Tips for the Perfect pregnancy photoshoot

Many expecting mothers have a photoshoot with a professional photographer, to record their pregnancy and to keep the happy memories of this time forever. Each mom is the hero of her own motherhood story, so she needs to celebrate this journey and document it. What is the importance of the pregnancy photoshoot? What are the tips of professional photographers for a successful sessions and beautiful photos? Read on to find out

Nisreen Shawwa
Published on:Mar 12th 2022 |Updated on:May 10th 2024
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The importance of a pregnancy photoshoot

- The nine months of pregnancy are a temporary moment in a woman’s life, it is an experience that will happen only a few times. Therefore, it is imperative to preserve these rare moments in pictures.

- Pregnancy is also a transition period, especially if this is the first child. Before this lovely transition, it was just the couple, but after pregnancy, they will become a family, which is a completely different level in their lives together. The life of a couple will change forever, which makes this event worthy of a photoshoot.

- This is a beautiful memory that will last forever, when documented through beautiful photos, the mother would have a positive memory of her pregnancy that will make her forget all the annoying pregnancy symptoms and the pains she had to endure.

 Types of photo sessions during pregnancy and the best time for each one

 - Pregnancy announcement

This is where the couple announces to friends and family that they are expecting a baby. They do this through pictures taken by a professional photographer, that they share with their loved ones. This photoshoot is usually done during the second month of pregnancy.

 - Gender reveal

This is one of the most exciting events during a pregnancy it is usually held during the 4th month. Usually, the doctor hides the gender of the baby from the couple upon their request so that their surprise and excitement appear genuine in pictures. The photographer contacts the doctor to find out the gender of the baby and arranges for the reveal that will be done in the photoshoot. The reveal can be done using balloons, colored smoke, or other ideas used in such sessions.

- Maternity photoshoot

This session is usually done between the 25th and the 35th week of pregnancy, because during the second and third trimester pregnant women are more comfortable, as they suffer less of the annoying pregnancy symptoms. In addition, the excitement of the expecting mother is at an all-time high which makes the pictures joyful and full of excitement. I must say that the timing of the session can be different, from one family to another. Sometimes, for example, if the couple is traveling in the final months, the photo shoot can be held before the 25th week. Also, with expecting mothers carrying multiples because their belly will show sooner, we can do the photo shoot before that. The maternity photo session can be also done after the 35th week if the mother feels comfortable with it.

Getting ready for the maternity photoshoot

 1- Choosing the photographer

It is very important that the expecting mom is comfortable with her photographer. I advise mothers to search very well for the best fit for themselves and their families. She needs to look at the photographer's previous work, and the way, they edit their pictures so that she would make an informed decision.

2- Budgeting

Setting a budget is essential for getting any service or merchandise. There are different price ranges for photo sessions depending on the photographer and the details of each photoshoot.

3- Examining the details

The best tip I can give to a mother getting ready to have her maternity photoshoot is to investigate the tiniest details related to her photo session. Details like the clothes she and her family will be wearing, she should inquire if this photographer provides a closet meaning if they provide the clothes they will be wearing during the session, or if she will have to order new clothes, she needs to examine the location of the session, the timing, and the type of photos she wants to have so that this experience would be quick and well-organized. Usually, the photographer provides certain choices and suggestions, I sometimes ask my clients for pictures of themselves and their families to advise them on the best colors and settings for them.

Who should be in the photos?

Anyone the mother wants to be there should be there as part of documenting her precious memories. The husband of course is an essential person in these pictures, the children if this is not the first pregnancy, and the family pet which is, of course, considered part of the family can be in the pictures as well.

Tips for a successful maternity photoshoot

 1- Come to the photoshoot happy and positive

Stress, exhaustion, sadness, and other negative emotions are easily visible in pictures. Bad mood or exhaustion are reasons I had photoshoots rescheduled before. It is imperative that the mom looks happy, comfortable, and positive in these pictures so that they come out in the best way possible.

2- Picking the right clothes

The expecting mom should choose comfortable clothing for her maternity photo session, as this shoot lasts a long time. She must stay comfortable with what she’s wearing. She should be also comfortable with her hairdo, her shoes, and the way she looks in general. As a photographer, I usually give tips to my clients I can give suggestions as well but in the end, the mother should choose what makes her more comfortable.

3- Discussing the details

The discussion of details with your photographer is an essential element for the success of this experience, to make sure that your pictures are exactly the way you are imagining them. These details include; the clothing, their color, location, and timing of the shoot, in addition to the theme, the accessories, the décor involved and the general vibe the mother wants from this session.

4- The presence of the unborn baby

One of the precious additions to maternity photoshoots is the use of props related to the unborn baby. Such as the use of his clothes shoes and the ultrasound printout.

 The duration of the pregnancy photoshoot

The duration of such sessions varies depending on how many family members are involved, the more people participating in the session the longer the session will be. Generally, a maternity photo session lasts between one and two hours.

 Best locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for a pregnancy photoshoot

1- A place that has memories

I always advise families to have their photos taken in places where they have special memories such as the place where the couple met for the first time, whether it's a café, a restaurant, a public, or a private place. Or a location where the family spends beautiful times together such as a park or a beach.

 2- A place where monuments can be seen

In Dubai, the best spots for a maternity photoshoot are the spots where major monuments are visible such as Burj Al Arab or Burj Khalifa. In Abu Dhabi, the best places for family pictures are the ones that have the Sheikh Zayed Mosque or Emirates palace, or any beautiful architectural monument in the background.

3- The family home

These pictures are known as lifestyle photos where pictures of the expecting mother with her family are taken at home, in their living room, in the backyard, and in the baby nursery that has been furnished and prepared. These pictures are beautiful, simple, and natural. I always take these pictures while family members are talking, playing, and going on with their lives I do my best to choose the best and most beautiful shots. In these photos, families don't pose for the camera they just appear natural.

4- Al Bastakiya in Dubai

This gorgeous location has beautiful subtle colors and very pretty architecture which makes it the perfect setting for a maternity and a family photo session.

5- The skylines

Dubai and Abu Dhabi both have exquisite skylines, this beautiful setting is the perfect background for any photoshoot.

 6- Palm trees farms

 7- The desert

 8- Beaches

 9- A private studio

A studio is a perfect place if the pregnant woman wants to have intimate pictures taken of her pregnant body where her belly is visible. These pictures are known as editorial photos, these pictures are private and usually, mothers share them with only family members. This type of picture is very beautiful and very intimate where the mother celebrates her pregnant body in a special way. Such photo sessions are private, they are done behind closed doors where only family members and the photographers are present.

Finally, I want to advise all pregnant moms to have at least one photoshoot during their pregnancy to celebrate this experience and to make this memory eternal through pictures. I didn’t have a photo session when I was pregnant with any of my boys, and I regret that deeply because as time passes and as my children grow up, I started to forget these special moments and I wish I had distinct beautiful pictures that would remind me of this special time that would help me document this miracle so that I can share it with my children as well.

Check out Top tips for a Perfect newborn photoshoot


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Nisreen ShawwaPhotographer

Mother of three and a professional photographer. She holds an undergraduate degree in interior design and an MBA. She is a co-founder of Darna Magazine, and the owner of the Monsters call me mama blog, where she used her natural sense of humor to document the daily struggles of motherhood in a funny and heartfelt manner. Nisreen worked as an interior designer and participated in several mom’s shows. She became a professional photographer to capture feelings and memories, through her candid lens she helps families celebrate their memories and to make their happy occasions and love eternal through photos.

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