Welcome to Motherhood
The journey to motherhood is a magical and joyous time. But it’s also a time of worry, anxiety and the hope you’re doing everything right. From the moment you discover you’re pregnant it’s an exciting roller coaster often fraught with mixed emotions. There’s the ever-changing hormones and mood swings. There’s the weird and wonderful changes to your body and not to mention the anxiety over every little thing you put into your body. It’s a bizarre feeling having a little human growing inside you, isn’t it? But it’s also freaking amazing to think what our bodies are capable of creating. Which is why documenting this journey of growing a little human with maternity photography is so important. Because once your little person arrives, screaming, pooping, and totally wrapping you around their tiny little fingers, you’ll forget the incredible changes your body went through to get them earthside.
Choose the last trimester for maternity photos
The entire point of maternity photography is to document your ever-growing belly. Many women like to do what I call timelapse photos. These photos are taken week by week to document the incremental changes to your body as your baby grows. Many of these photos are taken with a smartphone purely as a documentation of their progress so they can look at their pre-baby body.
Other soon-to-be Mums book a professional photographer to document their progress on a monthly basis. Having a monthly photoshoot shows the progressive changes to your body as your baby grows. These types of photo shoots are becoming increasingly popular with Mums who plan to create a maternity and newborn photo album for their baby.
But the most popular time for your maternity photos is between 34-36 weeks gestation. By this time your belly is a nice round ball of baby. And hopefully you’re still feeling comfortable and agile. If you wait a few extra weeks there’s a good chance you’ll be uncomfortable, possibly cranky and you won’t feel like posing for photos like the gorgeous earth Mumma you want to be.
Select the perfect outfit for maternity photography
When it comes to dressing for your maternity photos, the trick is to show off that gorgeous baby bump. I mean that’s the whole point of maternity photos right? And there’s a few different looks you can choose to really rock your maternity shoot.
The Earth Mother Goddess
If you love the whole earth mother goddess look, try to find a long dress with soft flowing fabric that falls softly over your belly. The lighter the fabric the more your dress will follow the shape of your body. It’s also easier to create dreamy photos as you can throw the fabric in the air and photograph it while it falls. You can even add a flower crown to complete the whole goddess look.
For some stunning examples of affordable and flowing maternity dresses, check out the range at LukaLulu. If you’re looking for a one-off fabulous dress then why not hire a maternity gown from MamaRentals, an Australian online boutique.
The Sexy Mumma
If a flowing gown isn’t quite your style and you’d like something a little sexier, try a tight fitting jumpsuit or dress to really show off your baby bumps and curves. Or for the more adventurous Mumma lacy lingerie or swimwear is a fantastic way to show off your pregnancy. If there’s even a time to bare your body, this is it.
The Go Natural Mumma
If you’re absolutely loving your pregnant form and are comfortable showing it all, why not go au naturel? A strategically placed hand or lacy fabric, dramatic lighting or backlit silhouette can create striking maternity photos. A skilled photographer will have no trouble capturing a beautiful portrait of your pregnant form.
After all, pregnancy is a magical time and even if you’re not quite feeling that wonderful pregnancy glow everybody keeps raving about, your body is doing amazing things. So why not show it off? Go on Mumma, flaunt that baby belly.
Find the Perfect Location
There isn’t one perfect location for maternity photos. I mean, you can have your photos anywhere! Many pregnant women feel adventurous and go to the beach and have photos in the water with waves splashing around them.
Others climb to a hilltop to have a scenic backdrop for their belly. While others prefer a lifestyle setting in the comfort of their own home.
The pregnant Mummas I meet come to my comfortable Sydney studio, enjoy the air conditioning, relaxing music and Netflix. Some even borrow my fabulous maternity gowns for the photo shoot.
But it really doesn’t matter your preference of location, the purpose of maternity photos is to document your pregnancy.
So find the location that suits you and makes you feel comfortable.
Include Your Partner
Having your partner in the photos is a lovely way to include them in your pregnancy. After all, even though you’re the one growing the tiny human, it’s an exciting journey for the both of you. The photo shoot is one of the few times your partner can participate in your pregnancy and it’s a wonderful opportunity to capture some emotive and authentic moments of the two of you before your tiny human arrives.
Include the family
If you have older children, it’s often hard for them to comprehend the arrival of a new little person into the fold. A maternity photo shoot is a lovely way to include your older children and help them to feel included in your pregnancy journey.
It’s also a beautiful keepsake for toddlers in years to come as they’ll barely remember the time their baby brother or sister was born.
Include the Fur Kids
And let’s not forget the fur kids! Of course, they’re not going to cherish these photos but let’s be honest, our fur babies are a much loved member of our family. So why shouldn’t they be included in the photos?
And fur babies always add an element of fun, chaos and ridiculous cuteness to any photo.
Add some props
Why not add some humour to your maternity shoot with props?
Try holding a sign in front of your belly that says:
‘Almost time for wine/coffee/gin and tonic’
‘4 weeks until I see my toes’
‘I can’t wait to shave my legs’
‘I won’t miss heartburn. Or decaf’
Or whatever you’ve missed in the past 8 months.
You can also include cute baby booties or outfits, particularly if you already know the sex of the baby.
Book a Pamper Session Before The Shoot
If there’s ever a time to spoil yourself, it’s while you’re growing a human. And by the time your maternity session arrives you’ve been doing it for 8 long months! So before your maternity photography session is the perfect time to indulge. After all, who knows when you’ll get another opportunity?
Book that hair appointment and get yourself a fresh look for your photos. Spend the morning at the beauticians having a facial and getting your makeup professionally done.
You’ll feel refreshed, you’ll look amazing for your photos and most of all, you’ve earned it.
Important Questions for the Photographer
Now, I’m going to get controversial and talk about vaccinations. I know it’s a touchy subject and yes, I believe in freedom of choice. However, I believe it’s a photographer’s duty of care to disclose if they are current with their vaccinations.
And I’m not just talking about COVID. I’m talking about the vaccinations that have been around for decades.
For instance, do you know you need to have a booster dose of the whooping cough vaccine every ten years?
Whooping cough is highly infectious and potentially deadly to newborn babies. So vaccinations are a big deal!
There’s also polio, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, COVID and flu vaccinations.
So when choosing a photographer for your maternity shoot, it’s important to ask the photographer about their vaccination history.
And by the way, I’m up-to-date with mine.
There you have it. My 9 awesome tips to help you totally rock your maternity photography. I hope you find it useful for planning the perfect session. And if you’re an expectant Mumma in Sydney and are looking for an awesome studio photographer to document this amazing time in your life, drop me a line here.
Want to see more amazing maternity photos? Check out the maternity gallery here.
About Kristy’s Studio
Kristy’s Studio is an award-winning maternity, newborn, baby and family photography studio in Winston Hills, 28 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district.