Best Time for Maternity Photoshoot: Capture the Glow at the Perfect Moment!

best time for maternity photoshoot

Capturing the magical pregnancy journey is a trend that has gained momentum over the years, and for good reason! A maternity photoshoot is a wonderful way to commemorate the unique time before your life changes with the arrival of your little one. The glow of anticipation, the curves of motherhood, and the excitement of what’s to come; all come together to create memories you’ll treasure forever.

Choosing the best time for your maternity session is key to ensuring that you not only look and feel fantastic but also capture the essence of your pregnancy. 

Many photographers suggest scheduling your maternity photo shoot between the 28 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. At this stage, your baby bump is beautifully pronounced, and you’re likely to still feel comfortable enough to enjoy the session. 

“The third trimester is magical for maternity photos,” shares Emily Waters, a professional maternity photographer. “It’s all about timing it right to catch that perfect balance of a full belly and your radiant energy!”

“Listen to your body and consider your personal journey,” advises Clara Johnson, a mother of two who cherishes her beautiful maternity photos. Many moms find that the window of time can shift slightly depending on how they are experiencing their pregnancy. 

Comfort is paramount as your body goes through these incredible changes, and it’s important to capture your glow when you’re feeling your best. 

Remember, your maternity photos celebrate this special time and your unique story.

Ideal Pregnancy Stages for Maternity Photography Sessions

Capturing the magic of your growing baby bump is all about timing your maternity photo session just right. Let’s look at the prime stages in your pregnancy when the baby bump has a beautiful, photogenic roundness and you typically feel energetic and glowing.

Early Second Trimester

At this stage, your bump is just starting to show, and most likely, the discomfort of early pregnancy is waning. 

It’s a sweet spot for moms who want to document the very beginning of their bump – it’s there but not too pronounced yet.

Middle of the Second Trimester

By this time, your baby bump is more noticeable, providing a lovely curvature for photos. 

“I encourage moms to use this time for a playful and intimate shoot,” photographer James Carter says. “It’s perfect for those timelier fashion shots because your belly is distinctly visible, but you can still comfortably move around for those dynamic poses.”

maternity photo around 20 weeks pregnant

Perfect Time: Late Second to Early Third Trimester

Your baby bump will be beautifully round, and the due date still comfortably far, making this period around the 8th month of pregnancy a favorite. Most moms-to-be find this time to be the most comfortable for a photoshoot. 

“This is when you’re likely to feel at your most radiant,” says mom of two, Lila Rodriguez. “The bump is perfectly round, and I’m full of excitement for the arrival of my baby.” 

It’s also a great opportunity to consider the nursery as a backdrop, showcasing the anticipation of your baby’s arrival.

High-Risk Pregnancy

When planning maternity photos during a high-risk pregnancy, health and safety are paramount. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best time for a photo shoot, considering the specifics of your pregnancy.

partner maternity photoshoot shot laying on couch - great option for high-risk pregnancy photoshoot

Healthcare professionals may suggest having the session earlier, around 24-28 weeks, to avoid potential complications later on. Choose a location that offers comfort and ease, like your home, to maintain a safe and stress-free environment.

Select a photographer who is compassionate and flexible, capable of conducting short sessions that don’t strain you and can reschedule if necessary. During the shoot, prioritize your well-being by focusing on safe and comfortable poses.

If a traditional photo shoot becomes unfeasible because of bed rest, explore other options to capture your pregnancy, such as lifestyle photography at home. Above all, heed the advice of your healthcare team and put your health and your baby’s health first.

Best Season for Maternity Photoshoot

Choosing the best time of year for your maternity photoshoot can create stunning backgrounds and highlight the beauty of your pregnancy. Each season offers unique colors, themes, and opportunities to capture this special time.

Spring Blossoms and Blooms

Spring is a time of new beginnings; nothing says this better than trees dotted with vibrant blossoms and flowers in full bloom. Schedule your shoot at a local park or botanical garden with a breathtaking natural backdrop.

maternity photoshoot in the spring

Summer Glow and Long Days

With long days of sunlight and beautiful sunsets, summer gives you ample time to capture the perfect shot in natural light. 

Think beach settings, flowery meadows, or picnics under a clear blue sky.

Autumn Leaves and Warm Colors

Autumn is a favorite among photographers for its rich reds, oranges, and yellows. 

“Autumn colors bring a warm, earthy feel to photos that’s simply unmatched,” comments maternity client Jenna. 

Take your maternity pictures to the woods or a rustic farm for a cozy backdrop that complements the season.

