How to Plan for Your Maternity Photos

a pregnant mother sitting on her bed in a sports bra and a white button down. She is smiling to the left looking at her oldest son, while her younger son is on the right.

You’re Not Alone

Trying to envision your maternity photos may be difficult, but I’m here to help you figure out all the details- including helping you decide what to wear and where your session should take place. Not every maternity session has to be over-the-top glam unless that’s what you want. You can dress as down as you’d like- even if that means a sports bra and messy bun or nothing at all!), or as dressy as you’d like- the most elegant gown you can find with full glam hair and makeup. While ultimately we want you to leave with beautiful photos, your session should cater to the needs and wants of you and your family.  During your time in front of the camera, I want you to feel both comfortable and beautiful no matter what attire you are in.

Location Options for Your Maternity Shoot

a maternity session in an open Pennsylvania field. the first photo the pregnant wife is in a white dress, as her husband stands behind her. in the second image, the couple is kissing one another with beautiful blue skies behind them as she's in her blue dress.

There are a few different directions you can go in when planning your Maternity photoshoot. Your options include but are definitely not limited to a casual and/or intimate at-home session, a beautiful outdoor shoot, or even a combination! Your session can go in any direction you’d like! I allow for up to two shooting locations for Maternity sessions, as a lot of clients like to start at home and then move to an outdoor location somewhere else. I’m always happy to help If you ever feel stuck trying to make decisions. For locations, I have a list of beautiful photo spots to choose from, but I’m always happy to look at any locations you may have in mind. 

At-Home Maternity Photos

a black and white photo taken in Ambler, PA of a pregnant mother. The mother is in lingerie as her eldest son kisses her pregnant belly.

Choosing to incorporate your home into your maternity photos provides us with some opportunities that outdoor locations don’t. If you have older children (of the fur variety or not), starting at home can be a great way to break the ice. Allowing them to start the session off on their home turf and safe space makes for easier introductions. A lot of my clients like to include their pets in their shoot (since it is your first child after all!), but the logistics of bringing them to a secondary location may not always be in the cards (especially if you have house-bound kitties!) Getting some photos in the baby’s nursery is also a nice way to get some before and after shots. An added benefit: this also gives me a small picture of the lighting and layout of your home, which will help me prepare for your newborn session. 

Outdoor Maternity Locations

A couple sitting in a field of yellow butter cup flowers in Mt. Airy, PA. The woman is in a blue dress as she lovingly looks at her pregnant belly.

If doing anything at home doesn’t appeal to you or feels too overwhelming, it’s also perfectly fine to do everything at an outdoor location. If you have a hard time figuring out a location that works best for you, it’s helpful to consider places that might be meaningful to your family or this time in your life. I have some clients who opt to go to specific parks or museums because it holds sentimental value to their relationships, while I also have other clients who would rather I choose a beautiful location close to them because they don’t have any in mind. (Is there somewhere you go for walks often? An ice cream trip to satisfy a pregnancy craving?) Either option is great, again it’s all based on your personal preference! Remember your family archive should be as unique as your story.

What to Wear to Your Maternity Session

A pregnant women in a Philadelphia home sitting on her bed. She is dressed in a calvin klein bra and a white button down.

Whether you want a more casual-looking dress, a long elegant dress, just underwear, or nothing- the world is your oyster! There’s no right or wrong answer as long as it reflects you and this very unique stretch of time in your life. If you choose to go the more casual route, I always recommend thinking of what you would wear to casual brunch with friends. Presentable and nice but nothing too uncomfortable or uncharacteristic of your everyday style is the goal. In terms of what to avoid- avoid any outfits that are very bright or neon-colored, anything with a crazy or large pattern, and shirts with any wording on them- as they can sometimes be a little distracting. While you might be tempted to wear all black it is not something I recommend as your only outfit but we can usually make it work for a few photos with the right angles. You do have the option of doing up to two outfits during your session. So if you’d like to do both a casual and elegant look or aren’t sure what you will like the look of- you have options. I especially recommend having a secondary outfit if you’re doing a black option, just to ensure you can show off your growing belly! If you’re unsure about any of your outfit choices, feel free to text me any options you may be considering and I can either help you sort through any options you may already have. I can also make suggestions if you have no clue where to start. Amazon has various options to choose from but if you’re still feeling a little lost, I have a list of some online stores with great options.

What to Expect

A pregnant woman in her Ambler, PA home. she is in lingerie standing in front of her bedroom window.

I’m here to help your experience go as smoothly as possible and make your maternity shoot dreams become a reality. If you’re still feeling nervous or unsure of what to expect from your maternity session, that’s okay! I like to start the session off by putting you in the areas that make for great backdrops that also have the prettiest light available. I’ll give you guys some general tips for posing, that way you feel comfortable enough while avoiding only sticking to one stiff pose throughout the session. From there on, your maternity photo session will be about how you interact with one another and just enjoy the time you spend together. I like to tell my clients that your maternity shoot is a lot like hanging out with a new friend, a friend who just so happens to bring her camera. 

a collage of 3 photos from a Manayunk maternity photoshoot. the first photo, a couple is sitting on wooden stares smiling at the camera. the 2nd photo, the wife is holding her belly as she smiles at the camera. and the 3rd photo she is looking down at her belly.

Alongside maternity sessions, I always recommend booking other milestone sessions (such as newborn or a cake smash) as well that way you are guaranteed a spot on my calendar and don’t have to worry about missing out. I offer both a Maternity and Newborn package (Belly to Baby), as well as a One Year package (Belly to Birthday).

If you’re interested in chatting more, have any questions about booking, or are ready to book- feel free to fill out my contact form and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible 🙂

A maternity photoshoot including a couple in Fishtown, Philadelphia standing in front of the Conquer heart mural. The husband is holding his pregnant wife's belly as they smile at one another.

If you’re interested in a Philadelphia lifestyle Maternity session – check out my other blogs for some inspiration AND information!

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