What to Expect: Your Maternity Photography Session

Outdoor boho styled maternity session.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! As you get ready to welcome your little one into the world, your schedule becomes full quickly. Having a professional maternity session done may seem like just another task to complete. However, a maternity portrait session can be a perfect time to remind you of how incredible and beautiful your body is! Pregnancy is such a significant journey to celebrate, and you deserve to have that captured. This guide will help you prepare and learn more about what to expect during your maternity photography session.

Celebrate this time with your partner and family, and put your incredible story into breathtaking images! If you’ve never had a maternity session before, you may not know what to expect, or how to prepare. I’ve put together this helpful guide that includes everything you need to know to get the most out of your session and create a gallery full of images you love.


The earlier in your pregnancy that you book your session, the better. If you have a specific photographer that you want to work with, I suggest reaching out to them around your 20-week mark. This is around the same time as your mid-way ultrasound. Planning ahead can not only improve the availability of your photographer but also allows you ample time to plan and prepare for what you want your session to look like.

Beautiful gown worn during her studio maternity session in Southern Minnesota.


The best time to take maternity photos is in your third trimester, any time between 28 and 34 weeks. Your bump will be beautiful and look adorable in pictures, and you will still be comfortable enough to move and pose as needed. If you miss this window, you can still have a maternity session done, however, you may not be able to stand for long periods of time or you may experience more trouble posing.

Husband and wife maternity session in Southern Minnesota.


Every photographer is different, just as every mom-to-be is different. Make sure that you openly communicate with your photographer what you are looking for. Let them know which images are important to you, as well as which images/poses aren’t your style. Maternity portraits are an incredible way to capture your changing body, and the gowns used can beautifully illustrate that. Have the conversation around partial or implied nudity in your session, so you both are comfortable and prepared beforehand.

Black and white images of pregnant mother to be.


Since your hands and toes will appear in most of the images, you will want them to look beautiful! Use this session as the perfect excuse to get a professional manicure and pedicure done.


You can go from the nail salon directly to the hair salon! When you’re not sure what to request when getting your hair done, think about what you want your final images to look like. If you want a casual look, ask for a simple loose curl or beach wave style. If you’re looking for a formal look, ask for a bridal updo or something similar.

Some photographers include hair and makeup as part of the session, while others may offer these services as an add-on. Either way, having a professional makeup artist is the way to go if you are wanting to look your absolute best! A professional will know how to do your make-up so it compliments you in photos. If you choose to do your own makeup, make sure your eyes and lips are bolder than you normally would go, to ensure they are well-defined in your pictures.


Make sure to get plenty of rest the night before your maternity session. I know that sleep and pregnancy aren’t always a good mix, but if you’re able to get to bed a little earlier to catch a full night of Zzzz’s, you’ll be much more refreshed and relaxed on session day!

Don’t skip breakfast, and make sure to drink plenty of water! You may be standing for a longer period of time than you are used to, so it’s important that you stay well-hydrated and feel your best! It seems like a simple task, but so important as you prepare for your maternity session.

Outdoor couples maternity session in New Ulm, Minnesota.


Your partner and children are more than welcome to join you at your maternity session. In fact, I encourage you to include them in some of the images! I do recommend that arrangements are lined up so any young children are able to leave when their part of the session is finished. Keeping focus on you and your beautiful bump will help you relax and truly be present in the moment.

Outdoor couples maternity session in Minnesota.


As you prepare for your maternity session, whether you are looking for a casual look, such as jeans and a blouse, or a gorgeous flowy maternity gown, make sure to take some time beforehand to choose your outfits. You’ll want to ensure they fit and look the way you want them to. You can also put together outfits for any other family members who will be joining you. This will ensure that their outfits coordinate with each other, and don’t clash with yours. I offer maternity clients full access to my array of beautiful gowns, so contact me for an in-person consultation and dress try-on.

Exquisite gown worn by a pregnant mom during her custom maternity shoot in Southern Minnesota.


Plan to bring along underwear and bras that will work well with your outfits. The studio gowns are often see-through, so nude-colored undergarments seem to work best. If you are planning on wearing a white gown, don’t wear dark or bright-colored underwear that will show through the fabric. If you are planning on doing partially nude images, bring your favorite lacy undergarments to make you look and feel fabulous! I recommend a nude, black, and white strapless bra or bandeau, and a pair of black and pair of white underwear.

Beautiful tulle gown worn by a pregnant mother during her maternity session.


Make sure to wear comfy clothes to your session. Make sure you aren’t wearing anything with elastic that will leave marks on your bump or skin. A sundress is often a perfect compromise to comfort and won’t leave any marks. Be sure to remove any hair ties from your wrists as well!

Outdoor boho themed maternity session designed by Jennifer Brandes Photography.


This is your time to shine and you deserve every ounce of attention! Your photographer will be there to guide you through every pose and position. Do your best to relax, enjoy the moment, and have fun! You’re beautiful momma!

On your session day, you will be fully prepared on what to expect during and after your session. If you’re interested in booking a maternity photography session, feel free to contact me and start the conversation! I am excited to meet you and learn more about your beautiful story.

If you’re looking for more Southern Minnesota motherhood content, these blogs are sure to help you out!

Featured Categories