When to take your Maternity Photos

Whether it is your first or last baby, maternity photos are one of the best ways to celebrate the occasion. As a maternity photographer, one of the questions I get asked is ‘when to take your maternity photos?’ Each photo shoot is specific to the expectant parents, but there are definitely some general rules to follow. Keep reading for some tips on when to take your maternity photos.

Jacksonville Cummer Museum Maternity session

When should you schedule your maternity session?

Depending on several factors this will be slightly different for each expecting parent. If this is your first baby then you will likely want to schedule when you’re further along and have a bigger bump. If you already have a little one then you may show earlier and book your photoshoot sooner. However, in either case, you will want to reach out to your photographer no later than 16-20 weeks and sooner if you’re wanting a photoshoot during peak months. Peak months for most photographers are April-June and September-November.

Jacksonville Maternity photograher capturing a couple in the garden downtown

Can you schedule your maternity photoshoot too early?

Yes, you want to ensure that you have a defined bump for your photoshoot. Most expecting parents want to plan on having their photoshoot between 30-32 weeks. This will allow you to have a defined bump without reaching that too ‘miserable to move’ stage. If you are showing sooner or this isn’t your first then scheduling closer to 30 weeks is a good idea. If you’re carrying twins then scheduling closer to the 25-28 week mark is a timeframe.

Can you schedule your maternity photoshoot too late?

This is definitely something that is different for each person. Some mamas are able to book a later photoshoot and be completely fine. Others, struggle with a photoshoot past the 33-week mark. This is really specific to the kind of photoshoot you’re booking – a studio shoot will be much less taxing than a shoot located on a hiking trail. As well as your activity level during your pregnancy. If you remained active throughout your pregnancy then you will have more tolerance for being on your feet for an hour further along in your pregnancy versus someone who wasn’t active throughout.

Sunset Maternity session of expecting mother in the Cummer Museum during the summer

Tips for a successful session

Your maternity photo shoot will be specific to you and your family. Whether you book it sooner in your pregnancy or later, on a beach or in the studio – it all boils down to what you and your partner are comfortable with. Here are the general rules of thumb:

  • Reach out to your photographer no later than 20 weeks, sooner the better, especially during peak seasons.
  • Plan your photoshoot to be no later than 34 weeks, sooner if this isn’t your first pregnancy, later if this is your first.
  • Listen to your body, if you feel like you need to plan an earlier photoshoot let your photographer know.
  • Bring your partner, other kiddos, and/or furbabies so that the whole family can celebrate this milestone with you!
  • Check out the list of our favorite maternity photoshoot locations in Jacksonville.
Expecting mom's portraits of her maternity session in Jax
Husband and Wife with Jacksonville Photographer

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