Today I am teaming up with some other photographers and we are each offering some advice to help you ensure you get great results for your photography session. I will be giving advice especially for maternity photo sessions. Be sure to keep reading to get tips from other photographers for maternity, family and newborn photo sessions as well.

What is my number one piece of advice when planning your maternity session?

Trust your photographer! It’s easy to get caught up in planning every detail of the session to be “perfect”, from location, to outfits, to poses. However, if you are choosing an experienced photographer, it’s best to let them take control. They are going to be able to guide you, especially when it comes to poses. While it’s fine to send your photographer some ‘inspiration’ pose ideas, I’ve found in my experience that clients often end up picking completely different images/poses than the ones they asked for. Not all poses work well for all people. I personally always strive to pose moms and couples in ways that help them look their best, while considering their heights and which angles are most flattering to them specifically. I also take cues from couples, and guide posing based on their comfort level. Some couples are more reserved and want to keep poses simple, some are more playful and are confident doing poses that are more dramatic or intimate.

If you are having trouble giving up control of the planning, or not feeling confident in general, I recommend scheduling an in-person meeting before your session. Meeting your photographer ahead of time will help you get the jitters out of the way, so you’ll go into the session with more confidence. So, take a deep breath and relax. We’ve got you!

We asked a group of photographers “What is the best advice you can give to a family prior to their photo session?” and here is what they answered:

Yellow Lollipop Photography – NJ Newborn & Family Photographer

“A maternity photo shoot is a beautiful way to capture some of the final moments before baby arrives. It is a chance for a mom to be to feel beautiful and confident and celebrate the beauty of her pregnancy . My number one advice for an expecting mom would be to choose a photographer she trusts and feels comfortable with . A true professional will help her choose clothes that complement her body , pose her in flattering poses , select the location that fits her vision and make her feel relaxed enough to enjoy the whole process.”

Yellow Lollipop Photography

Joanna Jensen– Newborn and Maternity Photographer, Calgary, AB

“My biggest piece of advice would be to look at the photographer’s client closet. Each photographer has her own style and preferences of items she will carry and change out and those gowns will suit that photographer’s style-whether the dresses are tight, bold, and contemporary, or long, flowing and loose. I do also send out a maternity guide to all of my clients as well to help make the most out of their sessions-I always prefer hair to be long and loose and curled when possible, along with dramatic makeup.”

Joanna Jensen Photography

Erin Marie – Newborn & Family Photographer, Charlotte, NC

“Your maternity session is such a special time in your life. Although it may feel like the longest 9 (10) months ever, when you’re little one arrives, so will the time warp of life! I have three kiddos myself and did a couple of maternity sessions, and have been photographing moms for the past 10 years. Although maternity sessions can feel like an extra expense to just skip, I would highly recommend documenting this experience that you can’t get back. It’s so easy to forget how big your belly really got and how happy everyone around you is for you! My number one piece of advice for all moms is to get professional hair and make up before your session! You want to feel your most beautiful and confident, and having someone pamper and make you feel like a star can change the whole vibe of your session! Lashes do wonders for making your eyes truly pop in photos— and some sparkles and contrast can make you feel like a whole new person. Trust the stylist to make you look your best and trust your photographer to be able to pose you in flattering ways to show off your gorgeous belly bump!”

Erin Wilwert Photography

Eszter Toth – Maternity & Newborn Photographer, Medina, PA

“The most crucial advice for a successful maternity session is to prioritize a consultation beforehand. This allows us to establish a meaningful connection, where you can express your vision and desires for the session. Additionally, I provide a selection of dresses from my client closet, ensuring you have the perfect outfit to complement your style and preferences. By meeting beforehand, we create a relaxed atmosphere, fostering a more enjoyable and memorable experience during the session. Your comfort and satisfaction are my utmost priorities, and through thoughtful planning and communication, we can capture beautiful keepsake memories that you’ll cherish forever.”

