It might surprise you to hear this, but I was not always confident in front of the camera. In fact, I used to be the very definition of camera shy. But a big part of my work as a pregnancy, family, and birth photographer is being confident in front of the camera, as well as behind it!
I’m super grateful that by the time I was pregnant I had learned to enjoy having my photo taken (and it is something you can learn! Photoshoots help, think of it as exposure therapy — pun intended).
There are many barriers to photographing your pregnancy — perhaps photos are not your thing, maybe you aren’t feeling your most gorgeous or energised during your pregnancy (again, I’ve been there). Or, you might be on the fence about whether a maternity photoshoot is really necessary and need some pointers on why photographing your pregnancy is a truly magical thing.
This blog draws on both my experience with pregnancy photoshoot clients and my own experience to help you decide if photographing your pregnancy is right for you.
I know the nine months of pregnancy can feel like a lifetime when you’re in the midst of it… but it’s really not. Your pregnancy days are not only (literally) numbered, but it’s also a completely unique human experience. I appreciate that when you are pregnant there is a pretty long to-do list of baby prep on top of all your other commitments, which means that taking time out of your schedule for a photoshoot may not be a priority.
But, I promise you the couple of hours a maternity photoshoot takes are worth it. The photoshoot can be a time for just you and your baby (and your partner and family members if you choose) to memorialise the time when you were so intimately connected. A pregnancy photoshoot is both a time to celebrate this extraordinary period and connection and a way to capture those memories for the future.
If you’re trying to decide on the best time to photograph your pregnancy, then I have some tips for you here!
Your Kid Will Want to See Them
I LOVE seeing photos of my mom when she was pregnant. There aren’t that many, but they are photos that I adore. They show what my mom was like before I came along and remind me that she has an entire history that predates me (as much as I sometimes like to think her life was all about me).
Your pregnancy photos aren’t just for you, but for your kids and their kids and perhaps even their kids! They can be a way of documenting your life for future generations to look back on and ask you questions about.
The word awesome is overused. But growing a human inside of you from the meeting of two cells, the merging of DNA, the emergence of a being over the minutes, days and months. A human who you nourish with your body, your actions and your love… well that is literally awesome. You are doing the most ancient, natural, and superhuman thing.
We lose sight of that when we are pregnant. It becomes normal but feels very strange (and sometimes terrifying). But when you look at it from a distance, you are creating life itself. That is so worth celebrating.
Whether your family is just you and your bump, or you have a partner, kids, and an extended family who you want to include in your photoshoot, when you all get together it can be a joyous family bonding experience.
I have found this to be particularly lovely (and sometimes helpful) if you do already have other kids. A photoshoot is an experience. It’s a great way to establish the new ‘big sibling’ dynamic and prepare to welcome your newest member of the family.
An Excuse to Feel Good
This is a big one for me. My job is not just to take your photo, it’s to provide you with a happy, feel good pregnancy memory.
On a serious note, we all deserve to feel good, not from a place of vanity (although that is also fine!), but because we live in a time and culture where loving your body can be challenging and can have serious impacts on our mental health. Using photographs to love your pregnant and post-partum body can be really powerful.
I know, I know, you may be thinking, “being in front of a camera does NOT sound like my idea of feeling good” — I told you, I have been there. 90% of my clients say they hate being in front of the camera, but when I speak to them about the experience afterwards they always say how much fun/not intimidating/confidence-boosting the photoshoot was. The photos are not only there to capture the look of a moment but act as a reminder to celebrate how you felt too. (That other 10% are the weird(ly awesome) people that like having their photo taken).
I have loads more tips, from what to wear for a pregnancy photoshoot to whether a boudoir pregnancy shoot is something you should consider, and I’m always happy to answer any questions you have! Get in touch or have a look at the different pregnancy and family photo packages I have to offer.
And there we have it. 5 reasons to consider photographing your pregnancy. I would also like to point out, that you might like to consider photographing your pregnancy regardless if you hire a professional or not. Take out your phone, take some mirror selfies of that gorgeous bump of yours. These photos are memories for you.