Maternity Session Guidelines

 

Thank you so much for inquiring about a maternity photo session and congratulations on your exciting news! Over the past few years working as a photographer I receive a lot of questions about maternity sessions like: “My kids are camera shy!”, “ I look horrible in photos!” and the classic: “My husband hates getting his photo taken!”. Don’t fret. During your photo session you are encouraged to have fun and be yourself. I have lots of techniques to get kids to smile and dad’s to have fun. Plus I know all the angles and lighting techniques to make you look great.

And to help with everything else, I have put together a list of some of the most frequently asked questions that will be a huge help on how to prepare and what to expect from your photoshoot! And if for some reason you still have questions please don’t hesitate to ask them by sending me a message on my contact form here or sending me an email on info@carolsouzaphotography.com . Thank you!

 

 

Q: When should a maternity session be scheduled?

A: Ideally you should contact me as soon as your pregnant, which if you’re reading this you probably already are! In rare cases I have last minute openings, but the sooner you contact me the better.The best time to schedule your pregnancy session is around 28-34 weeks, when the tummy is nice and round. This will vary with each women – and some women who carry small, or gain little weight may choose to wait until they are 36-38 weeks.You want to come when you feel good, have a nice belly but before the downward venture begins! Other women who are growing a bit more rapidly, may choose to come around 28-32 weeks. The idea is to come when you are nice and comfortable and have a nice round belly. It is best to schedule at least 1-2 weeks in advance.

 

 

Q: How long does a maternity session last?

A: I offer a variety of packages and I am certain that you will find one that best suit your needs. You can find more information on my packages here If you just want a quick 30 minutes session you can choose our mini sessions that are usually taken in studio or at the Carindale Reserve.

If you have other children or you are looking for a shoot on a location, I highly recommend my packages that are between 1 and 1 and half hours long.

 

 

Q: Where do maternity sessions happen?

A: Maternity sessions happen at an outdoor location of your choice and I can recommend some beautiful locations in Brisbane and at the Gold Coast.
I also offer maternity sessions at my studio if you prefer something more classic and low key.

Outdoor sessions can either happen at a park, at a beach or on the mountains, and we will need to brainstorm so that we can find the perfect location for you. Another great alternative could be a lifestyle session at your home.

Lifestyle sessions happen in the comfort of your own home and include little to no props, they are all about those precious moments waiting for your little one to arrive.

These two session types are very different in nature and have different image outcomes, so you’ll have to decide if you want an outdoor location away from your home or if you would prefer to cuddle on your couch, and have photos taken in your yard and the baby’s nursery.

 

 

Q: When is the best time of day for my session?

A: For outdoor sessions the time of day is so important to create gorgeous light in your photos. You want to avoid when the sun is high in the sky, which creates ugly shadows on the face. The best time of day is during the golden hour, which is in the evening, or early morning when the light is creamy and soft. This time varies during the season but can be as early as 7am and as late as 7pm. I understand that this can be difficult with young children, but I PROMISE that shaking up your routine for one day will be so, so worth it.
Prepare your kids. Bring lots of snacks/water. Bring toys for young ones.

If you choose to do a beach session I highly recommend a sunrise session as the beach will be completely empty and there is just something absolutely magic about those first hours of the day! It is hard waking up at 3 in the morning to drive all the way to the Gold Coast, but once we arrive there everything is worthwhile! And there is no travelling surcharge when you purchase the most complete packages, which makes everything even more appealing!

 

 

Q: Who do we bring with us?

A: Please bring along your husband/boyfriend/baby’s daddy, your other children, and if you wish (and your outdoor location allows it) you may bring along your dog as long as he is well behaved and doesn’t mind sitting under a tree for a little while.

Other members of the family are more then welcome to come however there will be a surcharge for extended family members.

 

 

Q: What should we wear?

A: You are not alone, this is the most commonly asked question! First of all – aim for comfortable. You don’t want to feel anything but awesome during your photoshoot. I always say COORDINATE, but don’t be matchy-matchy. Think complimenting colors. Please don’t dress everyone in white shirts and jeans unless this is really your style. Avoid large brand names scrawled across clothing. Think neutral with some pops of color. Think textures, fun, interesting, REAL.
Many clients send me images of their outfit choices and I provide my advice to ensure that your family looks their best.

