Photocrati Instagram Weekly Round 3

In the eyes of my girl, Tika. #macro #germanshepherd #blackandwhite #dog #bestfriend #eye #reflection
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In the eyes of my girl, Tika.

My dream finally came true; I found a #poppyfield in #tuscany. I couldn't be more happy!! #poppies #papaveri #Toscana #italy. See www.tawnabrown.com/blog.
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My dream finally came true; I found a in #tuscany. I couldn’t be more happy!! #italy. See www.tawnabrown.com/blog.


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#shopping in #florence and came across this Fabulous #windowdisplay of #todds #shoes. #italy #italia #firenze #colorful #window #rainbow.
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in and came across this Fabulous of #shoes. #rainbow.

There is a problem with Lake Surprise #vscocam #photocrati
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There is a problem with Lake Surprise

I see your schwartz is as big as mine
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I see your schwartz is as big as mine

The colors #NX3000 @samsungcamera #vscocam #photocrati
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The colors @samsungcamera

#vscocam
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My beautiful Tika. Still having complications with her ACL surgery. Please send out positive vibes for her. #gsdmalinoislove #germanshepherd #germanshepherddog #gsd #germanshepherdlovers #dog #bestfriend #Shepherdsofinstagram #dogsofinstagram #fall #autumn #yellowknife
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My beautiful Tika. Still having complications with her ACL surgery. Please send out positive vibes for her.

Ever just feel like a little mech monster? #vscocam #toyslagram #toytography #photocrati #godzilla
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Ever just feel like a little mech monster?


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“Breaking Waves” I love when I catch a beautiful wave just as it’s broken against the shore. I can sit for an hour framing and snapping these types of shots until I find one I’m happy with.

A bit later than usual...the Ballet Tree ️️
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A bit later than usual…the Ballet Tree ️️

#Trucking #vscocam #photocrati
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Photocrati Instagram Weekly Round 2

#tower #bridge #opening #iphoneonly #iphone5 #jj_mobilephotography #igerslondon #igworldclub #instadaily
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#shard #sunset #frame #triangle #jj_mobilephotography #view #from #towerbridge #jj_silhouette #iphone5 #iphoneonly #picoftheday #potd #instadaily #instameet #instacool #igerslondon #igworldclub
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Wish I had a longer lens .... adds ... to wish list .... #vscocam
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“Wish I had a longer lens …. adds … to wish list ….”
Success in #TheArtOfChange is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to a new purpose. #vscocam Paraphrasing #SunTzu
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“Success in is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to a new purpose. Paraphrasing”
On a wire
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“On a wire”
In the #ArtOfChange What enables the wise artisan and good craftsman to create and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men Is foreknowledge. #vscocam paraphrasing #SunTzu #photocrati #toyslagram #dunny
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“In the What enables the wise artisan and good craftsman to create and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men Is foreknowledge. paraphrasing”
Dynalite Baja B4 as a hair light
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“Dynalite Baja B4 as a hair light”

Photocrati Instagram Weekly Round 1

My favorite WordPress host #photocrati #wpengine
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“My favorite WordPress host”

Mascot #photocrati
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“Mascot”

The lights.... #vscocam
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“The lights….”

#Silence has fallen ... I have walked off into the Bokeh... A Career has ended & a new adventure begins on Monday! #vscocam
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“has fallen … I have walked off into the Bokeh… A Career has ended & a new adventure begins on Monday!”

Table deco #vscocam #instaphoto #iphoto #photocrati
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“Table deco”

Mid engagement session #hoboken
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“Mid engagement session”

Wish I had a longer lens .... adds ... to wish list .... #vscocam
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“Wish I had a longer lens …. adds … to wish list ….”

Success in #TheArtOfChange is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to a new purpose. #vscocam Paraphrasing #SunTzu
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“Success in is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to a new purpose. Paraphrasing”

Photocrati Instagram Weekly Roundup

Welcome to the new Instagram Weekly Roundup. We want to share your favorite Instagram photos. To join in the fun, post your photographs on Instagram using the hashtag #photocrati. All the photos you share will be aggregated and we will pick our favorites to include in the Instagram roundup each week. We will include a link to your Instagram account, the filter used, your caption and of course a link to the original photo on Instagram.

We can’t wait to see your photos!

Follow us @photocrati on Instagram!

T-shirts ordered #photocrati
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T-shirts ordered

Harper sporting my #Photocrati hat on Easter at the zoo
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Harper sporting my hat on Easter at the zoo

Featured Member: Amanda McInerney

What kind of photography do you do?

