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How to prepare for your Maternity Photography Session

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

Congratulations on your pregnancy! As you prepare for your little one to enter the world and join your family, your to-do list is probably a mile long. Having a professional maternity session may seem like just another item to add to your list, but a maternity shoot can be a perfect time to remind you of the power and beauty of your body during your pregnancy journey. You deserve to have this incredible moment in your life captured, to celebrate with your partner and family the joy of a new baby entering your life. If you’ve never had a maternity session before, you may not know how to prepare or what to expect. That’s why I've put together this handy guide to everything you need to know in order to make the most from your photo session.

Schedule your session early in pregnancy

The earlier you book your session, the better. Your best bet is to book with me for your maternity session is after your 20 week scan, around the time you find out the sex of your baby, it’s important to book as early as possible to make sure I will have availability.

Plan to book your photo shoot for the third trimester

The best time to take your photos is early in your third trimester, between 28 and 36 weeks. At this point, your bump will be showing well and look great in photos, and you will still be able to move around and pose comfortably. While you can have your maternity session later in your pregnancy, there’s a good chance you will have more trouble standing for long periods of time.

Talk to your photographer about your requests

Every photographer is different and every mum-to-be is different as well. If there are specific images you want or don’t want—be sure to let me know. What images are important to you and whether you’re interested in doing partial nudes or glamorous gowns. It’s important to let me know what you’re comfortable with before your session so I can better plan out what shots and poses work best for you.

Pamper yourself

Your hands will appear in almost all of your images, so you want them looking great. Your maternity session is the perfect excuse to pamper yourself a little with a manicure and moisturise those hands!

Consider hiring a makeup artist or having your hair done

I allow my clients to make your own choices about how you want to look. If you really want to look your best, a professional makeup artist is the way to go. A pro will know how to do your makeup so it shows best in photos. If you decide to do your makeup yourself, you want to go a little bolder with your makeup than you normally would to make sure your eyes and lips are well-defined in your images. How about a visit to your hair stylist. If you’re not sure how to have your hair done, think about what you want your photos to look like. If you’re going for a more casual look, a loose and simple hairstyle may be the perfect option. If you want your images to look a little more formal, don’t be afraid to go dramatic with an elegant look. I always recommend clients book in with my gorgeous friend Christina at 'Wild Beauty' if they require hair and makeup prior to their session, her salon is in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire

Get plenty of rest the night before

I know, it can be hard to get any decent sleep during pregnancy, but if you’re able to, go to bed early and try to get a full night’s sleep. That way, you’ll be refreshed and relaxed at your session the next day.

Stay hydrated and don’t skip your breakfast!

It’s critical to drink plenty of water both before and during your session. Hydrated skin will look fresh, and staying hydrated will help keep your energy up throughout the shoot. And even if you have a case of nerves about stepping in front of the camera, be sure to eat breakfast before your session.

Decide who to bring with you

Family is absolutely welcome at your maternity session, especially if you want to include your spouse or your other children. Just keep in mind that extra people can be a distraction and can even make you feel less comfortable in front of the camera, so avoid bringing friends and extended family members along. Space is limited in the studio plus you will be getting frequently changed in front of your loved ones

Choose what to wear

You should think about clothing for other family members who will be part of the session and make sure to choose outfits that coordinate and don’t clash with your own. My studio offers plenty of gown options available but you are very welcome to bring your own, so consult me directly via phone or email to discuss and view my available gowns.

Keep the colour palette simple

You and your baby bump will be the primary focus of your images, so you don’t want to wear any bright colors or loud patterns that will distract. Instead, stick with neutral colors and tones that will look great with any background and any skin tone. Make Sure You Have the Right Undergarments Give some thought to your underwear and bras as well. For example, if you’re wearing a white dress, you don’t want to wear dark panties that will show through the fabric. And if you plan on doing partially nude images, make sure to bring along lacy undergarments that will look good in your photos. I always recommend nude underwear and strapless bras, and some black and white underwear.

Make sure you are prepared for your session

Before your photo shoot, make sure to have a light snack and drink plenty of water. Pack a bag of extra snacks, your underwear and any other items you think you may need throughout your maternity shoot.

Don’t tan!

Be sure to avoid using any artificial tanners or spray tans as they may give your skin an unnatural orange look plus they mark the studio gowns, leave the tanning to me in photoshop!

Make Plans for Your Other Children

If you want to include your older children in your maternity session, it’s a good idea to make plans for someone to pick them up when they’re finished. That way, they don’t have to sit through all the individual shots of you, and you don’t have to worry about keeping them calm or entertained.

Don’t Stress

It’s easier said than done, but do your best to relax and not worry about your session. As your photographer, I will walk you through every pose and position. All you have to do is be your natural, beautiful self.

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