You’re pregnant, Yay! This is such an exciting time in your life and by documenting it you’re creating a memory not just for you but also for your baby and generations to come. Here’s all the information that you’ll need to have the best maternity photo shoot, whether we’re doing it at our indoor studio or at an outdoor location.
Maternity photo shoots are best done between 30-34 weeks gestation for the first pregnancy. Sometimes mamas show a little sooner with subsequent pregnancies. We want to make sure that your belly is showing enough for pictures, but that you are still feeling well enough to pose for your pictures. Make sure to schedule your session as soon as you can so that we have enough time to plan the details.
Those dates are just a suggestion based on my experience, but some mamas may want to do their maternity photo shoot sooner and some have decided at the very last minute. I’ve done a couple maternity photo shots where mama went in to labor the very next day. So, as long as you’re up to it, I’m up to it.
You can choose to do the maternity pictures either at our indoor studio or at an outdoor location. Studio photo shoots can be scheduled during any time of the day because the lighting and environment is controlled. They are also better for mamas wanting to show a little bit more skin during their shoot. Nude maternity or implied nudity have become a super popular way to accentuate your growing belly in an artistic way.
Outdoor maternity photo shoots in Orange County can be done in locations such as a beach or park or even as epic as Joshua Tree or Big Bear Lake. Those shoots need to be scheduled around sunset, which will vary depending on the time of year. They are also a little bit more unpredictable because we will have to deal with the weather.
Beach maternity photography in Orange County are a favorite of mine. The soothing sounds of the beach hitting the sand can make for a beautiful maternity session. As long as you are ok with sand getting everywhere, then you’ll be ok with a beach session. The other minor problem with beach maternity sessions is that there are not always bathrooms close enough for you to do quick wardrobe changes so your may have to do some stealth changing in your car or on the beach. Most of my dresses are easy to pull over each other. Some local favorites include Laguna Beach, Dana Point, El Matador Beach and Corona del Mar.
For maternity photography in Orange County, the forest or parks are another great option. Being surrounded by trees gives a sense of serenity. Maternity photo shoots in the park can make an expectant mama look like Mother Nature herself. Orange County is full of beautiful parks and hiking paths that are perfect for maternity photo shoots. Living in Brea, two of my favorite parks are Carbon Canyon Park and Craig Regional Park, but I have shot at parks all over Southern California.
Regardless of where your photo shoot takes place, I have your wardrobe covered. When you book a maternity photo shoot with me, it includes access to my client wardrobe. I have dresses from some of the most well-known maternity clothing brands in the photography industry, like Sew Trendy and Katharina Hakaj. There’s plenty of silhouettes and colors to choose from. You can see samples of many of the maternity gowns that are available in the portfolio. I usually suggest that clients choose 3 different outfits/looks. This gives enough variety of looks while not making it an overwhelming process.
One of the most important parts of the maternity wardrobe is the undergarments. Bring a nude colored bra and underwear, preferably one with removable straps or straps that are easily tucked away. I know it can be difficult to find a strapless maternity bra, but do the best you can. This will help keep the undergarments hidden from pictures. The last thing you want is a beautiful white maternity dress with hot pink underwear showing beneath it.
My maternity client closet includes dresses in size XS through XXL and everything in between. I have bohemian maternity dresses and simple maternity dresses. I have some that are made of lace and some that are made of tulle. No matter what the design, size, or material though, I make sure to buy maternity gowns that will stretch nicely. They also wash easily so that expectant mamas don’t have to worry about wearing them.
If you want to keep your maternity photo shoot on the simple side, wearing your favorite bra and jeans is super cute. Even simply using a pretty robe with a pair of cute boy shorts can make for a great maternity outfit. Another thing I like to do is use pretty silks or satin fabric and drape it over the mama and the baby bump. These can make for a simple, yet glamorous maternity look.
If your partner and/or children will be participating in the maternity photography in Orange County, I have some options available for them as well. I can also help you choose coordinating outfits for them. We can look either at your current wardrobe or from stores that you may like. A few of my favorite stores to shop at for photo shoot outfits are Old Navy, Target, and H&M.
Some women may not think that hair and makeup services are necessary for a photo shoot, but I always highly encourage it. You may not think that it makes that big of a difference, but it really does. When a mama feels beautiful on the outside, it really shows in the maternity photos. This is such a special time in your life so you deserve a little pampering. If you don’t have any hair and makeup artist that you trust, I have a few that I use implicitly because I love the work they do.
A good manicure and pedicure is a good thing to treat yourself to for your maternity photo shoot. You would be surprised how many times bad fingernails or brightly colored ones could stand out and ruin a picture. Use a nude or soft color for your nails so that they don’t clash with anything that you may choose to wear.
A mama’s body will go through many changes during a pregnancy and sometimes that can create some insecurities. I reassure my maternity clients that I do my best to make sure that they look their absolute best with both posing and editing. My approach to editing it to make mama look as naturally glowing as possible without making her look plastic. If there are excessive stretch marks or skin discoloration, I can edit those so that they’re not noticeable so you don’t have to worry about what your stomach looks like.
There may be some changes in the weight distribution within your body as well. Do not worry about how this will look in your maternity pictures. I’m able to smooth you out in the right places to make sure that everything looks as proportional as possible in the most natural way. So make sure you leave all your insecurities at home because I’m going to make you look and feel amazing.
Pregnancy is such a beautiful time in a mother’s life. Most mamas choose to do their maternity photo shoot solo, but you have the option of including your partner and/or children. The more people that are being photographed, the less time we will have to focus on just the pregnant mama. But I do love including a family picture or two as a record of what the family looked like right before the new baby arrives.
You may be hesitant to even do a maternity photoshoot if you hadn’t done one for prior pregnancies so this is a great way to incorporate older children in the maternity photography shoot. You are about to bring a new member into the family, so I encourage you to document the family as it was while you were pregnant. This also helps older siblings feel more connected to the process.
I will post a sneak peek of your maternity photos on my social media platforms within 48 hours of your photo shoot. You are welcome to and encouraged to share the pictures with friends and family. You will receive an email with a link to view the images after your entire gallery is edited. Hopefully, I will get to see you again soon after that for the newborn photo shoot.
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