Helpful preparation advice for your maternity portrait session

Book your maternity session as early as possible, to secure your date in our studio.

The ideal time for your maternity session is four to five weeks before your due date. Because I want to give the very best of myself to each and every client I only do three portrait sessions per week. There are a very limited number of sessions available! We recommend you make your booking several months before baby is due, if possible. If not, just give us a ring as soon as possible, and we’ll do our best to accommodate you!

Making the most of your maternity portrait session

Once you’ve booked a studio session to create some beautiful maternity art, you’re probably wondering how to get the most from it. Here are a few ideas and tips to help you get the most from your maternity session.

We’ll have a creative consultation in advance of the session. Since we’ll have already had our creative consultation, you can rest easy knowing that we’ll already have a good idea of what you’d like me to create for you. Clearly all the lighting and the posing and all the technical stuff is down to us – you don’t need to worry about that! All you need to concern yourself with is turning up and having a good time. The good news is that a lot of what you’ll need to do to prepare for your session will be pampering yourself! Yay! Great excuse!

What to wear for your maternity session in our studio

Wardrobe choices form a large part of our discussions at the pre-session consultation. We’ll talk about style, colour palette and texture. We’ll also consider if anybody else is to be photographed with you, and what they’ll be wearing.

Maternity photography as a genre has wide-ranging options in terms of clothing. It ranges from fully clothed to fully nude. Lets take a look at some examples here.

– Fully clothed – There’s certainly no need to be naked, if that’s not your thing. We’ll consider how different clothes show off the shape of your all-important bump, and anything you might want to wear that makes you feel amazing!

– Bump poking out of clothes. Think about the tops and bottoms you might want to wear. Jeans you can still fit into (but no longer fasten, of course!) work really well. Elasticated pregnancy jeans create a nice neat fabric line around the lower side of your bump. An oversized shirt (maybe your partner’s? Or I have a selection you can use) is a really popular choice, because it looks great! Or a chunky cardigan, teamed with some sloppy socks looks fab, especially for a winter baby!

– Fabric draping. We have a variety of fabrics we can drape around you to show off your pregnancy bump in the most glamorous way. Of course, you’re welcome to use these, but if there’s a particular colour you’d like to use then it’s probably best to bring your own. If you’re buying from a fabric shop, I’d get a 3 meter length. Sheer fabrics work beautifully!

– Underwear. A gorgeous look for your maternity art, and very popular because it works so well. If you like this look, then bring at least two sets – one white or cream coloured and the other black or as dark as possible. Steer clear of bold patterns, bright colours and contrasting trims and embellishments. Especially avoid beads or sequins as they can have my lights bouncing all over! It’s not a fashion shoot – we want the focus to be on that amazing bump of yours – it is the star of the show after all!

– Nude. Although this might feel really scary to you reading about it now, I think on the day of the session, it’s not. The reason I’m saying that is because of the number of ladies who begin the session quite shy. Often, after ten minutes their kit comes off with a “well if I’m gonna do this, I might as well really go for it!” kind of attitude. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to create some gorgeous pictures of you whether you’re naked or not, but it’s more popular than you might think!

The perfect pampering excuse

Your maternity photography session is an opportunity to pamper yourself
at a time when your body and mind could really do with some pampering! Whether you’re going for a glamorous and elegant look to your artwork, or a more natural one, it’s the perfect time to go full-on with the pampering. Go on, you deserve it!

You might want some close-up pictures of the first-class accommodation you’re providing for your little babba! Hands are really important in these close-up pictures, helping to tell the story of how much you cherish that tiny life. So make sure your nails look amazing with a manicure in advance of your session. French manicure, or a nude or natural colour works best. It’s not about the nails, after all! But if they’re going to be front and centre in these images, it’s important they look fab. if your partner’s hands are also going to be prominent then the same goes for them, though I’m guessing you’re not going to be able to get them to go to the beauty salon with you!

In virtually all of my studio photography sessions, my subjects are barefoot. That freaks out most people, as feet don’t tend to be our favourite things. But there’s a very good reason for this. Unless you want to teeter around my studio in eight inch heels, four days before your due date (yes, that has happened, and I think I gained a few grey hairs in THAT session!) your feet aren’t the most important part of these pictures. We want the feet, together with everything else that isn’t an essential element of the storytelling in each piece of art, to basically fade into the background. That’s done more successfully when feet are bare, than when they are covered. Socks, shoes, tights, they’re never as pristine on camera as we think they’re going to be! Your feet will, most likely, not even be visible in most of the portraits I create. But if you hate your feet, then why not add in a pedicure to that manicure. Let’s face it, at this stage in the proceedings, you’re not going to be able to reach them to do your own pedicure, are you?

Which inevitably leads us on to other areas that you can’t see right now! It’s not my intention here to offer advice on intimate grooming! And there are people much more qualified than I to wax lyrical (eh, see what I did there? It’s the way I tell ’em!) on the merits of a Brazilian versus a Hollywood. But if you’re visiting the beauty salon anyway, and it’s reassuring to you to know that’s taken care of for you, then wax away! Just remember to leave a few days in advance of your session for your skin to recover. That’s not really about how the skin is going to look, but rather how it feels for you. I want you to feel comfortable (and maybe glamorous!) in your portrait session. So give yourself time.

Some people like to complete the pampering with a hair do, or professionally applied make up on the day of their session. It’s really not necessary, so don’t feel you need to go to the extra expense. But if it’s going to make the whole experience extra special for you, then knock yourself out. If you decide you’re doing your own make-up on the day, just a little word of advice, stick to the make-up you’d normally wear. The day of a photography session isn’t the day to try a bold new colour lipstick! Your normal make-up is going to look great.


1. Wear loose clothes when travelling to the studio so as to avoid lines on your skin from tight-fitting garments.

2. Bring your wardrobe choices and accessories we discussed in your pre-session consultation. Also, if you’ve other props you’d like to incorporate into the images then bring those too.

3. Relax. It’s going to be more fun than you imagine!

Ideas for accessorising your maternity portrait session

You may want to introduce accessories and props into your maternity pictures. If you fancy using props then by all means bring them with you. Remember though, that ‘in’ jokes or topical names or phrases might date quite quickly, and we want to create maternity portraits that you will enjoy forever. Clients sometimes bring:

  • teddies or booties;
  • gifts you or others have bought for your baby;
  • ribbons to tie around your bump (I have blue and pink);
  • tape measure;
  • gift tags with messages like ‘with love’, ‘it’s a girl’, or ‘can’t wait to meet you’;
  • jewellery;
  • stickers, henna tattoo and other ways to decorate your bump

Of course, our extensive range of cushions, fabrics and other accessories means that you don’t actually have to bring anything at all with you, just yourself, and any members of your family that are to be in the photographs with you.

If there are siblings, then obviously this is an important occasion for them too, and I would recommend they come with you to the session so that they can celebrate too. We can create some gorgeous images by getting the rest of the family involved.

If you’re on your own and would like to bring some moral support, then you’re more than welcome to bring a guest with you. Some people prefer to come for a maternity portrait session without an audience. Some people want images with their partner. However if you just want to bring a friend, or your mum or someone else for moral support they’d be more than welcome. Then all you need to do is let us make you a cuppa and sprinkle a little glitz and glamour over this beautiful time of your life.

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Kath Cherry

Kath Cherry

The only fully-qualified Master Photographer in the region specialising in newborn and maternity photography.