All pregnant moms believe that if they've got a summer belly, then the photo session will automatically be outdoors. If it's a winter belly, then an indoor photo is required. Well, good news! Neither is the case.
The belly timing does not define the location. You do! I tell you about the pros and cons of each.
Regardless of the season (See? The decision is not related to weather!) You've got two options; it all depends on the look and feel that you want to embrace. One is more intimate and personal, while the other is an urban setting.
- Stunning indoors public location such as Boston Public Library, museums, etc.
- Your home. We'll document your belly by the window, in the nursery, kitchen, master bedroom, living room, or even the backyard. We’ll have fun chasing the best light.
- Studio. This is the most traditional session, 100% posed, in which you’ll have access to the photographer's wardrobe and props.
The possibilities are endless here. It all depends on your preferences and accessibility. Are you a Mother Nature lover or an urban enthusiast?
- Urban lover: you can get stunning photos in the middle of the city. Yes, you'll stop traffic with your glowing looks and enjoy the crowds shown blurred in the background.
Urban sessions are a great option during winter. We can hop in and out of shops as needed to get warm or grab a cup of tea. These are walking sessions usually, so we rediscover the corners of the city while we chat and enjoy Boston's (or your town's) essence at its best.
The color of the bricks offers a unique charm when shooting photos in Boston and the suburbs. To make the most of that, you can plan a sunrise session in Acron St., or a sunset session in the historical houses in Linconl, for example.
- Mother nature lover: do you like beaches, lakes, parks? So many alternatives. Outdoor locations will most likely be calmed and relaxed in the early afternoon or by sunset, tons of green and colorful backgrounds.
You can pick signature locations (be careful with the tourists in peak hours) or hidden gems. For Boston and suburbs, here is a list of my favorite locations it’s a combination of well-known and hidden gems:
- Boston Public Garden.
- Arnold Arboretum (Boston).
- The Esplanade (Boston).
- Magazine Beach Park (Cambridge).
- Minute Man National Historical Park (Concord).
- The Robert Treat Paine Estate (Waltham).
- deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Lincoln).
- Walden Pond (Concord).
- Beach sessions in Cape Cod, Duxbury or Gloucester
For summer bellies, there are no weather constraints. For winter bellies, your photographer can recommend an outdoor location that has access to indoor facilities or even a short walk to your car (in case you need to warm up!).
If you want to show off your belly in the winter snow on a cold January morning, your photographer will be pumped; we try to always recommend a location that meets your goals and keeps you warm! Here is a stunning mid February photo session in Boston! (low 30s)
The worst that can and will happen
Your outfit might get ruined with mud or you spilled that lovely decaf while you said hello to your photographer. Maybe your toddler is cranky because he is hungry. Things happen all the time.
Be prepared for contingencies and nothing will get in your way on session day. Here are a few good tips:
- Bring extra clothes for everyone. Yes, I get it. You dream about your outfit from rent the runway but huge stains that photoshop can’t fix do happen.
- Extra pacifiers, snacks, and toys. Let’s spoil big sister or brother. We can use all these to play and capture the sweetest smiles.
- Baby is cold outside. MA weather is unpredictable, so always bring a sweater, jacket, or scarf. You want to be as comfortable as possible to enjoy your time outside. You might even use your scarf to play with the wind and your belly!
- Your feet hurt. Even though we love high heels, bring a pair of flats. You might want to change your shoes at any time. Super understandable.
- The light is gone or too harsh. Be on time, we schedule sessions around the sun, and we can’t ask to delay sunset or mid-day harsh light. You’ve got a window of time for stunning photos, mark your calendar 30min before your scheduled session. It’s better to play in the location beforehand than to rush for a parking spot while the sun is tricking you.
Big no-nos when shooting outside
Too much light is not ideal.
A question I get asked often is: can we shoot at noon or right before my kid takes a nap? The answer is that the absolute best light (soft light) happens at sunrise or sunset.
We’re always chasing the light as it comes up or down, the shades play a key role. We want you to be able to open your eyes and for shades to not appear in your cheeks. That’s why an overcast day is a dreamy day for a photographer. Families always get worried that they didn’t get a bright sunny day yet professional photographers smile.
Too much space is not needed.
When thinking about an outdoor location, you don’t need a football field park size. Photographers always pick a place where we can use multiple stunning backgrounds without having to walk tons.
Bear this in mind if you have other kids. It’s hard to carry them while you hold your backpack or purse, your second outfit and walk on rocks.
Picking a location is both a strategic and artistic decision. It’s all about the quality of the space, not quantity.
Trusting your photographer’s sense of location
The best advice I can give you is to actually learn about different photographers beforehand. That is, understand their styles, look at his/her portfolio. And then decide what makes you comfortable.
The spectrum for pregnancy photos is vast. It goes from nudes on a studio (not my style) to lifestyle holding hands with your significant other while walking on a park (my style).
The location is just that, a place where the photos will take place. What matters are the emotions, feelings, and expressions that will be captured in that fantastic background.
My advice would be to spend time understanding which type of pregnancy photos you like the most, decide whether you prefer indoors or outdoors, and then let the photographer propose some location options.
Photographers are the best scouts in town, we look at stunning locations regularly. We’re always challenging ourselves to find the perfect light either indoors or outdoors.
What if you don’t like the photos?
You will always be pleasantly surprised with your photo gallery if you do your research in advance. Photographers have a personal signature style. If you like what you’ve seen in his/her portfolio the happiness battle is won already.
Your photographer will capture your family’s essence combined with his/her artistic approach. You’ll get “in-between” or posed moments captured with a unique editing style.
It's a matter of trust
If you’re looking for posed photos with everyone looking at the camera, a studio photographer might be the best option. If you want to document life as it happens, a lifestyle photographer is what you’re looking for. Every artist is true to his/her style, so you won’t be frustrated if you know what to expect. The photographer will work the best angles to capture the light and moments that are worth freezing.
Learn more with the guide to having the pregnancy and newborn photo session that you want
ABOUT ANDRE TORO PHOTOGRAPHY
Andre Toro is an award wining family photographer based in Lexington, MA. She calls her style Real Art Photography, which she defines as Fine Art inspired by candid moments. Andre is a passionate soul, obsessed with human connection, and emotive storytelling. She believes love is raw, messy, and beautiful. She specializes in Family, Maternity, Newborn, and Birth Photography. To inquiry about booking a photo session, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org