The simple secret to capturing a beautiful maternity season: stop focusing on the belly.
Truth be told, there was a point in my photography career where I was terrified of maternity sessions. I would get incredibly nervous, do a few really awkward poses, and then deliver images to clients that I wasn't very proud of. It wasn't until I stopped approaching a maternity session like just a maternity session that my perspective, experience, and results completely changed!
Everyone focuses so much on the physical part of the maternity season: the growing belly. That is the part about carrying a child that every pregnant woman experiences, a growing waistline. As a photographer, my job is not to capture the thing that makes everyone the same...but to capture the thing that makes everyone different. And after having a baby, let me tell you, even though it is a huge part of it, my maternity experience was so much more than physical. So during sessions, I stopped looking at the belly entirely and searched for something that would give connection and meaning to a maternity session in a more powerful way. What I noticed was the connection that I am drawn to in not just maternity images but in all images can be found in two places on the human body: in the eyes and hands.
Creating a connection with the eyes is all about communicating and building trust with my clients. Once that is established, I usually just talk about things and ask questions to draw emotion into their eyes, whatever that might look like for them. Then, I guide them through connecting with their baby in different ways using their hands. I strive to bring their heart into those two parts throughout our session and voila! Goodbye boring maternity sessions that all look the same, hello images that capture more than the physical part of carrying a baby, but the spiritual and emotional parts that are deep within us and make the story of our maternity experience our own.
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