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I only have a handful of photographs where I’m pregnant with my son. I was so self-conscious about how I looked and felt at the time, that I hated even looking in the mirror. I appeared swollen and it never occurred to me that I would regret not having any photos. I promised myself that no matter how swollen I looked or how much weight that I gained, that I would take some maternity photos during this pregnancy. I’m sharing some of the mistakes I made planning my maternity photos and a few tips for planning your maternity photographs.
Tips for planning maternity photographs:
- Hiring a maternity photographer: I opted not to hire a maternity photographer and that was probably my first mistake. I’m a photographer myself; it isn’t uncommon that I’ll frame a shot and set my camera before stepping in the frame and handing my camera to my husband. I can get most of my photographs framed up this way, but I also lose some of the details that I desire. It’s hard to know how to angle my face, turn my shoulders, or set my feet so that the photo is the most flattering. A good photographer will know how to pose a woman so that her best features are prominent. Simple things like lifting your chin a few centimeters or tilting your head can make a face appear slimmer (especially if you’re dealing with third trimester swelling). If you decide to hire a professional photographer, make sure they have a diverse maternity portfolio so that they can help you look your best.
- When should you take maternity photographs?: Personally, I suggest taking maternity photographs late in your second trimester to early in your third trimester. You want to have a cute “baby bump”, but you also don’t want to take them so late that your dealing with swelling or general pregnancy discomfort. May was an unusually rainy month here, and my son had soccer or baseball games most of the month when it was dry. I ended up postponing my maternity shoot by several weeks, and that was a big regret. I was dealing with some pretty significant puffiness and it was getting difficult to move with “grace” by the time I got around to taking these. We shot them in the middle of the day in a shady spot, because they were predicting rain that evening and I didn’t want to postpone them further.
- Choose your maternity outfit carefully for photographs: The purpose of maternity photographs is to document that moment in your pregnancy. You’ll want an outfit that helps to accentuate your baby belly. As a photographer, I prefer solid colors because they don’t appear busy and it allows the photographer to use multiple backgrounds or settings. Being comfortable during maternity photographs should be of paramount importance; if an outfit is too snug or it makes you uncomfortable, please don’t wear it. Maxi dresses are a great option for maternity photos. Adding accessories like a belt will help show off your baby bump, or even go with a dress that is form fitting if you’re comfortable. It’s also good to carry a backup outfit just in case. The dress that I’m wearing came from PinkBlush Maternity and I like that the design is good for nursing after my daughter is born. They have a variety of maternity fashions available in regular and plus sizes. Here is the link to the dress that I’m wearing in maternity and maternity plus sizes.
- Pinterest can be really helpful when planning maternity photographs: Pinterest can serve two purposes when planning maternity photographs, you can find maternity photo session and posing ideas to show to your photographer and you can look for maternity fashions that you like. I really like when a photography client has a vision in mind for their photo session. Showing your photographer a few examples of maternity sessions that you like from their portfolio or sessions that you find featured online will help them better plan for yours. Here is my Pinterest board that has some of my favorite maternity photography poses, maternity fashion, and maternity photography sessions on it.
- Relax and enjoy your maternity photo session: Just remember that you’re in a temporary state, and that soon enough you won’t be swollen and uncomfortable any longer. You’ve had the hard job of growing another human being and there is a big reward at the end.
Here are a few photos from my maternity photo session:
Don’t forgo maternity photographs because you feel self-conscious about your appearance. You’ll likely regret your decision not to commemorate this important milestone in your life.
Whether you’re looking for a few pieces to add to your maternity wardrobe or you’re shopping for the perfect dress for maternity photographs, check out PinkBlush. They have a wide selection of pieces that will transition throughout each trimester and a line that can be used while nursing your child.
Are you planning on having maternity photographs taken? Did you have maternity photos taken during any previous pregnancies? I hope you find these tips for planning maternity photographs helpful.