Just kidding. Everything sounds more fun than that when you’re pregnant. Like staying in your high-waisted maternity pants and sitting on the couch all day watching Fixer Upper while consuming copious amounts of kettle corn.
But it is so, so nice to document this special time in your life with well-shot photographs. You will one day forget what it’s like to lug around an extra 40 pounds while also having to pee every 25 seconds, so why not document it for all posterity?
On that note, I have some tips for my fellow pregnant ladies on how to get a good shot the first go-round during a maternity shoot.
Enjoy! And share with me some of your tips in Comments below, too!
How to Take Your Best Maternity Photos
It’s always best to have clothing that you know fits and is comfortable, so do this a couple weeks ahead of time. Check out some of my favorite maternity-clothing-on-the-cheap sites, try them on, and have them ready for the morning of the shoot. That way you can get ready without having to worry about what you’ll be wearing.
Plan two to three outfits for the shoot, and realize that some will only be shot from the waist up, so they don’t need to be whole looks. The focus of the maternity shoot is your belly, after all, so the photographer will most likely focus on that.
Don’t leave this entirely up to the photographer. Think of some outdoor spaces that you like, and mention them to the photographer ahead of time. Also, don’t underestimate the familiar. We got some great shots in our home during both of my maternity shoots. Just find a neutral wall or space, or have the photographer check it out him or herself.
For both of my previous maternity shoots, we also shot outside near a golf course, where there was a lot of greenery. The rich background colors gave a nice offset and “pop” in the photos.
My rule of thumb is, if you are shooting against a vibrant background (like outside in front of a tree or greenery) muted colors will pop. The opposite is true for bold colors in front of neutral or plain backgrounds. Of course this isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it is a good rule of thumb.
And keep it simple–no prints, no crazy colors, no uncomfortable shoes! And choose a palette that shows off your coloring best.
Of course you’re going to want some images with your partner, so make sure he or she is comfortable with being photographed! Maybe encourage a sip of wine beforehand, tell a few jokes, or start your photos in a familiar setting. Yes, it’s a little awkward posing, but taking these small steps to make him or her feel comfortable will show in the final product.
These days there’s a plethora of options when it comes to choosing someone who is skilled behind the camera. Ask friends for recommendations, Google photographers in your area, or–one of my most recent finds–go to thumbtack.com. This site allows you to choose from options based on your budget and location. And the service itself is free!
Remember, a professional photographer does not have to be expensive. Be honest with how many images you expect to have at the end of the shoot, and allow them to price it out for you before you start. I have found photographers in my area who were offering up to 10 images for as little as $200.
You will only be doing this I handful of times at most in your life. Embrace the moment and have some fun with it! It’s your time – and your bump’s time – to shine!