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Maternity Props

Melissa Aschenbrener , Jan 22, 2010; 11:34 p.m.

Hi I am doing a Maternity Session on Feb 3rd, 2010. and Need some help! I haven't done anything like this before and have searched other photographer's websites to get some general ideas on Poses and some Props.
My question's are:
what would be the mainly used Props for doing Maternity photos? (She had asked if I have any props and if not if I would like her to get anything!)
And what would be the best Background to use with 2 continuous lights with shoot through umbrellas, and an on camera flash? ( I am doing these at their home so I am not too sure yet what kind of natural lighting they have or the color of walls/ceiling).
Some quick starter poses would be great as well.
I was also wondering if someone can tell me how they "wrap" the bust and the hip's with the fabric?
I will also have some with the husband and their three young son's ages 2, 3, &7
Thanks your input/ knowledge is greatly appreciated


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Elaine Vang - Prescott, AZ , Jan 23, 2010; 01:35 a.m.

Hi Melissa,
2 continuous hot lights with a 2, 3 and 7 yr old running around would spell disaster for me.
besides trying to get them to stay in one place in front of the lights....well good luck with that!

If you have a fast lens say at least a 2.8 I would say go for a natural light session.
This is how I shoot, which may not be your style, but that is what you need to determine.
I started out hauling my lights around (HUGE HAssle) until I discovered the beauty and ease of
shooting natural.
Put them all on their couch, their bed, their floor. Just get some natural poses of them being a family.
You can still do the wraps with the mom and put her by the window or on her bed.
Check out my maternity on my site. If you have any questions feel free to email me.
Note that all of my sessions are done with Natural light ONLY.

Kate Callahan , Jan 23, 2010; 12:15 p.m.

I'd have to agree that working with natural light can really make the shoot go soooo much smoother. It also allows you the flexibility to move from room to room in the house without lugging around the lights. Tank tops and matching boy shorts are also another great option ... or tank tops and jeans. As for wraps ... I actually use curtains. I know, it sounds crazy! But they're way cheaper than the actual maternity wraps you can buy. Any fabric will work ... it's just a matter of finding what you like for the shoot. I think the key to this kind of shoot is coming in with an open mind and not being afraid to try out some different ways of wrapping/dressing/posing. Maybe not all the ideas will work ... but no doubt some will! If you'd like to see a few of my maternity pictures, my site is www.preciousmemoriesbykate.com. Best wishes! - Kate

Ambur Hill , Jan 25, 2010; 08:07 p.m.

Hi Melissa,
I use those clamps that are in the hardware section at your local store they have rubber tips and hold the fabric really tight. I try to use those or fashion a pretty knot in the back or front. I use some fake flowers large gerbera daisies. one prop I like that usually gets the newborn shoot booked is tie a large ribbon blue or pink ribbon around moms belly into a beautiful bow and then use that same ribbon on baby adding a tag that says special delivery. clients in the past go crazy for this. I have offered in my packages a belly painting kit or a belly cast. the belly cast is great to book that newborn session too. put the baby in the "belly" of the cast. they really come out beautiful! As far as posing there is a lot you can do with the siblings all hands on the belly is on of my favorites and maybe all cuddling and kissing the belly etc. I wish you well and remember to have fun!

Melissa Aschenbrener , Jan 27, 2010; 02:18 p.m.

Thanks everyone for your comments! It really greatly apprecihated! I think I am going to go ahead without the lights I was really debating them as well I figured they would just be in the way! I love all of your ideas. I haven't gotten a chance yet to look at your sites but I most definately will!
Thanks again!

Nancy G , Jan 28, 2010; 10:54 a.m.

Hi Melissa,
I also did a shoot with fabric and the mom tucked the fabric in her panties and she had left her bra on but we took the straps down and there to we tucked it in.
I had two separate pieces of fabric that match(satin burgandy) to do one shot,and the other was a large white sheer fabric that I tied a knot and at times also tucked in her bra.
I also use natural light,you can buy those ABC Blocks and spell out boy or girl(if they know the sex) or just B A B Y and lay the blocks on her tummy.
If they bought something for the baby already try and use it in the shot.
Large flowers are good as well, I had her stand in front of the window with the fabric wand one of her while one of her boys holding her hands while they looked at each other.
Depending on how large she is(if she is a large woman like mine was) I photographed her from up above in some of her shots and they are the ones that turned out the best.
Have the other kids kiss belly while your up high above them and take a shot of just the belly and kids kissing, with some natural light coming in on the side, and put it in black and white afterwards.
If she's a casual girl have her in blue jeans and a white button up blouse and have the shirt un bottom to the breast.
Hope some of these helped, have fun!

Melissa Aschenbrener , Jan 29, 2010; 11:11 a.m.

Thanks again everyone for all your help and the links to your websites! Elaine Your photos are AMAZING! I absolutly love them! They capture the pure beauty of not only the mom and and belly the the nature of being pregnant and holding life little miracles! Kate you photos too are amazing! I love the whole idea of placing the newborns in the dresser.
I am super excited to get started with my photo shoot, but now my question for you all is when I go to buy fabric how large (much) should the fabric be?
and I definitely ruled out the lights but should I bring my on camera flash just in-case?

"I have offered in my packages a belly painting kit or a belly cast. the belly cast is great to book that newborn session too. put the baby in the "belly" of the cast. they really come out beautiful!"
Ambur I think thats a wonderful idea, but where do you find the kits?

Thanks again everyone!

Melissa Aschenbrener , Feb 01, 2010; 01:13 p.m.

Another question for you all what would you all say would be your favorite lens for these type of sessions?

Melissa Aschenbrener , Feb 01, 2010; 03:46 p.m.

By the way I am using a Canon 50D

Ambur Hill , Feb 05, 2010; 12:34 a.m.

hey Melissa,
I got them at www.proudbody.com

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