Including family members into your maternity photos is always a welcomed step, even if a child is hardly, HARDLY cooperating…
Here’s our Maria again, the hair colorist and stylist whom I photographed twice already. First, she was one of the few clients who would include her husband in her boudoir shoot in 2015. Less than a year later, I had her first maternity photos taken. No catalyst there…
Last November, her husband Mike contacted me with a sweet idea of making a Christmas gift certificate for Maria, who was pregnant. Aww, right? The idea had some adjustments, but here I am in March, in their Long Island house. Seeing my work on the walls was heartwarming.
Since the first maternity shoot took place outdoors, Maria opted for an indoor photoshoot this time. They moved recently into a beautiful house, she wanted to have her family in the maternity photos, and the weather in March could be unpredictable. Her friend Shannon, whose family I photographed indoors in December, also vouched for indoor this time.
We went with a half-day session so that all family members get proper attention besides a dedicated time for Maria. I had plenty of room and time to work on not only traditional portraits but also more creative ones. I looked for geometry in the mirror reflections, had her climb on a table and chair to come close to a crystal chandelier, used a window shade to get an eye-catching backlit (silhouette) portrait, and used my studio lights for dramatic and contrasty play of light and shadows.
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Maria asked me to take a dramatic photo with her Catholic rosary. That makes a best candidate for a studio light.
We worked with the family throughout the entire photo session. Mike was always game (hey, we came to the boudoir shoot!) but their 5-year-old son was certainly something… The initial maternity photos with the family were more or less manageable.
Towards the end, the boy figured he had a leverage. The remaining shots had about 10:1 ratio between negotiation shots and the successful ones. By “negotiation” I mean hearing what other treats the parents might offer if he didn’t make a face.
In the end, this 4-hour photoshoot brought about a cool variety of traditional, dramatic, creative, and silly takes on maternity photos. Including your family members is a winning and lively strategy, especially with other kids around. Just time your shoot with them in mind. A longer session will surely mean more wiggle room for creativity and make it easier for your spouse and kids with breaks and lower pressure to beat the clock.