How To Prepare For Maternity Portrait Session
First of all: Congratulations on fact that you are expecting a new baby! It’s an exciting time for you and your partner and I am pleased that you have found me! This is a special time of your life. Time of joy, love and excitement which should be captured and recorded for days to come. Many women often regret missing out their maternity portraits and not having these beautiful and precious images to remind them of the love and passion they had for their babies before their birth.
And since you are reading this guide now, you most likely have already decided to have a pregnancy portrait session. I understand that this could be a daunting task which many women face for a first time. Lots of questions: When? Where? What to bring? What to wear?
To help you with the preparation and be familiar with what to expect, I have this how-to guide for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What should I expect from a maternity portrait session?
A maternity portrait session is all about the excitement you and your partner feel for your growing baby and of course the growing bump! The maternity dedicated session is the best way to capture the images of your beautiful round belly and the emotions and feelings you and your partner have for your unborn baby. It is a great opportunity to capture the exciting moments of the final days of your pregnancy. What a better way to remember this time than to look back at these photos and reminisce about creating new life. You will forever cherish these images and remember the true love and passion you had for your baby even before you met.
Most of the maternity sessions I photographed in the past are with a husband or a partner, or with one or more of the older siblings. In addition to your clothing, I usually use a combination of fabrics wrapped around your body to to cover or uncover your belly. Typically several clothing changes allows me to capture a different looks so I encourage you to bring different outfits to your session. For examples you can review Maternity Gallery to get an idea of the type of poses and looks I have done in the past.
Q: What is the best time during my pregnancy to schedule a maternity session?
The best time during your pregnancy for a maternity portrait session is between 28 and 34 weeks from the start of the pregnancy. This is the time when women have a lovely full and round shape. It is also the perfect time when you not will feel uncomfortable in your body and won’t be too bloated as in the very last weeks of your pregnancy. Having your photo session in this time frame would also give you adequate time to select your favorite photos from the session and order the prints before the birth of your baby.
Q: What should I wear on my maternity portrait session?
The basic rule for any portrait session, including maternity is to select and wear comfortable clothing. Feeling uncomfortable believe it or not, would show in your facial expression and body posture and will be recorded in your photographs. Even the most photogenic person feeling uncomfortable would not look good on photos, so plan to wear clothing in which you feel free and good. While comfort is important, the clothing should also allow to show off your baby belly bump. Another thing to consider is wearing lighter clothes which communicate the idea of purity, the beginning of a new life and the magical feeling of a new baby.
Depending on your personal preferences and how modest you could be in front of the camera, there are three levels of clothing we recommend:
First: Fully clothed body with fitting and stretchy fabrics like black yoga spandex. This type of clothing is both comfortable and allow for nicely contouring the body shape without actually revealing the body skin beneath. This is a good choice if you are more modest and would like to display only your belly shape.
Second:Clothing exposing only the belly area, with stretchy garments above and below the belly. Wearing an open front lightweight fabric top (for example a silky negligee), or bathing suit top even an attractive black bra with a matching wrap around the waist.
Third: Either partially or completely unclothed body which some associate to the maternity pictures of Demi Moore published in Vanity Fair magazine in August, 1991. This is the most revealing but also very natural and artistic look. Placing the arms across the breasts can be very elegant in addition to wrapping a fabric around the waist line to conceal the bottom part of the body below the belly.
Q: Do you have any undergarments recommendations?
Selecting the appropriate underwear as part of your maternity photo outfit is important to prevent lines from your undergarments which would show on the final images. Seamless panties and some shape-wear are very useful to smooth out lines from your underwear. If you are for more modest look, wearing a properly fitting bra that completely covers your bust is a good idea to prevent parts of your bust to be exposed and therefore ruining your pictures.
Q: Can I bring an additional clothing?
Absolutely. In addition to wearing a black spandex outfit (from your yoga class), if you have any sheer cover ups or shawls on hand, bring those along too. Posing with a regular zippered jeans pulled up to your hips makes for a casual and fun portrait.
Portrait sessions are all about you and you are more than welcome to create your special photographs. I encourage you to bring anything that you want included in the session including flowers, props or special clothing such as scarves, shawls or veils. If you plan to come with many family members, selecting solid colored clothes is a good idea. Some mothers usually bring a dark maternity skirt and dark or solid cardigan sweater and tank top. This allows them to cover their breasts but still have their belly area exposed.
Your partner, if you plan to bring him along, can wear dark pants or jeans and a solid dark or white shirt, long or short sleeved is fine.
Q: What about wearing accessories or jewelry?
