During the year when I am not shooting weddings, I spend my evenings and weekends documenting the pregnancy and infant-hood of my pretty brides’ new babes and expanding families.
The big difference between documenting weddings and maternity, is that weddings are usually at a specific venue. How does is that a big difference? Well, weddings are so meticulously planned out that there are almost ALWAYS photo opportunities without having to look for them. There is always a gorgeous backdrop, amazing photo-booth, or well thought out portrait locations that we had been scouting for months. Everyone is dressed their best, fairly well rested, and the atmosphere is always so great.
When you are planning portrait sessions, it is usually a little bit more work on the photographers’ end.
I believe that any portrait session – whether it is a boudoir session before your wedding, engagement photos, maternity photos, or even family photos in your house – deserves just as much love and attention as any wedding photos.
Which is why I have a few location “scouting” tips for your session!
1. Pick somewhere important to YOU.
Are you in love with your new home and your perfect and untouched nursery? Then let’s do an in-home session and capture some quiet moments in your babes bedroom.
Are you extremely adventurous and want to go for a hike to an extremely enchanted location in the mountains? Let’s go for a hike and get you the perfect photos.
Are you more into that fresh, clean, and airy studio look? I have a long list of studios we can rent so we can get those perfect portraits.
Did you recently renovate your bathroom and are obsessed with your new bathtub (no, just me?)? We can do a milk bath session to capture your pregnancy.
2. Pick somewhere that compliments your personality and style.
I will never force you to do something you’re uncomfortable with, which is why I want YOU to pick somewhere special.
If you’re going for more of a lace, simple, elegant outfit – let’s get you set up in a gorgeous field of flowers or relaxing in a studio. It would be ridiculous to expect you to do something extreme in a delicate outfit.
If you’re wanting a more outdoorsy vibe, let’s get flower crowns and flowy dresses and go for a walk in the park.
And if you are having issues trying to compliment your outfit to your location, I CAN help with that.
We can even cruise around until we find somewhere that inspires us. Heck, we may even end up at the end of a random persons driveway (I’ve done this more than once).
3. Pick a location that will match your “theme”.
The biggest issue we run into when deciding on maternity photo locations, is if they’re going to compliment the theme you’re aiming for.
Are you going for romantic and classy? Photos on a farm are not going to give that vibe. Let’s go for a stroll downtown, instead.
Are you going for sweet and simple? You’re not going to get that vibe in a fancy cafe. I’d suggest a stroll in the park with a picnic and a book.
You don’t need to have an actual theme, but setting a vision before we start photos will create a sense of continuity in your portraits and give the best vibe.
4. A location with good natural light
I am a natural light photographer, so I live for this.
If we are shooting in your home, let’s de-clutter a little bit and move things away from the windows to let in more light.
Anywhere outdoors is going to be great, but we might do a little bit of walking to switch it up!
5. Somewhere quiet.
This one is quite important. It can be nerve wracking enough to be in front of a camera. Add strangers watching you and getting in the way, and it can be a recipe for disaster.
Let’s avoid places that can be really busy just because they are convenient, and find a place that is going to be beautiful and relaxing.
6. Somewhere that isn’t too “busy”
And I don’t mean crowds – well, I do. But it doesn’t have to be a spectacular location! It isn’t the focus of the photos. YOU ARE.
It can be something as simple as a nice foyer in an office building on Saturday morning. A gorgeous mural that you pass on your way to the doctors office. Or, like I’ve said before. It can just be in a de-cluttered room in your home.
Just remember, the location isn’t the focus of the photos. Your family is the focus.
And if you have no suggestions for a location, I have NO problem at all finding a perfect place for you!!!
Until next time!