Maternity Photoshoot Guide

Sep 3, 2020

Congratulations! You’re expecting and you can’t wait to meet your tiny human. Whether this is your first pregnancy, or you have enough children to build a basketball team, the occasion is special. Every pregnancy is as exciting and unique as the child preparing to enter the world. My hope for this guide is that you find some nugget of information to make planning for your maternity photoshoot a little easier because let’s be real – pregnancy is hard enough, so every little bit helps.

Inside this guide, you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions, resources to prepare for a session, what to do once the session is complete and everything in between. Enjoy, mama!

Researching Photographers

First up – researching and selecting a maternity photographer. I always encourage potential clients to do their research before making a decision. It’s important to know exactly what each offers and if its what you have in mind. Style and look, experience, in studio or outdoor, if they offer prints – all things to consider.

Another detail to think about is whether you want newborn photos. Do the photographers you’re comparing offer them? Are there bundling discounts? Do they offer payment plans? These are all things to take into consideration.

Looking for more guidance? Check out my blog post on “Selecting Your Maternity Photographer” for more details.

When Should I Book My Maternity Session?

Once you’ve done your research and decided who you would like to photograph your session, it’s time to book. Many maternity photographers recommend booking your maternity photoshoot in the second trimester. This helps ensure that there is space in their calendar. It’s very likely that if you wait, you may not secure the photographer you love.

If you’re already in your third trimester and would like to book a session, please contact us. Although our calendar books a few months in advance, I do my best to fit in last minute maternity clients often because I strongly believe this milestone should be documented for every expecting mama.

How Do I Book?

While every photographer operates a little differently, my process is simple. When you’re ready to book, contact us and we can discuss what your vision is for the session together. Once we’ve narrowed down the specifics, I can send over a booking proposal that lays out the package options that would best fit your needs.

To complete the booking process, your contract must be signed and the non-refundable retainer will need to be paid. It’s very important to note that your session is not officially on the calendar until these steps are complete.

Clothing Selection

This question comes up often in my consultations with expecting mothers. Moms are always curious about what to wear to their maternity photoshoot. There are a few options here and it also depends on what your maternity photographer offers.

First – obviously you’re more than welcome to wear something you already have in your closet. There’s also the option of going out and grabbing something new – something that makes you feel beautiful.

If you opt to style yourself, my recommendation is to get something that’s a little fitted – to help highlight your curves, after all – the whole reason behind the session is to show off that baby bump!

pregnant woman holding belly in forest at sunset

Second – your photographer may offer a client closet with a selection of gowns and outfits to choose from. This helps ensure that you get their signature look and takes the guesswork out of what to wear. I personally offer a small selection of gowns to booked maternity clients. Mamas are more than welcome to schedule a complimentary dress consultation prior to their session to try on a few options.

Still having trouble deciding on wardrobe? Check out my post “What to Wear for Maternity Photos” for a more detailed run-down to looking your best for your pregnancy pictures.

Location Selection

Charlotte is a goldmine of good photography locations – especially for a maternity photoshoot. No matter what part of town you live in, there’s guaranteed something nearby that can act as a gorgeous backdrop to your maternity portraits. If your style is more urban and you are looking for city vibes, there’s a plethora of spots where you can get a glimpse of the Queen City skyline. If you view yourself as more of a nature lover, there are plenty parks that offer creeks, forest feels, lakes, dirt roads, etc. For the adventure seekers – mountain views can be found not far outside of the city.

Based on the time of year you’re looking to book – there may also be some seasonal gems that speak to your heart – like sunflowers, peach tree blossoms, cotton fields and gorgeous fall foliage.

Hair and Makeup

This session has a heavy emphasis on mama (sorry dad and kiddos). You’re growing life, your body is changing and this session is all about your transition to being the mom you’re destined to be. All that said, it’s important that you look and feel your best. Professional hair and makeup really elevates the look of your images. If you need a little pampering before the little one gets here, this is the way to go.

While hair and makeup aren’t included in my packages, I can recommend stylists and makeup artists in the area that do great work.

I know…this is a lot to take in. There’s a ton of information here and a ton that probably didn’t get covered. Still have questions? Head over to the maternity experience page and scroll down to the FAQ’s section for more details.

Sweet Souls Portrait Design specializes in maternity and newborn portraits. We offer studio newborn, outdoor maternity and limited outdoor family sessions in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas. Contact us for more information or booking!



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