Welcome! If you are reading this you are either looking for tips for your own maternity shoot or you are here to see more photos from mine that I scheduled on a whim. Either way, scroll on…
“I never did a maternity shoot with my first born. Having miscarried a baby prior to conceiving him, I was too worried about losing another to be concerned with pictures.”
Special mention to Melissa Batista who made the process so seamless and produced this work of art.
People tell you that every pregnancy is different and I find this to be so true. With my second son, this time around, I look at the experience and my body differently. I appreciated the process of growing a tiny human so much more. I was less worried and instead focused more on the things within my control [think nesting galore] and I found that I appreciated my body more. I’m in awe of what my body has been able to endure and even though my body is not perfect and this pregnancy wasnt without its scary moments, I look back at that time as–beautiful.
Spoiler alert, I gave birth to a fat, squishy little boy in February and even though its double hard this time dealing with a toddler and a newborn at the same time, I cant get enough of him! That said, If you are on the fence about doing a maternity shoot, I TOTALLY encourage you to sign up for one and here are a few tips for planning your shoot.
- Find a Photographer that fits your aesthetic Super important if you are particular about how your photos look like I am. For example, don’t go with a photographer that shoots moody dark maternity photos with flash when you really love light airy photos with lots of natural light. A quick look at the photographer’s gallery or Instagram page will tell you all you need to know.
- Consider your outfit I have to admit, I scheduled the shoot and promptly forgot about it. So when the time drew near, it was too late to order anything online and the idea of shopping was daunting. Lucky for me, my photographer had maternity outfits for rent so I just showed up with my makeup and my jewelry. Find out from your photographer if they have a similar set up. It was super seamless for me.
- Sign a contract – this will cover deposit, how soon you will get your photos, privacy, cancellation policy, rescheduling, ownership rights to photos , quality of photos you receive, mode of receipt, late fees etc.
- Book a date that falls within 25-36 weeks of your pregnancy This is what my photographer suggested because this is when you still have the “pregnancy glow” and more importantly the energy to do the shoot.
- Put together a shot list Do some research. Start with the photographer’s gallery to see if there are some pictures you would like to emulate. Go online and google maternity shoots to decide on the outfit/style you would like to go with for your shoot.
- Think about lighting Talk to your photographer about the type of photos you want. They can recommend the best time to schedule your shoot so that the pictures come out exactly how you want them. For example, I knew I wanted light and airy photos with lots of sun rays casting a beautiful glow so we scheduled our shoot around midday.
- Milk bath? If you are doing any kind of water/milk bath photos be sure to bring extra underwear to change into after your shoot. Consider the kinds of flowers you would like in the water( unless you trust your Photographer. Like I mentioned, I have trust issues 🙄) . Ask about the content of the milk bath. Preggo women tend to get pH imbalances all the time so either skip it all together or figure out if you can take a quick shower, or rinse off soon after to avoid any yeast infections( I know, tmi but just looking out for a sis). Last thing is talk with your doctor. I know it sounds silly but there are some reports that hot/warm baths can trigger pre term labor, so depending on when you are doing your shoot, you want to be sure you aren’t being rushed to the labor ward soon after 🤦🏽😄.
- Now is the time for personal grooming – think wax/ shave, body lotion , Mani + pedi. Everything, and I mean EVERY FLAW will be captured on camera. Yes sure, your photographer can do post editing to hide your crusty feet or chipped nails. Some photographers don’t even do this so check your contract. But I find that I feel my best when I look my best. So I got my nails done a day earlier , shaved my legs (I swear for the first time in months!) And used body oil the night before so that my skin was smooth and moisturized.
- Hair and Makeup? Some photographers offer hair and makeup if you aren’t proficient in either, you can take this on for an additional fee. Only caveat is that it will be the first time you work with that artist so consider things like bringing your own foundation and inspo photos for your hair . I just did both myself – trust issues 😭😄
- Undergarments! Some people go nude during this shoot. I’m not one of them. So I literally brought every pair of nude underwear and bra that I owned to make sure that I was covered without taking away from the dress I was wearing. Some people thought I was naked! Trust me, I need help to hold these boobs up.
- Bring a snack + water! Don’t find yourself “hangry” like I was before my shoot. Thank goodness my photographer had snacks available for me to munch on.
- Have fun! I know this sounds silly but how you look and how you feel are two separate things. My body was super uncomfortable that day, carrying around a belly and twisting into random positions for “the shot” is not my idea of fun . But thankfully my photographer had old school music playing and we were talking through out the whole shoot and that kept my mind off the temporary discomfort.
That’s it guys! I hope you enjoy your maternity photos as much as I adore mine.