As a photographer I get asked so often, “When is the best time to take Maternity Pictures?”
First of all, if you want professional pictures taken I recommend you reach out to your photographer and talk about a time frame and their availability as early as when you 1st make the announcement that you are pregnant. This will prevent you from not being able to work with your 1st choice photographer due to scheduling issues (they are already booked out). This will also prevent you from looking for a photographer at the last minute. I am a photographer, but also expecting. Now, being on the other end as the Momma wanting Maternity pictures, I will tell you that I personally reached out to my photographer about 4 months in advance to ensure he was available on the date I wanted to take my pictures. I never had professional maternity pictures taken during my 1st two pregnancies….and I still regret not doing it. So this time around I had a plan!
I have always recommended between 32-36 Weeks Pregnant is the Best Time to take Maternity Pictures. Between 32 and 36 Weeks Pregnant you should have a nice bump to show off during your photo shoot. However, this timeframe truly depends on how your pregnancy is going, how you are measuring and how you are feeling. Things change so quickly during pregnancy!
You want your Maternity Photo Session to be memorable….and not in a bad way. You don’t want to remember how you felt swollen and awful during your session, or even worst, that you didn’t last the entire session and had to stop early from pure exhaustion (this has happened!). Worst case scenario, you deliver your baby a few weeks early and never get your baby bump pictures taken at all!
As an example, my amazing husband took these pictures of my baby bump at 28 weeks pregnant. I am so happy with how they look and turned out….but now that I am currently 35 weeks along my belly bump has grown so much and looks different. Luckily for me these pictures were just for fun and to document how I looked. It was only 17 degrees outside….so we only took pictures for about 6 minutes in our backyard. I will not forget this day! My husband took pictures of me during Super Bowl Sunday while our boys played in the backyard in the snow.
I am excited that last Saturday I was blessed with amazing weather and I was able to complete my Outdoor Maternity Photography Session with my friend Oscar with Oscar Pedroza Studios. I will say that being 35 weeks pregnant and taking pictures took a lot out of me. Not to mention we took pictures with our family (2 boys ages 4 and 5) and my husband. Don’t get me wrong, the session was absolutely amazing, but my body was just so exhausted!
Here’s the thing. If you have the pictures taken too early then you are not going to really have your “True Bump.” If this does not matter to you than go for an earlier session (28-30 Weeks). If you wait too long to take your maternity pictures you may be uncomfortable, swollen, feeling more fatigue or even go into labor early and not have pictures taken at all. You need to consider all of this when scheduling your session. Not to mention if you want outdoor photos, keep in mind rescheduling due to weather!
Remember- every woman is different and every pregnancy is different. Many unforeseen things may happen at any time throughout your pregnancy, whether it is your 1st or your 5th pregnancy.
Tips to remember:
1. Contact Your Photographer as early as possible to schedule a tentative date for your Maternity Session.
2. Book your session between 28 weeks and 36 weeks pregnant.
3. Communicate with your photographer with any changes – possibly moving your session up a couple of weeks.