One of the most exciting parts of expecting a baby is documenting your pregnancy journey with beautiful maternity photos. But when’s the best time to schedule a maternity photoshoot during the 40 weeks of pregnancy? Here’s a helpful guide on the optimal timing throughout your trimesters and after birth.
The Ultimate Guide to Picking the Best Time for Your Maternity Photoshoot
First Trimester (Weeks 1-12)
The first 12 weeks are full of rapid changes as your body adjusts to pregnancy. During this early stage, moms-to-be may deal with morning sickness and fatigue. Many women don’t start showing until the end of the first trimester.
While some opt to take photos in the first few months, most wait until later trimesters when the baby bump is more visible. If you’re feeling energetic and want to capture the beginning of your journey, go for it! Just be prepared to pop out your belly and pose creatively.
Second Trimester (Weeks 13-27)
This is the most popular time for maternity sessions! In the second trimester, morning sickness usually subsides, energy returns, and your bump pops nicely. Most women start showing between weeks 16-20.
Around week 24, the belly size noticeably changes each week. Shooting in the early to mid-second trimester allows you to document the ongoing belly growth. Photos from this period have a beautiful balance of highlights like your glowing skin, luscious locks, and prominent bumps.
Third Trimester (Weeks 28-40)
While challenging physically, the third trimester offers gorgeous full belly shots. Consider multiple photo shoots throughout the weeks to capture your baby’s final growth spurt.
Early Third Trimester (Weeks 28-33)
During these weeks, you may feel big and tired. But take advantage of the bump not yet being unwieldy for easy posing. Capture elegant shots of your large yet still mobile belly.
Mid-Third Trimester (Weeks 34-36)
Around weeks 34-36, your belly size can change significantly from week to week. Schedule more frequent photo sessions to document the rapid growth. Pose and profile your bump from all angles.
Late Third Trimester (Weeks 37-40)
In the final stretch, show off your gorgeous full-term belly before the baby arrives. Posing may require more effort, but the stunning shots are worth it. Capture the magic of your final days as a mom-to-be.
After Giving Birth
Within the First Week
Bringing a newborn home is a magical time. Take photos in the first days to remember the joy and exhaustion of early motherhood. Cradle your baby bump one last time.
Newborn Photoshoot (Weeks 1-4)
Once you’ve settled in at home, schedule a newborn session to photograph your baby. Many moms love shots of them with their bump next to their newborn.
Tips for Planning Your Maternity Photoshoot
Book Your Photographer Early
Give yourself time to find a photographer with an editing style you love. Schedule sessions for each trimester as soon as you secure your photographer.
Consider Your Changing Body
Discuss outfit ideas that will be flattering as your body changes. Bring a few options to each shoot.
Pick Flattering Outfits
Opt for stretchy fabrics that hug your bump. Low-cut tops, push-up bras and flowing dresses are great choices.
Consider spots with meaning, like your home, nursery, wedding venue, where you got engaged, etc. Nature settings are also beautiful backdrops.
Schedule Multiple Sessions
Your body will change a lot throughout 40 weeks. Space out photo shoots every 4-6 weeks to capture the entire journey.
What is the best stage of pregnancy for photos?
The second and third trimesters are the most popular for maternity photos since your bump will be well-defined. Schedule sessions every 4-6 weeks during the second half of pregnancy to document your changing shape.
When do most women have maternity photos taken?
Most women have maternity sessions in the second and third trimesters, between weeks 18-40. The early third trimester is a beautiful stage.
Should I do maternity photos if I’m not showing much?
Absolutely! In early pregnancy, get creative with poses, profiles and props to highlight your bump, even if it’s small. Documenting the start of your journey is still meaningful.
How often should I do maternity photo shoots?
Every 4-6 weeks allows you to capture your rapidly changing body. At a minimum, aim for a session in each trimester.
How long does a maternity photo shoot take?
Plan for your session to last 1-2 hours to allow time for outfit changes, various poses and location transitions. Some photographers offer mini-sessions if you prefer a shorter 30-60 minute shoot.