There are so many things to think about, plan for, and purchase when you are preparing for life with your baby. As a photographer, I say you should consider adding maternity photos to that list. More and more pregnant women are hiring professional photographers to capture their last few months of pregnancy. Perhaps you don’t feel elegant or glamorous carrying around a watermelon-sized addition to your abdomen, or maybe you just aren’t sure if a professional photoshoot fits into your budget, but here are some reasons why I think maternity sessions are amazing.
My reasons below.
10 Reasons to Have a Maternity Photoshoot
1. Flaunt That Belly
You might feel tired, nauseous, sore, and aching, but from the outside, we see a beautiful woman bringing a new life into the world. You will only be pregnant a few times (if that) in your entire life. Focusing on the beauty of what your body is creating during this slightly alarming time of expansion will help you feel less overwhelmed by the all the bulging and stretching. It doesn’t matter if you think that you look far from glowing - a skilled pregnancy photographer can easily draw out the beauty, love, and femininity of pregnancy. Being 8 months pregnant myself while writing this, I’ve grappled with that cynical inner voice that criticizes my body’s changes. My maternity shoot was a dedicated time to silence that voice and celebrate the beautiful experience of growing a human. Some women feel their best during pregnancy; others struggle with health and body issues. Many pregnant women say that they are less self-conscious about their bellies now that they are pregnant, and have even more confidence. Now you know that if you didn’t feel comfortable with your belly before you were pregnant, now you can show it off knowing that it looks beautifully round.
2.Remember Precious Memories
Pregnancy is such an exciting time. Down the road, you might forget what it felt like to be expecting. Let’s capture those emotions so that you can look fondly back on them. These special photos will trigger memories, feelings, and emotions in the future and will help you remember this extraordinary time more vividly. Some day in the far future when your children are grown, you will look back fondly and thank your body for growing and nurturing their sweet souls. Your children will cherish the photos of you - their pregnant mother - while they were growing inside of you. Let’s celebrate this amazing experience and your pregnancy.
3. Have Fun Capturing The Anticipation
Many pregnant women tell me that they were surprised to have fun during their shoot and that the memory of the session is one that they will cherish. If you choose a photographer that suits your personality and style, you will have the best of times. Spoil yourself a little! Get your hair or makeup done professionally before the shoot and go out on date night with your partner after.
4. Get Creative
It’s important to do a bit of research and put some thought into a theme or style for your maternity photoshoot. Use magazines or go online (Pinterest is a great resource) to gather ideas and build an inspiration for your shoot – and make sure to share these with your photographer! A talented pregnancy photographer will take your inspiration and develop it with their expertise, suggesting complementary ideas and guiding the flow of your session. Maternity portraits have come a long way in the last few years. It used to be a woman and her partner showing up to the studio in matching black polos, jeans, and a very pregnant belly, not entirely sure what they wanted, only knowing that they wanted the moment captured. Lifestyle photography is on the rise and those old, stiff poses with forced smiles are quickly fading away. Now, maternity portraits feature elegant flowing dresses, glamourous semi-nude poses, and candid lifestyle moments. You can find an entire community of inspiration on social media. A cursory search will reveal a sisterhood of partially clothed, very pregnant, and wholly empowered women. The aesthetic varies from provocative bedroom shots, to dreamy takes of women clad in tulle gowns, to smooth baby bumps just protruding above the surface of a milky flower strewn bath. If you don’t feel like getting dressed up and posing in a lake, consider inviting your photographer to your home to capture your growing family in your everyday setting.
5. Be Empowered
A professional pregnancy photographer will make you look gorgeous, elegant, and glowing. Whether or not you love how you look (or feel) during your pregnancy, a professional photography session is guaranteed to make you feel beautiful. Maternity photoshoots help women to overcome body image issues and to embrace their glorious shape. The overarching theme is the same: pride in the female form and in motherhood. Through this genre of portraiture, pregnant women are being embraced in a different way. We finally have the opportunity to express ourselves in the way we want and to show the world that pregnancy is a beautiful thing.
