Posing Couples

Photographing the mother and dad together is one of the most rewarding aspects of creating maternity portraits. The couple's joy, love, and anticipation is intoxicating—especially with the first child. The portrait session allows you to capture an artistic representation of their love and union.

There are actually several ways to effectively pose the couple. You might start by having the mother standing, and simply have the father wrap his arms around her from behind. The camera angle can be from the front or side. This pose will work best if the father is taller than the mother. For a traditional look, have the father stand beside the mother, with one arm around her back and the other hand placed on her belly and meeting her hand.

You can also take the opportunity to create artfully styled images of the couple lying down. There are many advantages to selecting a lying pose. This

Mother Father Baby Poses
An image of the father and the tummy beautifully illustrates the emotional connection the father has with the baby.

Top—Note the way that placing father's hands on the mother's tummy creates a connection between the couple and emphasizes his connection with his child, as well. Bottom—In this sweet image of the father kissing the mother's tummy, the story is about the baby and dad, and the mother becomes the "prop" or accessory to the image. This image was simple to light, with a large sliding glass door in the couple's dining room area. Notice the position of the couple's hands, touching in a loving way. The physical connection is important to the overall feeling of the image.

Couple Maternity Photography Poses

position is more comfortable for the mother, of course, but it can be relax ing to the father as well. Many fathers are not initially agreeable to being photographed. Once you get the couple to lie down together, the father usually relaxes a great deal and takes direction well. In this pose, it is easy for the lather to wrap himself around the mother. In this position, the dad illustrates his role of protector and supporter of the mother and child. He can place his hands on her tummy, and if he's feeling a little camera shy, he can nestle his head next to the mother's with his eyes closed. A heavier subject can lift his chin to reduce the "double chin" look.

If you are photographing a man and woman who are not comfortable with the idea of lying down, you can use a seated pose to depict the feeling of shared intimacy. Start with the mother seated, with her knees turned at an angle to the camera. Next, have the father sit behind and slightly to the side of the mother, with his knees apart so that she can nestle into him. Be sure that the mom is not blocking the father's face. Have dad wrap his arms around the mother and gently place his hands on her belly, arms, or hands. While the seating pose can work in a pinch, it allows for less variety than does a lying pose.

Lying With Her Knee

► START WITH THE OUTFITS

Warm up the mother and especially the father by first creating simple portraits of the clients wearing clothes they selected for the session. As they become more comfortable, move slowly into more creative shots using fabrics and props.

Mother Father Baby Poses

Left—An embracing couple is a wonderful way to tell the story of the anticipation the parents have for the arriving baby. Here the father is taking on the role of protector with his arms around the mother and hands on her tummy. Right—A connection between the couple speaks volumes to the viewer. The couple here are simply making eye contact, but this simple look tells us so much about their relationship and love.

Left—An embracing couple is a wonderful way to tell the story of the anticipation the parents have for the arriving baby. Here the father is taking on the role of protector with his arms around the mother and hands on her tummy. Right—A connection between the couple speaks volumes to the viewer. The couple here are simply making eye contact, but this simple look tells us so much about their relationship and love.

Couple Maternity Photography Poses

In this image, the mother's hand is gently placed on her husband's head, and his hand reaches up to rest on her forearm. With the couple's son leaning on the father, the whole image conveys a warm feeling of family togetherness. If you look closely at the image you will also notice a series of triangle patterns through the arms and heads. The repeating patterns give the image a feeling of harmony.

In this image, the mother's hand is gently placed on her husband's head, and his hand reaches up to rest on her forearm. With the couple's son leaning on the father, the whole image conveys a warm feeling of family togetherness. If you look closely at the image you will also notice a series of triangle patterns through the arms and heads. The repeating patterns give the image a feeling of harmony.

Another favorite pose for couples is an image of the baby-to-be with the father. This pose allows you to showcase the relationship between the father and baby in a way that including a fuller view of the mother does not accomplish. Adding an older sibling or siblings to the daddy-and-tummy pose can also document the family dynamics and show the family members' sense of joy and anticipation.

While the subject is the pregnancy, evidence of the mother is very important even with the father or siblings in the picture. By having her hands touching her belly or the other subject, you will create a loving and affectionate mood.

Including the children will often make for a cheerful, fun image. However, including kids in any portrait session presents some unique challenges. We'll review some strategies for working with children later in this chapter.

Coaxing Dad. Some fathers are resistant to the idea of participating in the session. This is another benefit to conducting the session in the subject's home, as the father won't have to be coaxed into going to the studio. Despite their hesitation, fathers surprisingly turn out to be one of the biggest enthusiasts once you get them involved. Start with asking the father to be your "helper," getting him actively involved in the photographic process before you put him in front of the camera. Fathers can help with everything from getting a pillow to moving furniture to holding reflectors. When the father feels like he is assisting he has a tendency to relax and takes a personal interest in the outcome of the images.

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