When it comes to maternity photo sessions, there seem to be 2 crowds. Those who know they want maternity photos and those who are on the fence.
That said, the 1st most common thing I’m asked is, “When should I schedule my maternity session?”
The 2nd most common thing I hear is, “I’m on the fence about maternity photos…”
In this blog post I am going to speak to timing first & then I’ll share some thoughts about maternity sessions that might help you “get off the metaphorical fence” so to speak.
ALL ABOUT TIMING:
So, when should you reach out to secure your maternity session, you ask?
I recommend reaching out to secure your maternity spot between 8 weeks & the middle of 2nd trimester. This will ensure that you have multiple date options to choose from!
Now, what week of your pregnancy should you schedule your maternity session to be held?
I recommend that maternity sessions take place between 28 weeks & 34 weeks. This time frame allows for your bump to be a nice size (before you get into the last & more uncomfortable days of pregnancy) AND ensures you don’t miss your maternity session IF baby comes early.
If you’d like to discuss maternity photos – reach out HERE.
Now for the WHY behind Maternity sessions.
4 REASONS to take maternity photos:
1) Celebrate your body (present & future).
In our society, women often feel pressured by society for their body to look a certain way. Diet culture is constantly telling us to change something about our bodies. It is an act of rebellion to celebrate your body just as it is, without asking it to change. So, rebel!! Celebrate your body just how it is! Take up space, do fun things, show up in your life. Free yourself to be happy no matter what your body looks like. And set the example for your children to be thankful for their bodies.
That said, I think pregnancy is a beautiful time. Some women feel beautiful while pregnant, others don’t. No matter where you fall here – allow me to show you how I see you through my lens. You will walk away feeling confident & empowered.
After your baby has arrived, your body will continue to go through many more changes. For many women, this can be mentally & emotionally challenging at times. It’s important to acknowledge that your body has done miraculous things. It changes with age. It changes when you’re growing a human inside your womb. It changes during birth. It changes as you keep that new little human alive.
Maternity photos can serve as visual reminders to celebrate & accept your body through all her different changes & seasons – even after you’ve given birth.
2) Your children.
I have one photo of my mother pregnant. That’s it. It’s not a particularly good photo. It’s a snapshot of her at a baby shower. I have no good pictures of myself with my mom when she was pregnant with my sister.
I have one photo of my grandmother pregnant… but the dress & the angle make it so that I would never know she was pregnant, yet alone that it was 3 days before my dad was born.
When I look through old family photos, I want to see the everyday moments & the big life events of my family. I’m drawn to photos that are beautifully composed, that tell a story, have personality, and show emotion. When I find photos of a family members’ past that make me feel something, I want to keep those photos around me – to remind me of my connection to them, to remind me of their spirit & personality.
Your children will want to see photos of you.
And they will love seeing photos of you pregnant.
When they are young, it will be all about – “me in mommy’s tummy”. When they are adults, it will hit home stronger. They will feel the gravity of their connection to you & how you served as their portal into this world, and they will better understand the bravery of your decision to become a mother.
A photo will remind them of your humanity, connection, love & bravery. And it will empower them to connect to their own humanity & bravery as well.
3) It’s not selfish to display photos of you.
Sometimes I hear women say they are going to skip taking maternity photos because they wouldn’t hang them in their home.
This can come from a few different thought processes.
Sometimes it’s because someone doesn’t feel beautiful OR hates being pregnant. For that I would say, refer to Reason #1 above.
Other times it’s because someone feels uncomfortable putting up a photo that’s main focus is themselves. It’s so common for women, especially moms, to feel uncomfortable at the idea of putting up a photo of just them.
If this is something that strikes a chord with you, let me share a few thoughts below:
– a) While I love a maternity session that is just the expectant mama, you are welcome to include other people. Be it your partner, other children, a parent, a friend, your pet etc. Other people who are excited about this new season of life, can certainly be a meaningful addition to a maternity session.
– b) Women, we need to take up space. Unapologetically.
We are praised as young children for characteristics like loving the camera, for being a ham, for “showing off”… but as we get older, we are sent messages not to do so. We are told not to be vain or selfish.
Society often tells us (even if the messages are indirect) to make ourselves smaller, to not take up space. Not to draw too much attention to ourselves.
Those messages are sent by society to limit us & control us. Following those directions from society is not in our best interest. It does not help us live our lives as fully & as best as possible. Sometimes a photo of yourself (whether alone or with others) is a small step of rebellion that leads to more choices you can make for your own joy & freedom.
I know personally, that overcoming this messaging can be challenging – often we don’t even realize all the ways it has affected us.
I have a painting of myself in my bedroom (done by a local artist for my 30th birthday).
I asked her to make the canvas smaller because I didn’t want it to call too much attention. Even with the smaller canvas, I was worried it would be too big.
Now, a couple years later – I look at it every day. It makes me smile. It reminds me that doing something for myself is good. It reminds me that I will grow & change emotionally AND physically. It reminds me that taking up space is a good thing. Even on hard days, that piece of art makes me feel encouraged.
So if you think having a photo of yourself in your bedroom, bathroom, living room, (wherever you want to get that reminder & encouragement for yourself) would be helpful to you, what better way to start than now – with a maternity photo! It’s amazing how the way we decorate our environments can affect us emotionally & mentally.
– c) If you aren’t feeling ready to put something on your wall, I suggest an album or box of matted prints (which you could frame later) to keep in your bedside table. You can get it out and flip through photos whenever you need <3
4) Sometimes you don’t realize how special a memory is until the time has passed.
I can’t count the number of times a mom has told me that she wished she took maternity photos.
Sometimes it is body image or the fear of being vain/frivolous that has held these women back from taking maternity photos… Other times it has been that they didn’t realize that at some point in the future they would feel nostalgia for when their baby was in their womb. They didn’t realize they would value looking back on beautiful photos from that time in life.
Life is precious. Every season. Sometimes, we don’t realize how pivotal or special the present moment is.
A gentle reminder that your pregnancy is a special moment in time – whether it feels like that right now or not.
If any of these thoughts speak to you – Don’t hesitate to slow down for a half day to let me create some precious memories for you to look back on for years to come. <3 Contact here!