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News & Insight

Ciara’s Awkward Maternity Session Teaches Us #PosingMatters

By Shivani Reddy on March 9th 2017

A couple of week’s ago media outlets and social media news feeds were inundated with Beyonce’s avant-garde maternity session. A solo image released on her personal Instagram garnered over 10.7 million likes to become the most ‘liked’ image in Instagram history. This portrait session unknowingly set the precedence for the standard of maternity photos to come.


Two days ago, R&B singer Ciara unveiled her very own maternity session by giving us a sneak peek of what lies in the pages of her Harper’s Bazaar editorial spread:

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara) on

Take a moment to analyze further past the soft, diffused studio lighting and fixate on her husband, Russell Wilson, kneeling behind her. This session, photographed by Dani Brubaker, is, in it’s entirety, beautifully lit and shows technical experience and artistry, but this one photo sticks out like a sore thumb.

Now, obviously, as photographers we know that posing is among one of the core foundational elements that makes a photograph great, tied with composition, lighting, and story, but even to an average non-photographer viewing the image, you can’t help but feel uncomfortable by the stance of her husband, crouched low behind her where his head is invisible. Other than creating a media storm, the image has raised the obvious question of what he is even doing back there and why a photographer wouldn’t crop to conceal the odd stance or position him into anything other than this pose.

While the other images in the session exhibit skill and sound technical abilities, it just goes to show that any one thing, no matter how small, has the potential to ruin a photo. This, my friends, is a lesson in not only how pertinent posing is to our profession, but also the importance of the crop.

[STREAM NOW: The complete posing workshop]

The Photographer’s stunning spread of Ciara & her family is actually quite tasteful and is a remarkable representation of beauty in pregnancy & motherhood, so it’s quite unfortunate that this one picture is clogging the attention of media, serving as the laughing stock of an otherwise marvelous milestone for a family, welcoming another beating heart into their lives. That said, let this serve as a cautionary tale to those that struggle with the art of posing and body language: pay attention to posing and framing and don’t let this happen to you! If you are in need of some guidance you can check out The Complete Posing Workshop that will most definitely help you avoid making a mistake like this.

What are your thoughts on the photos? Let us know in the comments below and see the full spread here.

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Shivani wants to live in a world where laughter is the cure to pretty much everything. Since she can’t claim “Serial Bingewatcher” as an occupation, she’ll settle for wedding/portrait photographer at Lin and Jirsa & marketing coordinator here at SLR Lounge. For those rare moments when you won’t find a camera in her hand, she will be dancing, eating a donut, or most likely watching Seinfeld.

Follow her on Instagram: @shivalry_inc

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Patrick Oconnor

    Odd, to be sure, but when I see a field of flowers, I only remember the blooms, not the weeds.

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