Eszter Toth

Giselle Salazar – Austin and Central Texas Maternity Photographer

“Maternity sessions are my area of expertise, planning and making sure your clients are confident in their skin and your skill is top of the list. We recommend maternity sessions to take place between week 28-34 in your pregnancy. That way there’s a noticeable baby bump but not too late in your pregnancy where it’s uncomfortable to move around, and mom is not too swollen yet. We offer hair makeup and a client closet for our maternity session, which takes away a lot od the stress of preparing for their session. It’s also a pampering experience for such a special moment to capture. We start by asking each mom to be, what’s their vision and the style they are looking for. We encourage them to send us a compilation of inspiration images to understand their style. We offer everything from fashion forward/creative lighting maternity sessions to more candid and boho inspired sessions and everything in between. By the time the day of the session comes along, we have already built a relationship with our client and she feels comfortable that she is in good hands and will receive the best guidance and results.”

Giselle Salazar

Racheal – Newborn and Maternity Photographer Edinburgh

“My number one piece of advice for new parents when attending their newborn photoshoot is to put their worries aside and get in front of the camera! My favourite way to photograph parents and newborn is a classic, backlit profile photo with both parents looking at baby. No need to look at the camera so you wont feel self conscious and I’ll capture the most beautiful, natural smile as you gaze at your precious new baby. You will never regret having that photo taken and your baby will grow up seeing how loved they were from the very beginning!”

Beautiful Bairns

Alesha Howell  – Las Vegas Family & Maternity Lifestyle Photographer

“My #1 rule for family photos: Kids can’t get in trouble. Hear me out: it’s one of the very few times they can be fully themselves. My goal is to capture silly smiles, curious eyes, and belly laughs. It’s ok for them to interpret prompts their own way, I promise! On the flip side, little ones maybe shy and need to warm up a bit. After all, there’s no better place than in mom’s arms. Best believe I’ll capture all the cuddles. Documenting the personality of your family as a whole makes my heart SING. Nothing compares to authenticity.”

Alesha Howell Photography

Giselle Salazar Photography – Family Photographer, Austin and Central Texas

“Take that as an opportunity to bond with the family and make it fun. My recommendations will vary depending on the style of your family session. For studio sessions: Usually clients that book us for studio sessions are looking for a more structured and posed photography session experience. We offer a style consultation for each session and give our clients ideas on what to wear and plan colors, backgrounds and props depending on their color and style preferences. For families with young kids, we usually book their session around their nap schedules and pick hours where kids are happier, that way then can be more cooperative for their session. For older kids, bribery usually does the trick! Promising the kids a toy or ice cream after their session is a great motivator and kids look forward to it. For Outdoor sessions: Outdoor sessions are usually around sunset, so scheduling according to baby’s nap schedule can be challenging. Our recommendation is to play around with the kids’ schedule where they can take a nap before the photo shoot or take advantage of the kids being tired and take some beautiful candid photos of the kids snuggling with mom and dad.”

Giselle Salazar Photography

Ben Martinez – Family Photographer, Austin, TX

“Get out of your head and enjoy the photo shoot! Yes, a photo shoot can feel awkward and strange, especially if you don’t normally feel comfortable in front of a camera. But remember that you have hired a professional and you are doing this photo shoot to commemorate a special time in your life. Take a deep breath and don’t get too nervous about the process. Your photographer will help guide you and capture you in the best light possible. Enjoy the photo shoot!”

Ben Martinez Photography

Tammy Schell – Family, Newborn & Maternity Photographer, Woodstock, ON

“In order to have a successful family photoshoot, prepare your family to have fun! Lower your stress by encouraging everyone to be themselves and ask for suggestions on what they want to do. By allowing them to choose how things are run, they’re more likely to enjoy themselves, be happy, and want to do the shoot!”

Heartwink Photography

Joanna Jensen – Family, Newborn & Maternity Photographer, Calgary, AB

“If there’s any advice I can’t give is to prepare clothing as much in advance as possible-communicate with your family as to what you’d like them to wear prior to the session as well.  Family members may have a different point of view on clothing options so it’s great to have plenty of time to get a different outfit if needed for a wonderful photoshoot.  That being said, I love getting ideas off pinterest for colours and the latest styles.  Stores like Zara and H&M are the usual go-tos for nice trendy outfits but every now and then I find real gems at Marshalls and boutique stores”

Joanna Jensen Photography