How to Plan Your Maternity Shoot: Advice from a Photographer


Pregnancy is a remarkable time. A journey of bringing a being into the world from your being. A time of self-acceptance and growth. A time of empowerment. A time of reflecting on the love you have for where life has brought you, who life has brought you, and look forward to what is to come. 

A tradition for documenting important moments in life is through photography and we know you have a Pinterest board full of inspiration.

What are you waiting for? Spring has sprung and daylight savings time has begun! Let's start planning for your Maternity shoot. 

When a new mom calls me about creating images for a maternity session, I always start by asking her what look does she gravitate towards, what would she enjoy seeing when she looks back at these portraits years from now? How does she want to celebrate this big milestone in her life? 

A maternity session can look any number of ways from jeans & chucks by a graffiti wall to gown & red bottoms in a whimsical location. The goal is to create a cohesive end product in terms of background, styling and colors. (Lucky for you, La Belle Bump can style you for any of these, they have something for every occasion and every style!)

Aside from the aesthetics of the shoot, what is key to a great image is feeling good. I want my clients to feel their best so I usually schedule these shoots between 32-34 weeks or on the earlier side if it is not their first pregnancy. You know that glow you feel right after coming out of the hairdresser? How you FEEL will absolutely shine through in your photos so, I always recommend making sure you wear something that makes you feel beautiful over something that's "just the right color," while I can photoshop a dress color, I can never photoshop the glow of confidence. And about that blowout, I actually do suggest you get one the day of the shoot, it is completely worth it, no one has ever regretted it!

After nailing down the right look, I would also encourage you to think about what you want to do with these photos: are you planning on having an album done or maybe framing some for the nursery? Make sure you have these conversations with your photographer so that they have a better idea of how to direct the shoot according to your specific needs. 

Moms frequently ask me if they should have their maternity session by themselves, with their partner or family. That is entirely up to you, there is no right or wrong answer to this question, and it circles back to reflecting on your initial vision. That being said, as a photographer and mother myself, I do prefer for mom to focus on her bond with her new baby for that day. You can always include the family during the newborn shoot, it is ok to make this moment about your pregnancy and your own experience of maternity. If mom decides she wants to include the family, we often start the session with her by herself and the rest of the family can join in a bit later. That way she can feel relaxed and present for her alone shots and we can then move on to capturing some sweet shots of the kids or partner loving on her. 

I find that these few guiding principles help create gorgeous, serene keepsake images that will be cherished for years to come.  So, my advice to new moms when they are planning their maternity session is: pick a general look that you love, talk to your photographer about specific locations matching that vision, decide if you want to make this a solo or family shot, and trust your La Belle Bump stylist for the rest! 


About the Author

Bonjour! My name is Vanessa Munsch, I am a boutique photographer specializing in family and children portraiture in Atlanta, GA. I am originally from France and settled in Atlanta in 2008 after teaching in St. Louis for many years. My husband and I have two vivacious little girls and as one quickly finds out as a parent, the days are long but the years are short.

This sense of evanescence birthed the will to become more intentional with the type of images I surrounded our daily lives with. Art work that is meaningful and personal. That lifts us up, makes us proud, celebrated, custom art that makes us reminisce or simply lift our spirit when we walk by it after a rough day.

People describe my style as bright, romantic and whimsical. I strive for my portraits to have a dream like quality, to evoke a sense nostalgia, a fleeting moment frozen in time.

If you are a Georgia Peach, don't hesitate to contact me!


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