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  • Writer's pictureAdriana Spetter

Preparing for your maternity session

Expecting a new baby is an exciting moment in every woman’s life. It a time for love and passion about new unborn baby even before they have met. The feeling of growing new life although often followed by pains and aches, makes every new mother glow and shine. And what a better time and way to capture the joy and excitement than maternity portrait session. I, like a portrait photographer, love working with expecting mothers and her husband or partner to craft beautiful and artistic pregnancy portraits. I feel like each mother deserves to have these moments captured and recorded in framed prints to remind her of the day when she was so in love with her unborn baby.

It could be a daunting task however to find the right maternity portrait photographer who has the experience and skills to create these portraits. So many questions:

  • – When is the best time?

  • – What to wear?

  • – How to prepare for the maternity portrait session?

To help expecting mothers prepare for their pregnancy photography sessions, I have compiled the following list of 10 tips.

1. Pick the Best Time:

I recommend to schedule your session is between 31 and 36 weeks of your pregnancy. During that time, woman’s belly has a lovely round shape. The transformation of your body is both beautiful and in the same time interesting to capture on photos. After the 36th week most women start to feel too bloated and uncomfortable during the session. Another advantage is that also gives you plenty of time to select a dress from my collection, you could also order your own maternity dresses online, just remember -processing time takes about 3 weeks + shipping time.

2. You Needs Are Unique:

It’s a good idea to discuss with me any ideas about poses, look, location or props you might have in mind. Sure I have the experience of being maternity portrait photographer and can have suggestions for you, but every client is unique. I want your experience to feel unique just as your needs and expectations are unique. Discussing them would help me to be in sync and prepare. If you have collected any maternity portrait examples, bring them to the consultation session. There are so many great examples on the web: Pinterest or blogs. Even printed magazines or friend’s albums could be a source of inspiration. Visual examples are easy to understand and discuss.

3. Printed Portraits Are Beautiful:

If you consider to have the images from your session printed: baby book, large format prints or canvases, wallet-size photos, add to your Christmas cards is simply display them online on your Facebook page, make sure to let your me know in advance. It makes a difference if you going to keep these images private (in your bedroom, or share with only close family members) or display in public (in your living room or share online with all of your friends). Also if you going to order large prints of your images, the image quality is usually higher than small wallet-size prints or for online. I would be able to give you more information and show you samples of the final products, so you can make the right decision.

4. Your Body Will Be Photographed:

During pregnancy woman’s body goes through transformation and is not usual for stretch marks and birthmarks to appear. I will know how to pose you so that these are less or not all visible. The same is true if any parts of your body have developed sensitivity during the pregnancy. Be sure to discuss this with me if you have anything about your body which you are not fully comfortable with. If you have any tattoos which you don’t want to show up in your final artistic images, let me know so we can use your clothing or posing to hide this. The other option is to ask for retouching in post-processing to remove these completely from your final images.

5. Having Company Is Fun:

Don’t be afraid to bring your husband or older children to your session. If you plan to have them both, plan to have your children photographed first and arrange for someone to take them home after that. Having others be part of your session allows me to create more family like images and it is a great time for your older children to show the love for your unborn baby.

6. Calm Down and Enjoy:

This is the most important and yet most neglected advise I can give to my clients. Sure you will be excited and would do anything in your power to look great in your images, but if you are not relaxed or uneasy, then this will show into your final photographs. So take a mental not to yourself and plan to relax before the session. Try not to schedule anything to close of too hectic before the session. Go to your favorite spa, pamper yourself with manicure and pedicure, have your hair and makeup done in a salon instead of you trying to do everything before the session. Taking a short nap is another way to feel relaxed and well rested. Also to add to your radiance by lathering up with a nice, luxurious lotion about an hour or two before your session. This will minimize any redness or dry skin. It will also keep you more comfortable if you’re dealing with itchy skin — a common side effect of expanding skin! Do skip oily or greasy lotions and opt for super absorbent lotions, instead. Applying an hour or two before your session gives it plenty of time to soak into the skin.

During the session, let the me take care of the details. Enjoying the moment and sinking into the excitement will make you look and feel great. This is all what the maternity portrait session is all about. You are beautiful and your maternal glow is amazing. It is great to be mother and you should enjoy every minute of it. You hired a qualified and skilled photographer. Let me take care of the photo shoot.

7. Clothing Does Matter:

Stretching garments and clothing can leave marks on your beautiful round belly. Plan to remove any tight clothes and elastic bands from your body at least 2 hours before the start of your session to allow any marks to disappear. This includes socks, bras, snug underwear or maternity pants. Dressing in robe or lose dress will keep your skin smooth. Wearing slippers or slip on shoes would make it easy for you to take them off. Not having skin marks is especially important if you plan to have semi-nude images taken. The beauty of your belly and body would be spoiled by any marks left by the clothing or undergarments and these could be easily avoided by simply planning ahead.

8. Posing Helps Create Great Photographs:

Big part of having beautiful pregnancy portraits is the posing. Most likely I would direct you and explain how you should pose, but if you have any specific pose or poses in mind, make sure to talk to me before the start of your session. Also discuss about what poses you are comfortable or willing to put a limit up to. Are you looking for more intimate or more conservative poses? Are you looking for high key (bright and white background) images or low key (moody and black background) images instead? Are you looking for color or black and white images? More lifestyle or more artistic? These are all personal preferences and expectations which will help me to pose and capture for you. So don’t assume. Talk to me and agree before the session.

9. Different Looks Are Interesting:

Plan to bring different clothes and outfits to your session. You would spend at least one hours and you most likely wouldn’t want to appear in the same clothes on all of your images. Having different outfits in your pregnancy photos is a good idea. It will also give you a chance to catch your breath and try different styles. In general, fabrics which adhere to the body shape are best choice so your round belly can be well visible. Stretchy fabrics and clothes which you can slip into and unzip easily are the best.

10. Don’t Fret The Accessories:

Finally, the accessories. Many women think this is not a good idea for maternity session, but when applied with moderation and with a good sense of taste, accessories add additional focal point and interest to your photos. And this is not just jewelry? You can bring bay shoes, ultrasound picture of your baby, banner you are your husband created, pictures, stuffed animals or simply your favorite flower. Possibilities are endless. Be creative and you would later enjoy the results.

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