photos by Kristin Wood Photography
Vivienne is one month today! ONE MONTH! I’m astounded at how much she’s growing and changing every single day. I can’t help but get sentimental looking at my belly in these photos. The day we dreamed of for so long was right around the corner and life as we knew it would never be the same for my husband and me. I remember how uncomfortable it was to do anything anymore (like putting on shoes lol) and how I just wanted baby Vivi to be in my arms already.
I documented pretty much every stage of my pregnancy in one way or another because, well, I blog 😉 and pics are part of the gig but when it came to a maternity shoot I almost didn’t have one. I’m so happy I did because these photos have become some of my biggest treasures which is why I wanted to write this post for mamas-to-be who are planning their own maternity shoot. I know it can feel a little nerve-wracking if you’ve never taken professional photos so I hope these tips help you leading up to your special shoot.
Best Tips for a Great Maternity Photo Shoot
As I mentioned, I had no plans to do a maternity photo shoot. It wasn’t until I did a little search on Instagram for a photographer who could take photos of newborn Vivi at the hospital that I found Kristin and the idea of doing an actual maternity shoot became a reality. Her photos felt peaceful, natural, and so beautifully intimate – something no previous blog photo had captured. I ended up having Vivienne four days after these photos were taken which is why I recommend to plan ahead!
Around 30 weeks seems to be the sweet spot for most and I agree. You’ll feel more comfortable (not as stressed or tired), you’ll have the cutest belly and you won’t risk almost missing out on capturing such a special, precious time. We simply got lucky and shot just in the nick of time since Vivi decided she was coming a lot earlier than expected (you can read her birth story here).
Invest in a quality photographer that fits your style
This might be my biggest tip! Nothing will come together if you don’t find the right photographer that fits your personal style.
I’ve always loved airy, neutral maternity photos so I made it a priority to find a photographer that shared this love. I don’t care for too many props or overly posed pictures because to me, there’s beauty in simplicity so when it came to finding the right photographer I searched hashtags like #ctmaternityphotographer and #ctfamilyphotographer on Instagram. I even started following the hashtags so I’d see any newly hashtagged photos. Instagram is definitely my favorite “search engine” right now but of course, Google is always your friend! I recommend finding your top two and chatting with them about price, packages, their style, what you’re looking for, etc before making your choice.
**If you’re in Connecticut (especially Fairfield County) I can’t say enough wonderful things about Kristin and her work. Even with my 37-week belly, she helped me feel beautiful and guided me when I didn’t know how to pose. I take tons of pics for this blog but maternity photos are so different and Kristin really took the time to help me find a style that felt natural to me and captured the excitement of expecting our first baby. She has a studio in Darien (where we shot my photos) and a client closet so you don’t have to stress about your wardrobe.
Splurge on hair, makeup and/or nails
These photos will be shared for years to come so you want to think about the details. If you can, get your hair colored (maybe even get a blowout) so you don’t have to do it yourself. Go for a hairstyle that’s soft and natural and will stand the test of time. If makeup isn’t your forte, see if your photographer often works with a makeup artist (Kristin does!) and have your makeup done by them. Photography makeup is different than everyday makeup so you’ll want someone who understands the difference. And when it comes to nails, definitely find the time to apply a fresh coat! You’ll be doing a lot of shots with your hands wrapped around your belly so you won’t want chipped nails or colors that clash with your outfit.
Create a Pinterest board of poses you want to recreate/get inspired by
Kristin shared her ideas with me before we began and I had maternity images saved to a Pinterest board I showed her. This helped us be in sync with one another and we referred back to them to spark creativity throughout the shoot.
Incorporate personal touches
I brought my Vivienne blanket so we could capture some pictures with it. It’s from a company in Spain that hand-knits personalized blankets and it was one of the first things I bought for our baby girl once we decided on her name. If you have anything that’s been passed down or simply something you’ve purchased for your baby that has a significance to you, definitely incorporate it into your photos for an even greater personal touch and memory.
Choose outfits you feel comfortable in
Toward the end of your pregnancy, it’s tough to feel completely yourself which is why finding the right outfit that helps you feel beautiful is so important. Like I mentioned before, my photographer Kristin has a client closet you can choose dresses from, taking the stress out of finding something to wear. The only dress I brought was the one below. Everything else was borrowed from the closet.
If you’ve done a maternity photo shoot I would love to read about your experience and your tips. You can also find some pregnancy outfit inspiration here!