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Maternity photo shoots – frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Expecting a baby and keen to capture some beautiful photographs of you and your bump? Like many of the mums-to-be I work with, you’ll no doubt have lots of questions about the maternity photo shoot. After shooting heaps of maternity sessions, I thought it was about time I put together a handy guide detailing some of the most frequently asked questions I hear. And – voila - here it is. You’re welcome 😊

When should I book my maternity session?

This question comes up time and time again, and it’s one of the most important. My advice to you is this: book your maternity photo shoot as early as possible! Professional maternity photographers get booked up in advance, so it pays to be organised.

Ok, thanks. I’ve got it – I’m going to book in. But wait! At what stage of my pregnancy should I have my photos taken?

I recommend that you have your photos taken during the seventh or eighth month of your pregnancy, 30-33 weeks. I find that this is the best stage to capture you and your bump. Any earlier than this, we risk your bump not being round enough to fully show in the photos. Any later, chances are you’ll be feeling too heavy and uncomfortable to get the full benefit of the shoot.

Yay! I’ve booked my maternity photographer for the dates I wanted. She asked me about my preferred location. What location works best for a maternity shoot?

Somewhere that makes you feel happy and at ease! Most photographers will have suggestions of fabulous tried-and-tested locations. For example, I often return to a spot with a dramatic waterfall and my local beach works wonders in my photos, too. Don’t forget that some photographers are also well equipped to offer in-home or studio maternity photography. This works well if you’re planning a shoot during the colder months, and can offer the opportunity for elegant vogue-style shots. I have a wonderfully warm and cosy studio on Auckland’s North shore which is ideal for this style of maternity photos.

That’s super helpful – thanks! Now, what do you suggest I wear for my maternity shoot?

The answer to this will depend on your chosen location (see above). Wherever your shoot takes place, make sure your outfits beautifully hug your bump and make you feel fantastic. It’s a good idea to have a couple of outfit options to vary your photos on the day. Here at Lifestylephoto, I have a selection of beautiful gowns in a variety of colours and fabrics. These are specifically designed to celebrate the pregnant body and they perfectly drape your bump, enabling us to capture those characteristic maternity shots that you’ll be proud to show off.

What about hair and makeup? Should I have it done professionally?

This is down to personal preference and your individual style. However, it’s not every day that you enjoy a maternity photo shoot so I encourage you to pamper yourself ahead of the shoot. For you, this might mean a long soak in the bath and enlisting a friend or family member to help you get ready. In my experience, mums who have had their hair and makeup done professionally appear relaxed and radiant, and of course this shows in the finished photos. I work in collaboration with a couple of awesome beauty therapists, so sing out if you want a recommendation.

Great! Appearance dilemmas sorted. Is there anything else that I should bring to my maternity shoot?

Props, props and more props! The more meaningful and sentimental to you, the better. Your scan pictures, a cuddly toy from your childhood, a special piece of jewellery or a tiny babygro all work well. To personalise your shoot further, consider using a signboard and writing a few choice words on it. This can be as simple as ‘ready to be mum and dad’ or something more intricate or even humorous.

Can my extended family join my maternity shoot?

This depends on two factors: your photographer and you!

Some photographers place restrictions on who can attend, so check with them before you tell your great gran that she can take centre stage at the photo shoot!

The other important issue to consider is whether you (and your partner) want your extended family in your maternity photos. A maternity photo shoot is a special occasion that gives you time to pause and reflect before your baby is born. Do you want intimate shots of the two of you cradling your beautiful bump, or are you more of a family person who would prefer a bustling photo shoot documenting your connections with your family?

Here at Lifestylephoto we want you to have your photo shoot your way. Every family is unique, and your maternity photos should reflect this. So, I don’t have any hard or fast rules about who can or can’t attend. I’ve even had sessions where the family pet has come along to enjoy the ride!

Do you have a question that I haven’t covered? Drop me a message and I’ll be happy to advise you on all your maternity photography queries.


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