Pregnancy is a beautiful and life-changing experience for soon-to-be mothers. From the physical changes in the body to the excitement of welcoming a new baby, it’s a time that deserves to be documented in all its glory. One of the best ways to do this is through a relaxed and intimate in-home maternity photography session. In-home sessions are especially great for documenting the intimate moments of new parents preparing for their new family member. Having a photographer come to your home allows for a more relaxed and personal atmosphere, which can result in more natural and meaningful photos.
Come take a look at a recent session with a dear friend of mine where I share tips and tricks for documenting the beauty of pregnancy. I’ll share insights on everything from outfit choices to communicating your needs during the session. My goal is to provide you with a simple roadmap that will help prepare and excite you for your in-home maternity session.
My dear friend Mara might just be one of the warmest, most encouraging, bright and loving humans I have ever met. She’s a talented acupuncturist based out of San Rafael (I’ll link her website here) who also made her own skin care line that you can purchase directly from her during an appointment. She is one of the first female friends I made after moving out to the Bay Area and I have watched her grow and evolve over the years. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to document her pregnancy for her!
We held her maternity session at her home in the North Bay. I met her mid-afternoon and we spent some time catching up, drinking hot tea and eating snacks before starting her session. This was my first time in her new home since she had moved so, as per usual, I was seeing the space for the first time.
I typically begin in-home maternity sessions by perusing the home with mama-to-be as she points out different locations within the home she was thinking of taking photos. I take notes on where the light is best and decide where to begin our session. We’ll take a look at outfit choices and then get started!
One common myth for having an in-home session is that your home needs to be big and beautiful for the images to come out looking nice. Many people would be surprised to see what magic can be made in small spaces! While the rooms should be tidy and well-lit, it does not need to be immaculately decorated for the photos to turn out nicely. All the images below from Mara’s in-home maternity session were taken in two small rooms within her home – the living room and bedroom. By using different poses and angles, we were able to get a lot of variety in her images.
I want to take a moment to note a few things I love about this session:
1) Mara’s outfits – they are simple and timeless. If my client is comfortable documenting photos in their undergarments, we will typically begin there. I recommend black or white undergarments as they provide great contrast against the skin. Notice how simply Mara added variety to her outfit choices by switching out tops. Later, she added jeans and a fitted brown dress. A chunky knit sweater was a great addition for even more variety at the very end.
2) Mara’s accessories – the gold necklaces. Long necklaces that end in a V shape are super flattering and do a great job at drawing the eye in but not being overpowering. They’re also a great accessory to add when wearing fewer garments as they provide some added interest to your images.
3) The textured backgrounds. Lucky me, Mara already owned a lot of blankets and rugs that were a neutral color and had texture. They made for an interesting yet not overpowering background and the touch of green from her home plants are the perfect addition!
4) The stool – At one point I asked Mara if she owned a stool. While they didn’t own a traditional wooden one that may come to mind first, her husband had a unique stool that we borrowed from his home office. This allowed us to take some fun seated images in the living room.
5) Flowers – I also noticed mara had some beautiful white lilies in her living room so I asked her if we could use a few of them in her images. She happily obliged and we got creative with adding in some flowers at the very end of her session.
When photographing in-home sessions, it’s important to find open areas of the home that have windows with natural light streaming through. Beautiful natural light can be found even on cloudy days or in softly-lit areas. Sometimes the soft light from a lightwell, air shaft, or that is provided on cloudy days make for really beautiful imagery. Your photographer will likely pose you near a window or in a well-lit room within your home to capture the beauty of natural light. As you’ll see below, Mara’s living room had an abundance of natural light that made for beautiful imagery. The windows in her bedroom were smaller and therefore the light was much softer, but it still made for beautiful images.
The last thing I want to note is that it’s very common for pregnant mamas to get tired during their maternity session, so taking breaks to rest or stretch can make a significant difference. After all, there will likely be a lot of standing up and sitting down at your session. While I do my best to take that into consideration, please don’t hesitate to tell your photographer if you need a break. The beauty of in-home sessions is that you can take a water, snack, or bathroom break at any time. Your comfort is our top priority! I may even snap a few pictures as you eat a snack or take a rest as these photos often include candid moments and genuine expressions that honestly showcase the beauty of your journey.
Documenting the beauty of pregnancy is a magical experience. Enjoy scrolling through some of my favorite images from Mara’s in-home maternity session. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments below! As always, please let me know if you have any questions. 🙂
You can book your in-home maternity session with me today by clicking here! I can’t wait to hear from you.
With love and gratitude,
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April 11, 2023