Posing Maternity Couples
So now we're going to do maternity, adding in the father. Now don't you see how much it easier it is before they come out? (audience laughing) So much more easy. Oh my god, okay. Alright so here are a couple of things. Photographing when you add the father in. The first thing is proportions. Dad is still important too. He should not just be hidden behind the mother. The reason is, well two-fold. Visually it's just jarring 'cause it's like his head popping like the side of her shoulder. But also it will obviously make her look larger. And if you go into psychology as well, if you want him to look like a paternal, protective person he should actually look equal or a little bit larger in the frame. So instead of standing behind her, he might stand a little bit further over to the side. Or even start coming around to the front instead of hiding behind her. And of course also, any of his appendages, if he's right behind her, just look like they're coming from nowhere. So watch out for your ...
proportions. Dad should look equal or even a little bit larger in the frame. Next is to try supportive male poses which means holding one hand beneath her stomach, one hand below. Getting on his knees and wrapping one arm up below, his hand above. So try things like that, that's if you wanna get more artistic. He's actually supporting and embracing. That doesn't need to be a full length shot but it could be so we'll do a couple poses like that. I personally like that a lot on location, back lit, you know, very romantic feeling. And I've also seen it done black and white, heavily style lit from the side. So it's all about curve and it's about drama and the feature and you know all that stuff. Okay, number three is to vary the eye contact. Definitely, for me this is about a moment that they're having together, straight on to the camera smiling, I don't know. Like it doesn't work but, you have to still get that shot. But if he's holding her and then closing their eyes and tilting their heads towards each other, that's what that moment actually is about. Them being together. So you need to get both. And so if you're just doing straight on towards the camera 'cause you've been hired to do a portrait, and you think portrait means looking at the camera, you're missing out on like the best shots, I think. Number four is avoid all hands stacked together. Oh my gosh, okay. I see this all the time where she'll have her hands on top of her stomach. He'll be behind with his hands on top of her. And it's hand hand hand hand hand and like it's just a big mass of hands and that's what you're looking at. It's not elegant and what you want is you want an curve and line. And it's the same reason why you don't want like symmetry as well. Or when you have a couple, you don't want them mirrored like both hands on each other's hips. Everything just kind of merges together and lines up in stacks and it doesn't look nice. So just watch that for the hands. If he's gonna have his hand below, then she puts her hand above. And she wants to put another hand, you can have a little bit of overlap but not everything all in one place. Makes it more dynamic and softer and smoother. Number five would be, choosing or considering unusual crops if you wanna get more creative. 'Cause as I said, we're gonna do at the end a couple creative poses. But for the most part, there really are kind of the essentials that you go to and you get every time. But one way to make those more interesting is varying your perspective and varying your crop. So considering shooting at a higher angle so that you have just their faces together and focus and then the curve out of focus and the bottom part of the frame. Or having his head and arm here, and just cropping on that. Or maybe you have her head turned and you just see from the top of her eyes to the bottom of his arm just try different crops than full length here we are standing here. It's not, it's more intimate than that. So you wanna have closer crops sometimes. Looser crops, aren't communicating as much. It's not as romantic. So let's take a look at how that kind of plays out, photographically. Thanks guys. Alright so I'm gonna actually go through this before I take a picture but for example, would you go hide behind her, okay good. Alright now, put your hands on the top of her stomach and now put your hands on his, on his hands. Okay, this is would be the most common mistake I see. So this is, I'm looking oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh, right here. That's where my eye goes and then especially from my angle where I was standing, I see nothing but his head and the top of his shoulders. It's a little awkward. (laughs) And I'm sure she doesn't wouldn't especially, appreciate that photographically either. So what I would do is I would move him out to one side or the other. So would you scoot that way just a little bit and instead of all hands all in one place, would you, put your hand underneath, underneath your stomach and then you put your hand on top. And now you can put one hand together. So they could have two hands together. That's okay, that's fine. So I'm actually gonna grab a shot of that, okay. And so we will need to switch over to Lightroom for me. Perfect. And we will have you both rotate just a tiny bit to your