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  • Writer's pictureMemory Ellington

How to Prepare - Maternity Session

First of all, congratulations!! Whether this is your first pregnancy or your forth, this is such an exciting time in the life of you and your growing family. We are glad you have found us and would love to be a part of documenting this beautiful chapter in your family story.

Below I have put together some the most frequently asked questions and answers to help you prepare for your maternity session.

What should I wear?

The most important tip I can give you on what to wear to your #maternity session is to wear something comfortable. If you are wearing uncomfortable clothes, you will be uncomfortable during your session, and it will show in your photographs.

Another thing to keep in mind is to plan on removing any tight clothing or anything with elastic at least 2 hours before your session to avoid any marks on your belly or body (i.e. watches, socks, tight undergarments, or any other tight fitting apparel). While this is important for all mommies-to-be, it is particularly so if you plan on having nude or semi-nude pictures taken. Good options would be a loose dress, a robe, stretchy or lace materials.

During your consult we will cover your preferred style of shoot and talk in further detail about what to wear. In the meantime you can check out more detailed guide in my 5 Tips for What to Wear: Maternity Session.

When is the best time of my pregnancy to schedule my session?

I recommend scheduling maternity portraits between 31 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. This is when your belly will have a lovely full round shape, perfect for showing off your growing little one. Generally after the 36th week, most women are too uncomfortable and may feel too fatigued to manage a session. This time frame is additionally the best for showing baby off without being too close to your delivery date where you might miss your scheduled photography session due to an early delivery. You will also have plenty of time to pick your favorite photos and order the prints before the birth of your baby.

Selecting the exact point in your pregnancy can vary for each client, the above is a good guide. You can also check out Ana Brandt’s digital publication here as she shares images of maternity pictures at different weeks during pregnancy.

Who should/can I include in the images?

Most couples bring their husband/partner and any older children to a session. Our portrait sessions accommodate for subject counts of 7 or less before inferring group session fees, so feel welcome show off all the love that surrounds your unborn baby. Intimate images of just you and your partner and you by yourself also be considered.

Have fur kids? We are pet friendly and can include them in your pregnancy pictures also, simply let us know so we can plan accordingly. Due note, pets are counted as subjects in your session.

I suggest bringing an extra adult to keep children and/or pets busy when they are not being photographed. This will allow for your photographer to capture you both undisturbed and relaxed.

How long should I plan for my maternity session to take?

A standard maternity portraiture is up to an hour and half, but you may add time a-la-carte as desired depending on clothing changes and/or lighting adjustments. Make sure to mention any style preferences during the consultation session, so we are aware and prepare in advance.

Do you offer outdoor & studio options?

The maternity portrait sessions take place at the client’s residential home (generally their own or a relative’s) or outdoors. Location depends on a variety of factors.

OUTDOORS: Depends on weather conditions and your comfort level. The outdoors provides natural lighting, open spaces (or urban backdrops if that is your preference), more mobility, option for both lifestyle or more editorial photographic styles.

INDOORS: In your own home you will have more privacy, may be more convenient for you, temperature controlled environment, lifestyle photography. We are equipped with professional lighting we can bring to support an indoor setting though if you have spacious rooms with lots of natural light, have those ready as they make the best spots beautiful indoor photography. A large size well maintained backyard can also make a good choice.

Do you have any other useful tips to prepare for the session?

It is important to select a day of the week where you, your partner or kids have nothing else planned and are most likely to be well rested and relaxed. Having to rush between activities leads to stress which can show your images. Keep hydrated and have a light snack before your session to keep your energy up.

I would suggest applying a good absorbent skin lotion one to two hours prior to your portraits. It is normal for women to develop dry skin as their bodies expand to accommodate the growth of the baby. Avoid any oily lotions as they will become sticky and cause glare.

Lastly, in the joy of the coming baby, it can be easy to forget that pregnancy photos are also a celebration of the mom-to-be and all she and her body are doing to bring this new life into the world. This should be a relaxing and fun experience for you. Consider treating yourself with a massage or bath before your session, or take a trip to the a hair and makeup salon.


Related Articles: 5 Tips for What to Wear: Maternity Session.

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