I’ve been wanting for a while to start blogging some tips for clients – brides and grooms, families, everyone – but thanks to a busy fall (seriously, it was wonderful and I appreciate you all more than you know!), I am just now finding myself with barely enough time to blog more. I have so many clients who have never had professional photos done before or who haven’t had them in years, but even if my clients do have photos done faithfully once or twice every year, I certainly don’t expect them to be the ones with all of the knowledge about how to put together the perfect photo wardrobe, what to do when your kids are going nuts during a session, how to feel comfortable in front of the camera, how to plan for and select the perfect prints and products, how to put together a wedding timeline and a family shot list, etc. Especially for brides and grooms – I mean, usually the goal is to only get married once (right??), so most couples have little or no experience planning a wedding! And guess what? That is completely fine! After all, it IS my job to not only take great photos, but to take great care of my clients and prepare them to have the best experience possible. 😉
So, that brings me here. Part one of a many part series covering some of my most frequently asked questions and other helpful tips, in order to give you peace of mind about your wedding or photo session. I’m not really sure what to call this series and I totally hate trying to come up with catchy (corny) names for things, so this series has no official name, but you’ll find plenty of helpful advice and any guides I publish over time in the blog category ‘advice + client guides’ (see the top of the blog post for this label, or check under the ‘archives’ menu at the top of the page). I’m keeping it simple over here!
And so, the first topic we’re going to cover is…. looking and feeling great in maternity photos. I’ll be doing separate posts on engagement, family, senior, and newborn session wardrobes, because they’re all different, and weddings will have plenty of posts of their own, but at the moment I am trying to get together my own wardrobe for my own maternity photos so that’s what we’ll start with!
First and foremost, I have to start with this: expectant mamas, I know many of you probably feel large, uncomfortable, and maybe kind of like a whale – or at least I’m guessing many of you do since that’s how I feel and how I’ve heard plenty of other women say they feel. In this culture of the fitness obsessed, six pack abs, and tiny skinny Instagram mommies who are in a bikini at two weeks postpartum looking more in shape than I’ve ever looked, let me just say, I totally get it. If you feel glowing and full of life and totally comfortable in your pregnant body, that’s wonderful, and I wish every pregnant mama could! But personally I’ve been thinking for days about what to wear for my photos, looking at everything in my closet hoping I don’t have to buy something new, and in the process reminding myself how I fit in so little, how much weight I’ve gained, how I want to hide certain parts of me that look way chubbier than I want them to, etc. Believe me, by baby #3, I really really get it! And going out in public and being subjected to the opinions of total strangers who think they have the right to comment on how small or large you are, how you look, etc.? Just makes it that much more wonderful, huh?
Why am I going on about all of this? Because I want you to know that as someone who has struggled with insecurities about my pregnant body (or anything else you want to name, ha!), I know how to photograph yours. I know what to highlight, I know what to minimize. I know how to convey the beauty of a woman who is growing new life and giving so much of herself to another in this difficult but miraculous journey of pregnancy. Basically, I’m going to make you look fantastic. Whether you feel it or not, you’re going to look it. I promise! You already do, and I will portray your beautiful self in its absolute best light.
Okay, so now that you know you can trust me, because I’ve been there and done that pregnancy thing (three times now) and because I know how to show off how amazing you actually do look, there are still a few things you can do on your end to make your maternity session experience the best it can possibly be.
Well, that’s it for part I of this series. I’m sure there are questions out there that I haven’t answered (and I purposefully haven’t gone much into coordinating family outfits yet, since that will be its own post), so if you have anything else I should add to this, let me know in the comments!
Above all, pregnant mamas, know that you are gorgeous, and that that will shine through in your photos. So relax, go easy on yourself, ask for help if you need it, and let’s make some beautiful memories of one of the most fleeting stages of motherhood.
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© Hannah Mann 2020