As a web designer, I encompass product, location, and staff photography but for my personal photography site, I enjoy taking photographs of my explorations of the amazing country I live in and anything else that catches my interest in my travels around the world!

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Story behind this image: This gorgeous blue winged Kookaburra was the perfect model. He sat on the branch of a Bauhinia Tree staring at me serenely, although always keeping a watchful eye.

Broome my hometown, recently came under siege by giant mining company, Woodside and the Western Australian State Government to compulsorily acquire land of great value to the indigenous and local people of this area. It was proposed to build the world’s largest gas processing hub on top of one of the most beautiful and pristine areas, James Price Point.

Despite the presence of Dinosaur Footprints, endangered Bilbies and Turtles, endangered monsoonal vine thickets, the list goes on .. the people of Broome fought a long hard battle for over four years.

This kookaburra became used to people and the occasional hand outs, it received, (mostly scavenged) by perching in this tree, located at the information booth, run by volunteers on the dirt road leading to James Price Point, some 40 km from Broome.

PS We won the battle!!

How would you describe your style?

Broad lol! I don’t really have a “style”, I love all aspects of photography and the use of different lenses for different occasions, macros for bugs and wildflowers, wide angles for spectacular sunsets and panoramas and zoom lenses for the beautiful effects that can be achieved by fading the background of a subject.

What’s your approach to post processing?

I try to catch my photos as close to how they are in real life but I am pretty good with photoshop when the occasion calls for it.

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Story behind this image: This photo I love purely for its beautiful colours! This image was captured with the beautiful turquoise waters of Roebuck Bay, Broome as a backdrop. I remember there was some patience involved in this photo as there was a light breeze and the flower seemed to be for ever on a mission to keep moving!

What or who inspires you?

I spend as many hours as I can scouring photographic sites for inspiration and admiration.

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Story behind this image: This photo was shot at one of the local beaches in Broome during the wet season. I love this photo for its depiction of the Kimberley Wet Season storms and the lone indigenous boy on top of the rock taking it all in!

What gear do you use?

I use a Nikon D800E with a Nikkor 28-300mm Zoom, a Nikkor 17-35mm wide angle, and a Tamron 90mm for macro.

Website: http://www.kimberleyphotos.com.au/

The Importance of In-Person Sales for Photographers

in-person-sales-photographers Back before I started doing in-person sales, I threw confetti, blew a noisemaker and did a celebratory dance both times that I sold more than $100 in prints. That’s right. Both. As in two (2) times. Now that I do in-person sales, my average client order is around $1,500.

Why the big difference? Let’s think about this. It’s time for you to buy a new car. What do you do? You go online and find the car you want, click ‘add to cart’ and wala!

in-person-sales-cart

That’s how everyone buys cars right? Of course not! If you were buying a new car you would go down to the dealership and test-drive that puppy. You would want to feel that new leather, crank up the stereo and see how it handles. Why do you think dealerships let you test-drive their cars? They know you are more likely to buy when you have driven the car.

The same is true for photography. In this digital society, people forget that there are amazing products available for photographic wall art. Do you think someone is going to buy a 20×30 canvas for their wall if they have never seen one before? Just like someone won’t purchase a car online before seeing it, most people won’t buy anything more than an 8×10 print if you don’t have other products to show them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you have to sell like a used car salesman. Doing in-person sales (IPS) doesn’t mean up-selling and pushing products on people. If you have done your job well and have beautiful product samples ready, the pictures will sell themselves.

So why is doing IPS so important? IPS lets your clients take your work/products for a test drive. They get to see and feel that awesome leather-bound album. You get to show them that a 16×20 canvas isn’t really all that big on the wall. And most importantly, you get to use your professional knowledge to guide them in their purchase. After all, they hired you because they loved your work and considered you to be a professional.

What sounds more professional to you?

“Your session has been uploaded into the online gallery. The gallery will be open for 2 weeks. If you have any questions let me know.”

OR

“Your session is ready for viewing. We can meet in my studio or wherever is convenient for you. I will have product samples and pricing information for you to review. We will proof your images together so you can narrow down your favorites. The sales session usually only takes an hour and I will deliver your products to you when they are ready.”

I believe that in-person sales sessions are a portrait photographer’s best tool for increasing profit. But it’s not just about profit; it’s about giving your clients professional guidance and professional products that they will cherish forever.

I’m not saying that you should never use online galleries. I think that online galleries can be very beneficial in certain circumstances. For example:

  • Wedding clients (for friends and guests)
  • Commercial clients
  • Events
  • Sports

I won’t speak much on commercial, event and sports clients because it is outside my scope of expertise. But I’d imagine that online galleries would be very beneficial for these busy clients who often need to exclusively purchase digital images.

