How To Prepare For A Maternity Photoshoot...
Have a Plan, just like many expecting mothers have a birth plan when they go into labor. It is best to plan in advance for a maternity shoot and to create a theme, make a mood board, and a general outline. Most maternity photographers will appreciate your ideas and creative input. First decide if you want images alone or if you want to involve your partner, significant other, children or pets.
Expecting a child is one of the most exciting times in a woman's life. Much like wedding photography showcasing the union between a man and a women, documenting a mother during this time of love and anticipation for an unborn child is equally if not more important.
As an expecting mother and expecting model I feel these points are most essential: When, Where, What, and How...
When is the best time to book a photoshoot...
The best time for a maternity shoot is during the 30th-34th week of pregnancy. Many women do not "pop" until their 30th week especially if it's their first pregnancy. Furthermore, if you are booking just one shoot, you will want to look and feel pregnant. I think after the 35th week or when you only have 4 weeks till babies estimated arrival is a good time to look over the images and decide which you would like to add to your photo album, baby book, or nursery. I think booking a maternity shoot after 36th weeks is not necessarily the best time.
Where is the shoot taking place? Indoors or outdoors?
Your needs are unique, just like every mother's maternity journey is different. Booking a shoot in studio or shooting outside on location are both wonderful options but offer completely different looks. When you select your photographer speak to him/her at least once about your needs and wants. Also, look at examples on his/her website to see if the photographer's speciality is more inclined to portraiture maternity or to working with the quintessential elements outdoors.
Please feel free to email me additional questions about location ideas and settings.
What should you wear?
Garments and props really do matter and what you wear sets the tone for the shoot. In your plan or mood board include looks and styles you like. Many maternity photographers offer beautiful dresses and clothing for expecting mothers to wear on the shoot but a professional photographer will be equally open and excited for you to bring your own dresses or something meaningful to wear.
How to prepare?
Exfoliate and Moisturize. I always suggest using a spray tan or a moisturizer that has a self tanner. If your shoot is outdoors it's nice to have a glow and a self tanner or getting a spray tan can provide the effect. A women's body goes through many changes during pregnancy. Self tanner actually helps reduce the look of stretch marks as does a good firming moisturizer. Be sure to tell the photographer in advance if you have any tattoos, stretch marks, birth marks, or anything on your body that you wish to hide. A good photographer will know how to help you pose and accentuate the areas of your body that you wish to show including your perfect round bump. If not, there is always photo retouching to help enhance a photo.
Effective communication between photographer and the expecting mother is key.
I have been blessed to shoot with many talented maternity Photographers.
If you are looking for an LA/ Cali based maternity photographer I highly recommend Ana Brandt
For an NYC and Hamptons based maternity photographer, I highly recommend Daisy Beatty
Contact me if you have additional questions about preparing for a maternity shoot.