Mis à jour : 13 août 2020
If you are expecting and interested in documenting your pregnancy, you probably already suffer from a severe Pinterest addiction (or was that just me?). But you're probably wondering how on Earth these women pull it with their extra 30lbs, and seriously question whether or not Elite Models have a pregnancy subdivision where maternity photographers cast their mamas, because there is no way an everyday pregnant woman can look like that.
But here is the thing. I know how to shoot woman. So in order to help you rock your maternity shoot like a pregnant Vanity Fair movie star, I'm going to share with you the recommendations I give to all my clients, so they can cheat like a pro and get images they won't resist to print and hang over the fireplace!
Here are my 5 tips for a successful maternity shoot:
1. Schedule your maternity shoot for between 27 and 34 weeks of your pregnancy
Although every woman is different, before 27 weeks of pregnancy may not allow the belly to be prominent enough to show a beautiful bump silhouette. Past 34 weeks, you may start to feel uncomfortable.
Some women can experience insomnia, and it's not uncommon to start to feel a little more swollen. And while I will always flatter your body with good lighting and posing, it's harder to feel confident and mindful when you feel engorged and energy depleted. So if you want to maximize your chance to enjoy your photoshoot and stay true to the bliss of your own pregnancy, let's aim for this ideal timeframe!
2. Hire a photographer that practices Modern Retouching
A few years ago, airbrush became a trend. Its current fallouts are all the Snapchat filters that make anyone's skin look... well... non-existent?
Paralleled to that, more and more women are asking for the truth to be finally showed, and the rawness and uniqueness of their body to be accepted: I've always felt very in tune with that message. This is what empowerment feels and looks like to me!
OF COURSE you are not hiring a professional photographer so (s)he can enlarge a high resolution close-up of your cellulite (*scream*). And that's where a very comprehensive approach of retouching (and pregnancy!) comes into play.
My deal is to capture the best version of you during that moment. Your body is the star of the show and should be honored with that in mind. And my modern retouching techniques are here to compliment your curves without altering the skin texture. By subtly brightening dark irregularities (cellulite, circles, stretch marks), removing stupid flyaways, and temporary imperfections such as acne, which are not to be considered as a representative of you, we can stay truthful and ditch the non-essential. Unless you want them to bring the focus on your story as a mother-to-be, and the intense power of your pregnant body.
Either way, no one will end up telling you that you don't look like yourself on that photo!
3. Hire someone that knows good posing
A big thank you to the modern influencers like Danae Mercer and Rianne Meijer that are currently taking the lead and exposing themselves to share their Behind-the-Scene photos. Their message is clear: How influencers absolutely cheat at being fabulous everyday with very accessible posing and lighting tricks, without being perfect in the first place, like we originally thought. These tricks can change our perception without altering who you actually are with a software, and that’s so good to see how easy it would be just to follow the lead of someone that knows good posing.
"Push your chin up and forward, and look right at me."
Et voilààà. Bye bye double-chin.
4. Keep it simple (and honest)
If you are anything like me when I was pregnant, you probably have a full maternity mood board with dozens of random screenshots on your phone. Some of these pictures may be taken on a beach in Cali, some other under Oregon waterfalls, and some look captured at sundown featuring an intense post-production lens flare. They may even involve a flashy lace gown and a flower crowns. Maybe all the above.
My recommendation if you want to cheat efficiently at your maternity photos, is not to rely on photoshop overlays and to skip trying to picture yourself as a magical creature that glides and glimmers through pregnancy with a pink halo. Go for simplicity and elegance so your photos will be timeless. By getting down to the essence, you can beat the "trends" so your images will never get out of fashion.
Show less, feel more.
5. Communicate with your photographer
I like to hear what your maternity dream shoot would be. How would you like to feel, what story you would like to tell, and what kind of imagery you would like to create. This is very important to me, as I think the final product as well as the experience itself should be meaningful to you. This is a new way to honor yourself and stay truthful to who you are, and avoid the clichés that you may not feel connected to, in the end. This experience is yours to create. Let's do this together!
Fleur Losfeld is a Maternity and Boudoir photographer, based in NYC.
In her Brooklyn Studio, she documents woman's life throughout all stages of Womanhood, and create timeless and elegant art work and products that last for generations.
Follow her on Instagram @fleurlosfeldphotography