As you prepare the nursery and watch your belly grow, it’s time to start thinking about your maternity session and how you want to use the portraits afterwards! A maternity session is a great way to ensure you get some portraits while pregnant, as well as a special time for couples to not only celebrate their bundle of joy on the way, but also to take a moment to celebrate each other. Here are a few of our best maternity session tips for moms-to-be, as well as ideas for how to use your portraits after your session is over!
1. Choose Your Portrait Art
As you plan your maternity sessions, it’s a good idea to start by deciding how you want to use your maternity portraits. Block Portrait Studios can create wall art to decorate your home or nursery, photo blocks, albums, and more. Also, plan ahead for how you may want to showcase portraits such as an album series to continue through the rest of yearly portraits. Once you choose how you want to use your portraits, your photographer can help determine the best way to photograph for those locations. For example, a final art installation on a side wall above a chair in a square format is different than a long area above the crib or a full album. Knowing the colors of the nursery (or another room where the portraits will be displayed) is also important for your photographer to consider when choosing the background and clothing design.
2. Plan for Comfort & Weather-Appropriate
No matter what season you do your portraits in, it’s important to be comfortable and dressed for the weather. Indoor portraits offer an easy option to change outfits when you arrive, but outdoor portraits are less flexible. You don’t want to be too hot, or on the other end – too cold. That may mean planning your outfit around winter boots if you plan to do a snowy outdoor session in December!
3. Treat Yo Self, Mama
Whether or not you have that pregnancy glow, consider hiring a professional hair stylist and makeup artist who you can visit at the salon or who will travel to you. It’s the perfect way to treat yourself and also a great idea for any mamas who aren’t hair and makeup savvy. You can also complete your look by adding a fun accessory like a sash, floral crown, or the perfect color pop shoes.
4. Selecting Outfits
It’s always a great idea to plan a formal outfit and a more casual outfit. A current trend with maternity sessions right now is a signature maternity gown. These are typically a bold color and fitted around the belly to truly make the mama-to-be pop (in the portraits)! If you are doing an outdoor winter maternity gown shoot, find a long-sleeve dress or a sweater that goes with your dress for an easy on and off option so you don’t freeze! For a casual outfit, choose a comfortable pair of jeans or leggings and a top that’s fitted around your belly. As you select your outfits, remember to keep your final art in mind. For example, coordinate your outfit’s colors with the colors of the nursery or room where the final art piece will be displayed.
5. Consider Intimate Portraits
As you consider outfits, another possibility is an intimate maternity session. Nude or boudoir portraits are a beautiful way to capture the miracle of growing a human life. Some couples choose to both participate in these portraits while other times, it’s just for the mama-to-be.
6. Bring the Props
Props are such a fun way to personalize your portraits! Bring along whatever you’d like – whether it’s a sonogram, a onsie, a personalized nursery decor item, a stuffed animal, baby shoes, a book, or something else that’s meaningful to signify your bundle of joy that’s on the way.
7. Welcome, Siblings & Pets
We love including the baby’s older siblings and pets in the session! It’s such a special moment and the entire family should be a part of capturing the excitement. Pro tip? Bring a helper or two with you! While we’ll get plenty of portraits with the whole family, we also want to get portraits of just the parents & that bump so it helps to have a family member or friend tag along to help manage the kiddos and pets.
8. Don't Forget a Snack & Water
Let’s be honest- an hour of being photographed can be hard work! Be sure to bring a snack and water, especially if your portrait session location involves some walking. Don’t ever be shy to tell your photographer you need a break to munch and refuel – or even if you’re not feeling well and need a moment to just sit!
We hope this helps you feel prepared and inspired for your maternity session. If you are a few months away from your due date and haven’t booked a maternity session yet, now is the time to reach out! And even though you can’t predict what day your baby will arrive, it’s also a good idea to book a newborn session and provide your photographer with an estimate date about a week or two after your due date. Your photographer will understand this is a flexible date and will work with you to determine the best date to book after your new family member arrives!