Cozy Winter Themes

winter maternity photoshoot

Winter offers a serene, white landscape that can make you stand out in your photos. 

Snow provides a natural white studio that reflects light beautifully for a soft, pure look.

Dress warmly in chic layers and consider a session while gentle snowflakes fall for a dreamy winter fairytale vibe.

Time of Day for Optimal Lighting

Choosing the right time of day can dramatically enhance your maternity photos’ beauty and emotional resonance.

Golden Hour Magic

The golden hour gives a warm, flattering glow that’s perfect for highlighting a mother’s radiance. 

During the golden hour, the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset, the sun casts a soft, diffused light that can create stunning photographs. 

Take advantage of this time for your maternity shoot to achieve a dreamy, ethereal look.

  • Best Time: Approximately the first hour after sunrise or the last hour before sunset.
  • Lighting Quality: Warm, golden tones with softer shadows.

Soft Morning Light

Early mornings offer a gentle and serene lighting option. 

Morning light is soft and even, giving a fresh and peaceful atmosphere to maternity photos.

It’s a fantastic time for more subdued and intimate portraits.

  • Best Time: Shortly after sunrise for cooler tones.
  • Lighting Quality: Soft, even illumination with minimal harsh shadows.

Weather Considerations

When planning your maternity photoshoot, the weather plays a pivotal role in capturing maternity portraits. Let’s explore why clear skies or an overcast day can both offer unique advantages.

Clear Skies

maternity photoshoot with ultrasound photo

Under the brilliance of clear skies, your maternity photoshoot benefits from natural sunlight which can create vivid and vibrant images. 

There’s a magical hour just before sunset, often called ‘golden hour,’ where the light is soft and warm, perfect for highlighting your pregnancy glow.

Remember, timing for sunlight is crucial; midday sun can cast harsh shadows and may not be as flattering.

  • Best Time of Day:
    • Golden Hour (1 hour after sunrise or before sunset)
  • Optimal Conditions:
    • Low humidity
    • Mild temperatures

Overcast Advantage

Overcast conditions provide a natural diffuser for sunlight, resulting in even lighting and minimized shadows, giving your photos a serene and gentle look. 

Cloudy days often get overlooked, but the soft light is fantastic for portraits and works like a giant softbox in the sky.

This weather can also be more comfortable for you, as there’s no need to squint in the bright sun or overheat during your photoshoot.

  • Light Qualities:
    • Soft
    • Even
  • Comfort Level:
    • Cooler temperatures
    • No direct sunlight

Indoor vs. Outdoor Photos

When planning your maternity photoshoot, deciding between an indoor or outdoor setting can dramatically impact the style and mood of your photographs.

Home Comforts Indoor

If you’re looking for intimacy and warmth, nothing beats the comfort of your own home.

Photographing indoors allows you to control the environment and lighting, ensuring that you are comfortable and at ease during the shoot. Your home is a treasure trove of personal touches that can make each photo uniquely yours.

  • Privacy: Being indoors means added privacy and comfort, which is great if you’re shy or want to change outfits freely.
  • Control: You dictate the temperature and setting, reducing the likelihood of unexpected interruptions.
  • Personalization: Using your home as a backdrop adds a sentimental value that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

Nature’s Backdrop Outdoor

Mother nature provides a majestic canvas that celebrates the life you’re about to bring into this world,” enthuses mom-to-be Rachel Summers. 

Outdoor photoshoots offer natural lighting and varied backdrops that can bring a majestic and fresh vibe to your maternity photos.

  • Lighting: Natural light can create stunning, radiant effects, especially during the golden hour.
  • Scenery: The variety of outdoor locations means you can capture different themes and seasons.

Professional Photographer Tips

In preparation for your maternity photoshoot, it’s crucial to work closely with a professional photographer. They will guide you through scheduling the session and what to do to prepare for the shoot, ensuring you get stunning results.

Scheduling the Session

Best Timing: Schedule your maternity photoshoot for when you’re around 28-36 weeks pregnant. This is when your belly is nicely round, and you’re most comfortable. 

I recommend the early third trimester, as it’s the sweet spot for showcasing that beautiful bump.

Weekday Availability: Opt for a weekday, if possible, to avoid weekend crowds. This can make the session more relaxed and personal. 

Preparing for the Shoot

Wardrobe Choices: Wear something that flatters your figure and makes you feel confident. Solid colors or minimal patterns work well to keep the focus on your silhouette. 

Bold colors can really pop in photos, but softer hues can deliver that timeless look.

Our favorite maternity dress: 

Props and Poses: Discuss with your photographer about incorporating props or specific poses. 

