When should you schedule your maternity portrait session?
TL,DR; 28-36 weeks pregnant is usually ideal - read on for more specifics, exceptions to the rule, and tips!
The ideal window
Typically, the beginning of the third trimester (28 weeks) all the way through the 8th month of pregnancy (up to 36 weeks) is ideal for scheduling your maternity photos. By 28 weeks, most moms have a visible bump to show off in photos and look clearly pregnant. After 36 weeks, many moms start feeling more fatigued, might be sleeping poorly, and just overall can't move around quite as easily, so I suggest scheduling before the home stretch of pregnancy to have the most enjoyable experience possible for your maternity session! First time moms may want to wait until 32+ weeks as it can often take longer to get a significant bump in your first pregnancy, while moms who already have other children can often schedule their photo session on the earlier end of this window.
Exceptions to the rule
The most obvious exception would be if you are carrying multiples, as you will likely both start showing sooner, and deliver sooner - anywhere from 18-24 weeks may be the perfect time for twin or triplet mamas to schedule photos. In addition, if you have a high-risk pregnancy/are expecting to deliver early and want to be sure you document your pregnancy, scheduling a session earlier in pregnancy is best. Some families opt for pregnancy announcement photos, which can be scheduled anytime you are comfortable with. Typically, an ultrasound is shown off in lieu of a baby bump for these sessions, since mama might not be showing much in the first and second trimester.
A few tips
- While this is the ideal window to schedule your portrait session, remember that you'll want to contact your photographer weeks before this to ensure you can decide on a location together (the Space Coast offers some beautiful beaches including Cocoa Beach Pier/Jetty Park) and chat through any questions you have, as well as secure a session date and time that works for you.
- Maxi dresses are super flattering for pregnant mamas - stick to solid colors or an understated pattern, and avoid bold or distracting patterns that can take away from your beautiful bump.
- Be sure to schedule your newborn photos too - many photographers fill up for newborn spots months in advance, and while we can sometimes fit you in last minute, scheduling ahead of time ensures the fleeting newborn phase can be captured exactly how you envision with your photographer of choice, and allows you to check one more thing off your to-do list before welcoming baby!