As I’m a wedding photographer, my clients often contact me to photographer their maternity sessions.  Since I’m a momma of 4, I know how important and amazing this time is in your life and I love photographing these moments!

Hopefully, you are enjoying your time and glowing, but even if you are not feeling your best, your child will cherish theses photographs when they get older, so it is important to document this moment!

I’m relieved I have photographs of when I was pregnant with my children, even though I really didn’t want to be photographed at that time. My now-adult children love them!   So, here is some maternity session advice to help you prepare and know when to schedule the shoot for:

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What to Wear:

This is the most asked question!  It’s really quite simple. Think about what you want to see in the future. What will your child want to see? Your baby bump of course! So to accentuate that bump, you want to highlight it by wearing clothing that you feel beautiful in and that hug your body and belly.

Clothes that cling are usually your best bet and more flattering. Think about your home and where you will be hanging the photograph. If your home decorated in warm tones, wear warm tones. Avoid heavy patterns, florals, plaids, and checks. Stick to solids and simple prints. But if you love something floral or colorful that won’t look great with the colors of your home, remember that the images can be printed in black or white.

Choose something that is reflective of your personality and timeless. Additionally, you may opt to go bare belly.  Having a bandeau or strapless bra is handy for transitions and under flowing dresses.  Now’s the time to dress up and wear a long flowing gown that hugs your bump!

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The ideal time to take maternity photos is about 28-38 weeks.  This seems a bit far out, but you want to be round and when your belly hasn’t dropped.  This time, you’ll also be feeling good and not swelling like the very end of the pregnancy.  If you are unsure about when, choose earlier than later, as your little one may arrive early.

Lighting and Location:

The great outdoors offers beautiful backdrops that are hard to recreate indoors. The light is best 2 hours after sunrise or two hours before sunset about 8-10 am and 4-6 pm (depending upon the time of year).

In terms of location, it depends upon what you like! You can photographs in a field, a state park, downtown at a cafe.  It just depends upon what type of look you are going for.  Many of my couples like to photograph at the place they did their engagement photographs, but you can really choose anywhere!

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Consider what you’d like to include in the picture; ultrasound printout, alphabet blocks that spell your baby’s name, a chalkboard with babies due date, baby shoes, stuffed animals, flowers, your pets, or whatever you’ve seen in other maternity photos that you like.

Don’t forget the amount of time you are shooting for when you consider what to bring.  Typically, only 3-4 items and use props in order of your most favorite to least, in case you run out of time (or light).

Don’t forget your hair – consider flower crowns or hats.

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Involve the Family:

In a typical session, I’m shooting props, you as a couple and your belly.  But, If you have other children, be sure to capture a few family portraits. Also, consider grandparents or great grandparents in the photos – you’ll appreciate that you did and your children will love to see these images in the future.

If you are bringing children, having someone that can watch them while I focus on you two is a very helpful idea to save time and for safety.

Be Creative:

Your maternity photos should be as unique and special as you are. Don’t be afraid to let me know of any poses you’d like to try. Go onto our Pinterest page to research ideas and make note of your favorite ideas knowing that I will use them as inspiration, but it won’t be an identical photograph.

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Skincare/ Make-up:

Moisturize that belly!  Please don’t use sparkly or body glitter. While it’s cute, it won’t photograph well. Keep your make-up simple. Even if you never wear make-up, you should use some foundation as it evens out your skin tone and smoothes the skin. Just make sure it’s not orange or yellow. Test the color on the back of your wrist near your palm for true color. Additionally, please consider mascara and lipstick (even nude color is good) as it lines the lips.

Or better yet, hire a makeup or hair artist, so you look and feel pampered and beautiful!


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Make sure that you drink a ton of water during the week before the shoot.  It helps skin and hair and your body to feel hydrated.  Moisturize that belly.  Avoid tanning as this can leave tanning lines and or you can burn. I know it’s hard during pregnancy, but getting good rest the week before helps too!

Pack:  Pack what you are bringing the day before. Pregnancy brain is a real thing and almost every mom-to-be forgets something.  Put your outfit(s), jewelry, shoes, etc in one spot along with any props you might bring.

If you order an outfit: Make sure that you order it in plenty of time.  A lot of my moms-to-be say that one outfit didn’t arrive or didn’t fit by the time they took maternity photos.  You don’t want to be frustrated on the day of your shoot with something not fitting and in your last months, you increase in the size or your belly daily.

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No matter if you forgot a prop or your outfit didn’t fit, remember that these photographs are going to be a legacy for your child and grandchildren in the future.  We are gonna have a blast and document this most exciting and beautiful time of your life and the best thing you can do for your shoot is to relax and enjoy the moment!

Are you having a baby or know someone having a baby?

Are you having a baby (or know someone having a baby) that needs maternity portraits, contact me to find out more!

If you loved these tips, please consider sharing on Pinterest:

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