My First Maternity Pics With Off Camera Flash...C&C Please!


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Oct 1, 2008
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Rowlett, TX
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Hey guys,

These were all taken with a Vivitar 285HV at 1/4 power and shot through an umbrella :). C&C please!

Thank you!!

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The lighting on these is pretty nice, very subtle, almost looks like natural window light. However I dont like the poses of the model or the environment she's in. Not to mention I'm seeing a hot spot from the flash on the headboard. Maybe a softbox or reflected umbrella would help you avoid that...otherwise not bad.
Thank you for the comment!! I have been wanting to use my umbrella as a reflected umbrella, but it didn't come with a black backing for it. I'll either need to buy another or put some black fabric on it. I know the poses aren't great. That's one of my weak points..I need to buy some posing books :).
I think #2 would have been nicer (maybe) if it was mirrored and her ring finger was showing, with that nice ring :p
Thanks for the comment!! And I know what you mean, I think it would be nicer that way. I'll try again when I get home today :).
I would get yourself a small softbox or a convertible umbrella. Since softboxes are a bit more expensive, I would do the umbrella first. I just bought a 60" Convertible umbrella with the removable black backing for under $40. You can reflect it at her which should help minimize the hot spots from the flash. Also, you can partially fold the umbrella down and have it half open or something to narrow the beam of light.
I like the post however in photo number 3 you can hardly tell there is a belly. I am sure the mom would appreciate that ... but for me it misses the point .. little different angle I would think. ;)
The light looks very natural. Good good...

The poses arent all that great, and I think they might look good as black and white shots.

Other than that, they are pretty good.
Thats not a "hotspot" on the headboard. Its simply where the light has reflected the most. A hotspot would be if there were pure white on that headboard, and there isnt. Where you might start to see some highlighting issues is on the belly in the first shot, but there is still enough texture and detail there.

Having said that - not a fan of the colors. The headboard itself is a great distraction here. I know shes lying on a bed, so this just reads as a shot of her "lying on the bed smiling while I take a shot." Not bad, but if these are "paid" maternity shots, you want something with a bit more character oomph than that.

Which brings us to the flowers. Whats up with people introducing objects into these maternity shots. I get that you want something else going on other than a distended belly, but sometimes it seems these "product placement" shots are just an afterthought like "OH ****, we need something 'frilly' to take away fromt the big belly". Just not digging it in that first shot.

#3 though, is a winner here, although I'd prefer a straight black & white, as opposed to what we got going on here. Also, depending on your photoshop skills, I would clone those creases out in the blanked so that it almost seems as if shes "floating" in milk.
Thanks for the comments everyone!! I was in the master bedroom once and thought..hmmm...maybe it'd be cool to shoot her maternity pictures here..guess not lol..I don't have any backgrounds or stands for them to use, so I used what I had available. Maybe I can hook some white sheets onto the wall and use that as a background so there are less distractions, but I will be reshooting again..I have about 3 months to go before she gives birth :)...I will redo #3, but this time with her in a different position so you can tell she's pregnant. Oh, and about the flower. She saw it on a friends Myspace and liked how it looked so she wanted to try it. Maybe we should try something like a ribbon or a bow?

Thanks again for the comments!!
From all your comments, David, I take it this is your baby that's on the way? If I got your right: congratulations to you and your wife! :D How thrilling.
And from the very few, and only very (!) snapshotty photos of me taken while I was pregnant with either of the three children I brought into this world I can tell how difficult it is to create any really lovely, arty maternity photos, unless you are in the business and do nothing but this all day long. That given, I feel you are on a very good track!
Thank you Corinna!! Yes, this is my baby :)..We don't have too many ideas and as you can see our poses still need work, so what I'm going to start doing is to visit photographers websites and use some of their ideas for maternity pictures. The next one I plan to do is to blow out the background completely white and to only show her belly as a silhouette.
nice start :)
I would get a few side shots with a darker background to contrast her white belly. Also take a few shots with her chin up, it makes for a more flattering sillouette of a neck. I also might try some outside around sunset for interesting natural lighting. Good luck!

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