Photos of the Week

Photos of the Week June 3: Maternity Photos with Grace and Strength

June 3, 2024

By Hillary Grigonis

Maternity photos capture the strength of a woman’s body — but often, mothers-to-be don’t feel very strong or beautiful. Great maternity photos can change that, helping a mother feel her own strength and beauty whenever she looks at the photograph. This week, we talked to four photographers about how to make a mother feel beautiful during a maternity session. Find inspiration and advice in the June 3 Photos of the Week by Heidi Margocsy, Katie Campbell, René Treece, and Ivor Tetteh-Lartey.

Heidi Margocsy, In Her Image Photography

© In Her Image Photography

Heidi Margocsy of In Her Image Photography explains that this mother-to-be is a local chiropractor as well as an aerial silk dancer. Incorporating her talents highlights the strength, flexibility and grace of her motherhood. Margocsy admired how Wendy made something so challenging look easy, which she thought was the perfect metaphor for motherhood. She captured the shot with the Canon 6D, Canon 50mm f1.2 and a Flashpoint XPLOR 600 in a 37-inch Octo Softbox.

“Safety first!” Margocsy stresses. “If attempting anything that involves physical exertion or unusual poses, be sure to have excellent communication with your client, and also have ample support (her spouse/partner and/or your own assistant) to keep Mama and baby safe at all times.”

Katie Campbell, Luxe Painted Portraits

© Luxe Painted Portraits

The pose and expression in this image by Katie Campbell of Luxe Painted Portraits conveys both strength and grace. The side view highlights this mother’s baby bump, while her expression conveys a sense of peace. Campbell, a mother herself, says she’s always amazed at the body’s ability to create life and wanted to capture a shot that highlighted the grace and strength required in pregnancy. She captured the shot with the Nikon Z7 II and a 20-120mm lens. Lighting was a Flashpoint Xplor 600 strobe in a 49″ Elinchrom Deep Umbrella White, double diffused.

“Make mom feel amazing and comfortable as much as possible,” Campbell recommends. “Even if you think her bump is ‘cute’ she most likely isn’t feeling her best and will appreciate all the reassurance you can give her.  And have her connect with her baby and her bump in an authentic way during your session.”

René Treece, Luxe House Photographic

© Luxe House Photographic

This image by René Treece of Luxe House Photographic was inspired by the mother’s connection to nature and her surroundings. The maternity photos shoot, Treece explained, was a commission to capture this moment in this family’s journey. She captured the shot with the Canon 5D mark III and the Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 II USM.

“One piece of advice I would give beginner photographers for maternity portraits is to take the time to learn about the subject and their family,” she says. “Understanding their style and preferences can greatly influence the shoot, making the final portraits more personal and meaningful. Additionally, I suggest embracing natural surroundings, as they can add a beautiful and organic element to your photographs.”

Ivor Tetteh-Lartey, Lartey Boudoir Images

© Lartey Boudoir Images

The lace and lighting work together to draw the eye to the baby bump in this maternity portrait by Ivor Tetteh-Lartey of Lartey Boudoir Images. The key light on the right angled down toward the mother is modified by a softbox while a second light was placed on the left with a lantern diffuser at about 1/4 of the power of the key light. That lighting setup helps highlight the mother’s figure while preventing details from being lost in the shadows. He captured the shot with the Fujifilm X-T3 and 56mm f1.4 lens with Aperture lights.

“The best advice [is to treat] the person you are photographing with respect and professionalism,” he says. “A sketch of what you want will help. Set up lighting in advance and be aware she may tire quickly, so be organized.”

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