Having accessories that you feel might be fun to try is always a good idea. However, try to keep the jewelry to a minimum as they tend to be distracting for the photo viewers later. Jewelry adds interest to the photographs but too flashy or too massive one becomes the focal point instead of you and your belly. If you are in doubt, just bring them along. The worst thing that could happen is not to use them.
Q: Any tips on hair and makeup preparation?
Makeup should be applied in a light fashion for more and natural look. Applying a light foundation or blush to even out skin tones is perfect for this type of portrait session. Avoid applying too much eyeliner or eye shadow as they tend to appear very dark on your photos later. Make-up should be light and natural looking. Hair should be fixed so you are comfortable with it during the session. We will posing you in different poses so having a stray hair in your face or shoulders would make you constantly clear it away and this tends to be distracting during the photo shoot. You can either go to a stylist before the shoot or fix your hair on your own.
Q: Who should I bring to my session?
Bringing your husband or partner with you is what most couples do. Posing with and embracing your loving husband or partner helps to communicate your emotions for each other and usually makes a very meaningful portrait. It’s best if your partner brings a dark solid colored top and a white or light colored top. If you plan to bring one or more of your children, having them touching your belly, makes a good interactive portrait as well. Your children could wear simple solid color clothing free of any patterns or logos. I also recommend to consider being bare feet on the beach for a more relaxed and natural feel and look.
Q: Do you recommend applying any skin care products before the session
During pregnancy many women develop redness and dry skin. Itchy skin is the common side effect of expanding your skin to accommodate the growth of your belly. To keep you comfortable and add to your radiance, consider applying a quality and super absorbent skin lotion approximately one to two hours before your maternity portrait session. This will allow the lotion to be absorbed by the skin. It also gives a nice glow to your skin and add a pleasant look to it. Avoid any oily lotions as they will first make your skin sticky and also cause glare from the lights in the studio.
Q: Do you have any useful tips to prepare for the session?
It’s important that you select a day of the week that you and your husband or partner are not having many other events or appointments. Having to rush between events or feeling stressed from a busy day, impacts you negatively and it does show in the final photos. Therefore is very important not to rush to the session but have plenty of time to prepare and tune into the moment. I recommend to select a day when your husband, partner or kids are most likely to be well rested and feel relaxed. Being well hydrated and eat light snack before the session would also give you plenty of energy during the time we will spend in the studio or outdoors.
Q: Where will my session take place?
The maternity portrait sessions usually take place in my studio, client's home (milk bath) or outdoors (beach or park). The location depends on the weather conditions and how comfortable you are with your body and being in public.
For more lifestyle and natural looking images, outdoor locations as parks, open space reserves and urban locations are good choice. You will be seen in public while we photographed although some location offer more privacy than others, but you will have to feel comfortable with the idea.
Lastly, I have photographed many maternity portrait session at client’s private residences in the convenience and privacy of their homes. If you have spacious rooms with plenty of natural light or large size backyard with well maintained landscape, I would be happy to visit your residence, take a look at the location and advise you if this would be a good choice or not.
Q: How much time we should allocate for the maternity portrait session?
Each maternity photo session usually last approximately between 30 and 90 minutes. This includes wardrobe and prop changes. I might change the background as well to get different looks for your images and to create both lifestyle and more artistic photos.
Q: How long does it take to see the photos from the session?
It usually takes up to one week after your session to have the images ready for review. The final images will be posted into your private online gallery or send via Wetransfer.
Q: How many final images I can expect to see after my session?
During your session, I will be taking lots of images to ensure there are plenty to select from later in the post-processing. I will capture as many images as necessary in order to present you with a strong body of images for you to review. Out of the entire set of images, I will make a selection of 30 to 50 images and present it to you to make the final picks. Please, look into your package details for the number of images included into your package. You can select additional images on top of your package at extra cost. The additional images will be digitally enhanced and retouched to match the rest of the images style and look.
Q: Can I reschedule my session it required?
Absolutely. In case of personal emergencies, illness or unforeseen weather changes we will arrange to have your session rescheduled. To help us accommodate another client who might be looking to schedule an appointment at the same time, we would appreciate if you provide as much notice as possible. This will allows us to reuse the time slot for another client. Be advised that cancellations or postponements less than 48 hours prior to your session may result in a cancellation fee (unless is weather permitted).
Best time to have your session 28-34 weeks
Maternity Photosession approximately 30-60 minutes of shooting time.
I book limited amount of sessions monthly to ensure the highest quality of work. Please book your session early! For newborn session it is recommended to book during your second trimester or early in your third trimester to guarantee your spot.
No unedited images will be released under any circumstance.