Today we welcome Sara McConnell to the blog! Sara is one of Ottawa’s most popular family, maternity and newborn photographers and has been turning her client’s ordinary moments into extraordinary memories for 5 years. Sessions are available in her professional photography studio or on location and digital images are included with all session packages.
Thinking about getting maternity photos? Here are five of the most common questions I get about them!
1) Why should I get Maternity Photos?
Before booking a maternity photo session, couples sometimes go back and forth deciding whether or not they want to get them. It has been my experience that no one regrets getting them, but many regret not having them. Pregnancy is a time of excitement and anticipation but there’s oftentimes a sense of ‘I just want this to be over’.
When you’re pregnant, nine months feels like nine years but, and I speak from experience, it really will feel like the blink of an eye when you’re holding your little one in your arms.
My boys love seeing photos of me when I was pregnant with them and, now that we are finished having babies, I’m so grateful I have those memories of when I was pregnant.
On the flip side of the coin, I have a lot of clients who feel beautiful when they’re pregnant and want to capture their shape and changing body. Because of the privacy of my studio many of my clients choose to do nude and semi nude photos to celebrate their bodies and sometimes as gifts to their partners.
2) When should I schedule my session?
I recommend that people contact their photographer when they are in their second trimester so they can book their session for between 30 and 35 weeks. My sessions book 6-8 weeks in advance so that ensures we have plenty of time to schedule our session together.
The reason I suggest having photos done during that time frame is that most moms are still comfortable moving around and aren’t yet experiencing a lot of swelling.
For clients who have concerns about an early delivery, I have photographed sessions as early as 28 weeks, especially for expectant moms carrying multiples. There is nothing to say that your photos can’t be taken as late last 38 or 39 weeks, however you may end up missing your session if your little one arrives early.
3) How should I display my photos?
Some clients are reluctant to have photos taken because they aren’t sure how to display them once the session is over. Many of my clients choose to display their more artistic photos (partially nude images or silhouettes) in their master bedroom while others display the couple and family photos from their maternity session on the main floor of their home with their other family photos.
Oftentimes, clients incorporate the images into their baby’s memory book or include a special framed photo in the nursery. Some of my clients choose to bring a special momento to their maternity session (e.g., a scarf, stuffed toy, baby shoes) and we incorporate the item into their photos and then they can be displayed together in the nursery as well as included in the newborn session.
4) How will I feel about being in front of the camera?
Pregnancy is a time of great joy, but a lot of women also struggle with how they feel about how they look when they’re pregnant. It can be hard to imagine enjoying a photography session when you are tired, nauseous, or feeling self conscious about your weight or stretch marks.
It’s really important when you’re choosing your maternity photographer to find an experienced professional who will be able not only to create beautiful memories of this fleeting period of your life, but also help you feel confident and beautiful in front of the camera.
There is something especially captivating about a pregnant woman’s shape and the glow, anticipation, and wonderment that come with pregnancy. I love taking the time to inspire confidence in my expectant mamas and taking their breath away when they see how beautiful they really are.
5) What should I wear?
Near the end of your pregnancy it can be challenging to find well fitting clothes or clothes that you feel beautiful wearing. If you don’t have an extensive maternity wardrobe, ask girlfriends if you can borrow an outfit or dress for your session or consider buying a special top or accessories to accent the outfits you already have. If your session will take place in a studio consider wearing out of season clothing (tank tops, long dresses) to take advantage of having different ‘looks’ for your photos as well as feeling comfortable with what you’re wearing.
As a professional maternity photographer, I also provide my clients with access to a wardrobe of 10 different gowns and tutus that they can use during their session. One of the most important aspects of your session, which you don’t always see, is your underwear and bra. Make sure they are comfortable and well-fitting and if you plan to have any figure shots taken, that they match.
Pregnancy is an incredible experience and one worthy taking the time to document with photographs. Your photography session can be whatever you want it to be: short and sweet for just a few precious photos or long and styled to capture memories of you in beautiful outfits or of your pregnant shape. If you have questions about maternity photography, doubts about whether you want to have photos taken, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
Thanks for the great tips, Sara!