right. Yeah, perfect! Thank you. And I'm watching, you see the little pointy fingers? Can you just hide it behind (laughs) He doesn't know this rule. It's okay, it's not his fault. Oh he hid 'em okay. He doesn't know. We've been talking about this rule. Will you hide it just a little bit more. Put your hand back just a little, perfect. And also, always making sure, soft hands you know. Just wiggle your fingers a little bit, good great, okay. And she's flat footed, ok Curtain it, ahh (audience laughing) right, okay. This is so off topic but I got a several messages yesterday from aspiring models that watch my class. I was like aw I didn't even think about that, you know? That makes a lot of sense so, that's pretty cool. So aspiring maternity models can watch too. (laughs) Can you put your left foot a little bit further behind her. Just a little bit, good. Perfect (camera beeps) (camera clicks) Okay. And can you tilt your heads together, so the same rules apply. You want body language together. (camera clicks) Perfect. Alright now if you wanna get a little, maybe a little fancier where you wanna give a little bit more fashion. I'm gonna go more romantic. Can you bring your hand up to his face. Okay and little lower, go what's comfortable. Good and now really pull your heads together. Perfect, okay. And just a little bit higher up okay 'cause down further, you're seeing the back of his hand and it's a little distracting. Up a little higher, you see the pinky is what we're looking for, perfect. And now, looking at the camera for this like little bit of intimate moment does not work so you're gonna both close your eyes and look kinda cross ways. Yeah like that, perfect. (camera beeps) (camera clicks) I'm gonna zoom closer. (camera clicks) And can you put your hand all the way under this side. So what I was looking at here, and you'll see it in the crop. Is she wasn't defined enough, in my opinion. 'Cause she's not to the side and so I wanna see that more. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna have her really cup her hand under and then I can see a lot better. And can you turn just a little bit further to the right, just a little bit. Good perfect. And you can drop your elbow in. Okay good. 'Cause he was going like this. So it's a little bit more uncomfortable, good. Let's go here. (camera beeps) (camera clicks) Good okay. So I could do a pose like that. Those would be a couple essentials. So some super super basic ones. Alright let me grab something over here. Alright great. So what I'm gonna have you do, is I'm gonna have you put your hand underneath. Good same thing, your hand on top. Good and one more. So you can vary to whatever they're comfortable with. This to me has like, I like doing lots of curves and it's very nice. Okay, good. And now you can put your hand over just a little bit more. Good, great so now I can see curve (camera beeps) (camera clicks) Alright. Perfect, looks great. You guys look cute. Have you had your photos done yet? Ohh (audience laughing) oh okay, so you know how to win me over is what you're saying. Okay great. Alright so what I'm gonna have you do is I'm gonna actually have you come around to the other side for just a second. And I would do this probably without a shirt on but we're not going to just it's easier okay. Alright so what I'm gonna have you do is I'm gonna have you put your hand here. Perfect. You're gonna put a hand on top there, actually through her arm underneath. And then will you cup underneath, just like that. And I would get from like here, you know something a little bit closer. The really nice tight shots. But another shot that you could do is can you move that arm just up, just kind of move it out of the way. You can, great. Bottom of your hands here. Good, I would get this for a tight shot 'cause then I would kind of follow hands and curve. So that's like, I mean it's kind of a pose but it's more of a host than actual pose. Okay so I'm gonna show them a little bit more interesting of a pose. A little bit more creative. Would you, I'll just show you. Would you do me a favor, and we're gonna do this. Okay so I'm gonna have you on this side down on one knee. Okay so these are my, tight crops and usual angle and his protective poses. And so what he's gonna do, is he's gonna bring one hand up around and she's gonna touch his hand as well. Perfect and then you kinda tilt your head that way. Alright so there's a bunch of different ways I could actually shoot this. I could, for example, and let me swing my light. Okay good. I could for example, and close your eyes 'cause they look really weird you're looking like right here, (laughs) right? Okay good. (camera beeps) good. And let's shoot right here. (camera beeps) This one's great. (camera clicks) Oh do one more. (camera clicks) Perfect and then can you stick your chin way out and look down at him. Good and one more, close your eyes one more time. (camera clicks) So this would be the kind of more intimate, protective poses. If she didn't have her hand on his hand, again on top. Perfect so now we could do a little bit more of a curve there. (camera clicks) Okay now, I've seen this. I wouldn't shoot this as a normal pose but if you had dramatic lighting. I'm gonna have you just lift your arms up all together so I can't see 'em and you're gonna