I hold the journey of motherhood close to my heart after recently becoming a mama! I think it’s so important to document every stage of preparing for and parenting littles, and the pregnancy stage is especially beautiful. That’s why I want to share my best maternity session tips for expectant mamas!
Pregnancy can feel surreal: there’s a new life growing inside of you (like, seriously!), and you spend what seems like every moment anticipating their arrival. I remember when I planned my maternity session not long ago! I knew I wanted to take an intentional approach and go all-in with my look. So, I booked a hair and makeup artist and purchased the nightgown of my dreams! I felt so beautiful during the session and didn’t regret spending one cent.
When one of my brides, Kayla, booked a maternity session with me, I advised her similarly. We shot her portraits at a studio in Austin with gorgeous natural light, and I’m seriously in love with these images! Get inspired by Kayla’s maternity style, and be sure to save these maternity session tips for when the time comes. Here are my top five pieces of advice for mamas-to-be!
When you’re 34 weeks pregnant, you feel bloated, exhausted, and not like your usual self. It’s so important to treat yourself! That’s why I recommend expectant mamas to get their hair and makeup done before they get in front of the camera. When I was in the same position, I could barely muster the energy to do my hair day-to-day, let alone for a studio session! Granted, I have a TON of hair. But if there’s ever a time to splurge a little, your maternity session is it!
Along the same lines, now’s the time to invest in dresses, nightgowns, and underwear that make you feel like the most confident version of yourself. Bonus points if you can wear them again postpartum!
I recommended a few of my favorite designers to Kayla for this shoot, including Los Angeles-based DÔEN. She wore their Alessia Nightgown in Salt for a portion of the shoot and looked like a dream! DÔEN’s timeless, feminine styles in free-fitting silhouettes are perfect for maternity and beyond. But no matter what look you’re going for, my best advice is to buy clothing you LOVE and will wear often. It’s also a good idea to select three looks for a studio session like this one to give your images more variety!
Choose props that have meaning to you (this will also break up the images and prevent monotony). For example, Kayla brought daisies to hold and wear in her hair since they were her baby’s birth flower! I loved the idea, and the images with them are some of my favorites. Brainstorm and choose some personalized props of your own!
Make a playlist with songs that relax you and play it during your session. Music was so important to me during my pregnancy! I played music for my baby all the time and sang to him. The calming sounds will help you move naturally and relax with your baby when you’re in front of the camera.
Ask your partner to come for 20-30 minutes at the end of your session. It’s a perfect opportunity for you to connect and enjoy quality time! Play your wedding song, dance, hug, and talk to your baby—whatever feels natural. Let’s capture all the authentic emotions of this new stage in your life together.
While these maternity session tips are helpful, the most crucial thing to remember is to ENJOY this time! I know the transition into motherhood can feel stressful, but I’m here to help you plan your portrait session so that it doesn’t contribute to the overwhelm.
While you’re at it, you can also plan your newborn, 6-month, and 1-year sessions ahead of time! Trust me: the time will fly once your baby arrives, and planning portrait sessions will fall by the wayside. Let’s get everything pre-scheduled so you don’t need to think about it again until the time comes! Interested in booking these sessions as a package deal? Let’s chat about my special maternity and first-year series rates, new to Amber Vickery Photography in 2023!