Preparing for a Maternity Photo Session

Expecting a new baby is such an exciting time in every woman’s life.  The feeling of growing new life although often followed by pains and aches, makes every new mother glow and shine. And what a better time and way to capture the joy and excitement than maternity portrait session.

Here are a few tips to help you plan.

1. Pick the Best Time:

It is recommended to schedule your session is between 31 and 36 weeks of your pregnancy. During that time, your pregnant belly has a lovely round shape. The transformation of your body is both beautiful, so don’t forget to lather on that organic stretch mark cream.  Planning farther ahead gives you plenty of time to select and order your pregnancy photographs.

2. You Are Unique:

It’s a good idea to discuss with your photographer any ideas about poses, look, location or props you might have in mind. Sure the maternity portrait photographer would have the experience and suggestions for you, but you are unique. Your needs and expectations are unique. Discussing them would help the photographer to be in sync and prepare. If you have collected any maternity portrait examples, bring them to the consultation session.  There are so many great examples on the web: Pinterest or blogs. Even printed magazines or friend’s albums could be a source of inspiration. Visual examples are easy to understand and discuss.

3. Your Baby Body Will Be Photographed:

During pregnancy woman’s body goes through transformation and is not usual for stretch marks and birthmarks to appear (are you using an organic belly cream or  organic belly oil yet?). An experienced maternity photographer would know how to pose you so that these are less or not all visible. The same is true if any parts of your body have developed sensitivity during the pregnancy. Be sure to discuss this if you have anything about your body which you are not fully comfortable with. If you have any tattoos which you don’t want to show up in your final artistic images, the photographer can use your clothing or posing to hide this. The other option is to ask for retouching in post-processing to remove these completely from your final images.

4. Have them by your side:

Don’t be afraid to bring your husband or older children to your session. If you plan to have them both, plan to have your children photographed first and arrange for someone to take them home after that. Having others be part of your session allows the photographer to create more family like images and it is a great time for your older children to show the love for your unborn baby. You would need the privacy and quiet time for more images with your husband or alone. More intimate maternity portraits require you to feel relaxed and undisturbed, so privacy is something to consider when planning your session.

5. Calm Down and Enjoy:

Sure you will be excited and would do anything in your power to look great in your images, but if you are not relaxed or uneasy, then this will show into your final photographs. So take a mental not to yourself and plan to relax before the session. Need some extra help?  Bring along our Calming Spritz, it’s formulated just of you Try not to schedule anything to close of too hectic before the session. Go to your favorite spa, pamper yourself with manicure and pedicure, have your hair and makeup done in a salon instead of you trying to do everything before the session. Taking a short nap is another way to feel relaxed and well rested.

Once in the studio and during the session, let the photographer take care of the details. Enjoying the moment and sinking into the excitement will make you look and feel great. This is all what the maternity portrait session is all about. You are beautiful and your maternal glow is amazing. It is great to be mother and you should enjoy every minute of it. You hired a qualified and skilled photographer. Let him take care of the photo shoot.

7. Clothing Does Matter: 

Stretching garments and clothing can leave marks on your beautiful round belly. Plan to remove any tight clothes and elastic bands from your body at least 2 hours before the start of your session to allow any marks to disappear. This includes socks, bras, snug underwear or maternity pants. Dressing in robe or lose dress will keep your skin smooth. Wearing slippers or slip on shoes would make it easy for you to take them off. Not having skin marks is especially important if you plan to have nude or semi-nude images taken. The beauty of your belly and body would be spoiled by any marks left by the clothing or undergarments and these could be easily avoided by simply planning ahead.

8. Posing Helps Create Great Photographs: 

Big part of having beautiful pregnancy portraits is the posing. Most likely your photographer would direct you and explain how you should pose, but if you have any specific pose or poses in mind, make sure to talk to him before the start of your session. This will allow the photographer to incorporate and prepare the studio background and lights.

Also discuss about what poses you are comfortable or willing to put a limit up to. Are you comfortable posing without any clothing? Are you looking for more intimate or more conservative poses? Are you looking for high key (bright and white background) images or low key (moody and black background) images instead? Are you looking for color or black and white images? More lifestyle or more artistic? These are all personal preferences and expectations which will help your photographer to pose and capture for you. So don’t assume. Talk to him and agree before the session.

9. Different Looks Are Interesting: 

Plan to bring different clothes and outfits to your session. You would spend at least one hours and you most likely wouldn’t want to appear in the same clothes on all of your images. Having different outfits in your pregnancy photos is a good idea. It will also give you a chance to catch your breath and try different styles. In general, fabrics which adhere to the body shape are best choice so your round belly can be well visible. Stretchy fabrics and clothes which you can slip into and unzip easily are the best. Another idea is to bring wraps, scarfs or fabric to wrap around your body for more artistic look.

10. Don’t Fret The Accessories: 

Finally, the accessories. Many women think this is not a good idea for maternity session, but when applied with moderation and with a good sense of taste, accessories add additional focal point and interest to your photos. And this is not just jewelry? You can bring bay shoes, ultrasound picture of your baby, banner you are your husband created, pictures, stuffed animals or simply your favorite flower. I have photographed a husband pretending to water his wife tummy with a cute little watering can, just to give you another idea. Possibilities are endless. Be creative and you would later enjoy the results.