Maternity portraits should generally be taken around the 7th or 8th month. During this time, the belly is at its optimum size and prime for portrait purposes. The belly may be too small earlier than 7-8 months.
Preparing for the Shoot:
1. Several hours before your pregnancy or maternity photo shoot, you should take off anything that has tight elastic like slacks with tight waistbands and undergarments or bras, or even socks, in order to make sure elastic or strap marks are not left on your skin. Do not use lotion on your belly, especially the kind to help reduce stretch marks on the day of your session. Lotion will make your belly shiny and will not photograph well.
2. Tops should be form fitting, especially around the bustline. Oversized shirts will not show the form of your belly and will defeat the whole purpose of the portraits. Bring something to cover the breasts, but expose the belly. You will probably want to bring a pair of heels even though most images will be barefoot. It is a good idea to bring a pretty undergarments, even if your photographer is planning to use fabric to wrap you. Bringing a robe is a good idea to throw on in between poses. If you have large breasts, make sure you bring a skin colored bra, (nude or peach or cocoa depending), that preferably is either strapless or has removable straps. You’ll be wearing the bra underneath the fabric draping and this will help give you the best sillouette.
3. Hands will most likely show, so don’t forget to have a manicure and a pedicure too. Face powder is always a good idea to eliminate shiny spots. Face blotters work well to absorb facial oil without messing up your makeup. You can get face blotters at the beauty supply, your makeup counter or even Victoria’s Secret. Moisturize your elbows and knees otherwise they’ll often show lighter colored because of rough dry flakey skin in those areas but please don’t use glittery lotion, it doesn’t photograph well. Don’t wear makeup with SPF because SPF has a reflective quality when photographed.
4. Limit jewelry to essential pieces – too much jewelry can be distracting and may dominate the portrait.
5. Manicure – the hands are very important in maternity photos as they may convey feelings of embrace
6. Props – props like baby shoes, alphabet blocks, etc. add a little fun and variety to the shoot.