City maternity shoots get a creative spin | Kolkata News

A few years ago, actress Sameera Reddy, heavily pregnant with her second child, took the social media by storm after she posted photographs of her underwater maternity shoot. The shoot clearly aimed at embracing body positivity and that struck a chord with netizens who applauded her endeavour. Gone are the days when pregnant women would hide their bellies under layers of loosely fitted tops and ruffled gowns. Thankfully, the situation has changed. More and more expectant mothers are planning to get a photo shoot done just a few weeks prior to their delivery dates to capture the special moment in their life.
Maternity photographer Amrita Samant, one of the pioneers in the field, tells us that when she chose to do maternity photography back in 2013, it was
still an unfamiliar topic for many. “Back then, it was a new concept, given that there are deeply-rooted taboos in our society about showing the baby bump. Over the
years, the change is drastic. Women are willing to do a photoshoot even a week before their due date. It’s become a kind of ritual of sorts,” says Amrita, whose brand is established across India and Singapore.
Dawn of a new era

Debashree Manna (8)

“Maternity shoots are definitely heading towards high fashion,” says Mumbai-based stylist Shikha Dhandia. “It’s no longer just about posting pictures on social
media. Women are ready to take a sensual approach and are willing to bare themselves,” she adds.
Stylist’s top tip
Are you a mother-to-be who is planning a maternity shoot? Shikha has a top tip for you. “Be mindful of your budget, especially when sourcing garments, since you will most likely never wear these clothes again. So, instead of buying new clothes, I recommend rentals. There are a lot of outlets that offer such services, so make the most of them,” she says.
‘Maternity shoots must reflect a woman’s personality’

Tamalika Sen (5)

Since a maternity shoot is very different from a regular one, a lot of planning goes into it. One has to set up the mood board, think what to wear, right makeup, get proper props etc. Entrepraneur Avantika Saraogi Butta, who recently did her maternity shoot, says, “I’ve always been a passionate dancer and also studied dance in the US. As dance is very close to my heart, I wanted my maternity shoot to reflect my love for the art. So, instead of the regular maternity shoot with flowy gowns, I chose to wear a bodysuit and pose in contemporary dance postures while flaunting my baby bump. The pictures not only reflect my personality but also show how I am celebrating my body.”
Photographer Sudipto Chanda explains, “The most important aspect of any maternity shoot is to focus on the baby bump. The photos should also reflect the expectant mother’s happiness.”
Are Kolkata women ready to experiment?

Preeti Agarwal (1)

According to Rashi Kankaria, who started doing maternity shoots some 11 years ago, people in Kolkata want to explore innovative themes these days. But when it comes to flaunting their baby bumps, there are only a few who dare to bare. Earlier, she would get only one assignment per month, but the situation has changed. “Now, I do a minimum of two maternity shoots per week and sometimes the number is higher. However, women here are sometimes very conscious of their bodies. And I
want my clients to feel extremely comfortable while they are shooting. So,
I am very particular about how I make them pose,” shares Rashi.
Preeti Agarwal, a resident of Park Street, who has recently done an open-tummy maternity shoot says that she never felt like hiding her baby bump under layers of clothing. “The pregnancy journey is very special and I wanted to embrace my body the way it is. When I saw an open-tummy shoot picture at the photographer’s studio, I wanted to do something similar. My husband and my family members were very supportive,” shares Preeti.
Pregnancy looks that made heads turn
Beyonce

Beyonce

At the 2017 Grammys, Beyonce´, pregnant with twins, channelled her inner Oshun goddess and took the stage clad in an ethereal golden gown by Peter Dundas. She topped off the look with a gold headpiece and billowing scarves for some extra drama.
Rihanna

Rihanna

Pop icon Rihanna recently broke the internet with her pregnancy pictures. The fashion mogul released a series of pictures by celebrity photographer Miles Diggs, in which she’s seen casually sporting a vintage pink Chanel puffer jacket, unbuttoned to boldly flaunt her baby bump. Rihanna paired this with baggy denims and to top it all, accessorised the outfit with a few layers of bejewelled chains. The pop star’s maternity look made quite a stir in the fashion world.
Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid

At her maternity photoshoot directed by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Gigi Hadid sported a ‘wet-look’ by Di Petsa. Her statement flowy sheer dress softly draped over her form, both concealing and revealing her bump at the same time.
How to ace the perfect maternity shoot
1. Maternity shoot should be done in the third trimester, between 32-38 weeks, since the bump has a beautiful round shape by this time. Many want their protruding belly button to be prominently shown in the photos, so the third trimester is the perfect time for a shoot
2. Wear clothes that will look flattering on you and also reflect your personality. Body-hugging yet comfortable clothes make the baby bump look lovely in the photographs. For a bare tummy photo, wear something flowy with a front slit up to your tummy
3. Plan your maternity shoot well in advance and book a photographer you will be comfortable shooting with. Discuss the mood board, poses and your expectations from the shoot

Namita Ujjwal (6)

4. Select a location — be it outdoors or indoors — keeping in mind the pros and cons. Using soft, natural lighting for an outdoor shoot amidst greenery can make your maternity photos look vibrant. During indoor shoots, you can click more intimate photographs with your partner
5. If it’s your second baby, then bring along the elder child along with your partner for a lovely family photo. Your pet (if you have) can also
tag along with you to the shoot for a memorable experience
— Inputs by Partha Pratim Mukherjee, maternity and newborn photographer

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