Preparing for a Maternity Photo Shoot

I love photographing this amazing time in a mother’s life. Hopefully, you are enjoying your time and glowing, but even if you are not feeling your best, your child will cherish these photographs when they get older, so it’s important to document them. 

Being a mother of four, I’m relieved I have photographs, even though I really didn’t want to be photographed at that time.  My teens and adult children love them!  I am so honored to photograph this amazing moment in your life. 

Below is some advice that you may find helpful to prepare yourself for this photoshoot. 


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, highlight that bump by wearing clothing that you feel beautiful in and that hugs your body and belly.  Clothes that cling are usually your best bet and are more flattering.  Think about your home and where you will be hanging the photograph.  If your home is decorated in warm tones, wear warm tones.  Avoid heavy patterns, florals, plaids, and checks.  Stick to solids and simple prints.  White and black look particularly good and can be printed in color or black or white. Choose something that is reflective of your personality and timeless. Additionally, you may opt to go bare belly. Sheer curtains or white/black sheets wrapped around your body create a really interesting look.  Jeans and a button-up shirt also make it easy to transition into showing your belly. Having a bandeau or strapless bra is handy for transitions and under flowing dresses.


The ideal time to take maternity photos is about 24-38 weeks.  You want to be round (belly hasn’t dropped) and feeling good – not swelling.  It’s always best to do it earlier than later, as your little one may arrive early.

maternity session with jen vazquez photography maternity portrait 1

Lighting and Location

Outdoors: The great outdoors offers beautiful backdrops that are hard to recreate indoors. The light is best between 8-10 am and 4-6 pm to photograph anywhere outside.  If possible, plan to be photographed during that time. If not, at least steer clear of direct sunlight to avoid harsh shadows.  At Home: If you prefer a little privacy (want to wear limited clothing), your home may be the ideal location, in particular, your backyard.  Grass and fences make a great background.  Additionally, your bedroom and nursery are great places to capture your life before the baby. We would need to shoot in the brightest rooms near windows, although we can bring lights, natural light makes the best pictures.


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

maternity shoot jen vazquez photography maternity session belly 7

Involve the Family

In addition to individual photos of you and your beautiful belly, how about capturing a few shots of you and your significant other before your new baby arrives. If you have other children, be sure to capture a few mother and child moments, as well as include them for a family portrait.  Also, consider grandparents or great grandparents in the photos – you’ll appreciate that you did and your children will love to see them in the future.

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 notes of your favorite ideas.  I love to be creative and try new things and you deserve to feel beautiful, amazing and get incredible photographs. I really want you to enjoy every minute of it.

maternity session with jen vazquez photography maternity portrait 6

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.  These few items will help you look your best.

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Preparing for your maternity photo shoot
How to prepare for your Maternity Session
How to prepare for your Maternity Session by Bay area Photographer Jen Vazquez Photography