How to Prep for your Minneapolis Maternity Photo Session

by | Aug 11, 2023 | Locations, Maternity, Motherhood, Sessions

Are you ready for your Maternity Photos?

Pregnancy can be overwhelming, and messy, and feels like an eternity. I get it, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. And there’s a lot to think about, which is ALSO messy and overwhelming. Basically what I’m saying is pregnancy is unpredictable, and I completely understand that.

But, it’s also a magical time in your life. I know that sounds cliché, I really do. But the whole thing about “glowing” and “growing a human” and all that, it’s real. And you deserve to be able to look back on that time in your life when it’s over, and you’ve got a squirmy squishy tiny human to care for.

Even if you don’t feel “glowy”, you are Momma. I promise. And with everything you’ve got going on, I want to make getting your maternity photos set up as easy as possible! So, how do you prep for maternity photos?

1. Schedule your Maternity Session in advance!

The first thing to think about is scheduling in advance. We want to make sure your session is in that sweet spot where your bump is GORGEOUS, but you can still like… walk and stuff. This will mean that we can venture out into the world for your session (or we can do it in studio, either works!!) and you’ll feel as comfy as possible, while still being able to capture your growing bump. Once you get to the last few weeks of your pregnancy… a session isn’t exactly the same vibe. At that point you’re like “it’s time, come on, vacate the premises,” and walking around in a field or a park doesn’t sound as fun. Even lounging on a sofa in my studio would feel a bit… lack lustre.

So your first prep step? Book in advance, that way you can ensure your photographer’s availability during their favorite maternity shoot window.

Now, this does come with some caveats, because like I said: pregnancy is unpredictable. And that brings us to point two.

Mother in a floral dress holding her children's hands while walking through lush greenery

2. Think about how you’re FEELING

Every pregnancy is different. Every. Single. One. Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, you might find yourself feeling better/worse than you did the last (first?) time. So it is SUPER important that when you’re booking, you think about how you’re feeling.

I’m always as flexible as I can be with booking, because sometimes once you get to a certain point in your pregnancy, mornings aren’t possible. Or evenings aren’t possible. Or 2pm falls in your non-negotiable post-lunch nap. The idea of a blue-hour morning session might sound amazing now, but it may not be a realistic option once you’ve baked that little loaf for a few months.

Make sure you communicate with your photographer about the times they have available during their week, how they like to structure maternity sessions, and whether they allow for last-minute rescheduling. Because morning sickness is a thing, and if you’re following my advice and booking ahead, you may not know yet how you’ll feel by the time we get to your session.

All of that is okay – but communication is key to make sure we find the sweet spot!

Mother-to-be in an elegant green dress smiling out the window during maternity photos

3. Let’s talk about MATERNITY GOWNS!

One of the other major prep steps you don’t want to miss, is talking with your photographer about their maternity session wardrobe options. Some photographers offer access to what we usually call a client closet, and you get to choose one or more gowns to use during your session. Others require that you rent a gown ahead of time, and others yet will rent a gown FOR you, if they don’t have something available in their closet that matches your vision.

But whether you want to wear gowns, capture your bump in your birthday suit (both is also an option!) or you plan on doing a different wardrobe theme altogether, you absolutely can’t skip talking this over with your photographer. You definitely don’t want to show up for your session with last minute wardrobe questions that it’s too late to answer!

4. Are there MUST HAVE shots you want to get?

And that brings us to my favorite prep step for Maternity Photography: your shot list! Now, not every photographer approaches this the same way, and I’m personally pretty flexible about it. If you want to, you can choose to just let me do my thing, and not worry at all about sending me inspiration before your session. Trust me, I have enough vision to go around.

But, you can also be way more involved, if you want to be! Ask your photographer whether they’d be alright with you sending a Pinterest board or mood board with inspiration for the session (or if it’s me don’t worry about asking, just send it to me!!). Go through your photographer’s portfolio and choose favorite shots that you want to recreate!

When it comes to inspo, more is always better, and I would much rather you think about your must-have shots before our session. If there are things I need to prepare ahead for you, this helps a ton!

5. Get your legs ready, Mama!

Depending on the vibe you’re going for with your session, it might be relevant to shave your legs. And if this is your first time around the block, let me tell you, that may not be the easiest task once you get to this point in your pregnancy.

So, if you’re wanting images that involve bare legs (like pregnancy boudoir, which is super cool and you should definitely consider!) it might be important to make sure you have a partner/close friend/family member who can help you shave your legs two days before your session. Not the night before though, because if you’re someone who gets those fun red bumps we all HATE, we definitely don’t want those to be on show during your session! (If they’re unavoidable, don’t worry though, that’s why editing exists. I’ve GOT you.)

In addition to your legs, think about moisturizing the day before (with a moisturizer your skin is used to!! Allergic reactions aren’t exactly the kind of glow we want to document, and skin can get extra sensitive during pregnancy!)

6. Show up, and we’ll make MAGIC.

If this doesn’t sound like a step… you’re kind of right. This one is a cop-out. But it’s still important to talk about!! Because once you’ve scheduled your session, communicated with your photographer (me? <3), and made sure your wardrobe and skin-care situation is taken care of… You’re ready.

You get to show up where we’re shooting (in studio or out in the world!) and we’ll make magical images happen. Images that’ll remind you of the beautiful moments leading up to your little one joining us.

pregnant mom in gray sew trendy ball gown in green field in chanhassen minnesota

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