How to Prepare for Your Maternity Photos: Tips, Tricks and Advice

Schedule when you’re 31 to 36 weeks pregnant

It is recommended to schedule your shoot between weeks 32 and 37 of your pregnancy. Your belly will have a lovely full shape, but you won’t be too bloated and uncomfortable, as is often the case in the last few weeks, and this time frame will also give you plenty of time to order maternity portraits — and extras, should you need them.

Wear comfortable clothes that show off your bump

Comfort is key when it comes taking a good picture. Even if you’re the most photogenic person in the world, wearing clothes you don’t feel good in will read in your pictures. While you do want to be comfortable, it’s also a good move to wear something that shows off your baby bump. I realize this is a hard line to straddle, but you’ll know your maternity photo outfit(s) when you see it.

Stretchy fabrics that conform to your belly are a great option, as are dresses belted just under your bust.

Undergarments matter, too

Lines from your undergarments may show up on film, so choose the appropriate underwear when putting your maternity photo outfits together. There are “seamless” panties available and some shape-wear will also help smooth out lines. Also make sure you wear a properly fitting bra that completely covers your bust and doesn’t allow for “spillage.”

Lather up before your session

Add to your radiance by lathering up with a nice, luxurious lotion about an hour or two before your session. This will minimize any redness or dry skin. It will also keep you more comfortable if you’re dealing with itchy skin — a common side effect of expanding skin! Do skip oily or greasy lotions and opt for super absorbent lotions, instead. Applying an hour or two before your session gives it plenty of time to soak into the skin.

Deciding on props

With maternity photography, props can add significantly to the overall feel of the images or they can distract. Toys, items of clothing, baby furniture or other creative accessorize can add to your photo. You also don’t have to use them for every take. “If you want more of a lifestyle session, then most likely you’ll forgo the usual props so that main focus is on you.”

Know that you’re beautiful

Okay, this bit of wisdom is a little cheesy, but it must be said. Pregnant women often find themselves uncomfortable in their changing bodies. You may attribute your maternal glow to sweat, but your radiance cannot be denied. That glow — and the feeling of having your best friend developing inside you — shows up on the camera. In years to come, you will be so glad you had those photos done. And so will your baby.