6. Connect With Your Partner
Pregnancy can be a crazy, whirlwind journey. A maternity photoshoot will feel like a moment in time where you get to stop and connect as a couple. The session will feel special and intimate between you and your partner. When photographing expectant couples, I like to ask how they met and to capture the moments as they reminisce. Pregnancy is a time to reflect on the journey that led you and your partner to becoming a family. Whether this is your first child or your fifth, honoring the foundation on which your family has been built is an important and wonderful thing to do. It can be hard for a dad-to-be to bond with an unborn baby. He can’t feel your baby growing and moving the way you can. You might feel all warm and fuzzy when those things happen but, as he can’t feel it, he doesn’t know how wonderful it is. Including your partner in these sessions will give them some special memories of their own.
7.It’s Bonding Time For Siblings
A maternity photo session isn’t just about the expectant mother. A new baby brings many changes and life as you know it will never be the same. Take some time to capture the way things are right now. It’s probably been a while since you had family photos taken - this is the perfect opportunity to get up-to-date images of your family before it grows. I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many family photos. If you have children already, they may be excited or struggling with the idea of a new addition to the family. Some children may feel apprehensive about changes coming and what a new baby will mean for them. Pregnancy photos with your older child (or children) is a nice way to have a fun and exciting interaction as they adjust to your family changing. They’ll feel really special by being included in some of your maternity photos. Have the focus be on them for a few moments - it’ll make them feel important to pose hugging and kissing your belly, showing their love for you, and bonding with baby. One day, they can look back and say: “I was there when you were in mommy’s tummy” and have the photos to prove it.
8. Professional Photographers Are Better Than DIY
Yes, you could just take photos at home or get them done by a friend or family member, but let’s be honest: the results are usually not what you’d hoped for. Leave the posing and creative ideas to the experts - as with most things, you generally get what you pay for. A professional photographer can create a work of art through their training and equipment. By taking into consideration the best angles, lighting, effects, focus, and depth, they can completely transform what would otherwise be just a photo of you into a story, into a feeling, and into a work of art worthy of the life growing inside of you. We at Vieira Creative specialize in whimsical maternal nature portraits, candid lifestyle moments, and implied nude boudoir (using lighting to highlight the femininity of the pregnant form while preserving a hint of modesty). Make sure you choose an experienced maternity photographer as pregnancy portraits are quite different from other types of portraits.
9. It’s Worth The Investment
As mothers, it can be hard to spend money on ourselves, particularly when living on a tight budget. Maternity photos can appear to be a superfluous luxury. Many people associate professional photography with costing a fortune, but that isn’t the case. Considering how much we might spend on a professional wedding photographer, a maternity shoot costs a fraction and is just as memorable and special. Here at Vieira Creative, our maternity package is all-inclusive and includes full digital rights to your images to use as you please. We also offer specials if you book 2 or more sessions at the same time (ex: pairing maternity and newborn portraits).
10.Once It’s Gone, It’s Gone
These dear moments of pregnancy will soon be a distant memory. You may feel unsure about a maternity shoot now, but if you don’t have a photography session while you’re pregnant, then you’ve lost your chance to capture these once in a lifetime memories. Most of us only experience pregnancy a handful of times (if that), so it’s worth celebrating and capturing these fleeting moments. There are only a few months in your life that you’ll have such a gloriously round belly; pregnancy takes months to show and before you know it the birth is over, they’ll be in school, then having their own kids… if this sounds dramatic, just ask your own parents. Even if a maternity shoot is ‘something you do just in case you might want it later’, I don’t know anyone who has regretted investing in a pregnancy photoshoot – but I know plenty who wish they had. I’ve had mothers tell me with regret in their eyes that they can’t remember what their pregnant belly even looked like. As years pass, the memories of walking around with your baby growing inside of you will fade. How wonderful it will be to have captured those precious moments by documenting - and celebrating - your big, beautiful belly and how it changed your life forever.
*** There are many ways to be expecting a new addition to your family. At Vieira Creative, we welcome single mothers, same-sex parents, adopting parents, and parents using surrogacy.***
My name is Sariah; welcome to my blog!
Gallery of the Month: