A pregnant woman in a dark floral dress standing on a garden path, gently holding her belly, surrounded by desert plants and warm candle lighting along the path.

How to Prepare for Maternity Photos for a Dream Session

March 8, 2024

Bringing another life into this world is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, and one of the best ways to remember this time in your life is with a maternity session. While these can be so much fun, you may also be wondering how to prepare for maternity photos. 

While there are a ton of tips and ideas out there for photoshoots in general, there are a few things to keep in mind when you are planning out your maternity session in particular. 

So, let’s take a look at how to prepare for maternity photos so you can step into the session in your best light!

How to Prepare for Maternity Photos

Plan Your Session Around the 7-Month Mark 


The first step to preparing for your session is actually scheduling it out. When it comes to your maternity session, the seven-month mark is usually the best time to get these photos taken. 

This tends to be the sweet spot between you actually showing (after all, you want to see that baby bump in your photos) and when your baby is going to arrive. Babies are unpredictable and sometimes decide to come out on their own schedule, so you don’t want to plan it too late and not actually get to take them. 

This is also a great time because it tends to be the perfect “calm before the storm” time. Once you get closer to your due date, there are so many things that you and your partner are going to be doing to prepare for your baby’s birth that a photoshoot may get pushed to the side. 

Drink Lots of Water the Day Before

Expectant couple holding hands and gazing at each other, standing on a desert trail with tall cacti and a mountainous backdrop.

The day before your session, you want to make sure that you drink plenty of water. This is probably going to be a common theme throughout your whole pregnancy, but you want to be extra aware and make sure you are hydrating before your session. 

Not only will this help you feel more energized, but it will also keep your skin more naturally hydrated. It is always a great idea to put on some moisturizer a few hours before your session, but nothing is going to beat natural hydration. 

Pick a Location That is Going to Be Comfortable for You

A family moment with a pregnant woman in a floral dress, her partner, and their young child, embracing and smiling at each other in front of a lush green hedge.

Where you have your session is a very important factor to think about. For example, out here in Arizona, we have to be careful if you are going to have your session outside during the warmer months. 

During those times, I always like to opt for a sunrise session as it is cooler than the middle of the day, and we don’t want you outside for long periods of time in that kind of heat. You may also opt to have an indoor session to avoid the elements altogether. 

You can also pick a location that is special to you and your partner. Maybe it is where you first met, and you can create a full-circle moment with this session now standing there about to give birth to your child. 

Wherever you choose to have your session, you want to make sure you are physically comfortable there, and it is going to match the aesthetic that you want for your photos! 

Bring Some Snack and Water With You 

A pregnant woman in a flowing blue dress cradling her bump, standing alone on a desert path, looking to the side with a serene expression.

While maternity sessions may not be as long as other photoshoots, it is still a good idea to have a couple of snacks and some water with you. After all, you are carrying a human, and a photoshoot can be a bit draining at times. 

I would suggest grabbing some quick snacks like granola bars, chips, peanut butter crackers, or whatever you are craving and pack that along with some water for your session. 

If you do need to take breaks throughout to grab them, just communicate with your photographer. At the end of the day, the goal is for you to have an enjoyable session and get photos that you love, so you always want to take the time to take care of yourself and your baby however you need to! 

Wear Comfortable Clothes and Shoes 

A side profile of a smiling pregnant woman in a floral dress, tenderly holding her bump with a backdrop of tall cacti in soft sunlight.

Clothes are definitely a major part of your maternity session, and it can be difficult sometimes to pick the right outfits. But the most important thing to remember when it comes to what to wear for your maternity session is to pick something that you are totally comfortable in. 

When you are picking out your outfits, make sure you think about the weather. If you are having an outdoor session, is it going to be hot? Is it going to be cold? Will you need layers, or do you need to wear something light and airy? 

This can help you find a direction to start in to find the perfect outfit. 

You also want to think about your shoes as well. If you are going to be outside in a garden walking around, for example, you want to make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes and ones that are not going to hurt you after being on your feet for a bit. 

If you’re planning a session in a studio or one where you can sit down often, you can think about wearing heels if that is what you are most comfortable in. Just remember that you want to look and feel your best during the session, so whatever makes you most comfortable is what is going to look best in your photos. 

Plan Out Who You Want With You at the Session 

A straight-on portrait of a happy pregnant woman in a blue dress holding her belly, with a desert landscape in the background.

When it comes to the logistics of your session, besides picking the location, the other big question you need to ask yourself is who all you want at your session? Do you want pictures by yourself, or do you want other people involved in the photoshoot? 

Most likely, you will opt to have your partner with you for some of the photos. This doesn’t mean that they have to be in every single photo, but it can be a great way to remember this time in your life together. 

If you do have other kids, you can also think about involving them in the session. These are always great photos and can almost feel like a joint maternity and family session. 

We also can’t forget about our furry family members. There is nothing more adorable than having your pets as part of your maternity session, and they bring so much life and joy into your photos! 

Decide if You Want to Bring Any Props

A joyful pregnant woman in a blue dress smiling as she embraces her partner, both noses touching, in a desert setting.

Last but not least when it comes to how to prepare for maternity photos is deciding if you want to bring any props to the photoshoot. Now, when I say props for this session, I’m not talking about props that you would maybe bring to other photoshoots. 

Props for your maternity session could be any clothes you have for your new baby already, signs that mark the due date, name, or any other information you want to say, or even ultrasounds for your baby. 

These things can be super small and don’t have to be overwhelming or overpowering, but they can add some sweet, sentimental touches to your photos. 

If you are having your other children or your pets come with you to the session, this can also include any shirts or signs that you want them to hold – ie, best older sibling, future big brother, etc. 

Final Thoughts on Preparing for a Maternity Session

Hopefully, these tips help you as you start to prepare for your maternity session. The most important thing to remember about these sessions is that, first and foremost, you need to take care of yourself. 

This session is all about you and your baby, so you want to make sure that you take the time to prepare before the session. Take this as an opportunity to do a bit of self-care, have a spa day, get your nails done, or do whatever is going to make you feel your best for the photoshoot. 

If you are still looking for the perfect photographer who can help bring your dream session to life while also making it an easy and comfortable experience for you, let’s connect! 

You can take a look at all the details for our maternity sessions here, or you can click here to reach out to chat about you and your session!

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