Congratulations!  You have the amazing honor of creating a new life!  A sweet, innocent little life that will one day go through so many stages.  From your wee one's first diaper and smile, you will want to capture images in your mind and in your camera as they learn to crawl, walk, run and grow.  But, those memories and images do not start at birth.  It is important to start during pregnancy with the growth of your baby bump so you can look back and rejoice in those enjoyable moments of the new life you have created.

Pregnancy is one of the most emotional, beautiful and satisfying times is a mother's life.  Whether it is your first pregnancy, second or even third, we will professionally document this exciting time with amazing images you can look back on with love and joy for a lifetime.

Ideally, the best time to book your maternity session is around 28 - 34 weeks before your baby has begun to drop into place for the birth experience.  Your belly will be at its best viewing with plump roundness during this time, yet you will still be comfortable while on your feet.  You will be moving and posing quite a bit during your session, so you will need to be able to get up and down easily, as well.  Avoid your last month if at all possible due to rapid weight gain, stretch marks and bloating.

Once you have booked, you will need to start planning for your session.  Here are several tips for a successful maternity session.

  1. Have your fingernails professionally manicured or tipped.  Your hands will be in every image.
  2. Style your hair in a way that most reflects the style of image you are trying to achieve.  If your images are more casual, for instance, wear your hair less styled and more loosely done.  If your session is scheduled to be dramatic, have a dramatic style and so forth.  Makeup should also follow these guidelines.  I do have a stylist and makeup artist available at an additional minimal cost.
  3. You will have several clothing changes during your session. I will provide wraps, drapes etc, but you will probably want to bring stretchy fabrics such as yoga pants, leggings, bandeau bras and tank or tube top styled shirts (black or white), loose flowing dresses, maxi dresses, sweaters, pullover shirts or button up shirts. You can even bring a big oversized man's shirt, if you would like. Black, white and rich colors are best.  Stay away from patterns or fabrics with too many colors or are too busy.  Jeans are also great.  Use your best judgement, but keep it simple and fun, or smooth, classic and bright to evoke the purity of innocent new life.  If your session includes nude or partially nude images, please have undergarments such as lacy undies and/or bras available.
  4. Special items such as ultrasounds, jewelry, heirlooms, collegiate gear or other items that are nostalgic or create a sense of your family identity are a great prop to include in your session.  Watches are discouraged unless they have special meaning and need to be included.
  5. Family members, your spouse, children or anyone you want to bring to be included are more than welcome.  Outfits should be coordinated as much as possible, especially if you have scheduled an outdoor session.   Please be aware that the real focus is on you and your growing little bump, so only a few images with others will be in the final results.  If siblings are included, I recommend that we focus on these images first and then have someone leave the studio for a fun little play date while we finish the rest of your session.
  6. Please notify me if you have a nude, partial nude or implied nude preference to include in part of the session.  If you have any physical concerns such as scars, moles, tattoos or other skin concerns, please discuss with me before the session so I will know how to pose to address your concerns.
  7. Get as much rest as possible the evening before so that you can come to the session relaxed.
  8. Remove any elastic clothing, bracelets or socks that may leave elastic marks at least one hour prior to your session so that your skin will be naturally smooth.
  9. Apply non-greasy lotions about two hours before the session to reduce the appearance of uneven dry spots or other skin problems. Please to not use artificial tanning lotions or have a spray tan prior to the session.  If you have recently used a tanning lotion or still have a spray tan, please allow fading for three weeks before the scheduled session.
  10. If you are running late on the day of your session, don't fret!  If you get stressed over a few minutes, that tension will show through in your images.  I would rather you be a few minutes late than stiff, uneasy or unable to relax.  Please do keep in mind however, that if you are more than 30 minutes late, we may want to reconsider another day so that it is easier on you and will not conflict with other appointments.  I don't want to rush you through a session either.  
  11. Eat a light snack and drink water before your session to keep you energized, hydrated and your skin supple.
  12. Remember that YOU are beautiful.  Relax and enjoy your session!

©Marcelle Raphael / Southern Belle Studios