What do you want your child to see in you when they look at these photographs later? Whether it’s your first pregnancy or fourth, capturing all the beauty, strength, anticipation and joy you feel as you prepare to bring new life into this world is important for you to see right now. It’s just as important for your children to be reminded of those facets of you through the years as they experience these photographs on the walls of your home. Never forget the anticipation, excitement, and love you feel right now, with that little life growing inside of you. Life is about to change in the best of ways!
As professional maternity photographers in Charleston, we have worked with many wonderful couples that are excited for this next chapter of their lives together. We would be honored to share this special maternity session with you and are excited to see your family grow. And, later down the line, we hope to reunite for a family photography session in Charleston so your children’s story will continue through photographs that will inspire stories, laughter and love the rest of their lives. And why not trust award-winning photographers for one of the most memorable moments in your lives?
When Should You Schedule Maternity Photos?
The best time to do your maternity portraits is when you are 7 or 8 months pregnant. If you prefer the way your body looks and feels at 7 months, do them then. If you’d prefer to see your belly at its absolute fullest, do them at 8 months. I (Erin) had my own maternity portraits done twice – at both these stages. While I loved the glamour and beauty of the 7-month maternity portraits, I found that I also really loved having portraits of my belly at its fullest. However, if you’re planning this more last-minute, that’s OK too! We’ve done maternity portraits for several women who were due just days later. And they were perfect!
Where Should You Do Maternity Portraits?
Here are the best locations for maternity photos:
- Photo studio: Studio portraiture has come a long way in the past decade. You can now find photographers who know how to be very creative in the studio (that’s us!). I love studio maternity portraits because they are timeless and sophisticated. We have several backdrops for your session – white, dark gray, black, and some pastel colors. We are also extremely well-versed in studio lighting to show you in your best, most flattering light. You’ll receive maternity portraits that look like they’re in a magazine. We also have a lot of tricks up our sleeves to create edgy, artistic portraiture for you. We love experimenting with different techniques and making up new ones as we get inspired. We also have several maternity dresses for you to borrow 🙂
- Your home: There are two main reasons I love photographing maternity sessions in people’s homes. The first is that it’s very special for you to be photographed in the context of the place where your child will grow up. As they see these photos through the years, they will marvel at how they know the different spots where the photos were created, and why each spot is special. The second reason is that I love having a set number of locations that are all new to me. I love working with the natural light in your home, and the architecture – which doesn’t have to mean grandiose at all. I love finding the little nooks and interesting walls and corners that you see every day, and using them to create something unique and extraordinary. In addition to shooting inside your home, we can also do outdoor photos either in your yard or around your neighborhood or park.
- Outdoor location: Outdoor maternity session locations in Charleston include parks such as Hampton Park or White Point Garden; the downtown Historic District; or the beach. Outdoor maternity photo locations are good for people who prefer a more natural, relaxed look to their photos. The main drawback to outdoor spots is that we can’t control the weather or external factors like tourists in the background. They also must take place either early in the morning or later in the afternoon/evening to get the best light. On the beach especially, you have to be careful to avoid windy days, which will ruin your hair and force you to only face one way so your hair doesn’t blow in your face. But if you’re willing to take your chances, outdoor maternity shoots are really fun. We’ll agree on a meetup spot, and go exploring from there. We will use almost 100% natural light for these photos, and will only bring artificial lighting if we’re shooting at night.
What Should You Wear for Your Maternity Session?
We work with our clients to find the best wardrobe for your maternity photos, whether it’s something that you’ve had in your closet for years or something new. We also have a variety of maternity photo shoot dresses in our studio for you to use. What women wear varies depending on the mood they want for their shoot. We might use flowy dresses and fabrics; or tight-fitting dresses that cling to your form; or just your casual, regular clothes like unbuttoned jeans and T-shirts. What you wear might also depend on the room where you plan to display these photos – if we’re matching a particular color scheme, furniture, etc. We will figure all of that out in a planning session before your shoot!
Should You Get Professional Hair and Makeup?
We definitely recommend this! In addition to making sure you look gorgeous, having someone else do your hair and makeup takes that off your plate so you can just relax the day of your session. It will also give you confidence being in the hands of a professional who knows how to bring out the best version of you. If you don’t already have your favorite people, we are happy to recommend some trusted hair and makeup artists in Charleston!
Should Your Spouse or Partner be in the Photos?
This is a personal preference. We’ve done maternity portraits with just the mother alone; we’ve done them with her partner; we’ve also done them with just the woman and her parents. We’ve done them with the mama-to-be and her dog, and the mama-to-be with her other children. No matter what you decide, I definitely want time with just you toward the end to focus on your beautiful changing body, your strength, your serenity, and the expressions that will show your child how much you loved them before you even met them.
Where Do People Display Maternity Portraits?
A few days after your session, your maternity portraits will be ready for you to experience for the first time in our presentation room at the studio. Together, using the photos you love the most, we will create meaningful photographic wall art for your home. Maternity photos can go anywhere you choose of course, but most people will display them in the baby’s room; in their own bedroom; or in the bathroom, usually over the bathtub (that’s where my own are). Another popular place is an upstairs hallway.
If you’d prefer to keep your maternity portraits more private, we recommend having us create a gorgeous photo book for you. Our photo books are modern and resemble an art book you’d find in an art gallery.
If you don’t know where you’ll display your photos, that’s OK! We will help you figure all of that out when we first talk with you. The most important thing is making sure we get the photos done before the baby comes! We can’t wait to plan this experience with you. Maternity photos are one of our absolute favorite things to do – they are a true collaboration between us and you. And they are some of the most important and meaningful photos you will ever have.