What to Expect During Your Maternity Photo Shoot

December 9, 2022

A blog that answers some of the most common questions people have about maternity photos.

One of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is documenting that growing belly! You’ll be showing off that baby bump to friends and family, and setting up the nursery, and it’s one lasting way to celebrate your growing family before you become a parent. There are so many exciting aspects of this time in your life, but if you’re a first-time parent, or just a first-time maternity photography client and want to know what to expect during a maternity photo shoot, this post is for you.

What to Wear During your Maternity Photoshoot

When you’re pregnant, the last thing you want to worry about is what to wear for your maternity photo shoot. But it’s important to consider your options so that you can feel confident, comfortable, and beautiful in front of the camera. Here are some tips:

Maternity Photo in flowing dress displaying how beautiful flowing dresses can be for maternity photoshoot.

Long Flowing Dresses

These are great for showing off your baby bump, and accentuating the femininity of pregnancy. Dresses that hit the floor or pool at your feet are phenomenal!

Form-Fitting Dresses

If you want to showcase your bump, this is the way to go. Wear something with plenty of stretch so you are comfy! I offer access to a client closet with a variety of styles. Even if this is not you’re typical style, you might be surprised how much you love this in your photos! Check out some samples.

Gorgeous maternity model in a form fitting yellow gown for her maternity portrait session

When to Take Your Maternity Photos

Maternity photoshoot showing how ideal time for photos is between weeks 28 and 32.

Every mom grows differently, but typically, between weeks 28-32, you will likely have a nice round belly, but still will be comfortable. You have that beautiful shape, and are far enough from your delivery date that you can share and enjoy your photos before baby arrives as well.

Other Clothing Considerations

Wondering what dad should wear? I love to see men wearing classic pieces during these sessions. A clean, crisp, button up shirt will always work. If you are going for more of a casual feel, consider rolling up the sleeves, or opting for a simple t-shirt. I can’t fix a heavily wrinkled shirt in photoshop, so take the extra time and make sure shirts are pressed and clean.

Dad in white t-shirt showing what men should wear during a maternity photoshoot

Accessories that compliment a dress but don’t distract are great. I find that longer necklaces disrupt the beautiful curves of a woman’s shape, but earrings and rings can add a personal touch without being distracting. My rule for shoes is to be comfortable. During pregnancy, your center of balance is changing, so heels can be difficult to walk in. I am a big fan of bare feet, paired with dresses that puddle on the floor.

What to expect during a maternity photoshoot

Lastly, should you hire a professional for your hair or makeup for maternity photos? I say absolutely yes! If it makes you feel pampered and beautiful for that day, go for it! Anything that gives you a boost of confidence on photoshoot day is a win. These are photos you will look back on decades from now, taking the time to make sure you look and feel your best will be well worth the investment.

How to Pose

You can come to a photo shoot and know absolutely nothing about posing! Do you feel better yet? This is 100% the photographer’s job to pose and adjust every detail in the photo so that you don’t have to think about a thing.

If you’re wanting some tips, here you go:

-Relax and vary your expressions. Throwing in some soft smiles, changes in your head position, and even allowing yourself to laugh during the pose is amazing!

-When posing with baby’s dad, cuddling and playing together is encouraged! Dads – snuggle, kiss her forehead, cheek, or hand, hug her, put your hands on the belly as well, all of these things showing the relationship between you two are such rich pieces in a maternity gallery, so don’t be shy, bring on the PDA!

What to Expect During your Maternity Photo Shoot

I offer studio and on location maternity sessions. Before your session is scheduled, we will discuss your preferences and which location would be a better fit. We talk about style, clothing, must-have images, and anything else that is on your mind about the session. When you come to your session, if you’re using a client closet gown, that will be ready for you at the studio. You don’t have to do a thing but follow posing instructions and have fun.
After the photoshoot, your viewing session will be scheduled where you will select your favorite images and purchase any products as well. The selected images then will be finalized and edited for you, and given to you via digital download for you to enjoy.

The Takeaway

I completely understand the stress that can accompany a photo shoot, especially if you have other little ones involved in your session. It takes so much effort to schedule and plan a shoot. My goal is to eliminate stress as much as possible. To help provide you with style ideas, even links to clothing that would fit your vision. I offer client closet dresses at no charge and am always here to answer any questions before the session. Above all, I want you to enjoy your session. I want you to feel beautiful and spend the time during the session feeling like a human creating super hero. I’m excited to celebrate that little one with you!


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photography + design by Jessica Johnston © Jessicajohnstonphotography 2023

follow along @jessicajohnstonphoto

photographing babies and families in Noblesville, Carmel, Westfield, Fishers and Indianapolis