1. When to Book
I recommend booking your maternity session sometime in your second trimester. This will give you time to choose a location, plan your outfits and schedule hair and makeup artists if you'll be getting glammed up before your session.
The best time for your maternity session to take place is typically around 28-34 weeks. This timeframe allows your belly to be nice and round but also still allows extra time in case we need to reschedule due to weather, sickness, etc.
2. Choose a location
The location for your session should fit the mood and look you are going for in your images. Do you prefer the beach or a field of tall grass? Maybe somewhere with gardens of beautiful flowers or even a quaint downtown area? The location could be somewhere special or sentimental to you and your partner. (Maybe your first date spot or the place you got married?) It could even be your own backyard!
Some important things to think about when choosing a location are how much walking you'll be comfortable with, how accessible the location is and how crowded the location may be (especially if you prefer something more private to feel comfortable.)
Stuck on deciding a location? Let me know and I can send you a list of my favorite locations.
3. What to Wear
It's pretty simple.... the better you feel about how you look, the better your photos will be! Some clients choose to wear flowing gowns while others rock jeans and a bare bump. No matter what you choose, make sure you are comfortable and feel like the best version of yourself.
When planning outfits for you, your partner and your family, try to coordinate with similar colors without matching exactly. If using patterns, have only one person wearing the pattern while everyone else wears a complimentary color.
Try to think of your location while choosing outfits. For example, light, neutral or pastel colors look great on the beach, while black or dark colors may look heavy or have too much contrast.
Some portrait packages allow time to change into a second outfit. If we do not have time for a second outfit, you can also add a sweater, jacket or scarf for a different look.
Still not sure what to wear? Message me and I can help! I have more styling tips I can send you and I am always open to looking at photos of what you're thinking of wearing to provide advice.
4. Include your partner, kids and/or pets
Your maternity session will include some images of you alone but I also recommend having your partner, kids and/or furbabies join in too. This is an important time for all of you! Life will soon be changing so take the moment to capture your family as it is right now.
If you have very young or active children or you're bringing along your furbabies, it is a great idea to bring a support person who can take the kids or pets aside while you pose alone or with just your partner.
5. What to Bring
Water and a snack
Comfortable shoes - If you are wearing shoes in your photos that are not comfortable to walk in, I suggest bringing a pair of flip flops or sneakers to wear while walking in between photo locations.
Props - Props are not necessary but some clients love to incorporate them. Props can include ultrasound photos, baby shoes, a stuffed animal or onesie.
Hairspray, a comb or brush, blotting paper for shine and lipstick for touch ups
6. Pamper Yourself
Spend some extra time getting ready and making yourself feel beautiful. Some clients choose to get their hair and makeup professionally done to add some extra glam! Take the opportunity to pamper yourself.... you deserve it! If you need recommendations for hair and makeup artists, just ask! I have some amazing artists I can refer you to.
7. Prep your hands
Your hands and your partner's hands will be in quite a few closeups of your baby bump. Make sure your hands and nails are moisturized and clean. You may want to treat yourself to a manicure before your session too! Any excuse works right? ;)
8. Focus on your partner, your family and your vision
I realize that posing for photos can make a lot of people nervous but I will do everything possible to help you feel comfortable and confident during your session. My advice is to really focus on your partner, your family and this beautiful moment in time we are capturing together. Think about how you want your images to look and how happy you will be to have these memories to display on the walls of your home or in an album to look through some day. Relax and enjoy your session. Celebrate your pregnancy journey!
9. Take breaks
Your body is doing a lot of hard work making a baby and being on your feet, walking around a park and posing can be exhausting! It's completely ok if you need to take a little break here and there during your session. Just let me know that you need a minute and we can sit, drink some water or have a quick snack to refresh.
10. Share any thoughts, concerns or ideas
My job is to help you feel confident, comfortable and beautiful! I want you to love your final images and feel great about them. Please do not hestitate to share any concerns, thoughts or ideas you have about your session. This session is for you and I am committed to helping make it a wonderful experience.
11. Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready and make a date night out of it!
Allowing yourself plenty of time to get ready and drive to the location will help reduce stress and help you arrive feeling ready to go! There's nothing that kills the mood more than rushing out the door and being late. Don't do it to yourself! After your session, make it a date night or family night out. You're already dressed up and looking amazing and you'll have earned a nice meal!
12. Don't miss out!
If you're in doubt about doing a maternity session or going back and forth on the idea, trust me and DO IT! This season of your life is only here for a short window and once you miss the chance, you don't want to live with regrets. These will be images you can look back on with a smile and show to your child so that they can see how loved they were before they were even born!