I Shouldn’t Talk Much, B/c I don’t Really do Maternity but…

As usual, this is just my opinion, no one need to agree with me, I don’t mean to offend blah blah blah-ness.

If I’m gonna talk about things that I like/dislike in photography, I have to talk about this one.  Just because I need to say my piece on it.

The maternity-belly-making-a-heart-with-my-hands picture.

Sadly, I have taken one.  I hated to do it when I took it.  I only did it because it was my sister requesting it.  I couldn’t tell her no.  Even worse, it was her and her husband’s hands making the heart.  This pose is just one of my cringe feelings ones. The belly heart picture is apparently my version of everyone else’s selective coloring lol

There are things… which are originals.  At one point this pose was an original.  And then, like most things that were initially a good idea at some point in time, it becomes copied.  And then, after  much copying, you have a cliche.  This pose folks, has reached epic cliche levels and it is time to stop unless you come up with some way to reinvent this pose.

The main problem with this pose is that it was fresh…. 3 years ago.  And since at least 3 years have passed since this lovely pose became popular… 1.47 million pregnant women have had it done (yes I made that number up).

Maternity pics are weird period.  I don’t mean it’s a bad thing to have them done, I LOVE that getting maternity pics done has become popular!  Not only are you gonna cherish those, but later on down the road your kids will as well.  I’m always bummed that there are like no photos of my mother when she was pregnant with me.  But weird in the sense of… it can be fairly interesting to find ways to showcase pregnancy within the concept of the maternity portrait session.  This is if you are looking to provide something beside the typical family portrait.

The first time I fell in love with maternity photography was around 4-5 years ago.  It still wasn’t really as popular as it is now.  That was right about the time I started finding it to be really gaining popularity.  I really wish I still had her website, it might be in my bookmarks in the pretty much dead desktop computer… but I stumbled across the website of a local photographer who was just doing some amazing things.  And her work was very raw.  It was not all perfect lighting, making mama to be look like a glowing angelic figure.  It was untouched up, imperfect (not her work), and perfectly beautiful.  I liked that rawness b/c there was so much personality within the picture.  Personality is what I want to see in more maternity pics! There’s things about everyone’s pregnancy that makes it absolutely unique to them.  I’d like to see more photographers delve into the person they are taking the picture of and find out what that is.  I would like to see more clients not just scour the web for inspiration pictures, but also to think about what is special about this pregnancy that they want to capture.  What moments do you(client) treasure most?  How can I(photographer) capture them?

As a photographer, capturing what the client wants is the most important thing, but I guess I would rather sway them in another direction besides what has been done and done again.  The cool thing about being a photographer too is… you’re not just a general photographer.  As you shape your work, you shape what type of clients you bring in.   If I do more maternity I would prefer it be with somebody who dares to be a little different.  I also find myself more drawn to clients who will open up to me, granted that is also part of being the photographer.. learning how to get people to open up and let go as well.  I’ve already done shoots where it is like holy hell, there is no way this person is going to come out of their shell… and then you take them to the right place, get them in the right groove and a whole new world opens up!

Some other typical maternity pic themes that sourta irk me:

*too many pics of moms cradling their bellies.

*draping fabric across women in an unflattering way

*dad posing with the belly.  Extreme hate if dad is topless. There are ways for the father to interact with the belly that don’t involve him draping himself around it in an awkward manner.

*too many pics of just belly or cutting of mom’s head for that boobs/belly shot.  Sure you want to showcase the pregnancy but I find pics take on a lot more personalization if we keep the woman’s expressions in the picture.

*boudoir style maternity pics, not because pregnant women aren’t sexy… but b/c it is so rarely done well.

*shots that look just too serious… what is it about maternity shots that suddenly take smiles and personality out of the pics?  What is this deep introspectrum look about?  Head down, arms wrapped around belly, gazing thoughtfully down at it is pretty much the equivalent to the belly heart.  I blame it once again, what we have been conditioned to see.   If I weed these plus the belly heart pics out of a flickr maternity inspiration group there’s about 40% less images.  The thing is that I do understand the want for this one… women want to capture that whole “there’s a miracle within in me”… if being pregnant isn’t a time for introspectrum I dunno what is.  But my thoughts are, get the shot once (or from the photography side, as many takes as you need to get the perfect shot for that one image)… and get out.

*EFFING HELL IF I JUST DIDN’T SEE IT ALL… a black & white image with our belly heart thing going on… and the belly heart is selectively colored.  That might have just made me change my mind about selective coloring once and for all lol

*Ps did I mention there is no reason for dad to be randomly topless?


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