I just love watching families grow - from bump to baby to big kids! I get a lot of questions about maternity photos, so I’ve complied a few tips about planning for your maternity photography session, from what to where to when to schedule and more:
1) If you’re pregnant now, or if you’ve been pregnant before, you know that a bump is an ever evolving thing. From the “are you pregnant, or maybe you just had Chipotle for lunch?” phase all the way to the “when was your due date? are you sure you’re not having twins?” stage (and screw those people who ever ask any of those questions), there’s a magical sweet spot in pregnancy for every mama when you’re looking adorable and not yet 1000% feeling more like a beached whale than a glowing mama-to-be. I’ve found that the sweet spot for photos is right around 30-35 weeks along in your pregnancy, so you aren’t flirting too close to your due date but aren’t feeling like you have to push that belly out to accentuate the curve.
2) The best time? If you’re shooting your session outdoors, you’ll want to schedule just before sunset for that beautiful golden hour light. If you opt for a studio shoot or something cozy and in-home, you have more timing flexibility.
3) Maternity photos are about your growing family. So it’s amazing to include everyone in your family, from your partner to big siblings and pets. I treat maternity sessions as a snapshot of this time in your life, so I definitely encourage first time mamas to bring their pup along for the shoot and for those 2nd and 3rd time moms (or more!), I want to see your kids there engaging with you and that cute bump!
4) Pregnancy has a magical way of torpedoing your wardrobe. By the third trimester, figuring out what to wear to work, to chase your toddler, to waddle through Target - it’s all a challenge. I think there are two schools of thought for maternity fashion in photos, and both are stunning. First, you can go glamorous and rock a stunning dress. I am always happy to provide great suggestions of places to purchase a dress that will make you look and feel like a million bucks (here and here are great places to start), or you’re welcome to borrow a dress from my small but growing client wardrobe. Second, I love a more natural looking maternity session for mamas who don’t feel “themselves” all dolled up in a dress. Leggings or maternity jeans with a sweater or tunic that makes you feel fabulous are a wonderful way to capture YOU as you become a mom to this baby you’re carrying.
5) Pregnancy and maternity photography is such a special way to freeze this time, not just for you but for your children. I remember when I was pregnant with my youngest (and my only girl), I felt like a walking MAC truck by the end, but despite feeling pretty mediocre about the way I looked on a day-to-day basis (which, looking back, was silly, but whatever), I treasure the images of my boys snuggling up on my belly (here’s a favorite of mine, from my maternity session with my third, captured by my good friend Vlad from Yofi Photography).
Can you believe Colin was so young back then!! Anyways, you catch my drift. You are beautiful. This process is a beautiful one. One day, you’ll look back and wish you had photos to capture it, and not just blurry selfies you look in the bathroom mirror. I don’t think anyone regrets taking maternity photos, but I’m sure there are plenty of mamas who will confess that they regret skipping it.
If you are considering booking a maternity photography session, please take a moment to drop me a note by clicking the link below - I’d love to work with you to capture this special time.
Rachel is a premier maternity, newborn and family photographer serving families in Chicago and throughout the North Shore suburbs, including but not limited to Evanston, Skokie, Wilmette, Glenview, Morton Grove, Prospect Heights, Winnetka, Northbrook, Kenilworth, Wheeling, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glencoe and beyond.