Maternity Photography session | Shaws Bridge Belfast

Hello there everyone. I am so excited to blog these stunning images from my incredible maternity photography session on location in Belfast with Jo. When me and Jo started chatting online I knew I was going to love her! And that we would have an amazing time on our photoshoot. I know my sessions are going to be brilliant when my clients are all about having fun, laughing ALOT, getting outdoors an generally having a bit of an adventure.

The location

Me and Jo adventured to one of my favourite locations in Belfast, Shaws Bridge. I use it very often on maternity photoshoots, family sessions, engagements and couples session. It really is one of the perfect places to get great variety for my images. To explore, be surrounded by nature and to get those beautiful backdrops, no matter which season. I may also have a soft spot for it because we always make some dog friends over there. And lets be honest, that’s always going too make your day!

Shaws bridge was one of my first little adventures when I moved to Belfast over 5 years ago and I rediscovered it 3 years ago, when out on one of my very long walks, doing a test shoot with my partner. I actually have shots of him in the exact same spot, who can resist a tree tunnel?!

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I really love being able to look back on these images and see how my photography has progressed and how my style has developed. Both sets of images were captured with my Nikon d5300. Three years ago it was brand new and I was testing it out and trying the fun on camera features and settings. Now it is my old faithful and I know my preferred setting like the back of my hand.

the editing

Getting lightroom cc was definitely one of the best moves I have made for my business. It’s quick, efficient and perfect for simple little edits. It was so amazing to me to be able to bulk edit entire folders and it is also amazing for culling photos quickly. That way my clients can see their image and make their selection much quicker. I believe this is especially important nowadays, people including myself, are so used to instantaneous images from phones etc so a fast turnover is necessary for good business. Happily I was able to show samples from her maternity session the next day, which was so lovely for her and her family who couldn’t wait to see the images!

The images above are a great example of how small changes in your clients pose or expression can transform the shot. Softer, proud, strong, coy and then they black and white versions create a sense of timeless elegance and classic poise. Also I love how bright and stand out Jo’s hair becomes. Business wise it also means your client is more likely to want more images in their package. The images are all beautiful and cohesive but each has a different element to love. The more variety the better.

We shot during that perfect golden hour of light on a perfect Autumn come Winter afternoon. I managed to capture beautiful golden dusky light and the last rusted burnt orange colours of  Autumn. I really loved the contrast of the natural tones and the landscape of nature against Jo’s amazing pink hair and her rock n roll personality. She is literally one of the coolest mums I’ve ever met.

I constantly use lot of layers in my photographs, it creates a great depth and a much more interesting image. Once I developed this style I find any images without it rather flat. I particularly like using the branches and leaves as a frame to my subject. Using my favourite 50mm lense with a wide open aperture at 1.6, f/1.8, exposure 1/500 and an ISO of 320.


Changing up locations and backdrops means I can offer my clients a wide range of images. It allows me opportunity to play around with different pose ideas and have lots of banter and fun with my clients. Often a spontaneous area found during the shoot will deliver my favourite images from  a session. So never be afraid to go off plan and try something new. This is how I found my new signature style that i fell in love with and my clients did too!

I also can’t resist a bit of lense flare, luckily the backdrop fitted in with this and we captured these gorgeous images! I always have a preshoot consultation with my clients to discuss location theme and styles. This helps me plan ahead and understand the look that my client will love and that will match my aesthetic as a photographer. Jo’s quirky style completely compliments my alternative, bohemian, nature driven goals. It is great when your ideas and a clients match but you also have to be able to adapt. Find a great medium ground from what your ideals are to what you clients want to achieve.  I couldn’t be happier to share Jo’s gallery.


Em x

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