Pregnancy is a time of enormous anticipation — excitement, yes, also sometimes accompanied by some worry about what life will be like after baby arrives. Often, moms also may feel not only wonder at what their body is accomplishing in growing a new human being, but also may be a little uncomfortable with the changes in their appearance. I love helping moms embrace the beauty in pregnancy, and to see themselves as truly beautiful. This is a fleeting stage — soon (though I understand at times it might not seem soon enough!) you will be holding your baby outside your body and the next stage will have begun.
I especially love doing maternity mini-sessions as a complimentary part of my Bump & Baby package — I find it helps to get to know each other a bit before the newborn session, if possible. To help prepare for your maternity session, I’ve put together this guide — please let me know, of course, if you have any additional questions!
When in pregnancy should my maternity session be scheduled for?
Generally you want to aim for a maternity portrait session between 30-36 weeks of pregnancy. That being said, you know your body the best, and if you are feeling like an earlier session might be more to your liking, we can absolutely do that. Later than 36 weeks, the big concern is that portrait session may end up being pre-empted by delivery of the baby, but if you are late in your pregnancy and would like to try to squeeze maternity portraits in before you have your baby, I am very happy to work with you if I have space on my schedule and your baby is willing to accommodate!
Who should attend the maternity session?
Most moms find that they want their partner, and older children if they have them, to attend the portrait session — it can be a nice chance to capture your family as it is right now before adding a new member. Many moms also choose, even if they do have older children, to do a session with just them and their partner, focusing on the two of them as a couple before a new baby is added to the mix. There are also lots of moms who want the focus of the maternity session to just be on them, and they come on their own — I love those sessions too! So, basically, what it comes down to is that it all depends on what you want out of these portraits. If you are bringing children, I recommend you take a look at my Family Session Prep Guide for ideas to maximize the children’s cooperation and patience.
Where should our session take place?
All of my portrait sessions take place on location, whether that’s at your home, your favorite park, or another outdoor spot. If you have a favorite spot, that’s always my go-to, since I think it helps personalize the session some and make it even more special for your family. If you don’t, though, no worries! I have a whole list of locations I love, and we can chat about what will work best for you!
What should I/we wear?
For maternity portraits, you will want to wear something that will show off your belly’s roundness. There are lots of ways to do this, so pick something that fits you and your style! Generally, an outfit with shape, but which doesn’t cling too tightly will give us the most options. Dresses can be nice, as can a more casual look with pants and a shirt. A cardigan, or a large button-down shirt can also be a fun way to showcase your new shape! The most important thing is to wear something you feel confident in.
As for colors and coordinating outfits between family members, I will point you at the clothing portion of the Family Session Prep Guide.
What should we bring?
It’s up to you whether or not you’d like to include any
props or special mementos in your session. Some families like to include an ultrasound printout, or a special stuffed animal, or a little pair of shoes if you already have one. Many other families opt to not use props and that’s fine too — it’s entirely up to you! If you’re thinking about bringing something, let me know, and I’ll try to find a way to incorporate it into your portraits!