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.***
Let’s talk about newborn photography – you know, those adorable photos of infants posed in baskets and buckets? Tiny smushed faces swaddled by their future favorite blankie? These poses can only happen within the first couple weeks of your precious child’s life, so it’s best to think about scheduling them while you still have the free time.
The ideal age for a newborn session is between 5-12 days. There’s a reason for this limited window of opportunity; when babies are tiny, they spend a lot of time sleeping and can still curl up in womb-like poses. It’s easy to pose them at this age, but after two weeks, babies go through a growth spurt and start stretching their arms and legs. They become both less malleable and more alert, so it becomes difficult to capture the angelic, curled up, sleeping images that are favored in newborn photography.
We recommend booking these sessions 3-4 months in advance. There is such a short window of time to take these special portraits, so you want to ensure that we get you on our calendar. There’s going to be a lot going on as baby comes due - we want to give you something to look forward to! We recommend booking the session a week after mom's due date. We hold time both before and after your booking, so that you are guaranteed space no matter when your baby arrives.
Timing is important when you will have had such a limited time with your newborn. When scheduling your appointment, know that a studio or outdoor session typically takes only 2-3 hours. This may seem like a lot of time, but half of the time is usually spent with you feeding and comforting your baby to get them as sleepy and happy as possible. We all want a happy baby! Once your newborn is content, our newborn package includes portraits of baby alone, with each of the parents, and then with the whole family together.
Most studio newborn photography is done naked to capture the tininess of being a newborn, so bring your little one in something that is easy to take on and off. Avoid putting mittens or socks on your infant since they leave elastic marks. As diapers are an absolute necessity at this age, aim for a loose fit in order to avoid lines around your baby’s waist. If you would rather have your newborn clothed in the pictures, or we are shooting outdoors and it’s not warm enough for your infant's birthday suit, it is important to dress him in something that fits very well. Choose light-colored clothing - both white and pastel colors will bring out your baby’s complexion. Bring along an accessory such as a beanie or a bow to soften your baby’s face and give some definition to their baby-soft head. You should also bring pacifiers, a change of clothes for yourself, diapers/wipes, formula/bottles if you are not breastfeeding, and any special blankets or toys that you want included in the photos. If possible, feed your infant prior to leaving home. This will allow their tiny tummies to settle and reduce any spitting up and fussiness.
Parents need to be prepared as well! We realize you haven’t slept much since those contractions started, so we encourage you to take some time to primp before the shoot. Give yourself a manicure so we can take close-ups of your hand cradling the baby’s head, feet, and hands. Eat something before the shoot and pack a snack in case your energy drops. We don’t recommend wearing your favorite shirt or expensive dry-clean only clothing, and bring at least two changes of clothing for each of you. Again, spitting up may happen. It’s best to be prepared.
As for the environment you’re bringing your precious little darling into - we are safety obsessive! We weigh down all buckets and props so that your baby can’t tip over and get hurt. Everything from blankets to hair bows get washed between every session to keep all accessories germ free. Our photographer washes her hands before the session and continues to disinfect throughout with natural hand sanitizer. We are always looking out for your baby. If we need to step away from your little one, we will ask you to watch over her (newborn photographers get peed and pooped on, a lot). Everything we use at the shoot is 100% washable. If something gets soiled, we just throw it in the wash; no big deal. You and your baby’s comfort and happiness are our number one priority. If we are working indoors, we use space heaters to keep your little one warm and we will play white noise or soft music to lull them to sleep.
We put a lot of thought into our sessions, and we know you have too. Try to stay calm during the shoot, even if there’s spitting up or fussiness. The worst thing a parent can do during a newborn session is to be nervous - babies are very in tune with their people. If your baby is crying, you can trust us to comfort her. We have experience. One of the hardest lessons to learn is that your baby will be okay, and that continuously swooping in and handing the baby back and forth between persons can make them even more distressed. Take a deep breath and relax. We know it’s easy to be nervous, especially when it’s your first. Just sit back and relax while watching your newborn master all these adorable poses!
