The Concept of Pregnancy Portraits
There are a growing number of photography studios now focusing on maternity portraits. New York City-based Sarah Merians Photography & Co. has traditionally been known for bridal and family photography, but now is one of the premier studios for pregnancy photography. "In this day and age, women are getting married well into their 30s and 40s and having babies later," says Sarah Merians, professional photographer and studio owner. "Pregnancy becomes a greater challenge, and documenting this precious time has become so popular."
A pregnancy portrait is not just a great souvenir to be appreciated by the generation you are creating, but also a beautiful way to adapt to your new body image. "Looking at my portrait felt like I was stepping outside of my body for a moment," says Diane Abraham, a mother from Northridge, California. "From the outside, without the discomforts involved, I could finally see the beauty in me. It made me feel so feminine."
Many women are not sure what to expect during a maternity photo shoot, but many leave feeling like they have spent a few fun hours being pampered and feeling beautiful.
"Pregnancy is a very special time," says Anthony Colella, professional photographer and co-owner of Richter-Colella Studios in Peabody, Massachusetts. "It is only natural that couples would want a special photograph as a momento. In my portraits, I seek to capture the beauty of forming life. I am always aware that this photograph is not only a meaningful portrait of the new mother, but almost always the first picture in the new baby's photo album. Although most women feel uncomfortable having their photograph taken even when they're not pregnant, I take care to help them relax and enjoy the session."
With the body changes that are common during pregnancy, many women are not sure what to wear to a maternity photo session. According to Merians, keeping it simple and subtle makes for the best poses and photos."There is no need to run out and buy some expensive maternity gown or outfit," says Merians. "Most women wear their husband's dress shirt or simply a black or white lingerie robe. Simple thin clothing works well to show off the pregnancy and your belly, which is what we want."