The best time to take maternity photos

When should I take my maternity photos?

When is the best time to take maternity photos? This is usually the number one question on expectant mom’s inquiry list. Oftentimes, moms think the best time to take their maternity photos is towards the very end of their pregnancy. But I am here to tell you not to wait that long! Towards the end of your pregnancy, you will likely be tired, your mobility may be hindered, and you might be swollen and uncomfortable.

Finding out you are expecting is an emotional, exciting time for any soon-to-be-parent! Watching your body change, anticipating the first little flutters of movement, then giving way to your baby kicking and moving around in your belly, are all milestone moments that will mark your pregnancy. Before you know it, you will be preparing the nursery, your hospital bag, and welcoming your little one or ones into this world! While we may be consumed with thoughts of this new little human, doing something for ourselves is likely not a priority on our to-do list before baby arrives. However, wouldn’t it be nice to celebrate your pregnancy, and the miracle your body is capable of creating with some gorgeous portraits?

Through your portraits, we can capture this moment in you and your family’s story, and show the love and anticipation you have for this little being inside. My goal is to capture you as a strong, powerful, goddess of a woman that you are, to celebrate the baby, but also, celebrate YOU! You will be showing your child what you and your family were like before they arrived. They will be able to look back and marvel at how beautiful their mom looked when they were pregnant, and you will look back at these images and remember the moments with admiration for yourself.

Don’t know when to schedule your maternity photos? Read on to find out more about the best time to take maternity photos during your pregnancy.

The best time to take maternity photos is around the 28-34 week mark.

This can be as early as 7 months and as late as 8 months. During this general time frame most moms have a nice round bump, they are feeling good and glowing. You are clearly pregnant during this timeframe and will be able to show off your bump proudly!

We give a range to take into account certain variables with every pregnancy! For instance:

  • A first time mom might show later than a mom carrying a second or third child.
  • A single baby mom will likely carry very differently than a mom expecting twins.
  • A mom expecting twins may want to be photographed earlier in this timeframe since she will naturally be bigger than most moms around that same time.
  • Your own fitness and comfort level during your pregnancy may also affect your preferred timeline.

I photograph the majority of moms around the 30-32 week timeframe. This is generally a comfortable time for most moms, before the last weeks of pregnancy start to weigh on them. That is not to say that you can’t take photos beyond that timeframe. It all depends on how good you feel later in your pregnancy if we just happen to fit you in later! As babies can arrive whenever they choose to, we can also avoid the risk of you going into labor before your photo session.

For a fun way to look at the progress of your bump and baby size week-to-week, take a look at these articles from thebump.com and babycenter.com. Here is a fun little article with some bump facts you should be aware of as well: 10 Things to Know about your Baby Bump.

Reasons for booking an earlier maternity session

As mentioned above, there may be a few reasons for booking a maternity session earlier than the typical prescribed timeframe. These can include the below:

  • Expecting twins or multiples
  • Pregnancy complications or high-risk pregnancies – Some moms will schedule earlier because they are being put on bedrest or have other complications limiting their mobility and health.
  • You want images for your baby shower. Depending on how early your shower is taking place, this may be a reasonable request.

1. Scheduling a maternity session when expecting twins or multiples

When expecting twins or multiple babies, you should consider having a maternity session earlier than the recommended timeframe. This can be most comfortable for twin moms towards the end of the 2nd trimester, which can be as early as week 26 or before. The likelihood of delivering early can also be a major factor in moms expecting multiples, so this is something to consider when planning for your session as well.

Here are some helpful links to consider when having a twin or multiple pregnancy:

2. When to schedule a maternity session for a high-risk pregnancy

For a high risk pregnancy, or any other pregnancy with health conditions as a limiting factor, it is important to check in with your doctor as far as what you should and should not do. Mobility may be limited, or personal medical devices may also play a factor in these instances, so additional planning may be required. Your own well-being and comfort level will also be important here.

3. You want images for a baby shower or baby announcement.

A lot of moms will ask about having their maternity portraits done before their baby shower so they can display them at the event. This may very well be feasible depending on when the baby shower or event is taking place, or when they’d like to make their announcement. For an announcement, you might ask? Lately, I have seen a lot of clients waiting to announce their pregnancy socially (on social media), until much later in their pregnancies.

When is too early to take professional maternity photos?

Prior to the 25 week mark for a singleton pregnancy, is generally early for taking professional maternity photos. Naturally we want to highlight the beauty of your growing bump and most moms will have a baby bump on the smaller side earlier on. The exception to this is for a multiple or high-risk pregnancy where we can consider an earlier timeframe depending on doctor’s recommendations.

Can I take maternity photos after the 36 week mark?

You absolutely can! As long as you feel well enough to do so, this is entirely possible. I have had multiple moms schedule photo sessions late in their pregnancy. Some, for various reasons, have even had a session during their last week of pregnancy. Again, this all depends on personal comfort level of each mom. Sometimes, it just so happens to be a last minute booking. When we are photographing a mom in these later days of pregnancy, we just make sure to take lots of breaks for rest, cooling off, snacks, or water to keep mom comfortable.

When should I inquire about my maternity session?

Typically moms inquire about a maternity session sometime during their 2nd trimester. I always recommend reaching out to your favorite photographer well in advance to discuss your session so that can check it off your list and start planning the photos of your dreams! Most moms reach out to me around the 20-week mark to book their sessions. This allow for time to plan and figure out the style in which they want to be photographed.

Tips for preparing for your maternity session

During our preparation and planning for your session, I will help guide you in terms of wardrobe selection for you and your partner, as well as any relevant details. Most moms have color ideas or preferences in mind, and they have an extensive range of wardrobe items to choose from from my couture client wardrobe which you can view here. I can also help guide you with complimentary color suggestions, or even what would look good on you personally if you are stuck.

As far as prep needed before your actual session, I’ve put together a handy guide for things you should consider in the weeks and days leading up to your session so that everything is a breeze! You can read that here!

Final Thoughts

Your maternity session is all about capturing this incredible time in your pregnancy, and honoring what your body is capable of creating. It’s about the wonderful connection you have with your baby, but also about your strength and grace as a woman and all that we are capable of. Ultimately, it is up to you as to how you want to be photographed during this time. If you’re ready to make some magical portraits with me, click below to check for availability! I promise you will leave loving the way you feel and look in your images.

Why should I book a maternity session?

There are many reasons you should book a maternity session, not only for yourself, but for your partner, and children as well. You can read more about that at the first article below.


Sofia Ribeiro is a New Jersey Maternity and Newborn Photographer serving the North and Central NJ areas, as well as NYC and Staten Island.

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