actually wrap your hand like around, okay. A little less, little less. Okay so I've seen where it's like really dramatic, black and white, high contrast. And it actually will look really interesting. She just can't look like there. Maybe tilt your head that way. Like something like that. It looks really nice. I just wouldn't do it, lit normal. It's like a little too much. So I'm gonna do one more standing. And I'm gonna have you do this. Can you, this way a little bit. Can you put your hand under on this side, perfect. And you're gonna come around and you're gonna put your hand under here. And I'm gonna go for another intimate moment. You're gonna kinda kiss her neck a bit. So put your head back there. And so I would get kind of a moment more like that. This would be something I would shoot late in the day, look beautiful and so can you make sure when you do this, if a guy goes into a woman's neck, here's the don'ts. No smooshing. They tend to like, smoosh. Also depending on the height, if she's much shorter or much taller, it's like they're straining so find a way, remember how we talked yesterday about uneven heights with stepping or feet apart to get shorter. It's fine with that. And also, tilting head to far either direction but when you tilt head towards, all you see is forehead. So make sure if you tilt away, you're not tilting up and away so it's nostrils. It's more, so I'm gonna have you tilt your head the other way, just like kind of right there. That's fine. I don't actually need him to kiss her neck. I don't need him to be smooshing. And so now, I can see his profile. And I can see the intimate moment and this nice shape. So this would be really good go to pose for me. Just like that. (camera beeps) (camera clicks) And can you put your right foot behind her a little bit more. What I'm noticing just body language wise, is there's negative space and to us, negative space communicates distance so I'm gonna have him overlap so there isn't any distance there. It's all about unity. (camera beeps) (camera clicks) Alright perfect. So these would be my essential (camera clicks) go to poses and photographs. I like that one. I say that this last frame was the one that I really liked. So now I can get creative. And I am going to photograph with her sitting on the ground. But because I know that it's uncomfortable, either I need to know right away what I'm doing, like I need to know exactly what pose I'm directing for or I need to show them. 'Cause I don't wanna waste time with her being uncomfortable and sitting. It's not worth it. So I'm gonna have to show them. Right guys? So I'm gonna have you do this one. I'm gonna have you sit and support her with your leg, okay? Alright great, and I'll definitely help you out. Okay perfect, I'm gonna lower light while you do this. Great. And so that she's not like laying. (laughs) You're like fling her hair. Okay so, so what's he's doing is he's basically cradling her which is remember the supportive poses, right? You can do ones where they're like walking and back to back. I mean there are more poses than what I'm showing you but these are like the ones that people really want and expect and this is a twist on that. So what I'm gonna have you do is could you put your back arm on the top, your front arm on the bottom. Perfect and can you guys just softly intertwine fingers. Just real soft, perfect. And now turn your head towards him and you look down at her. Okay now this hand, right here, just make sure it's not too grippy. Okay good. Watching for body language. I don't want him to be too tense. So I'm gonna shoot that so they don't have to stay there forever. Perfect. (camera beeps) (camera clicks) And I would shoot from a higher angle. Can I have an apple box real quick. (camera clicks) I wanna take one more shot from a high angle because then I get that connection. So let's do, well a higher angle, a little higher. Okay good perfect. And can you tilt your head the other way. So the reason I'm doing that, just watch before and after. Turn your head the other way, back that way. Okay watch. So right in this angle, (camera clicks) what I'm seeing. Oh I see, okay ready. If you look in this shot when it pops up, is you see straight down his nose so you see eyebrows and nose, I think it'll show. And if I didn't tether, let me know and I can shoot it again. This very last shot, see. That is not, that's not him. That's just a top down view. So I had him tilt his head to the left. So now I connect a little further, a little bit further and then lean forward towards her just a tiny bit more, great. (camera clicks) And I do one more. (camera clicks) Oh hold on, one more again. (camera clicks) Adjust that. (camera clicks) So you guys, go get, you can not lay on the poor ground again. Okay so notice in that pose, now I can actually see his profile. What I would do is I would shoot, narrow depth of field. I'd have him lean in a little bit more and I'd focus on her and not on him. So he's out of focus on the foreground. And then it's all about her curve and reclining and he supporting her and all of that. So those would be my go to posing for a couple, maternity couple. And then I also like I said, I would do all of the closeups of hands and everything like that. So I wanna see if I can field any questions specifically here.
