Meet Heloise, expecting her first baby in just a couple of months. Pregnancy photo shoots are one of my favourite types of portrait sessions - with or without partners or older children. Heloise and I had great fun exploring the gardens of Chiswick House in the soft early evening light; we had the place almost to ourselves!
My pregnancy photography is always very relaxed and unhurried, with gentle direction from me as to where and how to pose. Whilst my style is "natural", I generally find my clients tend to need some guidance about how best to stand to be at their most flattering angle, or what to do with their hands and so on. In my experience this is what my clients expect from a professional photographer (especially with pregnancy photography where women have a different body shape to usual and at the beginning of a photo shoot where its natural to be apprehensive and a bit awkward) and it's one of the factors which can help clients relax enough to give natural, genuine expressions. Quite often clients will say to me "It's so funny seeing myself with a big bump!" when I show them photos on the back of my camera during the shoot.
Maternity photo shoot what to wear
Heloise brought a few different dresses with her for us to decide which would work best in this location. We decided on a floaty soft lilac dress and a very different Valentino dress. The lilac dress was an easy choice which I thought would look lovely in amongst the pale purple wisteria - still in bloom against the conservatory. The satin sheen also reflected the light beautifully. However, the unexpected star was the Valentino dress which went against all my usual recommendations of floor-length and block colour! I think the reason it worked so well was because it has a formal and dramatic element with the cape-like sleeves which suited the formal Italian gardens of Chiswick House perfectly. It probably wouldn't have looked so good somewhere more wild and rugged, such as Richmond Park. Against the stone pillars and yellow foliage of the regimented flower beds it looked wonderful! It also had a lovely, almost Japanese quality about it which seemed to come out when Heloise posed against the wisteria (in one of the very final photos below).
Heloise was one of my only pregnant clients to ever wear high heels for her session! Generally flats work just as well, but I think they were suited to the shorter length dress here. It's worth remembering too that Heloise was around 30 weeks pregnant in these photos, which is on the earlier side for a maternity photo shoot.
London pregnancy photoshoots
I am now almost booked up for weekend pregnancy photography in London for the summer months, although I still have plenty of availability for weekday sessions. Do get in touch if you would like me to photograph you and your bump!