How Should I Prepare for My Maternity Portrait Session – Top 10 Tips
Expecting a new baby is an exciting moment in every woman’s life. It a time for love and passion with your new unborn baby even before you’ve even met. The feeling of growing new life makes every new Mom glow and shine. And what a better time and way to capture the joy and excitement than a maternity portrait session.
As a portrait photographer, I love working with expecting mothers and her husband or partner to craft beautiful and artistic pregnancy portraits. I feel like each mother deserves to have these moments captured and recorded in framed prints to remind her of the day when she was so in love with her unborn baby.
It can be a daunting task to find the right maternity portrait photographer who has the experience and skills to create these portraits. You have so many questions:
– When is the best time?
– What is the best place? Indoors or Outdoors? Could it be at out home?
– What to wear?
– How to prepare for the maternity portrait session?
To help expecting mom prepare for their pregnancy photography sessions, I have compiled the following list of 1o tips.
1. Pick the Best Time:
I recommend scheduling your session between 31 and 36 weeks of your pregnancy. During that time, a woman’s belly has a lovely round shape. The transformation of your body is both beautiful and at the same time interesting to capture in photos. After the 36th week, most women start to feel too bloated and uncomfortable during the session. Another advantage is that also gives you plenty of time to select and order your pregnancy photographs
2. You Needs 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, as a maternity portrait photographer with 8 years experience, I can give you suggestions but every client is unique. Your needs and expectations are unique. Discussing them with me will help me to be in sync and prepare to meet your needs.
If you’ve collected any maternity portrait examples, bring them to your maternity pre-portrait consultation. 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. Printed Portraits Are Beautiful:
If you’re considering having the images from your session printed in a baby book, large format canvases or prints, adding them to your Christmas cards or simply displaying them on your Facebook page, make sure to let me know during your maternity pre-portrait consultation.
It does make a difference if you going to keep these images private (in your bedroom, or only sharing with close family members) or displaying them in public (in your living room or online with all of your friends).
Also if you going to order large prints of your images, the image quality is usually higher than small wallet-size prints or for online. I’ll be able to give you more information and show you samples of the final products, so you can make the right decision.
4. Your Body Will Be Photographed:
During pregnancy woman’s body goes through transformation and is it is not unusual for stretch marks and birthmarks to appear.
As an experienced maternity photographer, I 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. If you have anything about your body which you are not fully comfortable with, please feel free to discuss this with me during your maternity pre-portrait consultation. If you have any tattoos which you don’t want to show up in your final artistic images, I 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.
5. Having Company Is Fun:
Don’t be afraid to bring your husband, children (or even YOUR Mom, if she lives here in town) to your session. Pregnancy is a time when, especially first-time expectant Mothers, develop a closer bond with their own mothers. If you plan on having 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 me to create more family style images and it is a great time for your older children to show their love for your unborn baby. But you may want or 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.
6. Calm Down and Enjoy:
This is the most important and yet most neglected advice I can give to my clients. 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 note to yourself and plan to relax before the session. Try not to schedule anything to close or 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 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 me take care of the details. Enjoying the moment and sinking into the excitement will make you look and feel great. This is what the maternity portrait session is all about. You’re beautiful and your maternal glow is amazing. It’s great to be mother and you should enjoy every minute of it. You’ve hired a qualified and skilled photographer. Let me 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 makes 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:
A big part of having beautiful pregnancy portraits is the posing. During your maternity session, I’ll direct you and explain a variety of beautiful poses, but if you have any specific pose or poses in mind, please make sure to talk to me before the start of your session so I can incorporate and prepare the studio background and lights.
Also share with me your limitations… are there any poses you are uncomfortable with? 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 me to capture maternity images you’ll love!
9. Different Looks Are Interesting:
I pride myself on owning a studio where a pregnant woman can come to her pregnancy photo session with as many or as few clothing options as she likes. You may plan to bring different clothes and outfits to your session as you like or take advantage of our beautiful maternity gowns. 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 baby shoes, ultrasound picture of your baby, banner you or your husband created, pictures, stuffed animals or simply your favorite flower.
The possibilities are endless. Be creative and you would later enjoy the results.