For wedding clients, I recommend doing in-person sales before you ever post an online gallery as well as having a minimum order requirement that must be met before the gallery will be posted (or just built into your package). This will insure that the client places the bulk of their order in-person with you there to guide them. This also gives the clients an opportunity to see their photos before their guests. Online galleries are great for family, friends & guests to place orders.

I’m strictly a portrait photographer, so I don’t do online galleries at all. Personally, I think the risks outweigh the benefits. You see, when a client shows up for an in-person sales session with me, they know that it is their one big opportunity to view their photos and order products and they want to make sure they get everything they want. If my clients knew that there would be a gallery online for them later, they may hesitate and second-guess their decision and chose to wait. When this happens, they rarely end up ordering much (if anything). But if you really want to offer online galleries to portrait clients, I highly recommend having an order minimum that must be met before the gallery is posted.

I believe that the reason my business is surviving and thriving today is because of in-person sales. I’m so passionate about it that this year I created an in-person proofing app for the iPad to make IPS easy, portable and affordable for all photographers. If you have an iPad, check out YouProof in the app store.

But if you don’t have an iPad, you can always use printed proofs from your professional photo lab. Be sure and get individual proofs and not a proof book (you’ll see why soon). I don’t recommend this in the long run as it is time consuming and expensive, but it’s great for the first few sessions until you’ve made enough to purchase an iPad. Whatever you use, make sure it’s professional. I don’t recommend using a computer or iPad program that isn’t designed for photo proofing. You’re running a top-notch photo business and you don’t want to look cheap!

I hope that helps you! Do you do in-person sales, online galleries or both? I’d love for you to share your experience in the comments!

Editors note: Ann recently answered this question on the YouProof Blog, so we wanted to share her awesome video as well.

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anna-bennettAnn Bennett is a high-school senior portrait photographer serving northeast Oklahoma. She is also the founder of the YouProof app for in-person proofing.

Ann married her high school sweetheart just out of college and they live on a farm with their son, two dogs and two horses. She’s passionate about her faith, her family, photography, and helping photographers profit.

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Tune In To The Dream Bigger Conference – February 2014

February 3-5 marks an amazing point in time for photography and creative industries thanks to the Dream Bigger Conference. Angela Pointon has organized this amazing teleconference where you can listen in from anywhere. Call in, stream in or download the recordings after.

At the Dream Bigger Conference you will learn from extremely creative and unique individuals including our very own Scott Wyden Kivowitz talking about your online presence. You will also hear from Tara Gentile, Don Giannatti, Pascal Depuhl. Sarah Kathleen Peck, Kaye Putnam and so many more.

Tickets are on sale now for a discounted price, but that changes soon.  Sign up for the Dream Bigger Conference for only $79 today.

Scott hopes to see you there!

dream bigger conference

The Business Of An Open Heart

I wrote my mission statement late one night when Andrew was three months old.   Like most mothers with newborns, I was hugely sleep deprived and emotional– probably the best time for me to uncover the raw truth of what is at my core.  In this outpouring stream of consciousness…. there it was, right in black and white, under the bold heading of: “I will strive to incorporate the following attributes into my life”

Welcoming new people and situations with and open heart

When I looked again in the bright light of morning I thought  “Whoa! Where did that come from? And where was my heart closed?”

Wharton professor and social psychologist Adam Grant proposes in his new book, Give and Take, that there are three types of people you will interact with professionally. Givers are people who give freely without asking for anything in return.  Matchers are defined as people who tend to give when they anticipate they will get something in return.  And you know those friends and professional acquaintances that call us only when they need or want something?  They’re the Takers.

While we all tend to be combination, most of us lean towards one of these three orientations when it comes to business.  For a long time, my natural inclination was towards being a giver. I love to teach, to surprise someone with kindness, and help others achieve a goal they didn’t know or think was possible.  Yet, over time, this resounding feeling of being “taken advantage of” began to gnaw on that giving. There was the teaching partner who photocopied my educational material and sold workshop seats with it, claiming the materials as their own.  Or the author who asked me to fill out a lengthy survey for assistance with content and when then book was published, my name was left out as a reference.  Suddenly the giving felt more like naivety and I pulled back within my industry to become much more private.

open-heart

photo by Alonis

Yet, Grant may argue that if I were truly a giver, this wouldn’t matter because someone out there benefitted from that content – even if I wasn’t provided credit for it.  And that should be enough for me to move on and continue to give, with the happiness to know that it most likely helped someone.  So why wasn’t that my first reaction?  Did I really need to pull back to the degree that I did?  Was I really a Matcher after all?  We all want to see ourselves in our best light, but only when we see the shadow can our wholeness come to bear.  Maybe I did have a little Matcher in me after all and the question I had for myself is what I was going to do with that fact.

