I often get asked “When should I get my maternity pictures taken?” by my potential clients who contact me regarding their maternity and newborn portrait sessions. As a Reno Maternity Photographer (serving Lake Tahoe and beyond), I can offer some handy advice on this topic.
When should I get my maternity pictures taken?
Between 32 and 34 weeks. Another photographer may give you a different answer, but personally, I think there are several reasons for this time frame.
1) It gives me enough time to get your images into my digital darkroom and process them beautifully before showing them to you at your in-person ordering appointment. Not to mention – it provides a bit of a buffer in case baby is born very early. Believe me, I have had clients cancel their maternity session at 37 weeks because baby was ready for the world.
2) I need additional time to design/proof your products and put them into production. If you book your session at 34 weeks, that gives me approximately 2 weeks to edit and prepare your photos for your ordering appointment, 2 weeks for album design (at most) – and about 2-4 weeks later, you’ll have your album in-hand. You definitely want to be past the album design process before baby arrives…you will have your hands full! PS. If you require an album before baby is born, definitely schedule your session during the 32 week mark.
3) You will be more comfortable at 32-34 weeks than 35+ weeks. Think about how swollen your feet already are..and multiply it by 12 when you get closer to baby’s due date. At 32-34 weeks, it won’t be quite as laborious walking around your portrait location…standing up for a while and sitting down and getting back up for an hour. It makes me tired just thinking about it…ah, pregnancy memories.
***If you are past the 34 week mark, it’s not TOO late to schedule your session. Don’t skip it just because you maybe didn’t think about it in advance, or were still thinking about doing a maternity photo session or not. Please, pretty please, do it!
This all brings us to the next question, which is pivotal in scheduling your maternity pictures at the right time.
When should I find and hire my maternity photographer?
Your photographer likely has a limited selection of dates available (if they are a professional photographer and not a hobbyist), so you need to start reaching out to photographers whose work you are drawn to no later than when you’re 24 weeks along. I recommend looking for photographers when you find out the gender of your baby, and getting in touch within the next few weeks afterward.
If you wait too long to find and hire the perfect maternity photographer, you risk losing out on that artist for a number of reasons, not always necessarily because they are already booked. Photographers take vacations once in a while. Kind of!
Oh, and what should I wear to my maternity session?
Your body is beautiful right now…no matter how you feel, I promise that you are the most stunning version of yourself right now in this moment as a mommy to be. Seriously. But, be careful with pretty maxi dresses that hug you tightly. If your undies create creases through the dress that you can see, the camera will definitely pick that detail up. And there is very little I can do to photoshop that kind of thing. Visit my article about general wardrobe information for photography sessions, and go from there. Sew Trendy Accessories makes the absolute prettiest maternity dresses – but make sure you give yourself enough time to order, try on, alter (if needed) and finalize in time for your session…AKA order your dress months in advance if possible. Your belly will grow and of course you need to take that into account, but make sure your dress fits your bust properly in advance. Boobies aren’t one size fits all…and a 14 size dress may or may not fit your bust as it should right out of the gate.
Also – get your hair, makeup and nails done in preparation for your session. It will make you feel like a million bucks, you glow beautiful mama! You deserve it anyway, amirght?
What can I do if I still have questions about my maternity session in general?
If you have questions about how to maximize your maternity session results, don’t hesitate to contact me! And if you are on the hunt for your maternity photographer in Reno and Tahoe, definitely get in touch with me ASAP because I would be absolutely honored to photograph your journey into motherhood – whether it’s for your first baby or your 12th. I very much believe in the power of your mama journey for each individual child..it should be documented beautifully by a maternity photographer who puts you in the best light and photographs you from a heartfelt angle.
Thank you for reading! Have tips for preggo mamas on when to get their maternity pics taken? Or other tips that preggo mamas would find helpful? Please comment below and share your thoughts!