Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Maternity Photo Session

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Maternity Photo Session

pregnancyUpdated August 17, 2020


The husband and I haven’t had the most “traditional” relationship, at least according to most people’s standards. But we aren’t most people and it works for us! We met on a blind date and were married (read: eloped) at the County Courthouse six months later. It was a whirlwind, head-over-heels kind of romance. And anyone who knows us can tell you, this is a pretty accurate description of how we typically do life together. We renewed our vows in a private ceremony, on a beautiful beach in Antigua — during our honeymoon — a few months after that. So we (obviously) didn’t do the big, traditional wedding thing, and we have no “traditional” wedding photos to speak of —and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy having professional photos of our little, ever-growing (at least it feels that way) family any chance I get!

When we found out we were pregnant with baby girl number three, I knew I wanted to do something special to commemorate the occasion. This will probably be our last pregnancy and our last baby. I was so excited when my sweet friend Chrissy Burdsall, owner of Visual Artist Photography, agreed to take some maternity photos for me! Because we had never officially done maternity photos before with our other two girls, I knew I wanted to include the entire family. And Chrissy had the most incredible vision for accomplishing just this!

Getting prepped!

Because she knew I wanted something “glamorous and romantic,” Chrissy was able to point me in the direction of The Borrowed Boutique — an online boutique that offers designer dresses and accessory rentals for little girls. Totally #swoonworthy! Emma and her team hooked us up with two gorgeous, coordinating Nellystella dresses (plus flower halos) for my girls to wear. Emma then set me up with Leah Keller — the owner of Leah Maria Couture, an online boutique that specializes in creating custom, designer looks for styled shoots and special occasions. Leah designed the most incredible dress for me to wear. When it arrived, and I tried it on — my oldest (Savannah) told me I looked like a princess and asked me if Daddy and I were going to a ball! I mean seriously, does it get any more adorable than that?

For our shoot, Chrissy asked local makeup artist to do my makeup, and thankfully she agreed. Her work is flawless! (She recently took a class from Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist.) #highlyrecommend will definitely use again. Originally, we had planned to shoot outdoors, but the weather just wouldn’t cooperate with us — think torrential downpours and flooding. Despite the change in plans, everyone pulled together and we made it happen! Chrissy is such a pro; she remained calm, cool, and collected. The finished product is perfection. I am so pleased to have these photos of my third and final pregnancy — I will cherish them forever! (The funniest part? You’d never guess the chaos going on behind the scenes.)

Here are a few of my favorites from our session…

Image courtesy of Visual Artist Photography. Dress and halo provided by The Borrowed Boutique.
Image courtesy of Visual Artist Photography. Dress provided by The Borrowed Boutique.
Image courtesy of Visual Artist Photography. Dresses provided by The Borrowed Boutique.
Image courtesy of Visual Artist Photography. Dress provided by Leah Maria Couture. Makeup by Lauren McClure.
Image courtesy of Visual Artist Photography. Dresses provided by Leah Maria Couture and The Borrowed Boutique. Makeup by Lauren McClure.
Image courtesy of Visual Artist Photography. Dresses provided by Leah Maria Couture and The Borrowed Boutique. Makeup by Lauren McClure.

FAQs & Tips from a Professional Photographer

Why should someone use a professional photographer for maternity photos?

Being pregnant is a very special time for a mother. It’s a beautiful experience. However, a lot of us don’t feel so beautiful when we are pregnant. Having a professional take portraits of you during this time will allow you and your child to reflect back and see how truly beautiful you were during that period. It’s a memory that you and your child will cherish for a lifetime.

When is the best time (in pregnancy) to have maternity photos taken and why?

It’s ideal to have your maternity portraits taken when you are seven, or even eight months pregnant. You want to have a full pregnant belly for the pictures. I know most women don’t want to hear it, but for these pictures, bigger is better. A full, pregnant belly comes across beautifully in photos.

What should someone wear for maternity photos? What should someone avoid wearing for maternity photos? Explain.

For any type of photo session, neutrals and pastels are best. Light neutral colors photograph wonderfully. Bright colors (hot pink, teal, yellow, etc.) will not only be distracting, but will reflect onto your skin, and cause a strange color cast. For maternity photos, full-length gowns that show off the belly can be very glamorous and appealing.

How should someone choose a maternity photographer? (Or a photographer for a momentous life occasion in general?) What are the qualifications to consider?

When choosing your photographer, make sure you’re not just looking at the price tag! Take a good look at the photographer’s portfolio. Make sure their style matches what you had in mind for your photos. Also, look to see if your photographer offers high-end products and prints. Professionals have access to the best print labs and can offer you beautiful products that your family can enjoy for a lifetime.

Are photographers willing to travel?

Yes! Most photographers offer to travel with an additional fee for their expenses and time.

 Chrissy says…

“This session for Baby Chick turned out quite lovely. We had a lot of obstacles to overcome with the weather. We had a gorgeous, outdoor location picked out, but with the rain and the flooding — it just wasn’t safe to go outdoors. So we moved it indoors. I’m so glad everyone involved was able to be flexible. Jessica, Tyler, and their girls were great models — and our behind the scenes team was amazing. This family certainly looks wonderful, and I can’t wait to meet their new addition!” 

Thanks, Chrissy for your hard (and beautiful) work on this session! We love our photos! It was everything we dreamed it would be, and so much more. Thank you to Lauren McClure for providing my beautiful makeup — and to The Borrowed Boutique, and Leah Maria Couture for providing our insanely gorgeous wardrobe! We couldn’t have done this without each and every one of you. xoxo

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