Congratulations! If you are reading this, you are probably expecting to welcome a new little life into your family very soon. You might be prepping the nursery, buying adorable little outfits and feeling excited for what's to come.
You might also be considering documenting this incredibly unique and transformative time through a maternity photoshoot to encapsulate the magic, anticipation, and beauty of impending motherhood. Being pregnant is an incredible chapter in your life that needs to be documented. These photos will not only celebrate the beautiful transformation your body is going through, but also become treasured memories to share with your little ones in the years to come. Imagine sitting on the sofa one day, photos or albums in hand, and showing your children how much they were loved even before they arrived into the world!
So when is the best time for a maternity photoshoot? The simple answer: whenever you feel up for it! Changing body shapes, energy levels, and various other factors will influence when is most suitable for you. To provide a little insight and inspiration, today's blog will explain the process of a maternity photoshoot and answer some commonly asked questions, so that you feel confident about when to have your own maternity photos taken - whether this is by a professional photographer, your partner or a friend.
What week of pregnancy is best for maternity photos?
The ideal time for a maternity photoshoot largely depends on you, but generally, the sweet spot is around the 28th to 36th week of pregnancy, which correspond to your 7th or 8th month or the start of your third trimester. At this stage, the baby bump is well defined, quite prominent and a beautiful shape, making it perfect for maternity photographs. It’s also the period when most women still feel comfortable and energised, which is important to ensure a pleasant and memorable maternity photoshoot experience.
One thing to remember is that every pregnancy is different. Some women may carry small and may not show significantly until later in their pregnancies, while others may have a noticeable bump earlier.
If you feel you’d like to capture this moment much sooner, then that’s completely fine too.
Is 37 weeks too late for maternity photos?
Likewise, if you simply haven’t got round to planning your maternity photoshoot and are keen to book at 37 weeks, then that’s fine too!
There’s no hard and fast rule that states you can’t have your maternity photoshoot during the 37th week or later. I have taken maternity photos of women who gave birth the week after, so the timing is definitely up to you. Just consider that the closer you get to your due date, the more uncomfortable you might potentially feel. Pregnancy can cause fatigue, swelling, and aches, which may affect your comfort and energy levels during a photoshoot. However, any professional photographer will work to your pace and take as many breaks as required!
When to book maternity photos if you are expecting twins or multiples
Expecting twins or multiples brings an extra layer of excitement, and of course, considerations for your maternity photoshoot. With multiple babies on board, your baby bump is likely to show earlier and be more prominent. Consequently, the best time for a photoshoot in this case could be a bit earlier, generally between the 24th and 30th weeks of pregnancy.
This earlier time frame not only allows you to capture your full bump before discomfort levels may increase, but also takes into account that multiples often arrive earlier than single pregnancies. Hence, having the shoot earlier ensures you don’t miss out on this precious opportunity. As with any pregnancy, comfort should be your guiding principle.
How far ahead should you book maternity photos?
Planning ahead is always a good idea when it comes to maternity photoshoots. I only work with a limited number of families per month to ensure a bespoke and memorable experience. I therefore recommend reaching out around your 20 week scan to ensure I have availability around your preferred date.
Booking early also gives us ample time to discuss your expectations, decide on if you would like to take photos in the comfort of your home or an outdoors location, plan your outfits, and schedule the session at a time that suits you best. It also ensures that even if there’s a need to reschedule due to unforeseen circumstances, you’ll have enough flexibility to do so without stress.
What to wear for maternity photos?
Once you have decided to go ahead with your maternity photoshoot, we can take time to chat about what outfits might work best during our complimentary pre-shoot consultation.
Generally, textures like linen, silk or knits photograph very well and I usually recommend wearing lighter, neutral colours. Simple linen, floral or knit dresses are my personal favourite. However, an elegant black dress can also look stunning. You might also want to consider showing off your bump by wearing lingerie and an oversized shirt. Whatever you choose, it's most important that you feel comfortable and like yourself!
Why not rent your look instead, browse the maternity shoot edit here.
In conclusion, the best time for a maternity photoshoot is a balance between when the baby bump is visibly prominent and when you are still comfortable and feeling great. The photoshoot is about celebrating you and the incredible journey of creating new life. Ensure it’s a time that works best for you, and most importantly, enjoy the process. It’s a beautiful way to commemorate this special time in your life!
Lisa is a family portrait photographer, living and working in London and originally from Germany. Her goal in photographing growing families is capturing the beauty of everyday moments and organically documenting interactions between loved ones to create timeless records that will be cherished forever. Taking an editorial approach and working with natural light only, her photographs are natural, soft and emotive.