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Five tips for planning your Maternity Session

January 11, 2018

I recently had Maternity pictures taken while we were vacationing in Palm Springs after Christmas. I have to tell you, it felt so weird to be the one not behind the camera!! 


We had Maternity portraits taken when we were pregnant with Noah, and I knew that I wanted to capture the same memories with this baby. I also knew that it would be a great idea to do while we were somewhere warm. California is much warmer than Maryland in January!! #Win.


Lastly, I knew that I would be launching Moms Who Rule the World in the New Year, a platform just for Mommas in the New Year! And grabbing some gorgeous dessert pictures for this endeavor seemed like a perfect plan. 


While this experience is still fresh on my mind, I wanted to sit down and write a few thoughts to help you plan for a great Maternity Session. 



1. Pick a Photographer whose work speaks to you. 

I think this might be the most important decision in finding the right photographer. I know there are so many photographer's out there, all with different styles and talents. It can be overwhelming!


I encourage you to find a photographer whose work resonates with you. Do their images inspire you? Would you be happy if the images they are showing on Instagram and their website were of your family? Do their pictures produce an emotion in you?


Personally, If you are thinking of hiring me, I hope you do so for the same reasons.  I really challenge you to find someone whose work your excited about!! I found Christina (from Matthew David Studio), a Palm Springs photographer, and instantly fell in love with her and her work. Her images are dreamy, and thoughtful, and she shoots some of her work in Film. (Shooting in film is a Photography goal of mine). 


Because I was already in love with her work, it made the that much more excited for our session. 




2. Get glammed up 

I know that hiring a photographer is expensive. It's an investment, I know. But here's the thing, if you love the pictures, you will love them for years. You will look at them all the time. You will make Canvas' out of them and put them in your home. I encourage you to think about getting your hair and makeup done. Treat yourself!


Do you know why you love the pictures from your friend's weddings where you were a bridesmaid, or from your own wedding day? It's partly because you looked amazing! I know hair and makeup is an added cost, but I really do believe it's worth it. Your confidence level is going to soar. If you love the way you look in your pictures, you will love your images that much more. Nancy from Nancy Z Beauty did my hair and makeup for our session, and I felt like a princess. It was worth the cost and then some.  Thanks Nancy for getting me dolled up and for chit chatting in your beautiful studio!




3. Wear something you love

Want to love your pictures even more? Why not wear something you absolutely love.

Something that feel's really special. (This article of clothing is probably something new, shopping trip!). Brands like Rent the Runway have the most incredible selection of dresses that you can borrow!! Take advantage and wear something that you would not wear (or afford) on a regular day. For Maternity portraits, full length gowns are so beautiful. Look for something that shows off your bump but still has movement.


My advice is to bring two different dresses and do an outfit change mid shoot. You can't go wrong with something classic that shows off your bump and something a bit more flowy for dreamy pictures. For our session, I purchased two dresses from ASOS. They have the most incredible selection of Maternity dresses and are definitely worth checking out.


4. Outfit the family 

What should your husband and kiddos wear? It can be hard to pick out outfits for your family. My advice is to try to keep it simple. Pick a color scheme of two to three colors and incorporate them throughout everyone's outfits. A few different colors used together look better than every member of your family wearing the same color. Also, layer's always look great.  For example: a dress jacket on your husband, suspenders for a little one, a vest for boys or girls, or a statement piece of Jewelry.


Bryan made Noah the cutest "Big Bro" shirt, and we knew that we wanted Noah to wear it. Suspenders helped give his outfit a little Pop! We had to completely strip him of his shirt mid shoot because he got so dirty from eating a Lolli pop. But honestly, the pictures without his shirt are so cute, they may be my favorites. 




5. Go with the unexpected 

In the world of Pinterest, we can often have an entire plan paired with images of how we want our Photo shoot to go. Believe me, I can be guilty as charged in this department. You have to remember that Pinterest is pulling images from many different lighting situations, taken at different times of day, with different camera lenses. I believe the real magic comes when the photographer is able to create behind the lens. Allow them to see what is unfolding, and trust that they are creating something you are going to love.


For me, this goes back to hiring a Photographer whose work you love in the first place. I really enjoyed getting to watch Christina work, to see her vision. Our images turned out better than our wildest dreams. When I saw our pictures, there were instant tears.


If you do your part to plan for a great session, have no doubt that it's all going to be worth it, and that magic is about to take place. 



Bonus tip: Let yourself have fun: love on your husband, laugh with your toddler, and think of your baby whose about to be born in a few short months, just enjoy it! It's such a special experience to take Maternity pictures. You will show your little one beautiful pictures of when they were still on the inside one day. It's priceless!!!


Also, end your Maternity Session at In and Out Burger!!! Maybe this tip should be moved to number one :)



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