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Here’s What You Need to Know Before Your Maternity Photoshoot

Mama Linc is so excited and thankful to welcome Photographer Stacey Rolfe – as our guest blogger this week. She will be chatting to us all about when, how and what to do for your maternity photoshoot!! Courtney personally used Stacey for her maternity photoshoots and absolutely loved her photos.

Before Your Maternity Photoshoot

Woohoo! You’re having a baby!

Huge congratulations, how are you feeling? I hope your pregnancy has been kind to you, and that you’re feeling amazing.  If not (I know I didn’t) then I hope your morning sickness/SPD/bloating/other side effects disappear very soon.

First things first, hi! I’m Stacey. A mum of two and a family photographer based in Sydney, Australia. 

I am so glad you’re planning a maternity shoot. I didn’t with my first baby, and I regret it.

Here are my top tips for preparing for and nailing your maternity shoot.

When should you book your maternity shoot?

The best time for your maternity shoot is around 32-36 weeks.  Your bump will be nice and full, but you’ll still be feeling fresh!

Many photographers book up 3+ months in advance – especially on weekends – so don’t leave your booking until the last minute.

How do you find the right photographer for you?

It’s SO important to find the right photographer for you.  This is an incredibly personal decision.  There are so many styles, approaches, and no ‘right’ way to approach your maternity shoot.

As a mum of two, when I am choosing my photographer, here’s what I look for:

  • First and foremost, I want someone who I (and my kids) will feel relaxed and comfortable with.  Someone with little kids themselves will often be able to handle my little hurricanes, so I usually book other mums.
  • Someone whose style I absolutely love.  If you love absolutely everything that they produce, then you can throw yourself into your shoot and trust the process!
  • An established photographer.  A photoshoot is a big investment – both in terms of time and money, so it’s important to me that the photographer has an easy and professional booking process.
  • Budget.  I don’t say this lightly, but I would rather use my budget to purchase 10 incredible images that I love, than 100 images I only like.

I recommend you understand your photographer’s pricing and packages before you book – no one likes surprises.  Some will provide all digitals for a set price, while others will offer tiered packages.  Others will invite you into their studio for a viewing session where you select your favourites and design your wall display and albums.  Which of these suits you is a very personal decision.  

Many will offer a ‘bump to baby’ package if you’re ready to book your newborn shoot at the same time – and this offers great value, a consistent experience, and consistent images.

What type of maternity shoot is right for you?

There are so many different styles out there. Have a look at lots of different styles to find what you love.  

Studio portraiture, relaxed lifestyle, in-home documentary? Underwater, beach, park, or mountains? With your babies (or fur babies) or without? In an epic dress, your favourite jeans, or showing your bare bump? There is a style to suit everyone. 

Give your photographer the freedom to get creative and you’ll get the best from them!

How to prepare

Your photographer will (should!) have lots of guidance on how to best prepare for their style.  But here are my top tips:

  • Decide on your colour palette and wardrobe at least a week in advance. Your photographer might have a wardrobe to borrow from
  • Set aside all your clothes a couple of days in advance.  This includes all underwear and accessories.
  • Don’t leave it all to the last minute.  Especially if you have older kids, get the process started early.  Do your hair and make up while they nap (or book to have it done for you!)
  • Eat before you leave home – especially for kids, full bellies = happy campers
  • Get dressed at your location, to avoid accidents en route.
  • Leave plenty of time to arrive at your destination – there’s nothing worse than arriving stressed and arguing.
  • RELAX.  Once you get there, just enjoy it.  Let the kids be kids. Embrace the weather. Go with the flow.  And trust your photographer!

How to pose

This is very specific to each photographer but some of my favourite tips are:

  • Relax your shoulders.  Roll them back and down, to elongate your neck and decolletage.
  • Push your weight away from the camera.  Lean into the hip which is furthest from your photographer, and bend the front knee to create a beautiful shape in your body.
  • Turn your body on a 45 degree angle to the camera
  • Watch your jawline – don’t drop your gaze towards the bump too much, or you’ll have a gallery full of double chins. Keep your chin high, and cast your eyeline downwards.
  • Relax your hands.  Trail your fingers over your bump, across your collarbone, and touching your hair.
  • Move your body, and smile!

Still nervous?

I get it. I really do.  I am 100x more comfortable behind the lens than in front of it.

If you’ve chosen the right photographer, they will put you at ease quickly. 

Don’t worry about the ‘bad’ photos.  They’ll never see the light of day.  Trust your photographer, try to relax, and embrace it!

Your partner (and other children)

Get your partner excited about the shoot.  I love it when partners are fully invested, taking their own snaps from behind me, telling you how amazing you look, and making you laugh!  If your partner is reluctant, explain how much this means to you, and how great they can make the experience for you.

If you have other children, you’ll have the benefit of a distraction!  I run these mostly as a family session, and from time to time I’ll ask your partner to play with the kids while I snap your solo shots.  Make sure the kids are well rested, and have full bellies before they arrive.  A few well-chosen, non-messy snacks and bribes always work a treat!

Finally, remember:

  • You’re only pregnant with this baby once.
  • Embrace your body.
  • You only regret the photos you don’t take.
  • Have an amazing shoot!

Please mamas, if you live in Sydney, Australia you really need to check out Stacey and book her in. She books out quickly!! Her beautiful instagram is @staceyrolfephotographer and her website is www.staceyrolfephotography.com. Make sure you use code: MAMALINC50 to get some special offers!!