March 25, 2023 / Maternity
When to Take Maternity Photos: A Guide for Expecting Moms
As an expectant mom-to-be, you might be wondering when to take maternity photos. And while the answer is different for every woman, there are some general guidelines I’ll share so you know what to expect.
I worked with this couple for their maternity shoot in Calla Lily Valley near Big Sur when the flowers were in full bloom. It was their first baby, and they had lots of questions. So my hope is that this post will help answer some of yours, too.
In this blog post, I’ll be covering three key topics:
- When to take maternity photos
- What to expect during a lifestyle maternity shoot with me
- Wardrobe inspiration and advice
So let’s dive in and get you prepared for your maternity shoot!
When to Take Maternity Photos
I get this question a lot, and not just from first-time moms. And there are a couple of different answers.
Whether you’re a first-time mom or a seasoned pro, there is only a short window of time to get your maternity photos done. So, when to take maternity photos actually falls into two sections.
- When to Inquire About Maternity Photos
- When to Take Maternity Photos
First, let’s cover when to inquire about maternity photos.
I suggest clients inquire about their maternity photoshoot around 12 weeks into their pregnancy or early into their second trimester.
This gives us plenty of time to plan, style, and coordinate your session. It also gives us the flexibility to add buffer time in case we need to reschedule due to weather or other circumstances.
I generally recommend taking maternity photos around 28-32 weeks into your pregnancy.
By this time, your baby bump is usually fully formed and round, but you’re also still pretty comfortable enough to move around and have a good time.
Of course, every pregnancy is different, and you know your body best. If you’re expecting multiples, I would adjust the photo timeframe just a bit. But just listen to your body and keep your photographer in the loop.
Now that we’ve covered when to schedule your maternity session, let’s move on to what you can expect from a lifestyle maternity photoshoot with me.
What to Expect – Lifestyle Maternity Photoshoot
As a natural light photographer, I prefer to shoot outdoors in nature. And luckily, I have plenty of awesome locations to pick from in the Big Sur area. So, depending on what vibe you want, I can give you options to choose from.
For Abigail’s session, she wanted an outdoor area with rocks and an ocean view, so we decided to shoot in the Calla Lily Valley. This spot has it all – the valley, cliffs, rocks, and beach view. But best of all, the calla lilies were in full bloom during her session, and I’m obsessed!
Alright, so beyond location, let’s talk about what to expect when we work together.
As a lifestyle maternity photographer, I prefer to capture movement, quiet moments, and emotions. I give direction more than provide poses during my photoshoots. Of course, we’ll do some poses with hands on the belly if the dress is flowier. But overall, I prefer to capture more natural moments.
I’ll often ask for moms to put their hands in their hair, hold the side of their dress, or cozy up with their partner. All of these make moments look more natural.
For the cliffside photos, we went for a more moody and quiet vibe, and I think you can really tell just by looking at them. I asked Abigail to take a breath, relax her face, and think about the first time she meets her sweet baby. And right then, we captured magic together.
Last on the list are some tips on what to wear for your maternity photos.
Styling Your Maternity Session
Styling is one of the fun parts of maternity photo sessions. You might think it’s overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. I actually love to help my clients with styling.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing what to wear for your maternity session.
- Flowy dresses or skirts are always a great option.
- Don’t be afraid to accentuate your bump with a form-fitting dress, wrap, or top.
- Show off your bump if you’re open to it!
- Keep it simple. Solid colors and simple patterns work best.
- Accessorize. Add some personality to your outfit with accessories like shaws, jewelry, and hats.
I have a client closet with a variety of dresses, wraps, and skirts. I also have a few statement pieces, like a lace dress and a boho-inspired maxi skirt. All of these items are carefully curated to make sure they photograph beautifully and fit many body types.
Abigail came by and tried on a bunch of stuff before her session. I love when clients are able to do this because sometimes they’ll try on things they otherwise wouldn’t have considered. It’s so fun to see their look of both shock and excitement when they try on something they didn’t expect to like and love it!
Everything Abigail wore came from my client closet, with the exception of her undergarments, of course.
She also opted to have pro hair and makeup done for her shoot. If you want to go this route too, I have referrals I can provide, and it does provide an elevated look. It’s also a fun way to pamper yourself and takes the stress out of doing it yourself.
Lilliana is one of my two main go-to’s for pro makeup looks, and she did a great job with Abigail!
The last thing I’ll point out for styling is that we’ll work together to style according to your preferences and body type. I’ll make sure we highlight your bump in the best way possible.
And that’s a wrap on everything you might want to know about when to take maternity photos, what to expect when we work together, and my tips for styling.
If you’re expecting and want to do photos in the Big Sur, CA, area, I’d love to hear from you!