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Tips for Staying Comfortable During Your Maternity Photoshoot

Black and white maternity photo of a woman in a black turtleneck dress and white flower crown on her head. The flower covers her face making the maternity photograph artistic in feeling.

Maternity photoshoots are some of my absolute favorite sessions to photograph. I was pregnant in 2020 😵‍💫 and wasn’t able to have my own pregnancy photoshoot due to covid. I managed a couple of nude maternity self-portraits in my old Oakland, CA studio (my water broke during my selfie!) Being able to create gorgeous maternity portraits and lasting memories for my maternity clients means the world to me! At Andrea Liora Studios in the San Francisco Bay Area, your session is going to be personalized to you, your pregnancy, and your comfort level.

Speaking of comfort level… Pregnancy’s physical challenges and discomforts can sometimes make it challenging to really feel at ease during your photoshoot, and it’s something a lot of mamas worry about when deciding to book their session. It’s important to be as comfortable as possible during your photoshoot, so your facial expressions and emotions look natural and not forced in your photos.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some valuable tips to help you stay comfortable and relaxed during your maternity photography session.

1. Choose the Right Outfit: Selecting the right outfits is crucial to feeling comfortable during your maternity photoshoot. Opt for clothing that accentuates your baby bump while allowing you freedom of movement. Flowing dresses (or draped fabric), super stretchy form-fitting bodysuits and bodycon dresses, a comfortable bra and panty set, or even a simple white shirt with unbuttoned jeans can all work beautifully. Comfortable and breathable fabrics such as sheer chiffon, cotton, or linen can help you feel at ease throughout the session.

2. Timing is Key: Plan your maternity photoshoot sometime during weeks 28-36 of your pregnancy. At this point, your baby bump is typically well-defined, but you haven’t reached that super uncomfortable phase where you’re worn out and can’t find a comfortable angle to sleep. You can also plan to be photographed a bit earlier than this if you like the look of a smaller baby bump. Remember that first-time pregnancies take a bit longer to “pop” than subsequent ones.

3. Communicate with Your Photographer: Your maternity photographer is there to capture your journey and create a comfortable experience for you. Prior to the session, discuss your preferences, any concerns, or physical limitations you may have. Communicating openly will allow the photographer to tailor the session to your needs and make necessary adjustments to ensure your comfort throughout.

4. Prioritize Rest and Hydration: Pregnancy can be physically demanding, so it’s crucial to take care of yourself before and during the photoshoot. Get plenty of rest the night before the session to help reduce fatigue. Staying hydrated is also vital, as it can alleviate common pregnancy discomforts such as swelling and dry skin. I always recommend clients bring their favorite refillable water bottle and take sips throughout their session.

5. Take Breaks and Listen to Your Body: During the photoshoot, don’t hesitate to take breaks if you feel tired or uncomfortable. Listen to your body and communicate with your photographer about any necessary pauses. Incorporating short breaks throughout the session can help you recharge and maintain your comfort levels. Any maternity photographer will know you need plenty of snack and bathroom breaks (because you’re staying so well-hydrated, right!?)

6. Choose the Right Poses: Working with an experienced maternity photographer will ensure that you are guided into comfortable and flattering poses. Opt for poses that accentuate your baby bump and showcase your natural glow. Sitting or reclining poses can be particularly comfortable, allowing you to relax while still capturing beautiful images. Safety comes first at our San Francisco maternity studio, which means I will never ask you to completely close your eyes while standing. We also make sure to place support blocks called apple boxes (or sometimes a yoga block) under your foot if we need to raise one knee for a more flattering pose.

7. Stay Cool: Pregnancy can often bring about increased body temperature and a feeling of being overheated. To combat this, we typically work with a hair fan during your maternity photoshoot to keep you cool and comfortable AND give you the best Beyonce hair moments in your portraits 🙂 Hair fans are also used in most of our boudoir and personal branding sessions because they add a dynamic and playful element to your photos.

A maternity photography session is a special experience that celebrates the incredible journey of your pregnancy. By following these tips, you can ensure that you remain comfortable, relaxed, and able to enjoy every moment of the photoshoot. Remember, effective communication with your photographer and taking care of your physical well-being are essential to creating beautiful and lasting memories of this precious time in your life.

There are so many directions you can go with your maternity photoshoot. Artistic and editorial maternity portraits are a unique and timeless way to capture the beauty and joy of pregnancy. Boudoir and fine art nude maternity sessions allow expectant mothers to feel like the gorgeous goddesses they absolutely are and to embrace their bodies and curves.

If you’d like to learn more about booking your own artistic maternity photoshoot with Andrea Liora Studios in the San Francisco Bay Area, check out our dedicated pregnancy portrait gallery and information page here!


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