Let’s chat maternity photos! Today, we’re here to share our tips and why to take them.
SO, you’re thinking you may want to do maternity photos? Or maybe you haven’t thought about it at all? Taking maternity photos is something we highly recommend and that was a must-do on our list to remember and celebrate Baby H (and the 10 months it took to grow him!). There are multiple “types” of maternity photos, and we wish we could have done them all. You’ve probably seen what we’re talking about- the outdoor couple shots, the outdoor shots in gowns, the in-home shots, or the in-studio beautifully edited photos.
Cost and time-wise, we had to choose and opted for the in-studio shots. We’re going to save the in-home shots, for when Baby H arrives, and we do our newborn photos (more to come on this). But for the maternity photos, we wanted them to be beautifully portrayed, tastefully shot, and most of all wanted the ability within our shoot to get a variety of shots. Think the super sexy poses, showing your new baby based curves, the portrait couple shots, and the solo shots of mama and baby in denim, again artistically edited in color and black and white to show our pregnancy journey and the special bond we’ve formed with Baby H.
So let’s go through the process, shall we? We’ll share with you our key tips and takeaways (from how to find a great studio/photographer, to what to wear, and solo and couple photo inspiration) and wrap it up with why we’re SO happy we decided to take these incredible photos (esp. with Glow Portraits).
Finding the Right Studio/Photographer for the Right Time:
First and foremost, knowing what KIND 0f photos we wanted was critical. It was knowing all of the above, that led us to Glow Portraits in NYC, a studio that I came across online after extensive research for the above wants and needs. Glow Portraits got amazing reviews and boy were they right! We had the best experience and were NOT disappointed.
So, begin by sourcing your photo inspo. Look on Pinterest, and/or at local photographer websites for inspiration (we only used Pinterest and had more than enough). Once you’ve decided on the type of maternity photos you want (in-studio, artistic, at home, outdoor, etc), it’s time to find the studio and photographer. Because we knew we wanted to do newborn photos in our home (so Sofifi our puppy could be part), we liked the idea of going in-studio for the maternity photos.
As I always do, I put together a Google Sheet with various in-studio maternity photographers in and around NYC. I reached out to each and asked 5 key questions.
- Are you available for my timing (30-34 weeks pregnant)?
- What are your available packages, and what is included in each?
- What is the cost?
- How many photos will I get?
- What does your studio uniquely offer (this could be hair/makeup, wardrobe, etc)?
After comparing costs and packages, I was able to narrow it down to three studios and ultimately went with Glow Portraits for a few reasons, more to come on this below.
Sourcing Your Inspo:
This was a KEY step for us, in planning out the maternity photos. I created a secret board on Pinterest (we don’t need everyone from work knowing how we’re hoping to pose!), and pinned away. Also, I saved solo images, more artistic shots, and couples shots. I highly recommend sharing the couple photo inspo with your hubby, so he can a) feel part of the process and b) knows what he is walking into, agreeing on the shot list ahead of time. Here is some great inspiration from Glow Portraits Instagram.
In the same vein, a little trick we’ve learned from photoshoots? Have your shot list ready and send the inspo to the photographers ahead of time, in order to maximize your time. I was CRYSTAL clear on what I wanted to capture, and this allowed for the Glow Portraits team to capture all of the looks, shots, and outfits we wanted, for a truly versatile shoot. ALSO- if you are going for the more artistic shots (like Glow Portraits is known for) make sure you Pin some couple images, as well as some that are SFW (safe for work) so you’re able to pack your outfits accordingly.
When to Take Maternity Photos:
You want to take maternity photographs between 30-34 weeks when your tummy is round enough and your bump is large enough. But, you still feel comfortable in your body, and after 34/35 weeks, your tummy growth tends to increase to a point that may be less comfortable for you. Keep in mind you will be standing for hours at a time.
What to Look for in Terms of Packages/Cost:
The main thing here is to understand the levels of investment for your photos, and what is included at each level. This includes the extras, and ultimately, this is why I went with Glow Portraits. I also loved their artistic approach to editing and the ability to capture multiple types of shots. We went with the mid-tier package which included the below:
- 2-hour session in Glow Portraits Midtown studio
- Professional make-up and touch-ups throughout
- Access to Glow Portraits wardrobe and silk fabrics (this was v helpful)
- 20 high-res artistically edited images
- Presented in color and B&W (so really 40 images)
- License for Unlimited Personal Use
- $200 Print Credit
One other thing to keep in mind. Do you need direction on set? We did, I wanted someone to take our inspo boards and work with us to make a plan to capture those photos, directing us along the way. This was one of the key reasons we went with Glow Portraits, due to their expertise in the maternity space.
What to Bring:
This piece was tough for me to navigate overall. I wanted to make sure I had the right outfits, that would photograph well. Glow Portraits was able to send us a list of things to bring, which was super helpful, and I’ve added to that, below. I brought all of the below (we can never be too prepared, am I right?!) but noted what I actually wore, in case that helps you guys in packing your bag!
Nude Strapless Bra (wore) and/or Nude Bandeau
Nude Thong (wore) and/or Nude boyshorts
Black thong (wore)
A Black Lace bra (wore) + Black Lace thong (wore)
Black strapless bra (wore)
A Black Turtleneck Dress (wore)
Black Turtleneck (wore)
A Black crop top (brought 5, wore 1)
Calvin Klein sports bra (wore with Levi’s non-maternity jeans)
- Ripped jeans non-maternity (wore)
Makeup for touchups (used, I like to have my own things on hand)
Wand for touchups (used, but again, I like to touch up)
For Him- Jeans + Fitted black tee shirt + fitted white tee shirt (wore)
- Flowy Empire Waist Gown (Glow Portraits wardrobe was MUCH better than mine in this dept.)
Louboutins (wore 1 pair)
- Item to represent baby (tiny pair of shoes, something from the nursery, etc. We did not do this)
7 Reasons Why You Should Take Maternity Photos:
So, we’ve known that we’ve always wanted maternity photos. But if you’re on the fence, or thinking it’s not for you, let us at least share with you WHY you might want to reconsider.
- This is a moment in time- And a magical one at that, who knows when or if you will have another little one
- There is a special bond between you and your bump- Your baby to be will soon be out of your tummy, so think about capturing the 10 months you were together as he grew
- You truly are glowing- From the inside out, girl! Let a photographer capture that glow, you will be surprised at how beautiful you look and feel
- You can do it together- Maternity photos not only capture you and your little one, but they also showcase you and your partner, as things are now before the baby comes into your life and things change for good!
- A forever memory- There’s nothing worse than looking back and wishing you could remember something. Especially something as monumental as bringing a baby into this world
- A fun way to celebrate your pregnancy- There are plenty of “not fun” things about being pregnant, but a day of pampering and a treasured memory is actually LOTS of fun
- Not just for you, for baby too- If you’ve ever had the chance to see your mother pregnant with you, you probably saw her glow, her emotion, and dreams for the future. This will be super special for baby too.
Mention us to Glow Portraits for a free 16×20 print after booking your session. Something so fun for you to frame for your room or the nursery to remember this special time!