"I never had photos taken when I was pregnant; I thought I was too ugly. Now I wish I had".
This is the single most common comment I get from mothers. As a professional maternity and newborn photographer, I photograph women at the most significant time in their life. Forget college graduation, forget their wedding. It's pregnancy and their new baby that mean more to them than anything else. Here are 5 things to consider about having maternity pictures taken. After you do, you will want BOTH maternity and newborn photos.
1. You are beautiful. Yes. It is cliche. But as a photographer I can tell you this: You will never look as beautiful as you do at 35 weeks pregnant. Yes, your figure is "gone", yes, you feel "fat", but the fact is you know that you are doing an amazing thing; bringing a child to life. Not everyone can do this; not even some women. It shows on your face, and it screams "stunning" on camera. Let go of how your body has changed from your wedding day. You are not fat, you are not ugly. Let an accomplished photographer show you what everyone else sees of this fleeting and rare side of you.
2. Maternity shoots are your child's first baby picture. If we could see through a woman's stomach, no one would say "What is that thing in there?" Instead we would say: "Aw, look how cute your baby is." While we may not be able to see, mom can feel her baby and she already has a good sense of what he/she looks like just by the shape of her stomach. Capture this. Even if you have another baby, it will not be the same as this baby.
3. You may not get a second chance. Often we take family for granted. But you may never again be pregnant. You will want to remember every detail of the process
4. Do it for others. Your kids will be so happy to know that mom took pictures of them before they were even born. Does that say "love" or what? Your kids will turn the pages of your maternity album as much as they will their newborn album.
5. Dad Matters: Maternity shoots include shots of Dad; remember him? He is a stakeholder in this whole process too. And even if he seems blase about the whole affair, he's not. He wants to remember this time as well. Remember that he too is excited, and that shows on both your faces.
If for no other reason than I have never heard one woman say "Boy, I sure regret getting my maternity photos done. What a waste!, then you should find a photographer and schedule your shoot on or around 35 weeks.
Katie Katsenis is a newborn and maternity photographer in Tujunga, CA 91042 just outside of downtown Los Angeles.