7 Simple Steps to a Successful Maternity Photo Session

I am such a lucky duck being able to photograph so many gorgeous pregnant ladies! There is something extra special, a gentle aura, that surrounds an expecting momma. It just makes these sessions so much sweeter to photograph.

Over the years, I have collected a little list of items to help an expecting momma be prepared for their maternity session! Here are 7 of them. I hope you’ll find it as helpful as many of my past clients!


1.  Timing: Book your session early. Maternity shoots are best between 30-36 weeks. Keep in mind that every pregnancy is a bit different and there is no foolproof recipe for knowing the best time for a shoot. Plan your session when your belly is nice and round but you’re still energized enough to be on your feet and move around comfortably.

2.  Studio or on location: Think about what type of portraits you are you looking for in your pregnancy pictures? Do you prefer beachy, urban, scenic, or rural pictures? Are you looking for lifestyle or posed, studio or outdoor portraits or maybe both?

If you have trouble deciding (no worries, I know it’s not an easy task), imagine your portrait on a wall in your house. If you are imagining a bedroom wall, how about an intimate picture from a studio shoot, if it is a living room, maybe a picture of a fun stroll on the beach would be more appropriate?… decisions, decisions… 🙂

3.  Clothing: Many of us photographers have gowns available for our clients. I even have a “trade-in” system where my clients can trade in their gowns for digitals or credit towards a future session (as long as they purchased them from my vendor list).

The clothing you will chose very much depends on your style and settings for the session. Do you prefer a big flowy dress, or an intimate lacey bodysuit, a cute little sundress, a bikini, or maybe even your birthdays suit? Think of layers, flowers, headbands, a sunhat, aor other fun accessories, to add variety to your gallery. When it comes to colors, adapt to your surroundings, such as pastels for beach or go the opposite and make a big statement for example with a big red dress… the final gallery should represent you and let your personality shine through.

Think ahead if you like to do outfit changes during your session and discuss it with your photographer. How do you get changed in public? Some mamas don’t mind a quick clothe swap in the open (especially on the beach) but for the ones that do, I can offer a little pop up changing room/tent that I can bring to my sessions 🙂

4.  Keepsakes: Keepsakes are a wonderful and playful addition to your photoshoot. Bring an ultrasound, an outfit, itty bitty shoes, a teddy bear, a picture of a loved ones that you’d like to have photographed during your session or how about a special something you’d like to gift to your baby once she/he is born. The ideas are endless and hey, maybe it’s even a cute way to start a new family tradition.

5.  Fuel up: Don’t forget to fuel and drink up before and during your session. Make sure to keep hydrated as you don’t want to get dizzy during a session. The studios have many lights and you may get warm and dehydrated faster than usual. During outdoor sessions you may walk a little further and move a bit more than on a regular day, so take a break whenever you need to and fuel up. This is especially true here in Florida!

6.  Idea board: Grab your notebook and create an idea board. Maybe it will inspire you to do something extra special. Where did you meet your spouse? Is there a close location that is extra special to you? Do you have a pet that you want to include in the shoot (for so many of us, pets, especially dogs, were our first babies)? What or who inspired the name of your baby (if you have picked one yet)? Think about your favorite colors and the look of your nursery. Are you planning on hanging your maternity pictures? Should they match your decor?..

Also, while Pinterest is fun to look at and the online pin board may help spark new ideas, use it for inspiration solely. Stay away from copying someone else’s ideas. Create your own personal shoot and put your own unique thumbprint on it. It’s so much more fun that way anyway and your photographer will thank you!

7.  Keep it Fun: Turn your photoshoot into fun outing with your partner and/or family. It is such a wonderful time in your life and you chose to capture it with a professional photo shoot. Make it extra special by getting your hair or nails done, or enjoy a nice dinner at a restaurant afterwards. Make it your day to celebrate this wonderful miracle in your belly. You will look back at the pictures and remember how truly special the whole day was.

 

Are you ready to create some memories? Let’s chat about how we can make your vision come to life. Contact me HERE. I am excited to hear from you soon!

With love,

Joelle

Joelle is a South Florida Fine Art Family Photographer specializing in the Artistry of Newborn, Maternity, Senior, and Family Portraits. She is located in Jupiter Florida where she resides with her husband, three young children, and fur baby Miles. Joelle serves the Jupiter, Tequesta, Jupiter Farms, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Palm Beach County, Martin County, St. Lucie, and Broward County area.