Pregnancy and the first days with baby can be full of anticipation, intensity and serious lack of sleep. So you should definitely get your picture taken, right?! Seriously though, it’s such a special time and there are moments that you will want to remember forever. We asked three talented, Ottawa-based photographers some frequently asked questions they get about maternity and newborn photography. Here is what Meghan Graham, Bethany Amanda and Irina Fortey had to share:
The Maternity Photoshoot
How far along in pregnancy should women have their pregnancy photos done?
“I recommend anywhere between 28-34 weeks, depending on the way the pregnancy is going and how big or small the new mother feels. I wouldn’t say there is an “ideal” time, but the fact is, most women aren’t able to move into positions easily once they hit closer to 39 weeks, and unfortunately we never know when baby will make an appearance.” BA
There seem to be a lot of different styles of maternity photos. How do you work with a woman to determine which style best suits her?
“I specialize in lifestyle photojournalism where emphasis is on a relaxed candid and real moment capture. Before a session, we discuss lifestyle and plan our session around the activities that move with the spirit of the family.” IF
“I ask the mom-to-be and if she is unsure or needs guidance I show her some example maternity photos to help inspire what the shoot will become.” MG
Photo Credit: Meghan Graham
The Newborn Photoshoot
What is your advice for parents who are nervous about their baby crying the entire photo shoot?
“In my experience, I have only had to reschedule one session because the baby was crying. If you’re concerned I recommend to try and have the photos done as soon as possible after baby arrives as they tend to be calmer and sleepier.” BA
“Babies cry, it's in their nature! There is nothing to be nervous about if your baby decides to be fussy during their newborn session. My style aims to capture real life as beautiful, as a lifestyle photographer a session with me is about allowing you to be close to your newborn (which is an instant calming technique) while I create images of your relationship. There is nothing I have not seen in my 12 years and with my own two children that would make me think your baby is more fussy than any other!” IF
Photo Credit: Irina Fortey
What is your advice to women who are thinking of getting in the shots with their new baby but aren't feeling their most beautiful?
“I would encourage my client to do what's comfortable for them. I think every woman is beautiful after birth and love to photograph that special moment with their newborn but it has to feel right. If you feel comfortable - go for it. If you don't feel up to it, then don't stress. You'll take a photo with your baby when you're ready.” MG
“First, you are beautiful! The first weeks after delivery are an adjustment for everyone and can be challenging to see yourself in a new postpartum body but the truth is your children won't care about any of it. They will be forever loving the images of you by their side... So please don't feel you are not good enough, because you are part of their legacy!” IF
“I always offer to have a professional hair and makeup artist to help, and I have lots of beautiful neutral dresses to use. I recommend to get in the photos, because clients choose the photos they want so there is no risk. Usually kids love to see mom and dad and what they looked like when they were little, so I think it's great. As a mom who didn’t have hers done, I regret not having the choice.” BA
Photo Credit: Bethany Amanda
We hope this little Q&A has been helpful. Whether it’s a bump or breastfeeding selfie (Lisa has way too many of those on her GDrive) or full out glamour shots, every picture will be worth at least 1000 words (and probably tears) when you look back on them in one year or ten.
Treat Yo Self!