[ TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR MATERNITY SESSIONS ]
1. WHEN SHOULD I SCHEDULE MY MATERNITY SESSION?
It is best to schedule your pregnancy portraits session at the third trimester of your pregnancy (i.e.: around 25-38 weeks). This is when your belly becomes more obvious. We do not suggest to schedule the session too close to your due date in case the baby gets delivered early. However, we are always open for last minute pregnancy shoot arrangement prior to your delivery! We know it would be a lifetime treasure to have such a documentation and we would do anything to help document this beautiful stage of our clients.
2. WHERE SHOULD THE MATERNITY SESSION TAKE PLACE?
The maternity session would take place at your home or on-location (at a local park or beach) or both (i.e.: home and your neighbourhood park).
HOME SESSION: I would bring in portable background stand and backdrops in various colours along with studio lighting equipment to create the studio look inside your home. Besides using the backdrops, I would also make use of your home environment (eg: furnitures, sofas, bed, your nursery etc) to make your portraits personalized and unique.
Most of our pregnancy sessions are conducted in-home as it is a lot more relaxed for the mum. An in-home session allows you to change into as many outfits as you like easily straight from your closet. I could also help select the best style of clothing for a specific pose / photography concept under my art direction. Outfits that show your belly (eg: tank top, tube top, bra-top, bikinis, wraps, lingerie, or robes) can be worn comfortably at the privacy of your home. We believe being relaxed and being you is very important during a pregnancy session, thus, a relaxed home environment is best to bring out the relaxed side of you. Our maternity portrait session is solely about capturing YOU, your beauty, your changing body form, and your personal connection with your new baby during your pregnancy. If your husband will attend the shoot, it would also be an important documentation of this exciting stage between you and your spouse.
HOME + PARK: If your home has a nearby park, we could also go down to the park for 30 minutes to shoot some outdoors after your in-home session are completed and you would have a mix of studio look portraits and outdoor portraits.
ON-LOCATION: For on-location pregnancy sessions, you could select any quiet park or beach of your choice. When selecting your location, it is best that the location would not
have a lot of people (i.e.: weekdays preferred) and it is best to conduct the session in the morning when the temperatures are cooler. You may bring 2-3 sets of clothing in different styles to the shoot to change. On-location pregnancy session creates unique portraits as the weather, the selected location, and the surroundings are all factors that makes your session uniquely yours with unimaginable surprises.
3. MY HOME ENVIRONMENT IS NOT TOO BIG OR BEAUTIFUL TO PHOTOGRAPH, WOULD IT STILL WORK?
In Hong Kong, where spaces are so limited, I understand not all homes are suitable for in-home sessions. To give you an idea, I would required the following:
(A) a minimum 8 ft by 10 ft rectangular space that I could use to setup the background stand and backdrops.
4. CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PREGNANCY PORTRAIT STYLE?
Happyfotos pregnancy portraits capture you as a mother and your connection between you and your new baby in a very relaxed and real manner. My pregnancy photography concept focuses on YOU, your beauty and your happy feelings. I see beauty in all pregnant mums and you can just relaxed and allow me to capture your natural bliss and personality through my directions.
5. SHOULD MY HUSBAND, MY CHILDREN, OR MY PETS ATTEND THE SHOOT? OR SHOULD IT BE JUST ME?
If you prefer to have your loved ones attend the shoot, it is best to ask them (especially children) to participate during the second half of the shoot (i.e.: arrange so that they come into the shoot after the first hour). The following explains why…
YOU ONLY: I will put my entire focus on YOU. This would create many in-depth portraits that focuses on your beauty as a pregnant mother. More emphasize will be placed on your body form and your beauty through different clothes, poses, and your personality.
YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND: I totally enjoyed shooting pregnancy session with your husband attending the shoot. The reason being that I can witness AND captured both of your sweet feelings (i am a sentimental person!!). In front of your husband, the feminine side of your personality would emerge. I would ask you two to interact with various instructions and I would capture the result.
YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN: Siblings in pregnancy session makes a special family portrait. If you have another older child, he or she is totally welcome in the shoot. However, we are required to carry this part of the shoot in an as quiet and calm manner as possible. This way, there is a higher chance that your older child’s posing position is as directed (i.e.: we want the belly to be IN the photo in all shots, thus, it is required that your older child stands or sits specifically in the picture without blocking the belly.. this is the trickiest part when the older child is between 2-5 years old). It is also important that your older child be scheduled in the shoot towards the end of the session (last 30-45 minutes) but not throughout the session.
YOU AND YOUR PETS: Pets are part of the family too. They are totally welcome in the shoot unless they are camera shy :)
6. HOW LONG DOES THE MATERNITY SESSION TAKES?
The maternity session would take roughly 2 hours with changing breaks in between. It is going to be a very relaxing session and my aim is to take as many beautiful portraits of you as possible. If you are planning to have your husband to be in the picture, it is best to schedule the session on weekends (eg: Sundays) when both of you feel very relaxed. It is not recommended to plan on any outing / appointment immediately after the session as I don’t want to rush the portrait session. I want you to be relaxed!
7. WHAT DO I HAVE TO PREPARE?
Here are some items you may prepare for the shoot:
- put on day makeup: it is required that you put on foundation and makeup as our studio lights would make your skin looks shinier, putting on foundation would produce a more even skin complexion.
- shave your underarms
- don’t wear any pants, skirts, panties, or leggings that would leave an elastic mark on your belly few hours prior to the photoshoot
- don’t put oily cream onto the belly prior to the shoot as this would make the belly looks too shiny under the studio lights
- make sure your hands and nails are clean as many of the poses would include your hands holding your belly.
- various sets of clothes
- musics that you like to be played during the shoot
8. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
You may prepare clothes in various styles and colour schemes that would show your body form and your belly. i.e.: tank tops, tube tops, men’s shirt, robes, satin lingerie, knitted robes, bikini, blouses, colourful slim fitting tops, jeans, black leggings, one piece slim fit dress, skirts, evening wears etc… From my experience, a tight fitting long sleeve white / black top work very well in pregnancy portraits. Tube tops injects fashion and styles into your portraitures. A men’s shirt in white colour (with bottom unbuttoned) create classic maternity portraits in black and white / sepia. Another favorite of mine is black turtle necks. Remember, the selected clothes must speak of you and works well with your personality.
9. WHAT WILL YOU SHOOT?
As your pregnancy portrait photographer, I would capture the beautiful you. The following are some shots I will take:
- closeups of your belly
- portraits of you in different expressions, outfits, styles and poses
- your feelings, your beauty, your bliss, and your personality
- your connection with your baby
- couples portraits (if husband would attend the shoot)
- family portraits (if children or pets would attend the shoot)
10. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM THE SHOOT?
Upon my arrival, I would first look around your home to find the best photographing spots and the best lights. Then, I would check your prepared wardrobes to see which clothes you should put on first (if you haven’t already changed). I would then setup the backdrop at your home (this would take 20 minutes). We would begin the portrait session until completion (with several more clothes change, accessories change, and backdrops color changes in between). We would also take some photos of you using your home environment without the backdrop.
After the Session:
In 2 weeks, I will send you > 100 unedited photos for your selection via an online download link. You may select your favorite 20 images to be fully edited and saved onto the CD. Upon receiving your order, it would take us roughly 2 weeks to have your session prints and CD ready. For custom items such as gallery canvas, custom framing, or albums, it may take 3-8 weeks (depend on the ordered item).
If you need your photos earlier for a special event’s agenda (eg: baby shower / family gathering), please talk to me in advance PRIOR to your booking. I will check my schedule to see if such schedule can be achieve and feasible.
11. CAN I REQUEST YOU NOT TO POST MY BELLY PHOTOS ON YOUR BLOG / PORTFOLIO TO SHARE IN PUBLIC? I TRULY WANTED MY PREGNANCY PORTRAITS TO BE MY PERSONAL MEMORIES ONLY.
I understand showing the belly is something very personal and we totally respect your privacy. In such case, a special maternity model release would be arranged upon request only. If you would like this arranged, please let us know PRIOR to booking your session. Please talk to me in advance and I would explain to you the details of this specially arranged model release so that you understand our intellectual copyright coverage and usage terms and conditions. It would be a simple procedure.