Bring along 2-3 different outfits that you love and feel good in. Make sure you’ve ironed them, taken tags off and that they fit well.

Wear clothing that hugs your cute bump and isn’t too baggy. You want to show off that belly! If you’re interested in bare belly shots then a pretty bra with an unbuttoned shirt or lace top looks lovely.

I do offer some beautiful maternity gowns at no extra cost so please let me know if you would like me to bring some of them and what are your favorite colors. If you choose to wear the maternity gowns for some of the photos, please wear nude underpants and a nude strapless bra.

You can come as dressy or as casual as you like. Or a mix of both. Stay true to who you are as a family and have fun with it!

 

 

Q: What should we bring along with us?

A: Anything you want! But here are some suggestions… a pair of baby shoes, a baby toy/stuffed animal, something with baby’s name on it, a special baby outfit, hat or pair of socks. A clear ultrasound photo, a baby item that was yours when you were little, a pregnancy book you’re reading or children’s book you’ll read to baby. Or anything else you want captured with your baby bump.

Also don’t forget to bring a lot of water, some snacks for you and for your little ones and some wipes and insect repellent.

 

 

Q: How much will it cost to have the session done?

A: I do request a retainer of 50% in order to secure your date. The session fee includes my time and talent to capture your session, pre-session consultation to discuss ideas and questions, and travel to an on-site location.

The retainer fee is due at the time of booking and is non-refundable if the session is cancelled after 48 hours of the session date. If the session fee is not received within 7 days of booking your session then your due date will not remain on my calendar.

I am very flexible and In case of bad weather or sickness we will reschedule within a reasonable amount of time.

And keep in mind that by booking a newborn session with your maternity session, you will save more then $300! You can view more of my newborn photography packagages here.

 

 

Q: Do you offer photo products?

A: My goal is for you to display your memories in the form of art. I also value digital images for sharing, making more prints over time and especially for archival purposes. Digitals should be backed-up on hard drives, saved to remote servers (cloud drives) and saved for future generations. They should also be printed, displayed and shared with everyone! CDs and DVDs won’t last forever and hard drive often fail. Don’t let you digitals disappear never to be seen again.

 

 

Q: How long will it be before I can view my image gallery?

A: Your images will be ready for viewing about 2-3 weeks after your session and I will post 3 of my favorite photos on my Facebook page as a sneak peak of our session! 

 

Q: Some other important things to keep in mind:

• Please allow about an hour or more for your maternity photo session. Please do not schedule any other appointments or activities for right after your photo shoot, so that you can relax and enjoy your photo session, and not feel rushed.
• You may want to have a light snack before the photo session.
• Don’t wear anything with elastic on your belly for a few hours before your session. The elastic can leave unflattering markings on your belly. Watches and some other jewelry can have this same effect. Don’t forget about your feet—tight socks can leave marks too!
• Put a moisturizing lotion on your belly right before you come to your photo shoot, and on any other dry skin that you might have. Use a regular lotion, with no shimmer, glitter, or sparkle to it.
• Since your hands and feet will most likely be showing in the photos, please have nicely manicured nails—whatever suits your personal style. A french manicure or clear nail polish photographs MUCH better than colored polish, especially in black and white portraits.
• If you can still wear your wedding ring, please bring it, and make sure it is clean and sparkly. You may also bring any jewelry that is special to you. You’ll want to keep your jewelry subtle, so that it is not too distracting.
• If you are planning a Baby Shower and planning on using your images as part of your Announcement you will need to have your session done at least 3 to 4 weeks before. If you don’t plan on using your images as part of your Baby Shower Announcement, we do require 4 weeks’ notice, however; we never turn anyone away! So if you waited until the last minute and you really need photos call us and we will only be too happy to check our availability for you.
• Also, if you have seen maternity images that you like, send them to me via email! It’s my goal to create images that suit your unique vision of your pregnancy, and I will do my best to give you what you want. By working together we can create beautiful images of you with a natural feel.

 

 

Thank you very much for reading this all the way through and I am really looking forward to our session!