When Is the Best Time for Maternity Photos

When is the best time for maternity photos blog post

The BEST time for a maternity photoshoot

…is ultimately when you feel your best and can sport that baby bump!

However, mothers, you’re likely looking for a more comprehensive discussion than that.

So here in this blog post we’ll break down the important points and give you helpful tips to answer the common questions about maternity portrait sessions that you should absolutely consider as you plan yours.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

Photo Session Locations

OUTDOOR MATERNITY SHOOTS

Most maternity shoots take place outdoors.

Shots in nature never lose in the trending department and there’s something majestic and beautiful about seeing your belly accentuated by nature’s natural beauty.

Taking this into consideration, you’ll want to make sure you are comfortable moving around.

Of course, you’ll want to showcase your baby bump as well and carrying that extra weight around can quickly become exhausting if you wait too late before having your pregnancy photoshoot session.

The most quoted ideal time by professional photographers is the seventh or eight month of pregnancy.

For mothers this is the perfect time because their pregnant belly bump is great enough to showcase in front view and profile poses while feeling strong enough to mobilize without too much fatigue.

GOLDEN HOUR

If you have had any photo sessions with a professional photographer, let alone your (hopefully) upcoming one with a maternity photographer, you have likely heard of the sacred “golden hour.”

Outdoors Maternity Photo Shoot Golden Hour in black and white

Golden hour is typically that time frame of 1 hour after sunrise and 1 hour before sunset where nature’s light is just beauty in formation. The light is not too harsh and shadows not too sharp. The photographer can capture those ridiculous sun flares that add an element of magic to photos (and videos) for that matter.

Whether in color or black and white, maternity portraits with a sun flare will be unique and stunning. It is quite simply the right time to create a special time with capturing your pregnant body in all its glory.

Golden Hour Maternity Photo Session Sun Flare
Golden Hour Maternity Photo Session Sun Flare in Black and White

As an expectant mother, being up in the morning will likely be when you feel your best energy levels, most motivated, and radiant. By the end of the day, you might be tired, grumpy and ready to go to bed. 

Or you could be the complete opposite.

Having your maternity pictures earlier or later in the day will undoubtedly be not just a great way but possibly the best way to capture your special moment of pregnancy.

Do NOT skip out on potentially booking a sunrise or sunset golden hour session maternity photo shoot! If you have the opportunity, do it!

STUDIO SHOOTS

Besides being outside for maternity photography sessions, there is the option of having a studio session in-doors.

For this style of professional photos make sure you know the booking guidelines of your maternity photographer!

Specialized studio photography with a maternity photographer will typically and simultaneously specialize in newborn photography. This can be perfect for the pregnant mom looking to keep both her pregnancy and newborn photos consistent in quality and style.

Having the maternity photographer also be your newborn photographer will also ensure an established relationship and comfort level for those poses that may seem uncomfortable and intimate in front of the camera, especially when you may want breastfeeding photos or naked skin-to-skin portraits.

Because these maternity studio sessions are usually highly focused photography sessions, booking a date early is a must. So do your research early in your pregnancy, especially for you first time moms!

Contact the studio you’d like to potentially work with and discuss with them when is the best time to schedule your professional maternity photos.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Depending on each individual pregnancy, paying attention and keeping track of your changing body is absolutely key.

Keeping the advice of your healthcare providers regarding the status of your pregnancy is always a good idea as well.

Sometimes you may be at risk for complications like certain medical conditions that could prompt you to schedule an earlier photo session. Conditions like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes can limit what level of exertion is safe for you to perform.

Infographic on Preeclampsia in pregnancy
Infographic on Gestational Diabetes for Pregnant Mothers

Paying close attention and staying in close communication with your obstetrician will help you and your professional photographer err on the side of caution and likely plan on an earlier shoot than if you were in a low-risk pregnancy category.

COMPLICATED PREGNANCIES

Other complications include the risks associated with a multiple pregnancy.

For mothers pregnant with twins, triplets or more, waiting until the eight month of pregnancy is NOT ideal. Even waiting till the beginning of the third trimester of your pregnancy may be too late.

The ideal time period to capture the beauty of pregnancy for these gestations is sometime in the second trimester, if not earlier especially with pregnancies with triplets or more.

This article by Hopkins Medicine states that more than half of pregnancies with twin will end in delivery before 37 weeks!

You might be asking yourself, “why the second trimester?”

Great question. And here’s the answer.

Because this is when your adorable baby bump makes its bountiful appearance (earlier than a singleton pregnancy) and you are still able to mobilize securely before putting too much strain on your body or being at a phase where the medical complications are increased.

The right choice of your photography shoot date time frame will include meeting the criteria of being the safest time for you and your babies! Keep in direct contact with your healthcare providers, keep your due date in mind and make sure you have book with plentiful of time to capture those maternity photos!

*PRO TIP

Here are some important aspects to remember to help pregnant mothers have the best professional maternity photos possible.

Skin Exposure

For those wanting to show off that beautiful baby belly skin (I mean, lets be real, that belly bump is the star of the show after all!), moisturize the morning of!

Applying a nourishing lotion after you shower is a great way to lock in moisture to give your skin a healthy tone.

For that matter, include all your extremities, joints and even in between those fingers to make sure there is no hint of dry, flaky skin.

Clean hands and toes, trim fingernails are always a great idea to prioritize as well since you will likely be framing your belly with your hands in some shots.

Belly bump in maternity photography

Maternity Outfit Ideas

For many mothers, whether this is your first pregnancy or second time, (or multiple times!) you will likely desire to highlight your belly.

A simple way to do this is with a maternity dress. Not just any old maternity dress of course, but one that is special for your shoot since you will likely not wear it when you deliver your little one.

Maternity dress in maternity photo session outdoors

If you are planning on a studio maternity photo shoot, many will have their own studio wardrobe for you to choose from. If it’s an outdoor session or even another location or home session then you can search further by utilizing social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest, even Instagram.

For example, on Pinterest, they have shopping options where you can click on a maternity dress in a photo and it will show you where you can purchase the same or a similar style of dress. Discovering other varieties of maternity clothes if you want to take a different creative approach will also be easy to investigate and organize by creating a custom board.

Sharing this virtual “client closet” with your professional photographer will help ensure you’re both on the same page on how to prepare for your photo shoot as they will know how you plan to dress yourself for the shoot.

Maternity Photo Ideas

You can also utilize these platforms to gather ideas of your idyllic perfect poses or ways to incorporate your family members into the maternity photo session.

Family maternity photoshoot with son
Maternity family photography with daughter playing
Maternity family photoshoot with son

Again, Pinterest is a great avenue to do this by creating your own personal board of ideas, all easily localized to one place and easily shared with your photographer. But other platforms can also give you great concepts to brainstorm on and build from there.

Do definitely use something to prepare ideas for your shoot! It will ensure a good time will be had not only by you, but ALL your loved ones involved!

In conclusion, the best time for maternity photos...

can be a different experience for every mother.

But these are key recommendations for all maternity photo sessions that can ensure your pregnancy shoot is the best experience for YOU.

Keep in mind all these important tips just discussed and let me know if you found them helpful in your preparations.

And if you’re in the San Antonio, Texas area, let me know and maybe we can work together to get you those stunning maternity photos you deserve!

‘Til the next one, cheers!

~Ruth Elaine

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