If you are interested in booking your own Newborn Portrait or have any questions, click here.
Fitness portraits are a great way to celebrate an athletic milestone or breakthrough. Are you a yoga instructor looking to boost your social media presence? Do you spend your winters on the slopes and feel ready to capture your power over the trail and not just the majesty of the mountain? Are you a boxer who would like to feature some dynamic portraits in your home gym? Highlight your athletic undertaking with a photo shoot that celebrates your journey, progress, and the results of all your hard work. Perhaps you are an archer, and you want to start teaching lessons but you need a professional athletic headshot for your advertising materials. And what if your child just mastered a martial art and you want to reward their effort and discipline? Maybe you recently reached a goal in your dance class and you are ready to document your hard work. Or are you a bodybuilder interested in getting into fitness modeling, but you need athletic headshots? There are endless hypothetical situations, as there are endless sports and techniques that you can excel at. The real question is – why not capture this extraordinary time in your life?
I see a lot of athletic pictures on social media and personal websites that were taken with cellphones or point-and-shoot cameras. When I see these photos, my heart sinks – especially if it is on the page of an athletic instructor or a fitness apparel company, and the poor soul posting is trying to boost their brand through these subpar images. Why settle for this type of portrait? And if you are indeed using these images to advertise your business, what does it say if you use low-quality images? There is a lot of competition within the professional fitness world; using quality portraits to represent your brand will propel you to a whole other level. I recommend that any person or business who is trying to promote their brand invest in a professional fitness portrait – it’s eye-catching and extremely helpful for competitive, effective marketing, either online or in print.
Why not have professional fitness portraits taken so you look your absolute best? Consider having a fitness portrait taken, just for you! You don’t have to be a personal trainer or a dance instructor to invest in this type of portrait. Highlight your athletic commitment with a photo shoot that honors your journey and the outcome of your hard work. These images will be some of the best portraits of yourself that you will ever see. A fitness portrait experience makes a great gift to you! Show off your hard work, capture all the painstaking effort and time that you committed, and give yourself a much deserved confidence boost with photos that you can treasure for years to come. After everything you’ve invested in mastering yourself and your particular skillset, you deserve a stunning memento.
Another perk of having a professional fitness portrait taken includes the excuse to update your athletic wardrobe. Yes, I am giving you a guilt-free excuse to go shopping and splurge on those designer leggings or new running shoes in your favorite color! Make sure you get the best fitting athletic attire for your body. Try different styles, brands, and patterns on. Choose items that make you feel like a fitness model, like an Olympic athlete, like a professional trainer! And the best part? All of the new outfits you purchase for your shoot can make a later appearance at the gym or on the trail – and you’ll feel like you’re having your portrait done all over again, with all the confidence it gave you! We believe having professional fitness portraits taken is something everyone should do, at least once. Getting treated like a celebrity for a few hours is a perk for anyone, but just wait until you see the portraits for the first time - you will be blown away.
So, think about what have you accomplished lately… Mastering the splits? Finishing your first triathlon? Launching a new website for your personal training business? A yoga pose you thought only contortionists could do? Fitness portraits are a great way to celebrate a milestone –why not document this special time in your life with an athletic portrait? Not only will this experience provide you with empowering images documenting your physique and abilities, but you will have something physical to treasure for years to come that will remind you of how you triumphed. Are you ready to capture the changes that you and your chosen sport have made to your body? Are you ready to document how far you’ve come?
First of all, let’s talk about what boudoir is. Boudoir is a style of glamour photography where the client is usually wearing either just a little or, well, nothing at all. Don’t think X-rated; it’s more like PG-13. Boudoir photography specializes in classic, pinup-inspired images and also in what we professionals like to call “implied nudes”. This means that while you may not be wearing much, you’re also not showing anything off, either. Think shots from the back, or lying on your stomach. Boudoir is about you and your unique sensuality, not about in-your-face sexiness.
