During this special time enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
I love photographing maternity sessions for three reasons.
1. I believe maternity sessions offer time for the mother to bond with her baby as she holds her bump and thinks about the future and what her baby might look like or be like.
2. Growing a baby is a big deal! The female body does amazing things during pregnancy and this should be celebrated and recorded.
3. It is such a beautiful time to celebrate and remember with timeless photographs. You can never have too many pictures of such major milestones.
Having said all of this, I am aware that some women don't feel up for a photo shoot when they are 7 or 8 months pregnant. I get it, believe me, but maternity photos are such a precious keepsake to be able to look back on. You only have this chance once, please don't regret it.
So here are a few things that can help you feel more comfortable about your maternity photography session
Have it at home
If you feel self-conscious posing in a public space your session can take place at home. This is called lifestyle photography and is very popular because you are relaxed and the resulting images are often more natural. You can incorporate lots of the items you have carefully selected for your little one too by using the baby's nursery as the setting.
Include other family members
This is a journey you don't have to take alone. Your partner can also be in the photos; it could be the father of the child or your girlfriend - perhaps even your own mum if she is your closest support. By including other family members, the attention is diverted off of yourself slightly and you can just have fun with those around you. The photo shoot then feels less about you and more about the next chapter you are entering as a family.
You don't have to wear a see-through flowy dress with your belly on show if you don't want to. Your pictures should represent your personality and can be any style you want. Some women like to have natural photos walking in the park with their dog, others take a more creative approach with props and signs. Also, picking a photographer that matches your style is an important point. Some photographers take dark, shadowy, dramatic images while others prefer light, airy edits. Have a look around and see what style you might like.
Share your concerns
Speak to your photographer beforehand about your concerns, insecurities, thoughts and they will be sensitive to your needs. Let them know what kind of shots you prefer or would rather steer clear of. It is our job to help you look great and feel even better. We use flattering poses and lighting to show the best version of yourself so you can relax and enjoy the moment.
Maternity photography sessions make for brilliant gifts too! Spoil the mum-to be with a special photography experience she won't regret.
About the Author
Eleth is a professional photographer specialising in weddings and portraiture in Colchester, Essex. She set up Mae Photography 7 years ago and has worked with a diverse range of couples and families. Last year saw the safe arrival of her first daughter so maternity and newborn photography sessions now have an extra special meaning to her.