Personal items like your ultrasound photo or baby shoes can add a unique touch. 

Every mom should feel like a star, so I love when they bring meaningful items to the session,” says photographer Mike Reynolds.

maternity photoshoot props

What to Wear

Choosing the right outfit for your maternity photoshoot blends comfort with your unique style, ensuring you look and feel fantastic. Select garments that make you feel confident and reflect your personality while also considering the visual harmony of your photos.

Comfort Meets Style

Begin with fabrics that are soft and stretchy, like jersey or modal, which will gracefully drape over your growing belly. 

Maxi dresses or an empire waist gown can be both stylish and comfy, accentuating your silhouette without restricting movement. A flowing skirt paired with a snug top can highlight your bump beautifully while also allowing you to move around easily.

  • Fabric Choices:
    • Jersey
    • Modal
    • Chiffon
  • Recommended Styles:
    • Maxi dresses
    • Empire waist gowns
    • Flowing skirts with snug tops

Coordinating Outfits

If the family is involved, coordinating outfits add to the cohesive look of the photos.

Choose a color palette that complements each other but avoid being too matchy-matchy. 

Soft, solid colors work well and help keep the focus on your baby bump while adding to the aesthetic of the shoot. For partners and children, think about complementing shades or patterns that reflect the chosen color scheme.

  • Color Palette Ideas:
    • Pastels
    • Earth tones
    • Neutrals
  • Textiles and Patterns:
    • Solid colors for simplicity
    • Subtle patterns for depth

Involving Family Members

maternity photoshoot with older sibling

Embracing the love and excitement within your family boosts the joy in your professional maternity photos. It’s a delightful way to document the growing bond between your loved ones and the soon-to-arrive bundle of joy.

Capture the Anticipation with Siblings: Include your other children to cherish their anticipation. 

Get creative with poses that highlight the relationship your children will have with the new baby. Think of tender hugs, curious touches on the belly, and shared laughter.

  • Encourage siblings to talk or sing to the baby bump.
  • Use props like books or toys that signify sibling activities.

Partner Involvement: Your significant other is a cornerstone of this journey. 

“I love showcasing the intimate moments between parents-to-be,” says maternity photographer Lucas Miller. “Their hands on the bump or shared glances can tell a beautiful story of expectancy.”

  • Hold hands or embrace while focusing on the bump.
  • Share a silhouette shot against a sunset, signifying the upcoming changes.

Extended Family Love: If you’re comfortable, invite grandparents-to-be! 

  • Grandparents can be posed with hands on the belly or sharing an heirloom with the baby.
  • Include a generational picture, with hands of the mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother on your belly.

Capturing the Journey

Maternity photoshoots are a beautiful way to document your growing belly and the excitement that comes with anticipating your baby’s arrival.

Progressive Pregnancy Photos

Begin by scheduling a series of photoshoots throughout your pregnancy. Each session will highlight the growth and changes in your body. This is especially fun for a first pregnancy. 

Think of this as a timeline of your journey, with bi-monthly or monthly photos showing your baby bump’s progression.

  • Month 1-3: Typically, changes are subtle, but it’s the start of your story.
  • Month 4-6: This is when your bump becomes more pronounced.
  • Month 7-9: The final stretch showcases your full bloom.

Milestone Moments to Capture During Your Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of rapid change and beautiful transitions, and capturing these moments with professional photographs can provide lasting memories for you and your family. Here are some milestone moments during pregnancy that are perfect for professional photography:

  1. Pregnancy Announcement Photos: Often taken in the first trimester, these photos are a creative way to announce your pregnancy to friends and family. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish, often featuring sonogram images, baby shoes, or custom signs.
  2. Gender Reveal Photos: If you choose to find out and reveal the gender of your baby, a professional photo shoot can capture the surprise and joy of this moment. Props like colored balloons, confetti, or a themed setup can add to the excitement.
  3. The Halfway Point (20 Weeks): Marking the halfway milestone of your pregnancy, a photo session at 20 weeks can document the growth of your baby bump and the anticipation of the halfway mark to meeting your little one.
  4. Maternity Portraits: Typically done between 28 and 36 weeks, maternity portraits focus on the beauty and strength of your pregnant form. These images celebrate the shape of your body as it nurtures new life.
  5. Progression Series: Some parents-to-be like to document the growth of the baby bump with a series of photos taken at regular intervals throughout the pregnancy. This can be a beautiful way to visualize the journey as your body changes.
  6. Silhouette Shots: As your shape becomes more defined, silhouette shots can be a stunning and artistic way to capture your pregnancy. These are often best captured during the later stages when your belly is prominently showing.
  7. Couple or Family Photos: Incorporating your partner or other children into a photo shoot can highlight the shared joy and expectation of the new arrival. It’s a way to capture the bond and love that surrounds your growing family.
  8. Baby Shower: A professional photographer can capture the fun and love of your baby shower, documenting the decorations, games, and the gathering of friends and family celebrating the upcoming birth.
  9. Belly Cast or Henna: If you decide to do a belly cast or have a henna design applied to your bump, a professional photo shoot can beautifully document these unique forms of pregnancy art.
  10. Nursery Ready: Once the nursery is set up, a photo shoot in this carefully curated space can capture the anticipation and care put into preparing for your baby’s arrival.
  11. Waiting for Baby: As you approach your due date, photos that capture the quiet moments of waiting, perhaps in a nursery or a meaningful location, can be very poignant.
  12. Birth Photography: While not for everyone, some families choose to have a professional photographer present during labor and delivery to capture the raw, powerful moments of birth.

