Your ‘You and Your Bump’ session

Planning for your maternity session

Congratulations! If you're reading this, it's very likely you are pregnant which is fantastic news. Pregnancy is a wonderful time and professional photographs are a great way to record it forever. At Diamond Photography we love doing maternity photography sessions with our clients. We call these sessions ‘You and Your Bump’ because that's truly what they are about. A photo shoot is a great way to capture the shape of your pregnant body in some elegant photographs.

Once you've decided that you would like to go ahead with a ‘You and Your Bump’ session simply contact us to make a booking. We recommend timing your session between the 32 and 37 week mark of your pregnancy. The further along you are, the bigger your bump! We don't recommend leaving it later than 37 weeks in case your little one decides to arrive early. It's also likely you'll be a little less comfortable near full term. Due to our availability we recommend that you plan and book your photography session with us as early as possible to avoid disappointment. A good time to do this is around your mid-pregnancy scan between 18-21 weeks. Getting booked in early means you can relax and look forward to your session with us.

Payment, contracts and paperwork

This is the boring business side of the job and we try to make it as quick and simple as we can. When you book your session we will require a deposit to secure the date for you. This can be paid via bank transfer, cash or cheque. We prefer the bank transfer as it's quickest for everyone. The final balance of your session must be paid in cash on the day, or you can use a bank transfer a few days prior.

At the time of taking the deposit we will also send you copies of your contract and model releases. These should be reviewed carefully as with any paperwork. We're happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. If you can send a photograph or scanned copy through before your session that is perfect. Don't forget to bring you original with you to the session as well. We'll also have backup copies ready on the day for you to sign but it's best you've reviewed these prior to arriving to avoid any delays.

Inspiration and your preferences

It's important to think about what poses you are comfortable with and what style of photographs you want. Are you comfortable posing with your bump out or without some of your clothing? Are you looking for more intimate or more conservative poses? Are you looking for high key (bright and white background) images or low key (moody and black background) images? Are you looking for colour or black and white images? More natural or more artistic? Have you seen any photographs you are particularly hoping to replicate?

Don't worry if all of these questions seem a bit daunting. It's very likely that having pregnancy photographs taken is a new experience for you. Luckily we are very experienced and are on hand to answer your questions and to discuss the options. These are all personal preferences and expectations; everyone is different. Having an idea of the answers will help to plan and prepare for your session and for us all to have an idea of what we'll be doing on the day, but we are adaptable and nothing is set in stone.

We recommend that you take a look at some photographs online (A google images search is a great place to start) so that you can decide what you like. Once you have some favourites picked out, let us know before your session date so that we can try something similar on the day.

On the day

Before you arrive

A couple of hours before your 'You and Your Bump' session, please try to remove any clothing that causes lines or indentations on the body, especially your bump. This includes anything elastic or stretchy such as: maternity trousers with a panel, elastic waist trousers, tight tops or socks. If you’re doing semi-nude/implied nude photos, bras and underwear will create noticeable lines on your skin, so wear loose-fitting clothing to the shoot. You can add undergarments as necessary for photos later in the shoot. Also remove any tight jewellery and watches. Try to wear a loose-fitting top to the actual session.

To look at your best, you should try to be well rested and relaxed. Our ‘You and Your Bump’ portrait session is all about having fun and we aim to make them a very enjoyable experience. To feel at your best, consider pampering yourself with a visit to a hair and makeup salon (and perhaps even a spa) before your session.

Hair and makeup

Make-up should be light and natural looking. A light foundation and blush to even out skin tones is perfect for this type of session. Avoid applying too much eyeliner or eye shadow as this can look very dark in photographs. If you want us to recommend a professional to do your make-up, we would be happy to do so. We will also do a natural looking retouch of your skin in your final photographs but the best results come from having a good makeup base.

During pregnancy it's quite normal for many women develop redness and dry skin. To keep you comfortable and add to your radiance, consider applying a quality and absorbent skin lotion approximately one to two hours before your maternity portrait session. Avoid any oily lotions as they will first make your skin sticky and also cause glare from the lights in the studio.

Hair should be fixed so you are comfortable with it. Some mothers-to-be prefer to go to a stylist before the shoot; others prefer to fix their hair on their own. The exact style is up to you but it's useful if you can be prepared to pull your hair up out of your face for some of the poses.

In addition you may want to consider getting a manicure or a light polish for a more finished look in any close-ups of your hands around your belly.

What to bring

  • Several outfits that you feel comfortable in (see clothing advice below).
  • Baby booties, toys, stuffed animals or anything special you have already purchased or been gifted for the baby that will add a personal touch to your photos.
  • A recent scan picture.
  • Makeup and a hairbrush for touch ups during the session.
  • Don't forget your partner! Your partner can also be included for part of the shoot so you can have images that celebrate your relationship and this unique moment in both of your lives.

