Today I’m sharing 5 simple suggestions for your maternity shoot to help mama feel great, more relaxed and produce photos that are just as beautiful as that growing baby bump!
With just two short weeks left in this pregnancy (if that – there have been daily contractions and I’ve already dropped and dilated a bit!), I realized that I still needed a few maternity photos. Okay, maybe needed is a strong word, but I definitely wanted a few. This being the fourth time around, I haven’t been quite as “on schedule” for everything maternity related, so needless to say, I didn’t have a maternity shoot planned out at 7 months. You guys, I threw on a dress, we took our three rambunctious kids to the park and my husband snapped some photos in, get this, 20 minutes. Yes, we had 20 minutes between tai kwon do classes and a meeting said husband had to get to. Thankfully we have a few photos that turned out, because I was sweating it, literally and metaphorically. It was hot out, I was feeling particularly large and swollen, we were hungry and tired… and rushed. Definitely rushed.
With all that said, I’ve had some great maternity shoots (like my last one almost three years ago with Skylar!) and in being on both sides of the camera many times over, I’ve got some tips that will make your maternity shoot run much more smoothly. What am I saying? Do as I say and not as I do. Ha!
5 Simple Suggestions for Your Maternity Shoot
1) Plan the shoot for the best time in pregnancy. Usually the best time for maternity photos falls around seven months. At this stage, the belly is fully visible and showing, mama is glowing and heading into the final stretch, but still comfortable enough to move around and feel confident. What’s difficult about waiting too long and pushing it too close to the due date, is that you can run into a much more uncomfortable mama, it’s easy to feel too large and swollen or even worse, baby could come early and miss out on a maternity shoot all together.
2) Consider the location. Try taking it outside and get some sunshine in the shots, head to a favorite or memorable location… OR go a completely different route and do a laid back and cozy version right at home and in the space you’ll be bringing home baby. I’ve gone both routes and while giving a completely different vibe and feel, both are beautiful ways to go! Just prepare ahead of time and choose a place where you’ll feel most comfortable and happy. How you feel with reflect in your pictures.
3) Decide on what to wear. This can be a difficult decision in any women’s life on a daily basis, let alone when pregnant. Add to it the pressure of knowing you’ll have pictures that capture the moment, and outfit, for years to come? Well let’s just say that can be stressful. If you’re planning ahead you’ll be comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing!
Once you’ve picked a location or at least the idea for the background, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to wear. For example, you would probably wear something more loose and cozy in a bedroom or home setting, something classic and put together in a downtown or city setting, and then a different choice altogether when using a natural, park or foliage setting. Some of my favorite looks lately are a beautiful flowing dress amidst a flurry of trees and foliage. And since I didn’t plan this shoot ahead of time, I didn’t have a flowy maxi dress for the occasion (that fit). So for me, a fitted bodycon dress was my second choice and did the trick! A few reasons a maxi dress is a first choice is the comfort level, it’s SO important to feel as comfortable as possible during your maternity shoot, because your body is already giving you enough changing and discomfort. A maxi also hides imperfections or areas you don’t want to show, but can still be pulled in different areas to show the bump. Plus, a dress that has flow can add drama and beauty to a still shot. Alternatively, with a tight fitting or bodycon dress, you can really pay tribute to your changing and beautiful pregnant body. A form fitted dress allows you to be proud of those beautiful curves and really show off the amazing changes happening in your body. Either way you choose to go, feel beautiful mama, because you are!
A couple more tips on what to wear… you don’t want anything to take away from your beautiful bump, even prints or patterns, so stick to solid colors to really let your growing belly shine. You can use things like texture (lace, crochet, etc) to mix it up or add in a belt above the bump if you’re looking for something more.
4) Throw some props into the occasion without letting it get too “cheesy.” It can be easy to so excited about all of those teenie-tiny baby items, ultrasound photos and baby blocks that it makes you want to use them in every photo. Resist the urge. While using a few sentimental items in your photos can be a beautiful thing, don’t go overboard. Again, you want the focus to be on that baby bump, and those are the photos you’re really treasure most down the road. Keep your pictures timeless, instead of too on-the-Pinterest-trend, and you’ll be glad you did. And those few things you want to have in your pictures? Go ahead and get a few snaps with them as well!
5) Stay hydrated and just relax. You’re capturing and saving a moment in time where your body is doing amazing things, so let yourself enjoy it. Don’t stress about what the photo looks like or what you look like, let the photographer do their work and you can enjoy the process. With that said, you’re also facing a flood of hormones in your body, which means you can be going through all kinds of different physical and emotional feelings (I was really sick around my seven month mark) and you don’t want to overdue it or swell. Bring water!! Your body needs it, and while you’re at it, bring some snacks too. Take deep breaths, enjoy the scenery, stay hydrated and have fun with it! Know that these moments pass so quickly and you’re going to have something beautiful to look back on, especially if you’re happy in the process.
Oh yeah, and afterwards, don’t forget to get some ice cream and put your feet up! 🙂
So tell me mamas, what have you all done for a maternity shoot? Have any tips you’d like to share? We’re all ears!