Congratulations on the incoming baby in your life, and hello from me! In the busy-ness of life, it’s not often that we set aside some time to appreciate what our bodies can do. In my opinion, pregnancy is one of the most beautiful things in life. Scheduling a maternity session is the perfect way to celebrate the everyday miracles that happen during this process. Your body is making another human even through exhaustion, back pain, and nausea! If that’s not worth celebrating, I don’t know what is.
When to book
A question that comes up a lot is, “when is the best time to book maternity photos?” This is an important one to get right – most people aren’t up for booking two maternity sessions in the same pregnancy. But the answer isn’t so clear cut. It’s different for everyone. So, how do you know?
As a rule of thumb, anytime between 28 and 34 weeks is a good time. But babies will arrive when they want to, so if you’re having twins or you suspect your little one might be making their big entrance into the world early, it’s safer to do it sooner rather than later. If you’ve been pregnant before, chances are you’ll show earlier, so you could book earlier. The earlier you book, the more options we’ll have with posing and location.
What to expect
If you feel a little nervous, just know that this is totally normal. Most of us feel a little awkward in front of a camera!
During the photoshoot, don’t worry if you don’t know what to do. It’s my job to direct you so you don’t feel awkward or uncertain. Most people just automatically look at the camera and smile, but I’ll probably tell you to look out the window, or down towards your belly, or towards the scenery. I’m sure you have lots of photos in your phone of you looking at the camera and smiling – I want this to be different.
I find that some of the most authentic images come when you’re absorbed in whatever it is you’re doing, whether that’s making your partner laugh, talking to the little guy in your womb, or picking flowers. I promise I’ll let you know when it’s appropriate to look at the camera. Until then, just do your thing and let yourself be however you want to be.
How to prepare
Depending on how your pregnancy is unfolding, doing a shoot could be really empowering or really exhausting. Sometimes, it’s a combination of the two. I feel confident in my ability to take gorgeous photographs of you regardless of whether we’re in your home or on the beach – but I don’t want to push you beyond your physical capacity. I’d rather play it safe so that you feel relaxed enough to focus on just enjoying yourself and capturing this super special time in your life.
As a little precaution, it’s good to get the all-clear from your doctor. They’ll know how much you can exert yourself and we can plan our shoot accordingly.
The day before the shoot, throw some things in a bag that will support you during our session. These things could be the following, or whatever else comes to mind.
- Extra clothes for if the weather changes
- Snacks and water
- A portable speaker to get you in the mood
- Hairbrush, extra makeup
What to wear
For maternity shoots, nude and raw images can be incredibly stunning, enhancing your expectant curves and featuring your blooming belly. But depending on how you want to remember your pregnancy and who you expect to see the images, there are a couple of things to consider.
If you want to keep your clothes on, here’s what we recommend wearing:
- Maxi dresses
- Dresses that have a high waistline or slit. Fabrics with lots of texture, like lace or sheer fabric
- Long flowy skirts with a crop top or bandeau bra
- Cozy, knit pieces
- Usually the best route is to go with something that you know is comfy and fits well. Wear things that you’ve already worn before.
- We want you focusing on being you in front of the camera, not worrying about that itchy tag or the way the shirt rides up your back in a weird way.
If you’re leaning towards your birthday suit, I’d advise you to moisturize your belly and stay tuned into your comfort levels. Here’s what I promise you:
- You can change your mind at any point.
- I will continuously check in with you to make sure you’re still comfortable.
- I will listen. Please feel free to let me know about the borders of your personal space – I’m always happy to put a zoom lens on my camera if at any point it feels a little bit confronting to have a camera so close to you.
Wear something that’ll keep you cool in summer, warm in winter, and that’ll make you feel like the stunning mumma that you are. Bring a couple outfits so that we can play with different options and combinations. Once we pick a location together, we can discuss color palettes that will help you stand out beautifully against your environment. *Be careful with prints, logos, and bright colors as sometimes these detract from the most important parts of the photograph – you!
Choosing a location
I know that sometimes choosing a location can feel pretty overwhelming – there are so many beautiful and photogenic places in this world. But I’m interested in places that hold a special significance for you. This could be your bedroom, your backyard, the local arboretum, the beach, or your favorite park. Where do you feel most at peace?
Don’t worry if nowhere comes to mind, I have so many places up my sleeve that I know you would love.
Bringing the family
It can be incredibly special having your loved ones join you in front of the camera for your maternity shoot. There’s something so heartwarming about being able to look at the photographs and actually see the connection between yourself, your unborn little one, your partner and/or your other soon-to-be big siblings.
Getting them on board can sometimes be a bit of a struggle – though it’s often easier to get the younger kids to come along than it is a hesitant partner. Letting kids be silly, and giving them the chance to see the session as a game is our best chance of capturing some joyful, authentic moments.
If your partner is dragging their heels, try to let them know that it’s normal to be less-than-thrilled about being in front of the camera. The photographs that you’ll be able to look back on will make it all worth it!
Besides, it’ll be way more fun than they think! I won’t make anyone stand in front of me and look into the lens the entire time – we’ll be doing things in the most relaxed way possible so nobody has to force a smile or feel overwhelmed and awkward.
Hair, nails, makeup
If you’re not one of the lucky ones blessed with that pregnancy glow – or if you are but just want to take the opportunity to get pampered – I’d recommend getting your makeup done. Whether you’re doing it yourself, or whether you treat yourself to a professional, it’s always a bit fun to get gussied up.
Why not go get a subtle manicure while you’re at it? I’ll be getting you to frame your belly with your hands at least a couple of times during the session and being self-conscious about flaky nail polish or chipped nails is not what I want you to be thinking about.
And as for hair, I’m a sucker for the way a wild mane blows in the breeze. If you’re going to go and get your hair done, steer clear of the up-do. With your hair down, you get movement, romance, and some perfect slices of imperfection in the best possible way.
Don’t forget we’re here to capture you as you are. The goal is to still look like yourself.