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Tried and True Tips for Perfect Maternity Photos

Other than the "prize" you get at the end of pregnancy (the baby) and maybe the nesting, my favorite thing about pregnancy is taking maternity photos! I am not one of those women who love pregnancy, and I'm fairly certain that the feeling is mutual. Both of my pregnancies have been laced with such atrocities as severe morning sickness, gestational diabetes, rare eye conditions, PUPPS, and high blood pressure, just to name a few lovely occurrences.

So, why even schedule a photo shoot if pregnancy is so horrendous, you may ask? Because women are crazy, that's why - and even though I despise almost every second of being pregnant, there will come a time where I will look back on the time fondly (since I am no longer being held captive by the baby who has taken over my body) and be GLAD that I captured pictures of it all.

Between the two times I have been pregnant and had maternity pictures done, I have come up with some tips that can help you (hopefully) when you are planning your own maternity photos.

1. Decide who all is going to be in the pictures with you. Do you want the pictures to just be of you and your glowing pregnant belly? Maybe some of you and your husband together? If this is not your first child, do you want to include kids too? You might be able to do a little bit of everything depending on your setting and your photographer if you want a mix of it all.

Dragging the husband along for the maternity shoot :) Photo by Andrea Pascalau
More maternity photos with husband included - Photo by Andrea Pascalau
Including big sister Beulah in this maternity session - Photo by Lori K Sapio

2. Decide on the style of the session. This is fun. There are so many different kinds of maternity photos you can take these days. I will be writing a blog post soon about the different kinds of maternity photo sessions I took with each of my pregnancies, but I'm not quite ready to do so yet. Look on Pinterest for inspiration! Do you want a studio look? Do you want candid? Do you want something whimsical and outside? Do you want something laid back in your bedroom? This will help you really frame the rest of what you need to do to prepare for your shoot.
Natural outdoor maternity shoot - Photo by Andrea Pascalau   

Editorial studio maternity shoot - Photo by Andrea Pascalau / Corsei Photography
Pinup style maternity session - Photo by Windy City Pin-Up

3. Schedule your photo session at about 35-36 weeks of pregnancy. That way you are obviously pregnant but hopefully not too swollen or hating life by then. Of all the sessions I have had, I have scheduled mine all around this time frame and been pretty happy with the timing. Too early and you won't be pregnant enough, too late and you might be toooooooo pregnant. Believe me, there is such a thing.

4. After you have decided on the style of your session, it's time to get really specific on wardrobe. If you are going to be in your bedroom lounging on your bed, best not to get a fancy dress and heels. Remember that if your session is outside, and it requires any degree of tramping around that you want to be comfortable, or at least have comfortable shoes to change into while you walk around. For one of my outdoor sessions, I wore flat sandals. For a studio session I did, I wore wedges just for the look of the photos, but didn't have to walk around in them. If husband or other kids are going to be in the photo, consider these 5 tips for family photos that I gathered from photographer friends.

5. Consider hiring a hair and makeup artist. Depending on your photographer, they might have one to refer you to or one who they work with already. This is nice because a) crazy stuff happens to our skin and hair when we are pregnant, b) you might be lacking ALL motivation to get yourself done up, and c) it is damn nice to get pampered by a hair/makeup artist now and then. If you do decide to hire one, be prepared to pay them their rate and know that they do appreciate a small tip for their services. I usually tip them $10 on top of whatever their rate is.

6. Research poses for your maternity belly and practice them in the mirror so you feel comfortable and confident doing them. Do you like the ones where your hands are making a heart on your belly? Great! Practice that. Do you want to sit Indian-style and cup your belly with your arms? First make sure you can actually sit Indian-style before you get set on that pose! There are a ton of poses you can do. If you have other people with you in your shoot, there are a ton of cute ideas on none other than Pinterest. So, check it out! Also your photographer should be able to help you out of with poses as well. My suggestion would be to do a variety of poses so when you go through your photos and choose which ones you like, you have a variety of poses to choose from.  

For more information on the photographers featured in today's post, please visit their web sites:
Andrea Pascalau -
Lori Sapio -
Windy City Pin-up -

For an extra special feature of my daughter Beulah on Lori's blog, check out this blog post she wrote featuring photographing children's important milestones. Love this article and really helpful for mommas-to-be to think about and be prepared!


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