.PREPARING FOR YOUR MATERNITY SESSION.
HELLO! Brand new mother-to-be!
So you’re at the precipice of one of the most wonderful changes in your life! The energy that comes with this kind of change can be really palpable and yet, so, SO beautiful. I have yet to meet a pregnant mama who wasn’t nervous about the thought of having a professional portrait session featuring their ever-changing body at a time when they don’t always feel their best- but with a little preparation and a photographer you trust [that means ME!], you will walk away not only having enjoyed this process, but I can almost assure you that you will be SO glad that you took the time to document the beginning of your new baby’s journey. Most importantly, think about how priceless these photos will be to your child someday.
.SCHEDULING YOUR SESSION.
For most moms, scheduling your session anywhere between 32 - 36 weeks is ideal. The goal here is for you to feature a nice, round belly - while you are still feeling great and not feeling too swollen or uncomfortable. However, listen to your body! Every woman carries their children differently and you should schedule your session according ton that. Moms of multiples should typically schedule their session a few weeks earlier than 32 weeks.
.WHAT TO WEAR.
The cardinal rule is to wear clothing that makes you feel beautiful. If you feel confident, that will shine through in your photos. Let’s start this process with selecting the right undergarments! A well-fitted bra and supportive maternity shape-wear will make anything you wear look even better.
Solid colors, maxi dresses, and open necklines are universally flattering. Make sure that you choose fabrics and silhouettes that hug your curves and show off the belly. A thin belt just under the bust can give shape to looser dresses or shirts. Layers like scarves, cardigans, and jackets along with accessories can change up your look without the need for changing your outfit. Don’t forget to look for your session outfits in the “regular” sections of stores, too! There are beautiful dresses with high waistlines that look amazing on pregnant women.
I always, always, ALWAYS recommend that you hire a professional for makeup and hair for these kinds of shoots. A professional makeup artist knows what products to use for the camera and can do any look you choose from completely natural to more dramatic. A photo session is a fabulous “excuse” to pamper yourself! [Looking for suggestions for hair and makeup, don’t hesitate to ask!] I work with a number of top professionals in the area. And the best part is, many of them will come to you!
If you do decide to work with processional hair and makeup artists for your shoot - don’t choose a look that is drastically different than your every day look. You want to feel like yourself, only a bit more polished.
Treat yourself to a manicure a day or two before your shoot. Your hands will be featured prominently in many of the photos. A simple buff or clear polish will give you the most timeless look. At the very least, make sure nails are clean and trimmed! [This goes for partners, siblings, and anyone else that will be in the photos with you].
Drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your shoot and avoid excess salt for glowing skin and to avoid swelling. If you’re planning to take any bare-belly shots, remove or loosen anything binding [socks, underwear, elastic bands, etc.] a couple of hours before to avoid indentations on your skin.
Be sure to bring plenty of water and a snack for yourself if you will be shooting on location. It’s always nice to take a break and recharge! Believe it or not, modeling can be hard work [especially doing so while pregnant]!
Many of my clients choose on-location options for maternity sessions. Take the time to select locations that have significant meaning to you [your home, a family farm, the place you got engaged or married, your favorite park, etc.] You can also give me an idea of what kind of vibe you’d like to see in your finished photos [urban & edgy, rustic, romantic, etc.] and I can certainly find the most perfect locations for your shoot.
Also consider the time of day. Typically the most flattering light is just after sunrise and just before sunset, although different locations will have great light at different parts of the day. During our consultation, I will be sure to let you know what I think the best time of day to shoot for the best light at your chosen location will be. If you’ve chosen a location that requires a permit or fee, make sure to let me know so that we can square that away prior to the day of the shoot.
.WHO CAN I BRING ALONG?.
Although some women are more relaxed being the only subject at their maternity session, many expectant moms want to include their partner, other children, or even their pets! Personally, I think including people and pets you love is a wonderful thing for your portraits! Partners and siblings should take their clothing cues from mom by staying within the same range of tones as the mom, but tones that also always photographs well [neutrals, pastels, darker tones, etc.]. I always recommend that my clients stay away from matching outfits. These kinds of looks tend to look very dated.
If you’re planning on including siblings and/or pets, it’s often a good idea to take photographs with them first [while they are “fresh” and most excited], then have a grandparent or friend pick them up so you can relax and finish the shoot with your partner or alone.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS TO…RELAX!
Your maternity session should be FUN! Hopefully you’ve chosen me because not only do you absolutely love my work, but that you trust my artistic vision! Don’t be afraid to try new things with me, even if they sound a little crazy at first. You might be surprised at how amazing the light is in that “ugly” location or how lovely your reflection looks in the water OR how beautifully your bump echoes the round hay bale that I have you draped across.
With that said, I want you to also feel 100% comfortable during our time together - so make sure that you are communicating with me if there is ever a point during our shoot where you are feeling the opposite. IT’S ALWAYS OKAY TO SAY THAT YOU’RE NOT COMFORTABLE - your comfort and safety is my number one priority.
I’m looking forward to our time together!
Have a question about something that wasn't answered here? Don't hesitate to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!