As a boudoir photographer, my goal is to bring forth your true essence, the one we all see through your smile and in your eyes. Your essence is what people fall in love with, so why not show it some love?
I usually capture glimpses of these moments when you’re not even paying attention - it could be a glance over your shoulder, a giggle, a hand brushing through your hair. It’s these little things that make people love you and these are the things I want to capture.
All of the subtle qualities and traits that make each of us so appealing and attractive are what I want to capture during your session. I always tell my clients to “just be your natural self” - that’s when the magic happens and their true beauty shines through. I’m not a fan of overly posed or unnatural photographs; I’m not even a fan of unnatural lighting. I believe the best lighting is always natural, and the best poses come when you’re acting naturally.
We’re all human. Sometimes we have to warm up a bit, play music, talk and joke around, because let’s get real - there are very few people who feel comfortable with their bodies, and even less that feel at ease in front of the camera. I am passionate about boudoir. I love helping my clients discover how breathtaking they are.
Everyone has something unique and worthy of artistic documentation, despite age, size, or gender; we just don’t always believe it’s there. I pride myself on having the type of energy that allows you to relax and allows me to catch beautiful moments on camera. Here are my top four reasons why you should consider boudoir:
1. Elevate Your Self-Image! We are our own toughest critics. We constantly rebuke ourselves over our perceived physical flaws. We compare ourselves to the people we see in magazines or on your favorite Netflix show. Even with the societal movement toward loving your body, it’s hard to silence that dark voice in our heads that says things like “You’re not enough” or “I wish I could look like that”.
News flash: you are good enough. In fact, you are more than ‘good enough’. You are brilliant, ethereal, effervescent, and magical. Boudoir photography is an opportunity to let your perfect and beautiful inner light shine, and to teach that little voice to change its message.
Getting treated like a celebrity for a few hours is great therapy for anyone, but wait until you get to see the photographs for the first time. You will be blown away. You will show that little voice who’s boss. You will see how ravishing you are.
2. Expand Your Horizons! For most, posing au naturel in front of a camera is an alarming concept. We realize that nerves may get in the way – again, we’re all human! Facing your fears can be a life-changing experience, and conquering them is truly powerful. Our photographer will make you feel serene even when you are shaking in your stilettos – our goal is to make you feel like the fierce, fabulous, breathtaking celestial being that you are. We’re here to help you document this journey. We hope that you have a boudoir experience that turns your fears into a statement of empowerment.
3. Treat-yo’-self! I strongly believe that we rarely do things exclusively for ourselves. Even if you do get to occasionally sneak away for an hour of self-indulgence, we often end up feeling guilty about it. I’m not sure where this particular trait originates from, but collectively, we tend to prioritize everyone else and we put them in front of our own desires and aspirations.
Boudoir gives you the opportunity to focus completely on yourself. It is an excuse to take some time out for yourself - go shopping, go to the spa, have your hair done. Do it for yourself. Be pampered. Indulge. Treat-yo’-self. Love every minute! Through the entire process of your boudoir shoot, you get the chance to see yourself in a whole new light; as the beautiful, powerful person that you are.
4. You Will Look Stunning! Everyone has their “thing” - that one thing that makes you more than unique, it makes you one-of-a-kind. Let’s discover that thing and celebrate what makes you the astonishing work of art that you were created to be. Whatever stage of life, whatever size, whatever you want to express - we want to help you capture your authentic beauty.
Professional hair and makeup, a professional photographer, and professional retouching will create some of the best portraits of yourself that you will ever see. I often tell my clients to schedule a night out after getting their portraits done, because you will look and feel marvelous! Go flaunt what you got, you will walk with a pep in your step after our session.
I believe that everyone needs boudoir because everyone deserves to feel confident, sexy, and stunning. However this comes about, do it! Be the best you that you can be. We should all be empowered in our unique selves – body, mind, and soul. I hope that I’ve inspired you to consider your own boudoir session as a way to explore your sensuality and to embrace yourself, flaws and all. We’re all human – what is your story?
My name is Sariah; welcome to my blog!