Absolutely, do we have any in the audience here?
Pretty straight forward?
Pretty straight forward. People are loving like especially they love the shot from earlier without the hands on the belly because it's so traditional to have the hands on the belly. They're like, it's something, it's a little bit different. Now we don't have any child or children here already but do you ever incorporate children into the maternity photoshoot and how would you recommend that?
I was gonna joke and be like no. (laughing) Nope if they have kids, they gotta stay away. No I'm just kidding, totally kidding about that.
And Lizzie if I could just toss on to that question we had a question from earlier about the side shot and the kissing of the belly and how you felt about that pose.
Okay the side shot kissing of the belly, if you don't mind, can you turn to the side and can you get, the other way sorry. And then can you get down on your knee and kiss her stomach. Okay. (audience laughing) So I'm not a fan, personally, I think it's a little kitchy but it's not bad. I mean like if you have these photos and you're photographer shot these and you love them, that's totally fine. I guess it more depends on how comfortable the subject is. You know if that's the shot that they want. That is a shot that I've seen done a million times. So I will take a photo. Can you put your left arm around her a little bit further. Good and then you're just gonna kiss her stomach just for fun. (camera clicks) And not as much pucker, a little less pucker. (audience laughing) (camera clicks) What I'm watching for in the way that I posing him here is I was looking for this curve. This hand, I have up top because if it was below, that would be too much so I kind of this and this and it's all, my eye kind of goes like that. I mean it's fine. I would also not have her stand flat footed. Something like that. So kind of put your hand like more on her thigh. Perfect. And can you lean forward with your chin out just a little more, good. I mean, yeah, it's fine. Like the same thing, I've seen a million shots too where they do the heart on the stomach. If that's something that the client wants, do it. I am fine showing clients like okay, here's a couple things that I've shot before. Do you like any of these? That's fine, depends on what they want. So there's a million other creative ones too. You can get off your knee if you'd like. (laughs) Thank you.
And Photome asked about, can you tell us a little about the backs of the hands showing. I know we talked about in other sessions, it was kind of a no no. And when you pose their fingers like you did.
Yeah so there's not really any way around it in this particular case
Because especially if you wanna show shape, I mean if you've multiple hands and it's just like, stacked fingers, you know it's okay. Just make sure that you wiggle them and that their soft and ideally not on the very top. If you get that so not totally flat, just have a little bit of curve, that's better. But yeah, there's not, for a lot of these poses, there's not much way around it, cool.
Christina and Shelby Co photo and a couple others are kind of wondering about I forgot how to phrase this, like plus size mothers who are pregnant, who are it's sometimes harder to tell because there's not as much of an obvious bump. Do you have any ideas on how to accentuate and how to make that more obvious.
Yes actually I have, I've photographed a client just like that. It was actually partially about how to tighten the clothes. So I definitely used clips and I tightened at the bottom and I tightened it right below the chest. So that it is tighter at those areas. And in that case, you have to do this. I mean you have to communicate this as saying I'm holding on to something versus if you're doing this, it's modeling your stomach. So then in that case you really do need to have more of the maternal poses with the hands.
Great and then one from Alonasys wondering if you ever shoot nudes when they're pregnant and if you have any suggestions, obviously we're not gonna do it now but any suggestions on ways to approach that.
Yeah definitely, actually I would much rather photograph maternity shots nude because then, it's all about curve and light and that's I, that's what it's about. It's about the human form at that time. I don't need anything else. That's, I've photographed many. And I always do it, heavily back lit. I would blast the light on that background, turn this off and then just have a little bit of fill and the light would just wrap around. And I'd overexpose. And the only difference is, if somebody's nude, always the front leg up. (audience laughing) Always. And then it would always be it has to at that point be, always this hand underneath and this hand across the chest. When you do it the other way, it's shoulders too raised and it doesn't look comfortable. But this is okay. So I would just say go look at the famous Demi Moore cover. Like all those, just do that. You can get more creative than that. But, that's like what you need to know. This leg up, this arm over.
That's a great 101 intro to that. I love that. And we had this suggestion from Bethelson Creative who was wondering how you would incorporate the other parent into the more fashion pose, or fashionable pose.
Sure, would you sit forward real quick. And can you remind me to answer the kids question. 'cause I was jokingly
Yes good point.
Jokingly away from that. I didn't really mean that.
We'll get you up.
Okay can you do that fashion pose again with your arm up. Oh yeah and you remembered it, alright good. Can you do your hand on top this time? Good and forward a little bit for me, just your body. Sorry take a step forward. Good and put that knee over, great. I would have him come in from this side, hand underneath. Sorry your right hand underneath. And you were gonna kinda snuzzle her neck over this way. Okay, maybe something like that. That would work. I could also do, I'm gonna do one more thing. So that would be one. I'll take a shot so that people have it. Okay if you are straining to reach, just kind of put your legs apart a little bit makes you a little shorter, good. And close your eyes and turn your head towards him. And pop your elbow back even further, great. (camera clicks) Good (camera clicks) okay. And one more would be if you were going ahead and let's do, hand on your neck and let's do, hand on the hip, okay. So let's say kind of that more fashion one. He could actually come back maybe from over here. And kind of fit in some place that way. Okay something like that and so that's still a fashion pose. Good (camera clicks) and now both of you turn your heads towards each other and close your eyes, good. (camera clicks) One more (camera clicks) perfect. Great okay so before I forget that kids shot. I almost forgot. There are, I've seen a ton of cute ones. I actually like, I really prefer, the children kissing the stomach, much more than the father. It doesn't, there's nothing wrong with it, just personal taste. I saw this adorable photo where, would you stand over here facing this way. I stepped on my tether cord. And so the little kid was kissing her stomach and then the dad was kissing the top of the little kid's head. It was like really really cute. Or, little kid standing here with hand on the stomach, I'm gonna be the little kid, okay. And would you stand from behind. And just wrap your arm around her that way, good. And so the little kid fits here. So now it's a triangle. So you're building your triangle again. So that's how I would build it. And then you don't have to worry about holding the kid, just fits perfectly.
I think with that, we're good to keep going.
Oh we have one question actually from here in the audience.
Last pose, the one that they did, would you have actually done that one with him shirtless so you don't lose the curve in her lower back or anything or would that actually matter?
Well you could just do a different color shirt for example, a lighter color shirt or, no, I mean it doesn't bother me too much. No I'm okay with that. You could also change the lighting, a little flatter to the front if you wanted but, I'm okay with it. It doesn't make her look particularly wider. There's enough separation, yeah.
Some clients hate shirtless maternity photos.
I so when I see dudes with no shirt on, by default, I'm definitely, like I gotta check him out and I gotta check her out, you know what I mean I gotta like look at what he looks like, and look what her looks like and it's really about her so since it's clearly about her state, I just let them not be a focus. So I just have them wear a solid shirt even if she's wearing like just fabric around her top and fabric for the bottom, I usually don't do topless unless it's like, unless it's really a fine art kinda fine art nude one. I mean if that's what a couple wants, shoot it. I'll shoot whatever they ask for. And just be aware of those angles. (audience laughing)
Cool, I think we're good to go. Let's keep going.
Thank you guys.
Thank you. (audience clapping)
Thank you, good luck with everything. Congratulations!