Tips for a beautiful maternity photo shoot

 
Stunning artistic pregnancy portraits, maternity photography by Lola Melani NYC. 

Pregnancy is the most special and unique time in every woman’s life. Artistic maternity photoshoot is a wonderful way to document this incredible milestone. 

For many women, this is the first photoshoot experience, they want to feel comfortable, beautiful, pampered and empowered. 

The goal of a professional maternity photographer is to provide the most relaxing experience and give complete guidance in preparation as well as posing during the session. 

 

Scheduling Your Maternity Photography Session

Maternity portraits are best captured around 31-36 weeks. Timing can be different for everyone, for mothers carrying multiples 27-31 weeks are recommended. 

 

Makeup/Hair/Nails

A maternity session is more than just a photo shoot it is a day of well-deserved pampering. Pamper your self with manicure, hair blowout and professional makeup session. I recommend natural soft waves for the hair and natural daytime makeup with even skin tone, accented eyes and cheekbones. I encourage my clients to wear false but natural looking eyelashes, their beautiful curve is what make those silhouettes so feminine and gorgeous. I recommend to use individual eyelashes so that they look more natural even in day light photography. Scheduling a mani-pedi treatment a day or two in advance is a must. Soft natural, pastel colors always look great especially for the close up shots of hands a belly.

A day of the photoshoot is a perfect day to plan a date dinner or lunch with their partner after the session cause they will look and feel fabulous!

 

Things to avoid

- Even though you might what to look more tan for our session, I recommend my clients to avoid fake/spray tanning, excessive bronzers and shimmers. 

- Try not to wear tight underwear on the day of your session. Arrive to your photoshoot in loose clothing to prevent body marks.

- Avoid too much makeup, dark eyeshadows and highlighting on skin. Keep it more natural and clean.

 

Wardrobe

Some pregnant mothers choose to embrace their changing bodies and capture tasteful artistic nude or semi nude portraits while others opt for a more modest, fully clothed shots or outfits with exposing belly. Whatever your style and preferences are, there are plenty of beautiful options for clothing and posing. 

Here a few options for the clothing changes you may consider for your maternity shoot.

 

Form fitting dresses/gowns

Beautiful backlit pregnancy portrait, glowing maternity photo by Lola Melani captured at her studio in NYC

Maternity session is a perfect excuse to shop for a few beautiful outfits that hugs the beautiful curves. I recommend to have at least one dress in black to wear for the silhouette shot and another dress in cream or white for these etherial dreamy and soft portraits. Along with formfitting dresses beautiful flowy empire waist dresses are also recommended. Another practical yet lovely option is to buy an long “infinity” dress. Draped in many different styles from strapless to halter, they can be a great option for a clothedportrait.

There are several vendors on etsy.com that specialize in beautiful custom maternity dresses created specifically for maternity shoots. One of our favorite stores is called Sewtrendy Accessories.

 

Bandeau tops and maxi skirt

backlit portrait of pregnancy with the NYC skyline view   

These are a perfect option for someone who doesn’t want to reveal too much but still want to show of the belly. The skirt actually can be a piece of stretchy fabrics elegantly draped around the hips. 

 

Lace everything

Lace robe maternity photo

Lace dresses, cover ups, lace fabrics, lace robes, lace lingerie.. I love lace and it gives an image a beautiful texture and dimension and femininity.

 

A splash of color

red gown and winter scene creates a beautiful contrast for a maternity portrait

To add a little of color to a few images during your maternity session a colorful dress or fabrics will work great. Stay away from patterns as they can take away from the beauty of the portrait. Solids are best.

 

Fabrics

Silk and wind maternity portraits created by Lola Melani at her New York studio

Natural silks, chiffons, any flowy fabrics that can be beautifully draped around you, used to cover up and be tossed in the air. I recommend at least 4 yards of fabrics for the tossing image and at least 3 yards for the full body drapery image. It can be just a plain white bed sheet, but with the right lighting and pose - it can look stunning. Think outside the box.

 

Jeans

maternity photo shoot ideas, posing ideas, b&w artistic pregnancy photography

Wearing jeans for a few "relaxed" style portraits is wonderful! I recommend to bring a pair of your pre-pregnancy jeans and avoid the belly band of maternity ones. They won't look as cool and sexy on camera. 

 

Accessories/Statement jewelry

 
NYC maternity photo shoot
 

Having a background in fashion photography, I encourage my pregnant mothers to bring beautiful accessories such as statement jewelry, scarves, flowers, hair crowns etc. Textures, and colors will add a dimension to your portrait. However I recommend to keep the images more simple and not to do too much accessorizing so that it doesn’t take away from the beauty of a maternity portrait. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" and I do follow my concept - Less is More.

 

The most important tip, I think, is to pamper yourself, relax and enjoy this experience. Find the maternity photographer you connect most and who’s style you love the best. The photographer’s task is to just to take flattering images but to provide the most comfortable and relaxing environment, create an unforgettable experience, provide complete guidance in posing and make sure you feel your best during the shoot and treasure your portraits forever.