This is a guest post from PhotographyTalk.
As the saying goes, timing is everything. That’s true of many things in life, and in particular, in photography.
The difference of a few seconds can mean getting the shot you want and missing all the action. The same is true of maternity photography as well.
That’s because the timing of your maternity photo shoot is critical. If you schedule your photo shoot too early, your baby bump will not be as visible and won’t take as prominent of a role in the photos.
Alternatively, if you schedule your maternity shoot too late, you might be dealing with swelling, aches and pains, and generally feel like you’re not up to a long photo shoot.
So, that begs the question, when is the best time to take maternity photos?
Aim for the 7-8 Month Mark
For most women, the ideal timeframe for maternity photos is around 7-8 months.
In the third trimester, your belly will be just the right size. At that point, it will be big and beautiful, but not so big that it’s difficult for you to move around, change positions, and pose for the camera.
Don’t get me wrong – at 7-8 months, you probably won’t be able to jump out of a chair and make quick wardrobe changes. However, it’ll be easier at that point than it will at nine months!
There’s another reason why 7-8 months is the ideal time for maternity photography…
At this point in your pregnancy, your baby will not yet have started to move downward. That means you’ll have a high belly that looks much better in a portrait than after the baby has started to move its way lower in your body.
In other words, you will feel better and look better at the 7-8 month mark than you will later in your pregnancy. You’ll also be more mobile. Each of those factors will only help your maternity photographer take better photos of you and your beautiful baby bump.
Of course, every woman is different. Some women can wait a few more weeks - perhaps even into the ninth month of pregnancy - before getting their maternity photos. Others might be showing well at six months and have their photos taken at that point.
The key is to stay attuned to your body and how it’s changing, and time your maternity shoot accordingly.
Just don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your photo shoot! Plan ahead with your photographer and get on their calendar well in advance.
One thing that will help you get a better idea of when the timing is right is to take some photos of your own.
Have your partner, a friend or another loved one grab their camera and take a few informal shots of you so you can see how your baby bump looks. It’s an easy way to track your progress so you can get professional shots done at just the right time.
Don’t Wait Too Long, Though
As noted above, every expecting mother is a little different, and some might be ready for their photo shoot early or wait past the prime window and get their photos taken in the 9th month.
It’s important to err on the side of caution, though. If anything, get your maternity photos taken too early rather than too late.
Earlier in your pregnancy, you’ll have fewer signs of exhaustion, a lesser likelihood of retaining water and having stretch marks, and a greater ability to get up and down, move around, and work with the photographer for various looks in your portraits.
Of course, the longer you’re pregnant, the more bloated and swollen you’ll be, so that should be motivation for getting your photos done early, too!
With that in mind, just know that the longer you wait, the more likely it will be that you will miss that ideal window in which your belly looks magnificent and you still feel pretty good. If at six months you feel like you’re getting close, get your photo shoot scheduled and take advantage of the good timing.
Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful processes in life, and capturing its beauty is heavily dependent upon the right timing.
Timing your maternity photo shoot will ensure that you look and feel your best and that you have a set of images that serve as the introduction to the story of your coming baby.
Newborn photography might get a little more fanfare, but maternity photography is just as important in documenting your journey and how your family changes over time.
PhotographyTalk was founded in 2009, and has been featured in Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, and many more. The site is aimed at educating people about photography and inspiring their work. Visit PhotographyTalk to learn more about all things photography.