5 Steps to Take to Prepare for Maternity Photos

Maybe it’s because we’re all in lockdown or maybe I’ve just been posting a lot of maternity photos, but I’ve been getting an insane amount of maternity inquiries! Which was why I thought it was time to share a few tips on how to best prepare for maternity photos when you’re expecting a bundle of joy!

Check out below 5 steps you’ll need to prepare for maternity photos.

1. Find your photographer

black and white maternity shoot

Search on Google or Instagram hashtags for local hashtags such as #bayareamaternity #sfmaternity #bayareamaternityphotographers to find a local photographer. Or if you know exactly where you want to have your maternity session, use location-specific hashtags such as #sutrobathsmaternity or #sutrobathsengagement to find a photographer that has experience shooting in that location that may offer maternity photography.

Pro Tip: When you’re browsing on Instagram for your maternity photographer, make sure to save their post so that you can compare pricing and portfolio across different photographers!

2. Schedule your maternity shoot

white sequin maternity dress

Once you find a photographer, reach out and inquire ASAP! It’s always best to inquire ahead of time to ensure that your ideal photographer has availability.

Pro Tip: When you schedule your maternity session with your photographer, make sure to schedule it when you’re around 28-32 weeks.

This is the ideal time frame because your belly is big enough to show in photos, but not so much that you’d be uncomfortable during the shoot.

3. Find a location

If you’re still lost on where to have a maternity session, have no fear! That’s what Pinterest is for. If you’re stuck on where to go for a maternity session, simply browse Pinterest or Instagram to get some inspiration. Do you like a coastal view? Beach? Mountains? Dry Grass? Flower field? Pick a type of scenery that you like most so that your photographer can curate a list of recommendations for you and do the rest.

Pro Tip: If you do pick a location yourself, make sure to pick a location that is easily walkable. While some photo spots may be have really nice views, it’s always good to pick a spot that doesn’t require more than a ~10 min walk or has a very steep or treacherous incline.

marin headlands maternity session

4. Go shopping!

Probably THE most fun part of any kind of photo session: shopping! When shopping for a maternity dress, make sure to listen to your photographer’s recommendations. Everyone has a different kind of style, depending on the location.

Pro Tip: I would personally recommend neutral, pastels, or muted tones because they colors work in any environment. Long dresses or dresses with sleeves are the most flattering for expectant mothers.

If your photographer, like me *ahem ahem*, has a style guide, I’d highly recommend flipping through it to get a sense of what types of dresses look best in which environments. Some of my favorite maternity dresses are from ASOS, Pink Blush, and Morning Lavender. Mandy’s dress is from Nothing Fits But and it’s one of my favorite ones to date! For additional inspiration, you can also peep my Maternity Style Pinterest board for more maternity style inspiration.

crissy field white knit maternity dress

5. Prepare for your maternity shoot

Now that you have your outfits, it’s time to prepare for your maternity photos! Here’s what you can expect in terms of a timeline.

2 weeks before the shoot

Personally, I never think it’s too much to get dressed up. If you’re wearing a dress you’re super excited about, why not kick it up a notch and book an appointment with a hair & makeup artist? It’s been a tricky time throughout this whole pandemic, why not support small business owner AND save yourself the stress of having to do your own hair & makeup?

Pro Tip: Book hair & makeup at least two weeks in advance to make sure you book the HMUA of your choice.

french bull dog lands end maternity

1 week before the shoot

  • Get your nails done and ring polished (especially for those up-close bump shots!)
  • Finalize and pack your 1-2 outfits, with shoes included.
  • Bring comfy clothes such as a jacket and comfy shoes to change in and out of. Because you never know where we’d hike to!
  • In terms of props, I love keeping things really minimal and elegant. Some simple prop ideas can include a necklace with the baby’s initials, an ultrasound photo, or baby shoes & a onesie.
  • Did I mention I LOVE pups?!! Bring your best pal to our shoot for a little added fun.
  • Bring doggy treats. Bonus points if you’re able to bring a friend or family member to help grab the your fur babies’ attention!

For more inspiration, feel free to check out some of my most recent maternity sessions: Ummul + Arif’s Shell Ridge Maternity, Micca + Mike’s Land’s End Maternity, and Mandy + Nick’s Crissy Field Maternity.

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