After hearing Adam speak during his book tour I was able to tie this all together and realize how much I needed his message.  Yes, I might have a little Matcher in me, but I am far more comfortable (and happier) being a Giver.  With Adam in my head, I know I need to continue to have an open heart in each professional interaction.  When I look back on my life, I will be proud of caring for the people I was able to have a positive influence on, instead of worrying about the few that screwed me.

By now you may be saying to yourself “Thanks for the Kumbaya, Laura.  I have no doubt that being a giver makes unicorns and rainbows fly out of your arse…  but what does this have to do with business?” That is the beauty of Adam’s research – Givers do very well in business in the long-term.  Reputational capital if you will, pays huge dividends.

While Takers and Matchers tend to win shorter-term rewards, Givers tend to win out over the long haul because of their reputation as a trusted resource or ally within their fields.   Although Takers tend to find success in their 20s and 30s since they elbow everyone else out, Givers are more successful in their 40s and 50s because they have a huge network of people just dying to help them out and give back.  Of course, giving because you think it will eventually pay off is not the point, but its interesting research nonetheless.

Adam is just one man’s opinion, but it is the voice I been listening to lately and it has worked and is working for me.  So whenever I get a request, I think about truly if I can accommodate it – and if I cannot for some reason I really try to take the time to point the person in the right direction.  Maybe it will come back some day and maybe it won’t, but for me it fulfills my desire to approach every new situation with an open heart.

Laura-NovakI’m in no way saying I’m perfect about having an open heart, the little Matcher in the shadows takes care of that.  What I am saying is that the practice of being present to each interaction has proven enormously valuable to me.  In my creative business (and I suspect most creative businesses), relationship is everything.  Mindfulness is key.  If I can catch myself, I try to remember that I’d like to look back and be grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact, to value the opportunity in front of me instead of what it will bring me in the future.  Yes, a few jerks and Takers slip through every now and then.  So be it.  Giving is its own reward.


Laura Novak has over 10 years of wedding photography experience, and her work has been featured on numerous national and international publications. Visit Laura’s site, www.lauranovak.com, to download a sample album that she used to generate over 1.2 million dollars in wedding business. Laura in Wilmington, Delaware with her husband, John, and baby, Andrew.

Photocrati Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals – Some From Our Friends Too

For the first time ever we are offering a big discount on the Photocrati theme.  But that’s not all we’re offering!  In honor of Black Friday & Cyber Monday we are also offering deals on the Photographer’s SEO Community and NextGEN Gallery Pro.  Each of our deals are available from November 29th – December 2nd, 2013.

Below are those details, and following that are other deals from our friends.

Photocrati Black Friday

For Black Friday & Cyber Monday you can take 27% off the Photocrati theme, making it $65. To top off the deal we are throwing in our SEO eBook which is normally $39 at the Photographer’s SEO Community.  The price will automatically be applied to those purchasing.

Photocrati is a uniquely powerful WordPress theme used by over 17,000 photographers. It’s an all-in-one solution: website & galleries & blog. With it you can create your portfolio, sell photographs with eCommerce galleries and so much more. There are 60 beautiful, built-in styles to get started, additional styles in the free design library and you can customize everything easily without knowing code.

Photo SEO Black Friday

Speaking of the Photographer’s SEO Community, we’re also offering 55% off the annual membership to the community.  The community includes our eBooks, videos, private forums, SEO hubs and more. So instead of $99 a year you can join and improve your photography website’s SEO for only $44.55 a year by using the coupon code BFRIDAY.

The community is filled with tons of educational information and guidance to help your photography website rank higher in search engines.  See what’s included in the Photo SEO community.

NextGEN Gallery Black Friday

Last, but definitely not least, is a large 25% discount on our premium plugin, NextGEN Gallery Pro.  Normally priced at $39 a year, but now only $29 a year for a limited time.  The price will automatically be applied to those purchasing.

NextGEN Gallery is the most popular WordPress gallery plugin available with over 8 million downloads!  NextGEN Gallery Pro is the premium upgrade to the free plugin with enhanced and modern gallery styles, an exclusive Pro Lightbox and so much more.  NextGEN Gallery Pro is a complete gallery management and portfolio solution with over 10 beautiful gallery and album display types, and all full responsive.  The Pro Lightbox is fullscreen and includes individual photo commenting and social sharing.