Clothing

Bring clothing that really shows off that baby bump! The choice really is yours but we have a few suggestions to make your session varied. Bring several outfits to your session, or items that can be layered, and mixed and matched in your photos, so they are not all the same. Another idea is to bring wraps, scarfs or fabric to wrap around your body for more artistic look. We also recommend to consider being bare footed for a more relaxed and natural feel and look. 

Your partner, if you plan to bring him along, can wear dark trousers / jeans and a solid dark or white shirt, long or short sleeved is fine. He may also want to be prepared to have his shirt off in some shots if you're going for the semi-nude style during your session.

Depending on your personal preferences and how modest you want to be in front of the camera, there are three levels of clothing we recommend:

Fully clothed

It's nice to bring a dress to start in that flows over your bump and hugs the shape of your body as much as possible. Other form fitting clothes such as vest tops and leggings work well to show off your baby curves. Try to look for something clingy but not too tight and uncomfortable. Try to choose solid colours without too many strong patterns which may distract in the final photographs. It is best to wear nude coloured underwear if at all possible. Avoid busy prints on undergarments to avoid them showing through fabrics or clothing.

Bump out

It's a very popular option to bring out your bump for some of the photographs. We can achieve this in a variety of ways depending on your comfort level. The simplest option is to wear a top (such as a vest top) that you can pull up to expose your bump. Try to pick something quite light and thin so it doesn't bunch too much above your bump. Also consider a big button down man's white shirt (perhaps one of your husband's) that can be unbuttoned to show off that growing bump while keeping your modesty intact. However, any top that opens down the front will work. Going a step further you can wear just a bra as well. We can even use some light fabrics to show your wonderful shape but keep you partially covered. Remember if you plan on showing your bump, please do not wear any tight clothing over it for several hours before the session to avoid a red mark on the skin from the elastic.

Naturally nude

You may decide that you would like some more intimate shots either partially or completely unclothed which some associate with the maternity pictures of Demi Moore published in Vanity Fair magazine. This is the most revealing but also very natural and artistic look. Placing the arms across the breasts can be very elegant and fabric can be used around the waist to conceal the bottom part of your body. Alternatively, you may choose to wear some suitable knickers if you want to show off your legs as well. We will artistically light you for these more revealing shots. We can use the lighting to control how much of you is on show in the final images.

You can send us photographs and descriptions in advance so we can advise further and plan for what you plan to wear. We are always available to offer guidance.

Accessories and jewellery

Having accessories that you feel might be fun to try is always a good idea. However, try to keep the jewellery to a minimum as these items tend to be distracting when viewing the photographs later. Subtle jewellery can add interest to the photographs but you don't want it to become the focal point instead of you and your bump. If you are in doubt, just bring them along. The worst thing that could happen is we decide not to use them.

Your session

When you arrive we allow about 10 minutes to run through the paperwork, finalise your payment and discuss again your goals for the session. We will review with you the outfits you have brought along and together decide on what will work best.

The session can then begin and will normally last between 1 hour and 1 hour 30 minutes, allowing for some changes of clothing and backgrounds.

Unless you've specified otherwise we usually start with a simple white background for some high key shots. We will take some individual shots of you and bump, then incorporate your partner as well. In a standard session at about half way through we'll take a short break to change the background and lighting for the darker style photographs.

We aim to make our sessions relaxed and fun. It's very common that people are self-conscious or nervous about having their photograph taken (we don't particularly like being on the other side of the camera either!). It's our job to make you look fantastic and we'll help you throughout the session with some posing guidance to best show off your body and bump.

After your session

Relax; your work is done and the rest is in the hands of the experts! We handle the backup, review and processing of all of your final photographs. We take great pride in our work and look to ensure every photograph we present for your viewing is of fantastic quality. We do initial editing on those images ready for you to preview.

Within a week (usually a few days) after your session we aim to provide a sneak peek from your session on our Facebook page. This is a chance to view and share one of the photographs from your session.

Within three to four weeks we aim to provide you access to our online viewing gallery where you can proof and select any photographs that you would like to order from us. We need to take full payment for any products up front which can be in cash or direct bank transfer.

Any photographs you select will go through a further final edit and retouch to prepare them for the product(s) you have chosen. We are committed to providing excellent photographs and we understand that everyone would like to look amazing in their portraits. Therefore we perform considered and subtle retouching of all final images for our clients to ensure we provide outstanding results every time. We don't use automated processing, each image is individually and personally retouched by us. We will gently retouch skin imperfections and blemishes, whilst avoiding an over processed look that is unnatural and unflattering.

We love to hear feedback from all clients. If you want to share this feedback publicly we'd love a review on our Facebook page and on Google+ to help others learn about the quality of our services.