Congratulations on your pregnancy, Mama! This is a beautiful time in your life and it’s meant to be celebrated. I may be biased, but I believe one of the best ways you can celebrate is to capture your bump on camera, with a maternity photography session.
Being able to look back on your pregnant belly and share this memory with your family and the future little one is priceless.
Once you decide to do a photo shoot, you may want to know how to plan for your maternity session. Luckily, I’m a maternity photographer in Jacksonville, FL and I can give you tips on how to plan for your session.
Most mamas are not able to get the maternity photos they desire because they wait too long to find a photographer. I’ll go ahead and speak for all my fellow maternity photographers – we book up quickly! You will want to reach out to your favorite maternity photographer no later than 16-20 weeks.
Once you find your photographer, plan to have the session in your third trimester, between 30-32 weeks. If you’re expecting multiples, your photographer will probably ask to do it sooner because multiples often come early.
Let’s back up just a little. Before you book your photographer, it’s a good idea to have an idea of your vision for the shoot. You don’t have the entire vision down! Your photographer can help you plan the perfect maternity session style.
But it’s a good idea to understand your photoshoot preferences. For instance..
I know, I know…that’s a lot to think about. At the very least, before you book your photographer decide if you prefer an indoor or an outdoor photoshoot. If it’s outdoors, you and your photographer may need to plan some extra travel time and that may affect the date you book your session for.
Once you’ve discussed your vision with the photographer, you’ll need to narrow down your location. Most of my Mamas like to do their photoshoots at my Jacksonville photography studio because I have everything they’ll need for a session in one location.
If you’re doing an outdoor session, you can ask for suggestions on where to take photos. Your Maternity photographer will know the best locations in your area.
It goes without saying, but you can wear whatever you like to your maternity photography session. Whether you want to wear a glamorous maternity gown or a flowy, comfortable skirt, it’s all up to you!
However, I recommend going shopping for a new maternity outfit for the session. For starters, your belly is going to grow by the day of your session, so you want to make sure whatever you plan to wear will fit comfortably. (That’s actually why we schedule them so late into your pregnancy! We perfectly time it so your belly has that nice, round, and pretty bump to capture in photos.)
Secondly, remember you want to feel special in these photos. What screams ‘special’ to you? A dress you wear weekly or a brand new one? The new one, of course! Allow yourself to feel like a Queen on your photoshoot day.
If you’re one of my Mamas, ask me out for my exclusive Maternity Client Closet. I have maternity gowns, lingerie, shoes, and accessories you can wear instead of having to purchase an outfit you’ll use once. I promise you’ll get the same “new outfit” glow and feel like the Queen you are.
Speaking of feeling special, I always recommend you pamper yourself before the session. Schedule a Mani/Pedi that week, and get a soothing facial or massage. Really take this opportunity to pamper yourself as you’ll be in the last stages of your pregnancy. That’s often the most uncomfortable time for Mamas. Consider pre-scheduling some self-care as a gift to your future self!
You may want to also pre-schedule professional hair and makeup the day of your shoot. If you’re my client, your maternity session includes a complimentary 90-minute hair and makeup session in my studio. If your photographer doesn’t include it in your package, gift it to yourself earlier that morning.
Pregnancy is such a delicate time. A million factors may push your due date up. That’s ok, make sure to keep an open line of communication with your maternity photographer. We’re used to shuffling things around to accommodate little ones. If your doctor tells you to expect your baby sooner, just let us know ASAP.
The last trimester of pregnancy is the hardest on your sleep schedule. Between your little one playing battle with your bladder all night and no rest for my back-sleepers (you’ll know what I mean) it’s rough! Prepare to go to bed early the night before, so you can have a fighting chance at getting enough rest.
Just make sure you wake up early enough if you have a sunrise session!
I like my Mamas to show up at least 15 minutes early to their session. That gives us time to get in, get settled, and get to know each other before you head off to hair and makeup. If you’re bringing your family or fur babies, it lets us get them settled too.
You’ll likely be excited and maybe a little nervous if this is the first photo shoot. I want you to feel comfortable and natural during your session. Showing up early lets me answer any last-minute questions you may have and it gives you additional time to get ready without rushing. (If your photo session is at an outdoor location, it gives you time to walk to your destination, too!)
Pregnancy goes quickly. The time between those two pink lines and holding your little one for the first time happens in a blink of an eye. You’ll want to cherish every moment and allow yourself to capture it in a photo to look back on. Plan your maternity photography session early so you get the experience and images you deserve.
If you’re in Jacksonville, FL, and want to get your own maternity photography session, let’s chat! I would be honored to be your photographer.
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