This fall, we took our first maternity shoot — well actually it was more of a family photoshoot since the whole family was in tow. It was so exciting and amazing that it came together in less than a week! This was my first time taking professional pictures while being pregnant. I went back and forth about taking pictures, then at the last minute around eight months (close to nine), I said let’s do it! This might be my last time being pregnant and I didn’t want to miss the moment to capture it. I also wanted to take pictures to capture our family growth. We’ve gone from one child to two, to three. It’s exciting and I wanted to highlight our family dynamic.
To be honest, it’s hard to find the right time to take pregnancy pictures. You have a limited amount of time to get them done so there’s a fine line you need to walk. In the beginning, you’re not really showing, then at the end, you feel huge and swollen and ready to deliver LOL. If you have the time, a little planning might be needed!
We took pictures with Lab House studios – our go-to photographers. I wanted the pictures to look elegant, so we decided to go for a dressier look. We ended up getting our pictures done in two different locations — inside a studio and Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD.
I really wanted to do it up, so I had a custom white dress made by Dahnistry Couture for the studio shoot (couldn’t risk it getting messy outside!). And of course, I had to get my hair, nails, and makeup done to compliment the dress. It was probably the fanciest I was throughout my entire pregnancy and I looked GOOD. I wanted the first set of pictures to center me and my husband to represent our strong foundation. I don’t think enough people emphasize the love that started it all! Parenting isn’t easy, but the right partner will always make the journey worthwhile.
Later, we headed over to Brookside Gardens with our children to take our family shoot. I chose to do a garden shoot because gardens are symbolic of growth – they represent new beginnings and new life. We took pictures around midday so we could get some good natural lighting going. My family all looked so peaceful. My guys were in white dress shirts and blue slacks while my daughter sported a blue floral dress.
Now that I’ve finally done my first maternity shoot, I have a few tips I’d like to give other expectant mothers out there.
Cute & Comfortable: Dress however you want! The prime objective though is for you to be comfy at all times. Photoshoots can take a while and we don’t want you to feel constricted on set. Comfy doesn’t mean frumpy though – it might be hard but I know you can find something flattering that still gives you room to breathe.
It’s All About the Bump: The main attraction of these photos is your belly, so you’ll probably want to get a few pictures of you (or your family) touching your stomach. Just remember that this is not the only pose there is! Try a few other stances so all your photos don’t look the same.
Angles: Make sure your photographer is getting your good side! Take a pic standing straight on, then let them take a photo of your side profile, maybe even try one sitting down. Angels really do make a big difference, trust me!
Props: Do you have a pair of baby shoes? Perhaps you still have the banner from your baby shower? Or maybe you have something passed down through the generations. If you like a good prop, find something of significance for you to include in your shoot.
Take Breaks: Pregnancy can be difficult so please don’t make things harder on yourself by pushing past your limits. Set strong boundaries and schedule a few breaks in between shoots.
Have you done a maternity shoot before? Help a sistah out — drop your most important tip below! I don’t have all the answers, so I’m curious to see what you’d add to the list.