Maternity photography is getting more popular as people look to celebrate and commemorate the start of their motherhood journey. It’s a lovely way to capture your temporary shape while you’re waiting for your new baby to arrive and the images are ones to treasure and enjoy sharing with your child when they’re old enough to understand that the bump is them. Here’s some commonly asked questions that might help you if you’re planning a pregnancy photo shoot of your own.
When to Book
Ideally, book your shoot when you’re big enough to show off your bump to full effect but not so big that it is all hugely uncomfortable to pose in the studio – normally around 35 weeks.
Choosing your Clothes
Even if you’re planning to be nude or semi nude for your photo shoot, then bring along some clothes as well. Something stretchy but tight enough to cling to your bump. This is kind of the opposite to maternity wear which is designed to hang loose, you want to accentuate your curves. That way, you can warm up to your shoot while fully dressed.
Of course if you’re not planning to strip off, then you might want to bring along a few options so you have some variety in your finished images but as a rule of thumb, clingy is good.
In terms of clothing design, anything that you love is great but steer clear of bold patterns and logos as they can be distracting in the finished images. Plain solid colours work best to keep focus on your shape rather than what you’re wearing.
It’s a nice idea to bring along something that unbuttons at the front so you have the option of undoing part of it to show a little bare bump if you’d like to.
When you dress before your shoot, either wear a dress or tuck maternity trousers under your bump if they are likely to leave marks on your skin. Pick a great fitting bra for the same reason.
Don’t forget any jewellery that you’d like to be wearing in your pictures but don’t stress about shoes unless there’s something specific you want. Maternity photography tends to be from the knee up and barefoot is cool for any seated shots. Just go with whatever is comfortable for you.
Make Up and Hair
I’m the last person to be telling you what you need to do in terms of hair and makeup – your style is part of what makes you who you are.
The one thing I will say is that I quite often see is that you need to wear heavier make up if you’re going for a photo shoot. Whilst this might be true for some types of shoot and under certain lighting conditions, most studio lighting is designed to mimic natural light and so that’s not always the case (check with your photographer to see what they recommend).
This type of session is more about showing your shape than anything else so dramatic makeup isn’t required really – there’s already enough drama going on with you growing a person and everything. So you don’t need to add much more than you’d normally wear. If you like it when you look in the mirror then it’s perfect. Hair is nice down and natural.
What Props to Bring
Bring along any props that you want to include. It’s not essential but you might want to think about bringing first toys, blankets, bootees, scan pictures, anything personalised with your baby’s name (if you know it).
Older Siblings & Partners
If you’re bringing along your partner and older siblings to include in your pictures, then it’s nice to coordinate your outfits in terms of colour and tone. If you want to have part of your session with older children and part without, then it is an idea to have someone else there to take care of them kids when they’re not in pictures. That way you can relax and focus on what you’re doing.
To Strip or Not to Strip
There’s something of a misconception around maternity photography that you will have to get at least partly naked during your session and that’s just not the case. You can get great images while staying fully dressed, unbuttoning for a bare bump, getting down to your underwear or even going topless and covering up with your hands, mix and match everything into one great session – whatever takes your fancy. The only rule is that, if you’re going to be baring, then make sure you have on underwear you’re happy to be photographed in and that it fits you well.
This is the biggest one. I’ve been pregnant so I know it’s not always the time when you feel the most body confidence although I guess it kind of should be as your body is actually doing the most incredible stuff. That aside, don’t worry about how you look. Your photographer will be skilled in using flattering poses and lighting to sculpt your bump and minimise any bits you’re not so keen on and stretchmarks can be airbrushed. I can promise you that you’re perfect just the way you are so just relax and enjoy your session.
Sarah Fisher Photography
I offer maternity photography at my warm and welcoming studio in Crawley Down. A session includes your three favourite digital images that you select from your private online gallery (there’s no sales or viewing session) and costs £95.