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  • Writer's pictureNancy Dinsmore

Six Things To Consider Before Scheduling Your Maternity Session

There's a lot to consider when planning your maternity photo session - location, time of day, and wardrobe, to name a few. And while I'm here to help you through every step of the planning phase (and beyond), I thought I'd share a few tips ahead of time so you know what to expect.

First and foremost - when are you due?

Timing is everything, and we want to make sure to schedule your session late enough so your belly is very noticeable, but not so late that you're uncomfortable and have trouble getting around. This usually ends up being around the middle of your last trimester, so get your session on the books as soon as possible to ensure that date is secured.

Second - Location

Where do you want the session to take place? I offer both indoor and outdoor sessions, and there are things to consider for each.

If we're doing outdoor photos, we will have to work around the weather. We all know the weather is crazy here in Florida and there is a chance we might have to reschedule. In order to be sure your photos don't get delayed, be sure to book a backup date in case your first one gets rained out.

If we're taking your maternity photos indoors (usually in your home), the biggest thing to keep in mind is lighting. Do you have areas in your home with lots of natural light? The next biggest thing is the space itself. Baby's room? Living room? Kitchen? Make sure these rooms have lots of light and are free of clutter on the day of your session. While the focus will of course be on you (and your partner, if they want to be included), we want to make sure you're not competing with the space.

Third - What to wear.

This one is just as important as location, and often go hand in hand. Location determines theme, which determines wardrobe. If your maternity session is outdoors, you have a lot of options for clothing. Many women take this opportunity to glam up a little, and will buy or rent a beautiful dress that showcases their belly and their glorious beauty as a mom-to-be. Others prefer to stick with their natural style, and some land somewhere in between. The idea is to do what feels right for you. (Check out this gorgeous dress! https://

For in-home maternity sessions, outfit choices vary from very casual (jeans & a t-shirt or bra) to a somewhat dressy (a soft, flowy dress). The choice is yours - the idea is for you to be comfortable.

If you're stuck on what to wear, don't fret! I have a full style guide for maternity photo sessions, and am happy to discuss all of your ideas and guide you to what you're most happy with. And don't forget that I have dresses available in my client closet!

Fourth - Props!

What can I say - I love them! There are so many creative things you can do with them, and they can add fun & creativity to your photos.

What props should you bring? That's entirely up to you. You can bring a pair of baby's shoes, a blanket or stuffed animal you've bought, a cute onesie, or maybe a sign announcing your due date (and baby's name, if you choose).

You can also add some accessories to your outfit, such as a flower crown (like this one:

Ultimately, we want to make this session as unique as you are, so if in doubt, just bring all the things and we'll incorporate as much of it as we can.

Fifth - What to bring.

Aside from props, I recommend bringing things like snacks, water, and maybe a foldable/portable chair to your maternity session. Hunger can creep up fast, and we don't want anyone getting woozy or dehydrated - especially if we're outside on a summer day. It's happened to me, and when you don't have food or water close by, things can get kind of scary. So pack a small cooler with water, Gatorade, a sandwich or protein bar (or fruit, or...well, you get the idea). And I always have my wagon with me, so don't worry about lugging your cooler around.

Sixth - Get in the right headspace

It's intimidating to be in front of a camera and feeling like all eyes are on you - photographers know this better than most people - but the good news is there are things you can do in advance of our session to help you feel more at ease. Check out the list below for some great "chill" tips.

First, give yourself enough time to get ready and get to your session location (or, if your session is at home, to get the place photo-ready). Rushing is stressful, and stress shows in your pictures, which we definitely don't want!

Second, listen to your favorite music on your way to the session. Create your own karaoke experience and belt out the tunes that make you feel good. (Also, don't be afraid to ask if you'd like us to play some music while we take your pictures - it's amazing how much more relaxed everyone is when there's great music playing).

Last, but certainly not least...breathe. This day is about having fun and celebrating the next chapter of your journey. If you start to get anxious or tense, just take a few deep breaths and count to five. And, most importantly, if at any point you feel truly uncomfortable, let me know. We'll stop, regroup, and wait until you're ready.

This is an exciting time for you, and on the day of your maternity session, I want you to have fun. The tips above will help - and if you have any questions, I'm here to help!

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