I still remember the feelings I had when I found out I was pregnant with my first son – a bit of excitement and then fear when I realized I had a little living thing within me; moments of “I can do the whole no sleep thing – I’m a night owl anyway :-)”; and then other panic moments, of “Do I even know how to change a diaper?” I remember carrying around this huge secret that first day that no one but my dog and me knew, as I was planning to surprise my husband with the news when he got home from work. And I still remember the tears of joy that glazed my husband’s eyes as he asked me in small voice after he opened his gift, “So, are we pregnant?”
Image Credit: Elizabeth Weddington
Why should you book a maternity session?
Being wrapped up in documenting momentous and special occasions all my life and then doing it for a living when I began my photography business, I knew I wanted to have images of my husband and me while I was pregnant. I knew I was experiencing something miraculous and new, and I wanted to have the memories of carrying my son. I also wanted to be able to look back at those images and smile remembering all of the feelings and stories I had when I was pregnant. It was important to me and now something I can share with my son who is an active toddler. He always asks me when he sees those images, “Is that me in your belly, momma?”
Talking with people over the years, I’ve had some say that it’s important for them to have images of their pregnancy, as this baby is their miracle baby. Many people I know have had miscarriages or struggles of getting pregnant, so images to look back on during their pregnancy allows them to remember the joy they felt while carrying their son or daughter. And those without struggles often want to remember the joy of the movements of their little one who will be making his or her debut in just a few short weeks or months.
Whatever the reason, maternity sessions canbe a lot of fun and a great way to remember a very special and sacred time. If there are other siblings in the family, it can also be a great way of getting memories of siblings interacting with mom being pregnant too.
What to expect for a maternity session
One of my favorite things is getting to know moms and couples who are pregnant or who have just had a newborn enter their family. There is something raw and real about the emotions people feel when it comes to little ones, and those are the very things I want to capture for them with my camera.
I always tell my clients I want them to be true to themselves and that I will help them fall into their comfort place where they begin to forget they’re even having their photo taken. Often, it’s like they get to go on a date with their spouse or have fun with any other children they may have (this can include fur babies :)) I just get to be there to capture the memories in between. It’s important to me that my clients laugh a lot, have a good time and leave feeling really good about themselves and the images we took.
The best time to book a maternity session
So when should you book a maternity session? I often tell my clients the best time to have a session is when they are between 32 and 34 weeks pregnant. That’s usually the best time since it’s when you’re belly is showing pretty well, but you’re not yet at what is considered the “full-term” delivery window. The last couple of weeks of pregnancy can get pretty uncomfortable, so I try to do sessions before the very end for that reason, not to mention I don’t want mom to worry about going into labor at any minute either!
As far as when to call and schedule, you can do that pretty much any time, but I usually recommend trying to get it on the calendar early on to ensure availability of schedules on both the photographer and the client’s part. Calling during the 2nd trimester is a good time to keep in mind, but it’s not a hard and fast rule :)
Maternity photography is something that is near and dear to my heart – perhaps because I’m a mom myself and can relate so much to the array of feelings and emotions going through a young mom’s mind. I enjoy giving moms a reason to relax for a bit before the crazy of motherhood takes over, but also giving them a reason to smile and feel beautiful about themselves, especially in a season where their bodies change into something a little different than normal :)
Stay posted for more on my next blog post about what outfits are best to wear for your maternity session!