Expecting a baby is one of the most exciting times in life. Capturing the look of your baby bump before it disappears is an important part of the process. Scheduling a maternity photoshoot will preserve the precious memory of your pregnancy for years to come. However, it can be overwhelming to find the right maternity photographer, knowing how to prepare, and what to expect. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate and plan for an amazing maternity photoshoot.
First of all, consider how you are feeling. Some mamas-to-be are sick in the beginning and definitely wouldn't want to do a photoshoot at that time. That is okay because the best time is around 28-34 weeks. This stage is when you will have a nice round belly but will avoid that period when you are feeling uncomfortable at the end.
As far as who you will choose to be your photographer, reviews are the best way to figure that out. Testimonials about positive experiences are proof of a photographer's success. Most professionals will have a website and examples of their work as well. Take note of a few things: is the subject in focus, does the exposure look right, is the contrast on par, and are the poses what you are looking for in your own session? Also, if children or pets are going to be a part of your day, question how the photographer will build trust with these extra important ones. Of course, you may have a friend or relative who can do the shoot. Just make sure the person you choose will do a great job for you and that you feel comfortable being around them.
You will want to spend some time with your top choices before you make a final decision. Discuss ideas, pricing, packages, and ask any questions you might have. Once you make a decision, book a date right away so you don't miss out on the right person and the perfect timing.
There are many different types of maternity photoshoots. Choosing a style that fits you and your lifestyle is a vital part of the success of your shoot. Photographers sometime specialize in certain kinds of maternity photoshoots while others may be open to whatever you want yours to be like. Styles include: black and white, classic, fine art, fun and relaxed, theme-oriented, boho, sexy, and more! Find a style that fits who you are.
Your photographer should be willing and available to answer any questions you might have. This person should also be able to help you make a list of poses you would like, tell you how many shots they will take, and show you the packages you will have to choose from. Many professionals these days are not doing printing but will share all of the images with you once they are edited. This is probably the most efficient, inexpensive way as you can then pick your favorites to print or use as you see fit.
Poses should include any props that you would like to use, ones of you alone, include family members such as your significant other, children, and even pets. You can search Pinterest for a million different poses but making a list of around 10-20 and sharing them with your photographer is your best bet. If the session is too long, you may become tired and the images won't look as good. If you are having photos done with children, it is best to get those done first and then have someone entertain them or take them somewhere else. The goal of your maternity photoshoot is to caputure your growing body in all its glory. It is hard to do that if little ones are impatient or interfering. Your photos will be much better if you are relaxed and enjoying the time.
A professional photographer will be able to gauge the best time for you to have your maternity photoshoot. Most will suggest what is called the 'golden hour'. This is the time shortly after sunrise or before sunset. The lighting is perfect for photo taking at that time. You will want to avoid direct sunlight times as well as when it is too dark. If you are only able to do a time that is very sunny, choose a place that is shaded to keep the lighting more usable and less glaring. Cloudy, overcast days are perfect but hard to predict when scheduling well ahead of time.
Determining where you will do your maternity photoshoot is sometimes a difficult decision. Choose a venue that has meaning to you. This could be where you met your significant other, where you got engaged or married, someplace you frequented during your dating period, or it could just be a place that you think is beautiful and serene. Make certain that the place you select is safe and somewhere you can actually handle in your pregnant state. Climbing a mountain or standing in a really small space might not be the best choice! It could be a stunning park, the beach at sunset or with the mountains in the background. It might be your back porch or your bedroom. If you do choose a public place, you may be watched by others as you are being photographed. If this isn't going to be okay, pick some place more private. Remember that the location is not as important as your body that holds a tiny baby.
Deciding what to wear is a huge part of preparing for your special day. If you are comfortable with showing off your baby bump, this makes for exquisite photography. However, avoid doing anything that will make you feel uncomfortable or exposed. The idea is for the images to represent you and your pregnancy. Do not wear something that is too far off the path of what you would normally wear but also make this a special occasion. You don't have to purchase something new but feel free to do so if that is what you want. This is your day and feeling relaxed is essential to produce the best maternity photos possible.