Remember, the most important thing is to choose moments that resonate with you personally. Professional photographs are a way to freeze a moment in time, so consider what aspects of your pregnancy journey you most want to look back on and cherish.

Frequently Asked Questions: Best Time for Maternity Photoshoot

What if I’m concerned about how I look during my pregnancy photo session?

If you’re feeling apprehensive about your appearance during your pregnancy photo session, it’s completely natural. Many expectant mothers feel this way. Pregnancy brings about significant changes to your body, and many pregnant women have concerns about how you’ll look in photographs. 

However, it’s essential to remember that pregnancy is a beautiful journey, and your changing body reflects the incredible process of bringing new life into the world. Embracing this unique time in your life is key, and choosing outfits that make you feel comfortable and confident can help alleviate some of those worries. 

Remember, your photographer is there to capture the beauty and joy of this moment, and communicating your concerns with them can ensure you feel at ease throughout the session. Ultimately, these photos of your beautiful baby bump will serve as cherished memories of this remarkable time in your life, so embrace your natural beauty and the miracle of pregnancy.

Is 20 weeks to early to schedule a maternity photographs?

Not at all! While the most common time for maternity photos is a bit later in pregnancy, around 28 to 36 weeks, scheduling a photo shoot at 20 weeks is absolutely fine and can be quite special in its own right. Here’s why a 20-week maternity photo shoot can be a good idea:

  1. Early Pregnancy Glow: At 20 weeks, many women are enjoying the famed “pregnancy glow” and may not yet be experiencing the increased discomfort that can come with the third trimester.
  2. Visible Baby Bump: For many, the baby bump is visible and cute at 20 weeks but not yet so large as to cause discomfort or limit mobility during a photo shoot.
  3. Personal Milestone: The halfway point of pregnancy is a significant milestone worth celebrating! It’s a time when many parents-to-be start feeling their baby’s movements and develop a deeper connection with their little one.
  4. Seasonal Considerations: If you’re aiming for photos with a particular seasonal backdrop, scheduling your shoot at 20 weeks might align perfectly with your desired setting, whether it’s the fresh blooms of spring or the rich colors of fall.
  5. Flexibility and Comfort: You might find that you have more energy and can enjoy a wider range of poses and settings at 20 weeks compared to later in your pregnancy.
  6. Personal Preference: Your maternity photo shoot is a personal experience. If you feel ready and excited to capture this stage of your pregnancy journey, that’s the best time for you.

Remember, a maternity photo shoot aims to capture the essence of your pregnancy journey in a way that feels true to you. Whether you choose to have your photos taken at 20 weeks, 30 weeks, or any time in between, what matters most is that you feel comfortable, beautiful, and joyful during your session.

What if I’m scheduling maternity photos at the last minute?

If you’re a pregnant mom and find yourself scheduling maternity photos at the last minute, it’s completely okay! While ideally, it’s recommended to plan for professional photos in advance to ensure availability and to allow time for preparation, there are still ways to make the most out of your last-minute session. 

First, prioritize finding a photographer who has availability within your timeframe. Look for professionals experienced in maternity photography who can accommodate your schedule. 

Secondly, consider opting for simpler outfits and minimal props to streamline the preparation process. Focus on capturing the essence of your pregnancy journey rather than intricate setups. 

Lastly, embrace the spontaneity of the moment. Last-minute sessions can sometimes result in unexpectedly beautiful and authentic shots that perfectly capture the excitement and anticipation of this special time in your life. Remember, the most important thing is to cherish the memories and celebrate the upcoming arrival of your little one, regardless of timing.