Just a quick heads up, this blog post is a bit of a departure from my normal type of post, mainly because I’ve been researching SEO techniques and apparently creating relevant content is the thing to do to rank in Google, be discovered by search engines, which in turn helps potential clients and obviously generates enquiries.
The first part of the post is all about relevant content and the last part is my normal quotes and random ramblings. If you’re interested in how to prepare for a maternity photoshoot then read on, if quotes and ramblings are your thing, skip to the end bit and if you’re only here for the photographs then go ahead and enjoy my friend.
3 tips – How to prepare for a summer maternity photo session
If you are planning a romantic summer maternity shoot, it’s most likely it’ll take place outdoors in a charming country or garden setting or if you live near the coast then perhaps a late afternoon beach photography session may be your choice.
Here are three questions Moms-to-be often ask before their session:
1. How many weeks into my pregnancy should I book a photo shoot?
2. What should I wear?
3. How to get in the mood?
WHEN TO BOOK THE SHOOT
Plan your shoot for around 30 weeks, your body should be bursting with hormones around this time which will add to your pregnancy glow and your hair and skin will look fabulous, your belly will also be just nicely rounded and not too heavy or uncomfortable. If you’re carrying multiple babies then it may be better to plan your shoot at about 24 weeks instead.
WHAT TO WEAR
Let’s face it, the summer heat can be murder when you’re pregnant, in that case, an off the shoulder peasant style, halter neck or capped sleeve V neck maxi dress in a cool flowy fabric always looks and feels feminine. An added bonus is that when the breeze catches the fabric it gives an extra bit of dimension and movement to the image that just looks beautiful.
An elasticised Empire Line style maxi dress is perfect for this and the fitted bodice that flares out below the bust to make room for the expanding tummy will accentuate your bump, which is exactly what we want!
COLOURS – When you start thinking about colours, think complementary not matchy-matchy when choosing outfits for you and your family.
You can’t go wrong with neutral colours and soft muted tones, particularly if Mom’s outfit is feminine, soft and flowing. Pinks, blush, coral, blues, seafoam, grays, off-white/ivory can all work. Stay away from green shades if your shoot is in a field or foresty type setting.
If a soft muted palette seems to boring for you then liven it up by adding some rich jewel tones to the mix, don’t overdo it though, a pop of colour here and there is sufficient.
FEET & FOOTWEAR – It’s summer, so a pretty pair of your best sandals is just the thing, often no SHOES looks best especially if it’s a beach shoot or you’re going to be in sitting or lying poses where the bottom of your shoes may be seen.
Stay away from ankle chains and toe rings, think timeless and classic for the style of your shoot. Ensure that your fingernails and toenails are manicured and neat, I don’t mean you have to go all out to the salon but if your nails are chipped and half the polish is off it will be noticeable in your images. Muted colours are best, wearing bile green nail polish with a soft pink dress will only spoil your outfit and the look and mood of your photos.
The focus needs to be on you and your own beautiful pregnant self and adorable baby bump.
ACCESSORIES – Accessories are important, seriously they can make or break an outfit. Think a little bit outside the box when choosing accessories: floaty scarves, hats, a simple bouquet of flowers, jewelry, pashminas, soft shawls or cardigans anything that can add that extra oomph to your look but remember less is more, don’t overdo it.
The other great thing about accessories is that you can change them up a bit during the session to give you multiple looks without actually changing your clothing.
MAKE-UP – Apply your make up a teensy bit heavier your normally would as the camera has a tendency to wash out colour. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep your make up looking fresh and natural not garish or overdone.
HAIR -The best way to wear your hair is your natural everyday hairstyle slightly zhooshed up. Pay a visit to your hairdresser for a trim about 2 weeks before the shoot and make sure your roots have not grown out. Treat yourself to a professional blow dry on the day of your session to ensure a smooth and shiny hairstyle that is under control. Frizzy flyaway hair always shows up in backlit photos. If you have long hair then leaving it loose adds to that beautiful romantic look and again adds movement to the image when a soft breeze lifts your tresses.
GETTING IN THE MOOD
Being 30 weeks pregnant in the summer heat can often leave us ladies feeling a tad less than glamorous and a teeny bit grumpy (just saying). Try to book yourself off for the afternoon so that you can have a leisurely blow dry at the hairdresser and a short cat-nap when you get home.
If you’ve booked a shoot with me we’ll only start the session about an hour before sunset so that’ll give you loads of time to get ready at your own pace – enjoy a relaxing bath and calmly apply your make-up before getting dressed. If this is not your first baby and there are other munchkins to dress and bath, rope hubby in to help so that you can have some time to yourself.
Do a dry run of what you are going wear and what accessories you’re going to use, a few days before the session, this takes all the angst and drama out of doing it on the day. Bear in mind that there needs to be a little extra space in the dress during the dry run because your baby bump will be a little bigger when the actual day arrives!
Finally, add a splash of your favorite perfume to make yourself feel beautiful and sensual.
Plan to have take-aways or go out for a light dinner after the shoot just to round the day off and make it extra special.
The most important thing is to be calm and relaxed with NO RUSHING around. This is your time to shine and you want avoid anything that has the potential to harsh your mellow.
THE OTHER STUFF QUOTES & RAMBLINGS…
“Of course I can do this. I’m pregnant, not brain-damaged. My condition doesn’t change my personality.”
― Christine Feehan, Ruthless Game
“You can hear now. Your inner ear is formed.
I shout “I love you” into the bedroom. Then I feel stupid. Then I don’t. This is pretty much the story of my life.”
― Suzanne Finnamore, The Zygote Chronicles
“It is a well-documented fact that guys will not ask for directions. This is a biological thing. This is why it takes several million sperm cells… to locate a female egg, despite the fact that the egg is, relative to them, the size of Wisconsin.”
― Dave Barry
“You look great,” he said. It made her smile, even if it was a lie. “I’m as big as a house.”
He laughed. “I like houses. In fact, I’m thinking about architecture as a career.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Things We Do for Love
“Pregnancy is a very tough experience for a female, have no doubt. But, it’s not a walk in the park for a man either. Understanding on both sides is key”
― James Perrin
“A child is conceived in a womb of a woman, miraculously, in a sacred moment of conception.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita
“You never understand life until it grows inside of you.”
― Sandra Chami Kassis
Aren’t they just the most beautiful couple? The location for this maternity shoot was the gorgeous Buffelsbaai beach located along the Garden Route.
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About the photographer
Moira is a Lifestyle Photographer based in Sedgefield, South Africa.
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