To recap, here are the deals:

These deals are only valid from November 29th to December 2nd so take advantage of them before it’s too late.

To keep the Black Friday & Cyber Mondays deals coming, here are some that our friends are offering:

  • The Law Tog – 30% all photography contrast using BlackFri30
  • The Modern Tog – Save over $50 on business, finances and marketing products.
  • Psychology for Photographers – $50 off Irresistible Website & Irresistible Words, $109 off Business Library Pack
  • Photography Spark SEO eBook – 60% off SEO Cookbook
  • MCP Actions – 10% storewide on all Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions using the coupon code mcpthanks
  • Steel Toe Images – Pay-what-you-wish Angela’s Worth More eBook + free bonus worksheet
  • Scott Wyden Imagery – 20% off eBooks and presets using the code THANKSGIVINGUKKAH
  • Think Tank Photo –  $50 rebate on rolling camera bags or $100 if combined with an Urban Disguise shoulder bag.
  • Borrow Lenses – 10% off rentals + 4 extra days using the coupon code TURKEYGEAR13
  • Colorvale Actions – 40% off using the coupon code HAPPYTHANKS40 on Black Friday only
  • Topaz Labs – $50 off their complete Collection using the promo code blackfriday2013
  • Laura Novak Education – 40% wedding photography tools using the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY
  • Photography Concentrate –  40% off photography tutorials through Cyber Monday
  • A Small Orange – GOBBLE13 for a discount on shared hosting, TREAT13 for a discount on add-ons and CHEER14 for a discount on hybrid and dedicated plans
  • My Photo Biz Coach – 50% off the Be A  Rock Star Self-Study Workshop
  • Capturing Beauty – 50% off anything in the shop
  • Amazon has a variety of Black Friday deals.
  • Design Aglow Frame & Paper Shop – 15% everything in both shops using the coupon code THANKS
  • WP Engine – 4 months of free WordPress hosting using the coupon code cyberhostspecial13
  • Pixifi – 25% off online studio management system
  • Bluehost – 50% their annual hosting plan making it $3.95 per month and includes a free 1 year domain registration

Pregnancy Photo Shoot: Hints and Tips

Being pregnant is an important and emotional time in any women’s life, and an event that doesn’t happen very often. That is why many pregnant women are looking for ways of preserving the memory of being pregnant and the impact it has on the body. More recently, more women are looking at hiring a professional photographer for the perfect images.  So in light of all this we have decided to put together a list of definitive tips that will make the shoot the best it can be including information on where the shoot should take place but what mother-to-be should wear also.

pregnancy-photo-shoot-hints-and-tips

© Scott Wyden Kivowitz

Where to shoot

Take the Shoot Outdoors:

Whilst so many photo shoots are completed indoors, and there various reasons for that, such as privacy and comfort but why not take the shoot on the road and enhance the images you will have taken.  Taking a natural photograph in the outdoors can be the perfect way so show the beauty of a woman who is ready to bring a new life into the world against a beautiful background of a sunrise draws lovely parallels about nature and will produce great photographic results.

Stay at Home Shoots:

Shooting at home means that the mother-to-be could be more relaxed in a way which has positive effects on the photograph.  Creating a comfortable environment is a good idea also as it encapsulates a moment in time what their life was like when they decided to create a family and how it came to be that their baby became part of it.  A simple photograph setting, for example, could be in the nursery in black and white, waiting on the forthcoming arrival of her child.

What to Wear

Colours:

For the photo-shoot it’s important to remember that you’re not going to be the main attraction the photographer wants, but the bump itself. This requires you to wear clothing that isn’t extravagant or over the top, but plain colours that doesn’t draw attention to you. Darker more bold colours are more popular with women as it does the job of making the bump stand out more than it already does.  Unless you want the images to look more at you rather than the bump then clothing such as scarfs or towels can give the glowing effect you may be after.

Loose clothing:

Some pieces of clothing like socks and jeans can make a pattern on your skin that you won’t want to show while getting your photos taken. Before you turn up, make sure you are wearing comfortable loose clothing that you know won’t be tight to your skin. Dresses, skirts and loose fitting tops are the popular choice to wear before a shoot.

Accessories and effects:

Clothing accessories are good at creating certain effects or to just add colour to the shoot. Some women choose to add baby toys to the image to emphasise that there is a real baby inside that is nearly born. Even simple hand gestures, such as a love heart formed around the bump can show the love for the unborn baby, more than just a picture can.

Michael Smith-Jones began his career doing wedding photography in Buckinghamshire and has since moved onto blogging about photography helping people organise everything from maternity photos to any other special occassion that people like to capture.