Becoming an expecting mother and father – for the first time, second time, third time, or Nth time – is one of the most special life experiences. Ever.
A maternity photo shoot is a great way to document your family story. Maternity photos are a must-have in every family album. If you’re pregnant (congratulations!) and are thinking about doing a maternity photo shoot, here’s what you need to know to prepare.
When to do a maternity photo shoot
The best time to do a maternity photo shoot is when your belly is nice and round, around week 30. Timing is a balancing act because you want your belly to be round enough for maternity photos but not so developed that it’s onerous for you to hold a pose or risk missing your photo shoot because your baby decides to come early. Most expecting mothers do their maternity photo shoot between week 26 and week 34.
What to wear for a maternity photo shoot
This is a matter of taste. Since the point is to show your belly, you can wear something tight and stretchy, or go bare belly, or use lace or sheer fabric to enhance your belly. It’s also a matter of taste whether to rock a dress or pants and a top. The only “rule” is to go with neutral, timeless colors rather than fleeing trends.
You’re only pregnant with this baby once and it’s worth it to look fabulous in your maternity photos. (You’ll want to show your child these photos many years later!) But since nice maternity dresses can be expensive and you only wear it for a short time, I recommend renting a gorgeous maternity dress that you love. It’s an affordable way to look memorable in your maternity photos. If you live in Australia, Mama Rentals has a wide selection of beautiful gowns for many sizes and budgets that ship right to your door. I appreciate them for being environmentally conscious as a zero-waste business. Check them out!
For more inspiration, my Pinterest board suggests many elegant maternity outfits to get your creative juice going.
What your partner should wear
His outfit can be simple since you are the star of the shoot. He should wear something fitted and comfortable, such as a stretch cotton shirt or button-down dress shirt and jeans or pants with a belt. It’s important that his outfit colors match or complement yours. I write about color coordination to my exclusive email subscribers (subscribe here). Just remember, you can’t go wrong with simple and timeless.
How much time you need for a maternity photoshoot
You’re pregnant with this baby only once in your lifetime, so you want to make sure the photo session is long enough to capture all the poses and angles you want. A photo shoot lasting at least an hour and a half is appropriate. Some poses may take time for you to get into and get out of, so you don’t want to rush. If your partner will be in the shoot as well (he should be!), then you definitely need about 2 hours to strike good poses with him.
Maternity photo shoot ideas
Below are my favorite shots from a recent maternity shoot. It was still winter when we did this maternity session in March (it’s always winter in Minnesota). We shot in a private interior space with an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling windows – let there be light! She wore a graceful, custom-made white lace maternity gown and he matched with dark jeans and a white long-sleeve cotton shirt.
As a final note, your session setting should have good lighting. Like outfits, choose a setting that is classic and timeless. Good options are your nursery, a natural scene, or your home.
Another suggestion to enhance your maternity photo shoot is to use props. They open up so many possibilities! Cute props are baby clothes, shoes, toys, letters that spell out your baby’s name, a sonogram, or an heirloom.
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