Many parents want newborn portraits, but sometimes overlooked is having maternity photos. Why not include some portraits to remember that short period of time where you are awaiting the arrival of your new life? I know not everyone enjoys being pregnant, at least with nausea and various other ailments that can come with the fluctuation in hormones and growing belly. All those things aside, many of us appreciate knowing that we are carrying our sweet miracle around with us before we get to finally meet them. And then you get to hold that little person who first felt like a butterfly. You see those little feet that were kicking you for months. And you can gaze at the face that hiccupped off and on which made you ask, “what was that?”
I still remember feeling how special each one of my pregnancies were, and I know I appreciated all of those moments that were unique and fleeting. Especially when you’ve decided that your last pregnancy will probably be your last, you know that those tiny baby feet kicks aren’t going to last forever.
Sometimes an image will remind you of a memory that you may have otherwise forgotten. As with all of our senses, a certain visual, scent, or song will take us back to a time or specific moment that we hold dear. Photographs can do that for us too, and maybe a portrait of you looking at your belly will help you always remember something that happened that day or week, where your baby did something that made you smile.
As I’m writing this, a particular memory was brought to mind that I haven’t thought about in years. One day, at 28 weeks pregnant with my middle child, I was holding a small glass of cranberry juice near my belly. All of a sudden he kicked my belly so strongly and swiftly, it actually caused me to jolt forward and spill my cranberry juice. I was impressed that he could do that! It made me laugh. And since I loved using photos to make pregnancy journey scrapbooks of my own, I wrote this down 12 years ago so I don’t forget it.
That baby is turning 12 next week, and I can show him pictures of what I looked like when I was pregnant with him. And I can read him his birth story and show him his sonogram pictures and tell him how much he was loved and how he will always be one of my greatest gifts. These maternity portraits aren’t just for me, but they are for him too.
So now that you want to have maternity portraits for your memories😉😉, what questions do you have? Ellicott City, Maternity Photographer, Rebecca Leigh Photography has some answers for you.
When should you take maternity portraits? I recommend any time between 20 weeks – 34 weeks. It just depends on what stage of pregnancy you want to commemorate. If you want to wait until your belly is bigger, than 30-34 weeks might be a good timeframe. The reason I don’t recommend much later than 34 weeks is in case your baby arrives early, you don’t miss the opportunity for maternity portraits. Another factor to consider is how you might be feeling during the last month of pregnancy. Some ladies experience uncomfortable swelling in their feet, or they just feel tired and not particularly up for photos.
If the size of your belly isn’t as important to you, then having portraits taken sooner than 30 weeks might be fun as you’ll probably be feeling pretty well at that point, and you’ll still have enough of a belly to show in photos.
Where should you take maternity portraits? I recommend outdoor portraits for April-October and studio portraits all year. In Maryland, it can be freezing (or not) in November-March and if you want to wear a dress to show off your belly, you may not be comfortable without a coat during the winter months. For me, the worst part is cold hands, but at least as the photographer I get to wear a coat, hat, and gloves. So if you prefer the warmth of a studio to freezing outdoors, that might be your best option.
Can you include your family in your maternity portraits? Yes. And the session includes solo pregnancy portraits. If you are interested in solo studio maternity portraits with Ellicott City Maternity Photographer, Rebecca Leigh Photography, during January-March of 2024, I am offering a special session for moms who are also booking a newborn session in 2024, so make sure to ask me for details when you inquire.
One more thing – another reason to choose studio maternity portraits any time of year is because we can take several poses that we will duplicate at your newborn session, only in place of your belly, will be your baby. Then it is fun to have a “before” and “after” of you pregnant and then with your baby.