January 2021 // The Beauty Edition

Maternity Posing | Donatella Nicolini


Hands can make or break a photo!

A common mistake is to have stiff, rigid hands with completely straight fingers. Generally speaking, our goal is to avoid unnatural-looking hands. We’re aiming for soft, slightly bent fingers, ballerina-like hands. I always use the example of ballerina hands to help my clients understand what I’m asking them to do. Another hands-related mistake clients often make during a maternity photoshoot is to stick out their thumb when positioning one hand under the belly. This is very common in maternity portraits and you need to pay attention to it and correct it by telling your model to put her thumb down. The majority of the time they are not even aware they’re doing that, it’s something very automatic. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that maternity posing is limited and you always have to pose your client’s hands around the belly. Yes, our goal is to show the belly and make it noticeable, but we can do that in many different ways.

For example, by using a wet sheer fabric like I did in this photo, where I used 4 meters of silk chiffon sprayed with water. I was able to put enough attention and definition to the belly shape while having the freedom to position the hands more creatively. Feel free to experiment and use the hands of your subject to express your creative vision. To add variety to your hand posing, try to give those hands a purpose! Give your model something to hold, like I did here with flowers. As I said, whenever I’m not posing hands around the belly, I make sure the shape of the belly is well visible. In this case I used shadows to create a contrast area that brings attention to the roundness and size of the baby bump.

Hands and arms add interest to a portrait and I invite you to play around and try different combinations when posing your maternity clients.

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