This photo above was one of my first maternity shoots. It was luckily for my friends Kristen & Dalton and Kristen just happened to be pregnant with my Goddaughter Hollie :). You'll see Hollie come up often as many of her life events I curated.. even before she was born. Even though this shoot was one of my first "big" shoots, it's still one of my favorite because the colors just blended together and created this dreamy whimsical/woodsy feel yet it was still so girly with all of the pinks and golds!
Since then I've had the opportunity to capture a few sweet momma's looking beautiful as ever as they prepared for the last few weeks before their babies are born. Each session is different, they are each curiated to each person depending on the style of shoot they want, the location (home, field, mountain top etc) .
The questions I receive the most from moms-to-be are:
When should I schedule my maternity photoshoot?
Does my significant other come?
What should I wear?
What should I bring?
Let's break it down!
When should I schedule my maternity shoot?
Scheduling your maternity shoot is going to be different for the next momma scheduling hers. Generally speaking the best time to schedule these images are around 30 weeks. It's usually a good buffer to not only get you before you become REALLY uncomfortable, and to get your images back before the baby is born but ideally gives enough time incase you go into labor a few weeks early. With that being said high risk momma's may have a different timeline and in these cases your photographer will work closely with you to gauge how you are feeling week to week, and take the advice of the doctor into consideration. Sometimes these mommas need to do their shoots earlier than expected - some even need to do these sitting down or taking multiple breaks. I know that some momma's don't really start to show until late in their pregnancy but, let's be honest babies tend to come when they are ready so I would try to stay away from scheduling sessions past 35 weeks.
Does my significant other come?
Yes! At least I encourage this. I know, I know - your husband hates pictures. That's okay, because once he is there and in the moment he will love watching you glow. However, If you don't have someone there (i.e deployment) don't sweat it. The experience will be just as wonderful! Also, if this is the case and your person couldn't be there for multiple reasons.. ask your photographer about perhaps retouching to add your special person!
What do I wear?
Girl, let me tell you! In the beginning this was my biggest struggle as a photographer. How do I dress people???? Depending on your photographer, you may be doing a studio session and your photographer might be supplying your beautiful lacy dress. However, if you are doing a home session or a outdoors session and you are supplying your own outfit it might be difficult to navigate how to dress yourself or your entire family for a maternity shoot.
When planning your outfit(s) for your shoot keep in mind the potential areas in your home that you might want to hang images. Keep in mind colors that might clash.
Lace is beautiful - but it's not required. (But I will never tell you no to lace. especially in milk baths)
Flowy and soft material is always a yes for me. BRING OUT YA GYPSY BOHO STYLE!
Discuss the details of your photoshoot before hand. Where is your location? What is your photo style preference (light & airy or dark and moody)? This may reflect the color choices.
For light and airy shoots I LOVE creams, and neutrals. I also love light pinks and light blues along with soft florals. (for florals, nothing too busy).
For dark and moody shoots I LOVE deep reds, mustards and I'll even take a black lacy dress any day! For fall and winter, I'm not opposed to velvet either (I know some people are totally against this!)
Again - these are suggestions so don't forget to look at your space also. If your house is full of mustard and darker tones you don't want to show up in lime green - unless that really is your style, but all are welcome here :)
Lastly, don't think that you are being too extra with your outfit choice Momma! Bring the flower crown, wear the Faux Fur, if you want a themed shoot - theme it up girlfriend! Dress it up as much as you want or heck, dress it down as much as you want! But mostly wear the things that you feel beautiful in. I know you're tired and everything hurts right now but you are beautiful and these are memories that you get to share with your baby! When they are old enough you can tease them because their Momma had it going on! :)
What should I bring?
As mentioned before you may be doing your session in a studio, and your photographer might supply some small props, or your package may not include props. If you are able to use props in your session, bring the most meaningful ones!
Here are some suggestions - some sound cheesy but make for cute little detail shots!
Blocks that spell out baby's name
Little baby shoes
A baby book (super cute for home sessions!)
If this is a rainbow baby - think about something to incorporate that into your session!
*Something to think about also is the location of you images - if minor hiking is required or if you are walking through a field, bring protective/supportive shoes