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Maternity Session Guide

Maternity Session at Heritage Park in Blacksburg, VA

There is no secret, Maternity sessions are hands down my absolute favorite type of session. I would gladly spend the rest of my days photographing glowing mothers to be. It is so important to capture these fleeting moments before the mad chaos sits in with either your first or an added child. In the spirit of you having one less thing to worry about I would love to give you a few tips on what to expect and how to prepare for a session in this Maternity Session Guide.

First off when picking a location keep the season in mind. You don’t want to be submerged in water in the middle of January so a waterfall session is probably out. However keep in mind although it might be cold a bright colored gown is breathtaking against a snowy backdrop. I love super dramatic backgrounds but let’s face it sometimes they aren’t feasible because it is hard enough for you to walk as it is and some of these locations are harder to get to. I feel with maternity session the proof is in the pudding meaning you can do them anywhere because the momma is so beautiful she will steal the show, not the location. You will want to pick a location that has some meaning for you, because this time is so precious. If you are feeling stuck coming up with ideas I have a ton and love to help with that.

Maternity Session at Hahn Horticulture Garden Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA

Now let’s talk about timing. It’s pretty important to hit that sweet spot where you look super pregnant but aren’t so uncomfortable that it shows. I generally recommend 30-34 weeks but no more than that. Anything after 35 weeks and you are generally pretty uncomfortable plus we run the risk of you going into labor. For the time of day we schedule you have a couple of choices. For outdoor sessions either the hour following sunrise or an hour before sunset works great. This will depend a lot on your personal schedule and whether or not you get morning sickness. For any indoor sessions the timing is a little more flexible because we can control the light with windows and blinds.

Maternity Session at Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg, VA

Now on the the most important part… Your’e outfit! I want to make sure you look fabulous and showcase that beautiful belly of yours. One thing I want to mention is your choice of shoes. If you want to wear heels or platforms for your actual pictures that is fine but maybe consider bringing some flats to wear in between shots and during walking around.

I love doing an outfit change for these sessions so they feel more rounded and you have some variety. For the first outfit I just love a beautiful long, flowing dress. Anything that has an empire waist is just amazing at showcasing your baby bump. I completely understand your hesitation to buy one for just this occasion to wear only once. May I recommend trying the thrift store or Platos Closet first. You can find some pretty fabulous dresses there at super affordable prices. These pictures are a once in a lifetime opportunity. They are definitely worth the dress.

Maternity Session at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg, VA

For the second outfit, I like it to be sort of casual. This is where all the cute, fun photos come from.You could wear a shorter dress or even maternity jeans with a cute top that shows off your belly. This is also where I like to add props and have some real fun. We do some of you sitting down so keep that in mind when choosing this outfit.

Now let’s talk props! I am usually against a lot of props just because I feel it takes away from the power and emotion of a session. However, when it comes to maternity sessions I say the more the better. Anything that will help personalize the session and help you remember the moment years down the road. As a mom of teenagers I can tell you it gets harder and harder to remember all those details the farther you get from them. Here are a few suggestions of things you can bring with you; the ultrasound pictures, baby blanket, shoes, stuffed animal, baby books to read, and maybe a banner with their name from the baby shower that will get hung in their room.

When bringing a sibling to the session make sure they have had a nap and have eaten already. This always makes things run smoother. Talk to them before hand about what will be expected of them. We will get most of the shots with them out of the way first before they get unfocused and then they will be rewarded with some play time. That is when we will get some candid shots as well. I like to bribe my children with a promise of ice cream after or something they really like. Having stuff to look forward to helps with littles cooperation.

I hope all these tips help you and I am always here to answer any questions you may have. The most important thing is not to stress yourself out about any of it. We will find beauty in the middle of the messy, so let’s have some fun.


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