Including dad in your maternity photos- what you should know, and how to prepare him!
I get asked this question a lot when on an inquiry call with clients. “Is it ok if I can get a few photos with my husband or partner too?” My answer is always the same! A resounding YES! Of course your partner can and SHOULD be included. Including dad in your maternity session is always encouraged. This will likely be the last set of portraits you have together before your family changes forever. You are celebrating and documenting the story of your impending little human’s arrival. One day your child will ask to see these photos, and they will appreciate having both parents in them!
Or you could always have him do this…. No, just kidding! Though it is funny.
This is also a nice opportunity to get photos of JUST YOU TWO. Aside from your engagement or wedding, do you have any other photos of just the two of you? I always love photographing couples during their maternity sessions. You can truly see the love for each other and the happiness over baby’s near arrival in those portraits. Once children arrive, I think most people forget about “themselves” as a couple and the instances where photos just include the two of you are more rare.
After this statement, I usually get some “well, you know, he doesn’t really like taking photos”.. or “but how will we know how to pose together”.. “what will he do with his hands” ..or.. “what about when we’re just taking my photos, what’s he doing?”
Never fear, that’s why I am here to help guide you and make dad feel comfortable! Typically when we plan photos for ourselves, dad is the last thing we worry about. Once you know what you want to wear for your session, I will help you plan for dad as well.
Posing dad with mom in maternity photos
Posing dad during a maternity session is all about being close to mom and her growing bump. Gentle hands resting on mom’s hand, the small of her back, and over the belly are key. It may seem like this is only one pose, but the closeness between mom and dad, different angles, a kiss on the temple, a snuggle into one’s face, will give you variety here.
I often pose dads slightly off to the side or slightly behind mom. This way mom can reach up and touch dads face, they can touch forehead to forehead, or look into each other’s eyes or down at the belly. These images with expecting parents are all about showing connection and tenderness, as well as the anticipation of baby’s arrival. Hands and faces will do all of the talking in these images.
Which brings me to this…
What should men wear for maternity photo sessions?
This is an easy one! I always make recommendations based on what mom has chosen to wear from the client wardrobe! But the most important factor here is to keep it nice and SOLID. Patterns are distracting, and will often take away from the overall focus, instead of being complimentary to the composition of the image. This means no stripes, no plaids, no patterns! Neutrals are the best, and a couple of different combinations can be made here!
Dressed up jeans can be used instead of slacks or dress pants, but they shouldn’t be bright blue in color. I have had dads wear linen, dress, or muted denim colors paired back to their solid top choices. In any season, this can mean a button-front shirt- which always looks great with sleeves rolled up. In warmer weather, a solid tee or polo work well as options too. And in the fall winter, the button-front shirt can be layered under a fine gauge sweater.
I will be working on a future post with storyboards to help guide you in dad’s outfit selections.
Isn’t dad going to be bored while we take my photos?
Don’t worry, I always give dads something to do. If you have another child at your session, dad can have some hang out time in between, or keep them calm and happy with any appropriate distractions or play (and snacks). If it’s just the two of you, I put dad to work on detail patrol. This means helping with that hair the breeze is blowing in mom’s face, or tossing fabric or dress trains! This is usually fun to watch, and the dad’s i’ve been blessed with are always more than willing to help!
My favorite part of dad’s helping during a maternity photo shoot is tasking them with tossing fabric or dress trains. I start off by giving them an example of what I am looking for, and having some practice tosses. Then we shoot a few, and there are generally a ton of really funny outtakes. The best is when I tell dad to throw fabric behind mom and make himself really small to hide behind mom. They really think it’s impossible to hide themselves, and are always in disbelief when I show them the end result.
During your photos together, I will guide dad and you into the most magical, loving of poses. But normally, dads are so in love with their expectant partners that these things come, and look naturally. I am always truly in awe of most dads as they admire their wives during our session together. It is a totally different perspective for them too.
Plan your maternity photos with a post-session date afterwards!
The best way to make the photo session a success is to make it a date night afterwards! I don’t think any dad or partner will argue with taking their beautiful mom-to-be out on a date, just the two of you. Use this as a reason to take advantage of a little bit of self pampering you’ve received earlier in the day with your hair and makeup, and extend it into a dinner date!
Sofia Ribeiro Photography is a North and Central New Jersey Maternity Photographer serving the North and Central NJ and NY areas. This includes but is not limited to Union, Essex, Bergen, Passaic, Monmouth, Middlesex, Somerset, and Morris Counties.