How to get the most out of your maternity shoot by Jani Venter
Yes, we chose the hottest day in Jozi history to shoot my bump. There was no postponing. My husband left for Germany two days after and would only return a week before the bubs was due. Trying to squeeze in a shoot in that last week of preparation was not an option. And what if our little one came early? Then there’s no belly shoot. This is probably not the biggest train smash, but I’ve heard from so many moms that they wish they’d taken more photos of their bump while they were pregnant. So photos were taken, and lots of them.
When my photographer friend, Rikki Hibbert, offered to capture our bump, I jumped at the opportunity. Rikki’s been on the most amazing journey with me, sharing many special moments and capturing them. So my husband and I showed up at her house, my make-up melting in the sweltering heat and my hair falling flat despite the can of hairspray I had emptied on each strand. But we did it. I wanted something simple, something elegant and something beautiful. I got exactly this.
I spoke to Rikki about the previous maternity shoots she had done, and together we came up with a few tips to get the most out of a shoot. Remember, you only get a few hours with the photographer, so it’s best to be prepared.
Discuss your needs with the photographer
Every woman is different. While I wanted something simple, you may not. You may want to put on a mermaid costume and splash around in a fish pond or bubbling brook. Do you want a solo shoot or something with your whole family? Indoor our outdoor? Studio or location? Discuss your interests with your photographer and together you can come up with something that fits your needs perfectly. Browse Pinterest and create a board with photos and poses you like and share this with the photographer too.
Get a professional make-up artist
Self-esteem is important in front of the lens. Most photographers have a way of making their subjects feel at ease. I still get nervous when someone aims a camera at me, even when that someone is a very close friend. And you can’t exactly calm your nerves with a glass of wine. So what’s a girl to do? Get a professional make-up artist in to make you feel super pretty.
Choose a photographer you’re comfortable with
Imagine planning a boudoir shoot and you booked a photographer who stares at you and makes you uncomfortable… Most experienced photographers will handle any situation with grace and professionalism, so ask for a portfolio and if you can, chat to the photographer’s clients to hear what they have to say.
Pack a few extra clothing options
A change of clothes is sometimes necessary. I wanted black and white photos and packed a lot of monochrome outfits, thinking that the contrast would be nice. While some outfits worked, others just made me look like something stuck in a big black blob. Luckily I had a few outfits and we could work with those.
Take a moment with your bump
Genuine moments are the best to capture, so instead of posing like Paris Hilton and worrying about your best side, take a moment where you hold your bump and really consider the miracle of it all. You’ve come this far – acknowledge it. Thank your baby and thank your body. If your husband is in the photos, look into his eyes and genuinely see him, notice him and send him bucket loads of love without saying anything. If you take a deep breath and relax, you’ll be present in the moment and you’ll radiate. Time to rock that pregnancy glow…
In these photos, Jani’s wearing the Striped Round-neck Top and Black Twill Shorts. The top is currently on sale, so don’t miss out. For more preggie ramblings, be sure to return to this site or visit the Cherry Melon Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. You can also follow Jani on Twitter and Instagram. ‘Till next time!