Maternity Session Details

Maternity Photography FAQ's

Pregnancy is a special time of your life and for many women, (although you may not feel like it) you are at your most natural, feminine and beautiful self. During your pregnancy, your hair is rich and thicker, your breasts are fuller, your skin is glowing and your body has more curves. For many expecting mothers, there’s no better way to remember their pregnancy and chronicle their journey to motherhood than a professional maternity photo shoot.

The most important element of looking beautiful in your photos is the photographer. Find a professional photographer with strong technical skills and experience in pregnancy photography and holds a specialization in it. A professional maternity photographer will know how to light, pose and photograph you in angles that flatter your face and body.

How To Choose Your Maternity Photographer


  • Choose a photographer whose style most resonates with you. There are so many styles out there—do you like in-the-home lifestyle maternity? Studio maternity? Soft palette, light and airy? Modern fashionista with vibrant colors? Boho chic? Belly boudoir? By choosing your photographer by style, you can be assured that you will get images with the style that you want.


  • Explore their portfolio as well as recent sessions. Are the mamas posed and photographed beautifully? Are there flattering poses or good angles in their work? Are there a variety of mamas with different body types and do they look great? Are the images sharp, properly exposed with good lighting and framed well?
  • Also look for consistency in their work. One way to differentiate an amateur from a professional is the consistency of their work. An amateur photographer’s portfolio may show nice images, but those images are a compilation of one or two accidentally good images from many sessions. The professional will show quality images consistently in both their portfolio AND recent work on their blog. If you hire an amateur to shoot your session, you accept the risk that there may only be one or two good images from your session vs. the 15-20 great images that a professional will provide in your gallery. When you hire with quality in mind, you buy the assurance and the peace of mind that your special moment is captured perfectly before it is lost in time.


  • Although years of experience may not necessarily equate to quality, very often the photographer with years of experience has had the time to iron out amateur mistakes.


  • While price is an important factor, it should not be the most important one. Like any quality products or services out there, good photography is expensive. Why? Because it is not easy to create quality images. Bad photography is even more expensive. If you don’t like your photos, you have wasted your time and money. If there is a chance to do the maternity shoot again, you end up spending more money for a better photographer. It’s often less expensive to get it right the first time.

Best Time To Shoot

For expecting mamas with singletons, a good time to do your maternity photos when you are 32 – 36 weeks along. Your belly is full but you are still comfortable to pose. For expecting mamas with twins (or more), come in earlier around 26 – 32 weeks as twins tend to arrive much earlier than singletons.

Professional Hair and Makeup

I highly recommend professional makeup and hair. Not only will this make your photographer’s work easier, you will feel beautiful and confident at your session. However if it’s not in the budget, your going-out-on-a-hot-date makeup and hair is fine too.


Trust your photographer to direct you in posing so you can look your best. What makes maternity photos different from other portraits is that the images focus on you, your personality and feelings and the bond you have with your much-awaited baby.

Many maternity poses such as hands on the belly and eyes looking down express emotions and connection to your belly. Other maternity poses empathize the beautiful curves of your body.

What to Wear

Wear whatever you feel comfortable and pretty in. I provide this list to my clients:

  • Neutral strapless bra and underwear set
  • Black lacy underwear (for those black background belly shots)
  • White/ivory lacy underwear (for those white background belly shots)
  • Color pretty underwear to match your maternity dresses
  • Regular jeans (not maternity ones) and camisole top
  • Buttoned shirt or blouse
  • Long, flowy or form-fitting dress, solid in color (e.g. tube dress or a summer maxi dress)
  • Simple white top or t-shirt (for significant other/husband)
  • Plain black t-shirt (for significant other/husband)
  • Coordinating outfits (for significant other/husband and/or children)
  • Any favorite accessories, jewelries, etc.
  • Any sentimental items (e.g. framed baby ultrasound image)

If your photographer specializes in maternity, they will likely have maternity dresses, wraps and accessories in their studio available to use. This is advantageous so you don’t have to go and buy maternity dresses—one dress can run you anywhere from $100 – $300! Another thing to consider when buying maternity dresses is that you may not fit into them by the time of your shoot.

A great maternity photography session will not just produce stunning and gorgeous images, but also make you feel confident and beautiful.

Debbie Marseilles of Marseilles Photography is a premier maternity photographer based out of Atascadero, CA and serves San Luis Obispo and the surrounding areas, including Paso Robles, Templeton, Los Osos, Cambria, Cayucos, Morro Bay, Shell Beach, and Arroyo Grande.

Marseilles Photography takes pride in capturing your beauty during your pregnancy and customizes each session with care, creativity, and professionalism.

Portions of FAQ's courtesy of Eden Bao Photography