How to prepare for your Maternity Portraits
Updated: Feb 8
Congratulations on your addition to your family! I am so excited for you. So much has and will continue to change and I hope to make this part smooth and easy for you so you can celebrate and enjoy this time in your life. I love capturing moments in my life so I can remember everything about that time. Details like where I was and how it looked and felt. I wanted to share a few ways to prepare for your maternity portraits so you can remember all the wonderful moments.
Here are 6 tips that I've learned from client sessions and watching family and friends experience challenges to help you prepare for your maternity portraits.
Tip #1 - When to take your maternity portraits?
This is probably the most critical tip of them all - when to take pictures. I have photographed early in the pregnancy and really late the pregnancy and the best time seems to be in months 7 and early 8 at the latest. The reason is the size and shape of your baby bump. Too early and it will be too small, but too late and the size will be too big plus the closer to the due date, the more the shape will be based on the baby’s position. The 7th month is also great because depending on how tall mom is will determine how comfortable mom will be and make doing a portrait session less difficult.
Tip #2 - Safety First
I want to ensure all my clients are safe during our sessions which is most important during pregnancy.
When I was younger, a family member broke her ankle stepping off a curb during her last trimester and had to give birth in a cast. So I want to make sure we all take safety into consideration. This doesn't just include the location and clothing we choose, but also what the weather is going to be like during our sessions. Getting overheated can be an issue so we want to make sure we aren't shooting at top temperatures and that we also have water during the hotter months.
We can do this by selecting a location that doesn't have many big hills and offers some shade and places to sit down. Don't be afraid to tell your photographer you need to rest or sit down for a little bit!
Tip #3 - Location
As mentioned above choosing a location means keeping safety in mind, but also what look you have in mind. Do you want a more intimate setting like a session in your own home or do you want nature? Do you have a color theme in mind for the baby's room that a location with more greenery would fit better? How about a rustic theme with a barn?
Another thing to keep in mind for your maternity portraits is the time of year you will be in during those ideal months (7th to early 8th). Beach sessions are great for warmer months and you'd come out with amazing images ending the session in the water! Living in Southern California gives you more time for beach sessions, but there are a few months that it gets really cold at the beach so keep all of that in mind.
Tip #4 - What to Wear
For some, this is the worst part, and for others the most fun - what to wear for your maternity portraits. Do you have a place in mind where your images will be placed, like the nursery, hallway, entryway, or family room? It's a good idea to keep that in mind when choosing a color palette for your session, as well as do you want a little more casual dress or more elegant.
Whichever you choose it is best to choose outfits that highlight your baby bump. Solid colors are a preference of mine only because some patterns can be distracting. Also and very important, make sure you are comfortable in your clothes so you feel your best!
One last thing, if you have shoes that go perfectly with your outfit but they are not comfortable wearing for long periods of time, bring comfortable shoes to walk in and you can throw on the nice ones for the photos when needed.
For more tips on what to wear check out this blog!
Tip #5 - It's in the details
A few things to keep in mind for the best quality maternity portraits happen before your session starts.
The most common images for maternity portraits are hands-on baby bump and this includes close-ups. It is a good idea to prep your hands for the session. Get your nails done or at least cleaned and shaped. Make sure to lotion your hands and arms as well because it will show in the images if they are dry.
Tip #6 - Bring others into your session
Mama and Baby are the stars of maternity portraits but it is great to add Dad and siblings to the session. It's a time to celebrate as a family and document this time in your life as memories you will cherish.
I hope that was helpful!
I hope these 6 tips on how to prepare for your maternity session are helpful. Not knowing when to take them, how to be safe, and where to take them can be stressful when planning your session. You have so much happening already, I want to make it less stressful so you spend more time enjoying the experience.
You can check out this blog for my latest maternity portrait session
If you have any questions or would like to book a session with me feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dm me on Ig @biancajophotography Head over to my website to see more of my work.