The best lens for outdoor maternity photography is the 24-70mm f/2.8 because it has a focal length that ranges from wide to telephoto and it can get close enough to a subject. The lens will also give you a lot of options for depth of field when taking photos. There are several compressors that can be used with this lens as well which increases your possibilities in terms of focal length, capturing motion, etc.
Maternity Photography Overview
There are two types of DSLRs: crop sensor (APS-C) and full-frame (FF). The crop sensor cameras will have more depth of field than the FF because they don’t magnify as much when taking photos.
You’ll need a DSLR with an APS-C or Micro Four Thirds sensor. The crop sensor cameras will have more depth of field than full frame because they don’t magnify as much when taking photos.
Can I use the same lens for Portraits?
Absolutely! The 24-70mm is actually a great lens for portraits. Normally you’d want to use more of the 70mm end of of the lens, rather than 24mm since 70mm will allow the subject to be further away and thus flatten things out a bit. When using wider angles (like 24mm) you can sometimes notice a fish eye effect. It’s not SUPER obvious, but the longer focal length (70mm) is typically more flattering for a shoot like this.
Alternative Camera Lenses
There are plenty of other lenses you can use, but this one is my favorite. It gives you enough zoom range that you don’t have to be right on top of the subject, but allows you to get closer to achieve specific effects (if you want).
Generally, a 24-70mm is a good all-around lens. I always have one with me because it’s so versatile. Obviously, it’s not the right tool for every job, but most of the time it’ll have exactly the option you need.
Will this work for newborn photography too?
Definitely. This lens isn’t just for maternity shoots. As stated above, this is a great all-around lens, so if you’re willing to invest in a quality piece of glass it will allow you to shoot a variety of photos of your baby. Including newborn photography, when they become small kids, and pretty much any other type of portrait you might want to shoot as a photographer.
Maternity Shoot Tips
To take a maternity photo, it can be helpful to stand with your feet slightly apart and have two hands on your stomach. This will give the viewer a sense of the size of your baby bump. You can try different poses (sitting on a bench, for example) or even have your partner hold you from behind for more variety in the types of photos that are taken.
In my case, I wanted maternity photos because I was 20 weeks pregnant at the time. This is because at the 20 weeks mark, the belly is still small, and you can see the miracle of life happening inside.
I wanted to have maternity photos taken even though it was so early in my pregnancy. I also wanted to take some pictures before my baby bump became too big and would start to restrict posing for photos.
One of the best places to take maternity photos for an outdoor shoot would be in a scenic location like a park. The scenery can make for the perfect backdrop. You can take photos on top of hills or mountains, by lakes or rivers, or out in nature.
Just because it may be cold out or something else may seem a more appropriate idea at the time, doesn’t mean that you can’t capture some pictures of your pregnant partner outside.
If you want to take your maternity photos indoors, look for well-lit spaces with loads of natural light such as a park, or any brightly lit space.
If you’re using the lens in a dark environment, use an ISO between 400 and 800 with f/2.8 aperture that will help you take clear photos and minimize noise on your camera’s image sensor.
If you have any questions regarding what equipment or other photography gear to use, don’t hesitate to ask!