Preparing for your Maternity Shoot

So you’re getting ready for your maternity photos? Are you ready? If you read my post about choosing a maternity photographer you should be on your way to an amazing photography session.

So you have the photographer booked, date set, location set….what’s next?? Ahhhhh….what are you going to wear? Are you doing your own hair and make-up, what’s your hubby going to wear? Is the weather going to corporate with you (if your shooting outside), did you supply your photographer with photos that you like?

Here are a few things to think about when preparing for your maternity shoot:

It’s helpful to create a small Pinterest board with different types of photos you would like your photographer to capture during your session. Perhaps there is a key pose that you just love and want your photographer to capture. Now when I say SMALL I mean small Pinterest board with picture ideas. You don’t need to have 10 pictures of basically the same pose pinned. Your photographer will get it. I suggest a small number of about 20 photos max. You can view my board here (it also has newborn photos too). By doing this it will give your photographer a better understanding of what you want to capture.

Confirm with your photographer a week prior to your scheduled photo shoot to confirm the location and time. If you are shooting outside take a look at the weather forecast. If it’s looking gloom, start talking about possible rain dates.

Clothing options for the ladies. My suggestion for clothing for the maternity shoot is something that you are comfortable wearing. I know that my fashion choices are limited as I didn’t purchase an entire new wardrobe and I did not purchase items specific to my maternity shoot either. Instead since I’m doing a photo session at home, I’ve decided to sit with items I already have and I’m going for a more relaxed and casual approach. If you are having a hard time piecing together an outfit talk to your photographer, they have great eyes and will know what looks best on film. Don’t stress about it, be yourself, keep it simple and don’t go spending $$$ on clothes that you won’t be wearing again.

If you are having your hair and make-up done, way to go momma! We are feeling pretty tired so it’s always nice to be pampered. If you have an appointment set up, just make sure to confirm and supply pictures to the stylist making you pretty for your photo session.

My photo session is this weekend and I have everything figured out so far. I’m doing my own hair and make-up, we have outfits picked out, my photographer knows some shots I want to get and everything is confirmed. I can’t wait to share my photos with you. 

 

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Maternity Photographer: Where to Start

Maternity Photographer: Where to Start

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As you may recall a little while ago I shared the news that the husband and I are expecting our first baby this very early Spring. Being first time parents there are so many things you have to think about just to be ‘ready’ for the baby to come. Can anyone really be completely ready for when the baby arrives? I doubt it. At least I can get ready for things I have some control over. Some things we’ve accomplished?

Nursery is just about done, just have some cleaning up to do. Baby Shower completed, gifts put away, baby products registered for future recalls. Thank You’s completed (although I still have to mail them out), maternity leave paperwork and stuff for work all taken care of, pediatrician picked up and meet and greet done. Signed up for hospital classes and tour. Read everything and anything to prepare (ehh….maybe?)

What major things do we have to do? Install car seats as we get closer to D-Day and pretty much just REST and enjoy being able to take a nap when I feel like it.

Although it may not be on mom-to-be’s list of things-to-do-before-baby but I really wanted to have professional maternity photos taken. I could have just taken a few on my own or had a friend do them, but I really wanted professional photos to be done. For one, the professional photographer can take all those great shots I see all over Pinterest, edit the photos to make them looks AMAZING, know how to pose my Prego body to really highlight the bump and to take the stress off of us when capturing these family moments.

There are SO many photographers out there and it can get really overwhelming trying to find one that fits your needs. So what did I do to choose the perfect photographer?

My husband doesn’t really care about getting the photos done so researching and setting everything up has become my responsibility, he will just show up. Kind of like wedding planning right?

My must haves for our maternity photographer: local, primarily shoots kids/maternity, in budget, no time limit, no mileage costs, shared copy rights, no limit of photos. Seems simple enough right?