To find maternity photoshoot wear, first inquire if your photographer has ideas or even has a wardrobe you can choose from. Some professionals will have a collection of attire just for these types of sessions. As always, Amazon is a great place to look as they have almost anything you can imagine. There are also companies that provide maternity photoshoot clothing exclusively. You may be able to rent something or find something at a thrift store.
Next, consider the season. Fall colors such as red, orange, brown, or yellow, complement the outdoor feel of autumn. If it is summer, choosing light, airy colors will not only provide a nice touch, the lighter colors will be more suitable for an outdoor session. You will want to choose colors that harmonize nicely for the rest of the family as well. Stay away from patterns or outfits with words on them as these distract from the focal point which is the people in the photo. Also, while jeans and a white t-shirt are nice for regular family photos, this might not be the time for that. Choosing something for you to stand out more and then having the rest of the family complement your clothing will make the images more special. Again, Pinterest may be a good place to research some ideas to help with these decisions. Above all, pick something that feels good to you - if jeans and a t-shirt are it for you, then by all means, dress the way YOU want!
In addition, choose apparel that is appropriate for the weather. If it is 80 degrees, the last thing anyone wants to do is wear something hot. By the same token, if it is 30 degrees, something more skimpy won't be fun. Long, flowy dresses are all the rage for maternity shots but only do that if you will enjoy the look and not be excessively hot or cold. If it's too hot you could choose a long, flowy dress made of lace with a split at the belly for a cooler version. Cold weather could mean a velvet or layered dress with sleeves or a soft jacket around your shoulders. You can still expose your belly either way if that is what you want to do.
This is your time to shine! If you are really wanting to make your session something special, get your nails, toenails and hair done. This will not only make you look fabulous, it will help to relax you as you take time away for yourself. But if you aren't a fru-fru kind of gal, it certainly isn't required.
The night before, get together any props you are using, lay out the outfits for you and your family, pack snacks and waters for everyone. You may want to bring other items such as baby shoes, a chalkboard or sign with your little ones name or a special saying on it. If there are children involved, bring some type of entertainment or ask a close friend or family member to be present. A park is always a great idea because the kids can play while you are enjoying your photoshoot. Plan to leave early so you aren't rushed to get to the destination on time. Try to make sure everyone gets plenty of sleep and is well rested for the big day.
If your photographer has't already done so, he/she should arrive early to gain rapport with all of you. Pets and children, in particular, will need some time to warm up to this new person. Your photographer may have treats they want to give out so make sure you discuss this ahead of time. The last thing you want is for the kids to be sugared up or the dog to have diarrhea from a treat that he isn't used to.
There are so many ideas for maternity photoshoots. The focus should be whatever represents you. If you have a favorite hobby that you and your family enjoy such as camping, fishing, reading, art, or whatever, you can include that in your photos. Balloons are a sweet addition - you can use a bunch of white ones and then one that is pink or blue placed between you and your loved one. If you love the beach, photos on the sand or in the water are fun. Seasoned photo sessions make great backdrops, like a Christmas Tree farm or a pumpkin patch. Casual, candid shots of you and your family are an easy way to get little ones involved. Photos done in the baby's nursery will always hold a special place in your heart. Vintage shots next to an antique airplane are classic for a military family. Bedroom images are a personal way to capture your pregnant body and can be better for children. Their toys and bedroom are just steps away and naptime won't need to interfere.
Your photographer should have your edited photos ready within 3-4 weeks, depending on how busy he/she is at the moment. You will most likely meet to look over the photos or he/she may send you a link to view online. Regardless of how you receive them, you will be enamored with the look and feel of these precious moments. Be thinking of what you want to do with your images. Some people will want a large canvas print or others may be planning to create an online album for everyone to see. Maybe you want to do a collage of all your favorites and have it mounted on canvas or wood. There are metal and glass prints for a more modern feel. Whatever you decide to do with your images, most photographers will not want you to edit the images after you receive them. This is understandable as it represents their business for all of time. If you feel further edits are required, having a discussion with your photographer is the best way to go.
Here is to enjoying your maternity photoshoot - cheers! Once you have your images ready for showing, all you have left to do is share them and wait patiently for your baby to arrive. You may consider using your maternity photographer to do birth photos or newborn photos. Some photographers have packages for these types of situations. Enjoy your photos for years to come as you have caught these beautiful memories for all eternity.