How to Get Your Best Maternity Photos

Few things can compare with the radiant beauty and glow of a mom-to-be. Her pure delight in the precious gift she's mere weeks away from birthing are magnetic to the camera. Capturing maternity photos in your third trimester will allow you to savor this cherished time for generations, but it's natural to have questions about doing a photo shoot while pregnant.

Here are some best practices for getting the most out of your maternity photo shoot.

When to Take Maternity Photos

Stage of Pregnancy: It's ideal to schedule your maternity photo shoot to occur between 28 to 36 weeks. During this time you will have a visibly beautiful baby bump to photograph while still enjoying some energy and mobility. The longer you wait, the more uncomfortable it will likely be for you during the shoot. Be sure to plan ahead if the photographer books sessions well in advance.

Time of Day: If your photographer uses natural lighting, be sure to discuss possible locations and time of day with her as she will prefer to shoot when the natural light is optimal. Ideally, you will have several options so you can choose the time you typically feel most energetic.

Where to Take Maternity Photos

The exquisite beauty of nature is a classic metaphor for the blooming radiance of the expectant mother, therefore, outdoor maternity photos are elegant and timeless. If weather isn't favorable or you prefer indoors, then any of your favorite hangouts are a good option. Your home, favorite restaurant, or shop could all be memorable locations to create maternity photos that come alive with personality.

Maternity Photo Wardrobe, Makeup, and Hair

Bring at least two outfits to the session to capture different looks. Ideally, the wardrobe aligns with your personality while, most importantly, showing off that gorgeous baby belly. Long, flowing dresses or gowns work really well in maternity photos. Floral headpieces also work beautifully with this look. Dresses and other clothing made of textured material like lace also add dimension that pops in photographs. Your favorite outfits are perfect for an alternative, casual look.

The makeup and hairstyle should be about one step up from your daily look. For example, if you typically wear makeup and style your hair, go for a little more glamor with more dramatic makeup and hair. However, if you prefer to go au naturel, then sparingly use makeup to accentuate your features and, if necessary, to hide blemishes. Hairstyles should complement the look you're going for. If you need inspiration, look through maternity shoot portfolios or celebrity hairstyles online.

Themes and Poses for Maternity Photos

Plan in advance whether or not you would like others to join you. If this is your first baby, then romantic photos with your partner are a lovely way to celebrate your babymoon. If this isn't your first go around, then you can include the entire family for a fun, we're-all-so-excited-to-welcome-baby vibe. If your family has a special interest or hobby, that can be incorporated, too.

Poses should feel somewhat natural to you. A popular pose is of mom gently holding her bump while gazing down. It definitely makes a sweet photo but if it feels awkward, then skip it. A skilled photographer will capture your best moments be it a full body shot, a candid close-up, or a precious family moment. Most importantly, just be yourself to enable the photographer to get the most authentic you.

Staying Comfortable During the Shoot

Finally, be prepared for comfort during the shoot. If your session is outdoors during the winter, bring layers to keep warm. During the summer, take water to stay hydrated for the entire session. Also, bring snacks in case hunger strikes. If you fear being in front of the camera will make you nervous, take along your favorite music to help you relax during the shoot.

Final Thoughts on Maternity Photos

Your pregnancy is an invaluable time to capture the most radiant photos of you and the precious gift growing in your belly. These tips will allow you to have a pleasant and fun photo shoot and capture beautiful maternity photos that you'll treasure for a lifetime.