How to Prepare for Your Maternity Photo Shoot

With my last three pregnancies, I really wanted to have a maternity photo shoot. I have very few photographs of myself pregnant with my first two, and I realized what a precious, fleeting time pregnancy is (even though it feels like f o r e v e r when you’re pregnant!). However, aside from a few selfies, I never managed to get maternity photos done. If you’re pregnant, don’t put it off! Here are some tips from professional photographer Anna Berg on preparing for your maternity photo shoot.

How to Prepare for Your Maternity Photo Shoot (like this mom posing in a pretty peach dress with her daughter in a matching outfit!)

It’s a big day! It’s the day you will be taking the first professional pictures of you and your little one – still safely cradled inside you. Your choice of photographer definitely has plenty to do with how well your photos turn out, but getting the most out of your maternity photo shoot also depends on how prepared you are. Here are my tips for making sure you are ready for your special photo shoot and get the best photos possible.

Get the Timing Right for Your Maternity Photo Shoot

Most maternity photo shoots take place when mum-to-be is between 30 – 36 weeks (around 7 – 8 months) pregnant. That time is a sweet spot of sorts since your belly will be large enough to take centre stage in each photo. Waiting any longer might mean you are too large to get into certain poses and tire quickly so the session has to be rushed. If you have a twin pregnancy, consider scheduling the shoot around the 24-week mark.

Make the appointment well in advance to ensure the maternity photographer will be able to fit you in. Plus, it will give you more time to prepare!

Dress for the Occasion

Decide what you would like to wear in the photos, placing emphasis on both comfort and accentuating your glorious bump. Remember, too, that you are NOT limited by your maternity wardrobe. Consider renting or borrowing a special gown for the occasion. Your photographer might be able to suggest some places you could get a gorgeous rental from.

If your spouse or other children are joining you in the photos, then preparation could include colour coordinating your outfits. No need for everyone to wear matching shirts – that’s kind of passé. Instead, decide on a colour scheme, then everyone can choose what to wear based on it.

Say What’s On Your Mind

A major part of preparing for your maternity photo shoot is deciding what you would like the finished photos to look like. When both you and your maternity photographer see the same big picture, you are better guaranteed of the shoot being a success and being satisfied with the results.

Schedule some time to discuss the following points with the photographer:

  • Style – Decide on the general style you are looking for with the pictures: retro, contemporary, bursting with colours, or subdued tones.
  • Nude or semi-nude photos – Some photographers are better than others at taking these types of maternity photos. Spend some time checking out their websites to see how they normally handle nude maternity shots.
  • Props – Most maternity photographers will have some of their own and you might have a special item or keepsake which you would like incorporated in the photos.
  • Location – If you would like the shoot to take place outdoors or in a location you choose (in your home, for instance) then ask beforehand.
  • Group shots – Many expectant women include their spouse and children in their maternity photo session. Little children, as we all know, get restless easily. So it is often advised that the photos with them be taken first and that you arrange for someone to be on hand to take care of them while the rest of the session is completed.

Look the Part

For your maternity photo shoot, you will want to look as fabulous on the outside as you are feeling on the inside. Make plans to get your hair done and go for a manicure, pedicure, facial – the works! You deserve it and it will give your self-confidence a boost that is sure to shine through in the photos.

In case you need another excuse to look great, then here is one: the arrival of your little bundle of joy will most likely be just a few short weeks after the photo shoot. That means this may be your last chance, for a while, to focus on you and indulge in self-nurturing – take it!

Keep Stress at Bay Before Your Photo Shoot

It is natural for some expectant mommas to feel tense before their maternity photo shoot. You may feel apprehension about being in front of the camera or just be overwhelmed as your due date draws near. Perhaps you have mixed emotions about your pregnancy or don’t like how your body looks at this moment.

Release some of that tension by getting more rest in the days leading up to the photo session, if possible. You can consider, too, scheduling a relaxing maternity massage. It may also help to looks at ideas for maternity shoots before yours, so you can see how other moms have posed to best show off their beautiful bellies.

One thing is for sure, you will definitely feel less stressed if you have prepared for the shoot and are confident that everything is in place for it to go as smoothly as possible. That said, keep in mind that “stuff happens.” Try taking it in stride and trust your photographer’s skills and experience to work around minor issues which pop up.

It really is a big day – the perfect day to capture exactly how happy, proud and awed you are by the new life growing inside you.

Did you get maternity photos done? What tips would you offer to moms getting ready for a maternity photo shoot?

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