Yes and No. It was simple because I had outlined my must haves before I began searching for our photographer. Although not mentioned above I knew what style shoot I was aiming for. I wanted to shoot at the comfort of our home, with our dogs and super relaxed. I’m not a fan of super posed photos or dressing up in an amazing dress with heals. I’m pregnant – not a model. I want to be barefoot if I choose to do so.

It wasn’t simple in the case that I was finding plenty of amazing local photographers that fit my style and I loved their photos but they just weren’t in our budget or I didn’t really like their photo packages. I noticed some would charge an extra mileage fee to drive to my home, the shoot was limited to 30 minutes and I would only receive 5-8 edited photos at the end.  If you’re a photographer – trust me I know it takes you a long time to process all the prints afterwards, but the prints you decide to edit and give to me may not be my number one choices, I know you have at least 40+ pictures you took. I might like the photo where I’m laughing, the dog is barking and my husband is looking the other way because it fits us.

So what was my process? Honestly, I knew the style of photos I liked and I also knew that I wanted our maternity photographer to also be our newborn photographer and hopefully our relationship will grow for all future kid and family photos. That’s the plan! My first step was going on Facebook and looking at friends recent maternity and newborn photos and seeing who their photographer was. If I liked the pictures and fit the style I wanted I did two things, 1) I ‘liked’ the photographer’s Facebook page (they should have one!) and visited their website to see if they had their pricing packages listed and 2) I messaged that friend and asked them about the photographer.

*On a side note, a photographer, if engaged with their clients should really have a Facebook page, blog and/or website and it should be updated on a regular basis. If they haven’t posted something in 6+ months I have to wonder how engaged they are in their business.

My friends were really great at providing me feedback from their shoots with the particular photographers. If the feedback was great and I was pleased with their pricing packages I contacted the photographer directly via their website or e-mail. In one night I think I e-mailed about 10 different photographers and I used the same wording in all of them. One of the things I wanted to stress was that I was looking to establish a relationship with them because I wanted more than just a maternity photographer but a newborn photographer and future child/family photographer. I also wanted to know if they were comfortable shooting around pets. (Some people just don’t like dogs….I don’t know why, they just don’t). The dog thing was actually a big thing for me. We love our dogs and I want them in photos, they are trained and love people and I want someone who will love them to and to be patient as well when taking photos, I don’t want them watching the clock because their photo package was for a 30 minute session.

So I waited….and waited (not too long) for responses to come in from the photographers. And guess what? I got responses from all of them. Many of the photographers I really liked were also pregnant and due around the time I wanted my photos to get done (bummer!). I received clarification on their photo packages and realized quickly it just wouldn’t work for us for a number of different reasons.

I did find out photographer though and I’m so excited to be working with her. She is actually related to my photographer who shot our wedding so I know I’ll be in good hands. It’s a husband and wife team and I’ll be working with the wife. Her main focus is family, lifestyle and newborn photos. And guess what? They are in budget, I love their photo package, they respond so FAST and they are completely up to date on all social media. I’m really looking forward to our photo shoot which is coming up real soon! I will post more about the actual shoot and introduce you to the photographer a bit later.

So what do you need to do? I’ll put it in bullet points for ya!

  • Decide what your must haves are: Do you want a simple shoot, stylized, or posed? Do you want to go on site somewhere, in the studio or the comfort of your home? Do you want them to also shoot your newborn photos?
  • Decide how much you are willing to spend and what you MUST need in your photo package. Are you okay with a limited photo shoot (time frames, limit on number of people, limit on outfit changes)? Do you want copy rights?
  • Talk to friends, get recommendations and read reviews.
  • Check out possible photographers Facebook pages, blogs, website and other social media.
  • Reach out to as many photographers as you would like.
  • Choose a photographer you are comfortable with, they are ultimately shooting the photos that you will get to cherish forever.

I’ll be posting a follow-up post soon on how to prep for your maternity shoot once you have your contract signed with your photographer. Remember you can subscribe to my blog (right hand side) and my posts will come directly to your e-mail. 

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