3 Must-Do's For Your Maternity Photo Shoot

Planning A Maternity Shoot With a 'Wow' Factor


Maternity photo shoots are fun to plan because photographers are dealing with adults as opposed to the newborn they will be working with in just a few weeks. And while newborn photography is also a blast to plan, 'plan' is the key word. Often, the baby did not get the memo about your 'plan'. To take advantage of maternity planning,  here are three things than can make your maternity photo session a stunner.

1. Clothes: Like most things, clothes can take an image from "hey, that's nice", to "Wowza! You look like a movie star"! When I plan maternity sessions with my Los Angeles clients, I always ask them to jot down three adjectives that they want to convey in their images. It does not mean that they actually feel like these words. It means that this is their fantasy. Common words I get are: glamorous, vintage, sophisticated, avant-garde, cutting edge, grunge, fairy tale princess-like, athletic, bold, provocative, and elated. What is amazing is that even women who seem shy or not convinced they can bring out their best adjectives, almost always do. 

Most maternity photographers like the uber-formal maternity gown. We love to have all that fabric being blown by a wind machine and creating a blurred line between reality and the ethereal. Many of us have a collection of gowns clients can borrow. But not every excellent photographer has a studio or a large wardrobe. So here is a trick of the trade moms-to-be: RENT. Yes. You can rent great gowns. Mine for Nine is just one of several places you can go to.


2. The Annie Leibovitz/Demi Moore Pose

Most expectant moms today were still too little or not yet born to remember this cover from 1991. Demi Moore blew the world away by her willingness to do this. And Annie Leibovitz created this now-classic pose.


It's an awesome image. And in the maternity photography industry it is still, 25 years later, the most asked-for shot. I have never had a client strike this post and not love it. Granted, they may not show it to their mom and dad. But they have it always to remember at how amazing they looked. And yes, everyone is a bit nervous at first, but that's OK. After a few minutes, it all comes together.

3. Hair and Makeup: Most studio maternity photographers offer this as a service for an additional fee. Of course, it is not necessary, but the work of a great hair and makeup  artist (HMUA) can bring out subtleties of a subject's  face without having it look overdone or trendy. Maternity photographers tend to like images that stand the test of time. No one wants to look back at an image and say "Oh, that was so Millennial". HMUA are trained in this "timeless" way of making clients look astonishingly perfect. But if your photographer does not work with a HMUA, you can plan to have your hair and makeup done locally. You probably did this for your wedding. It makes for a long day, but  the good news is, you can make plans to go out after your maternity shoot because you will look fantastic.