it goes, the better your photos will be!

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It's Hard Work

 image Abba Color Photography

No one ever said being a photographer is easy, yet I've heard on a lot of occasions new photographers lamenting exactly how hard it's been to get their business off the ground.

Though the images you take are the face of your business, so to speak, and the quality of those images will impact how successful your business is, it's actually all of the behind-the-scenes things that have to occur before, during, and after each photo you take that will determine how successful you will be.

That means having a solid business plan so you have goals outlined for the short-term and long-term to act as your guide.

That also means having all the necessary business paperwork taken care of, like registering your business name, getting a tax ID number, and so forth.

 image Carrie Hampton

There's also a huge investment in getting all the gear you'll need to take high-quality photos.

That includes a couple of camera bodies, lenses, flashguns and other lighting gear, computers, post-processing equipment, props, and even wardrobe items as well.

Add to that the fact that you'll be a jack-of-all-trades that also serves as CEO, the bookkeeper, the social media guru, the website specialist, and so on, and you've got a situation in which there's a lot to be done (and never enough time to do it all).

Yes, it's hard to be a photographer. But it isn't impossible! And if you ask me, the one factor that often separates the successful photographers from the not-so-successful photographers is how much time and effort they put into their craft.

Each image in this article was taken with great care after a ton of planning and preparation. Just keep that in mind as you start your own maternity or newborn photography adventure.

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About Sew Trendy Accessories

 image L&O Photography

This is a company that photographers absolutely need to be in touch with. Their gowns, crowns, and other high-quality accessories (like those shown in the images above) are just what you need for maternity photos, photos of newborns, and mommy and me sessions. These accessories not only make your clients look and feel great, but they also add a depth of detail and interest to your photos that elevate the images to an entirely other level. What started out with just a few people manufacturing these eye-catching items is a growing business that provides accessories to photographers worldwide. Help your clients look and feel their best by partnering with Sew Trendy Accessories.

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