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The Ultimate Guide to your Maternity Photo Session

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Everything you need to know to have a stress free Maternity Photoshoot in San Francisco Bay Area

Sunset Maternity Photoshoot in Bay Area by Beautiful Stories Photography
Maternity Photoshoot in Bay Area

Congratulations on your pregnancy and welcome aboard to this overwhelming joy ride to parenthood! This is such a beautiful time in your life and if you are like me you have waited for a long time to get here. But you are here now! And soon you will be holding the baby of your dreams in your arms. Until then, let's document this amazing journey you are on and savor every moment!

If you are here, you are likely thinking about getting a Maternity Photoshoot. It is a process to find a photographer that will work for you, figuring out your outfits and location and the most important question… What is the best time to take Maternity photos?

Let me break it down for you into bite size pieces.

What is Maternity Photography?

Usually when people think about Maternity Photography, they think about these gorgeous women with cute baby bumps, wind swept hair and flowy dresses. While this picture is true to most Maternity Photo sessions, I like to remind mom-to-be’s that every pregnancy is different and do what feels the best to you!

Pregnancy Announcement

I like to always start with the option of doing a photoshoot for Pregnancy Announcements. When I was pregnant with my second one, we had waited and waited for 6 years for this little miracle of ours. So no matter the nausea, I wanted to document every step of it and especially document the announcement! This was a much low-key photoshoot that lasted for about 20 minutes(felt like an hour to my nauseated self).. But I will tell you this, to this day, that is one of my favorite pregnancy pictures.

So even if you are doing a little phone-photoshoot, do think about your announcement and how you want to document it.

Gender Reveal

Another sweet time to document your pregnancy. More and more people are getting creative when it comes to gender reveal. You definitely want to capture yours/everyone’s reaction when you do the gender reveal. Although, be ready to document some disappointments too.. Like my daughter was when she found out she was getting a baby brother and not a baby sister! 🙂

Photographing the bump

This is the photoshoot that you have been thinking about, isn’t it? Not much explaining needed here! You get your Maternity Photoshoot in your third trimester, around 32 to 36 weeks, when you are showing that cute baby bump. This is your time to feel like the beautiful mom-to-be that you are and enjoy some pampering and paparazzi! Although donot schedule the photoshoot to be after 36 weeks, I had a mom go into labor right after the photoshoot! I am so glad she was able to capture her gorgeous pregnancy, it was definitely a close call!

When Should I schedule the Maternity Photoshoot?

Like I said, you will most likely be getting your Maternity Photoshoot in your third trimester. And most photographers get booked months in advance. To make sure you get on the calendar of your favorite photographer, book at least in your second trimester, if not sooner.

That will give you enough buffer to get to know your photographer, plan your session, pick your outfit and still have energy to work on your plan!

What locations are best for Maternity Photo sessions?

No matter how beautiful a mom-to-be looks standing on a cliff, I highly recommend sticking to leveled ground when it comes to Maternity Photoshoot.

Of course if you are doing the Maternity Photoshoot early enough and are ready to go for a hike, by all means, go for it. Just make sure you have shoes to match your terrain.

For everyone else, parks, beautiful grasslands, flower fields, small hills or beaches work really well for the Maternity Photoshoots.

What time of the day is best for Maternity Photo sessions?

Ever heard of the term Golden Hour? Golden hour refers to the time period an hour(more like 40 minutes) before sunset or after sunrise. During this time the sun is lower in the sky and shines a beautiful golden light which makes the photographs “magical”.

Have you seen those gorgeous photographs where the sunlight just drenches everyone in the fame in the most beautiful golden hues… yes, that is shot in the Golden Hour.

Ask your photographer about Golden Hour and make sure that is when you schedule your photo session.

How long do Maternity Photoshoots last?

Typically Maternity Photoshoots last about an hour. This usually includes the meet and greet with the photographer and walking to your exact location for the photoshoot. An hour is a good enough time for the photographer to get you comfortable in front of the camera, get some really beautiful shots and let you go before you start getting tired.

When Mom-to-be’s are further along in their pregnancy, an hour might start to feel long. Talk to your photographer about any aches and pain you might be having. They will be able to adjust according to your needs.

How much does a maternity Photoshoot cost?

Long Answer: It depends!

Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. You might be able to find a photographer as cheap as $100 and as expensive as $5k. You will see an obvious difference in the product and the experience they provide to you. For most women, this is a once(at most twice) in a lifetime kind of opportunity, you would want to make the most of it and preserve your memories in the most meaningful ways.

Take your time, do your research and do not fall for “sales”. Most likely the photographer you choose now will be your Family Photographer for years to come, they will photograph your newborn child and take their graduation pictures so choose wisely.

Short Answer: You book your Maternity Photoshoot with me with a sitting fee of $300. The session fee includes all the post and pre consultation and the actual photoshoot. After the photoshoot preview, you get to choose from one of the collections. Check out my investment page for more info.

Can I include my older child in my Maternity Photo session?

Yes, yes, a million times YES! Older siblings are the cutest and are just as excited to meet their baby brother or sister as their parents!

And you know what's the best part? The sweetest way they kiss and hold their mumma’s belly! Now I don’t know if they fully understand the part that a baby lives in there, or what goes on in their little minds. But I can tell you this, their love shines through their eyes and hides in their smile. There is nothing more tender than a mom-to-be with her first born. So please bring them for your Maternity Photo session.

Can I include my parents in my Maternity Photo session?

Yes! Absolutely! I know how eagerly my parents awaited the arrival of their grandchild and I can only imagine how excited must be yours. Please bring them along. I do not charge extra for including parents in your Maternity Photo session.

Can I include my pet in my Maternity Photo session?

Pets are family! Aren’t they? For a lot of couples, their pets are like their babies and I totally respect and love that notion.

Pets in Maternity Photoshoots look absolutely adorable! Of course I need to make sure to pick a park or trail which is pet friendly, but other than that, pets are always welcome!

What should I wear for my Maternity Photoshoot?

That's a million dollar question right there! This is the one question that most mom-to-be’s have right after they book their Maternity Photoshoot.

Let me make this simple for you. You get to choose a gorgeous dress from my client's closet! Of course you can pick your own outfit too. A lot of moms-to-be have a special outfit that they want to wear for their photoshoots. If you want to pick your own, I wrote a guide that helps you decide on What to wear for your Maternity Photoshoot.

How do I prepare for the Maternity Photoshoot?

The best way to prepare for your Maternity Photoshoot is to talk to your photographer.

Do you have certain expectations?

Is there a particular picture/pose you are looking for?

Do you want to include your sonogram picture or the tiny little sweater you have been knitting? Does your pregnancy pose any limitations on the kind of places you can go to?

Nothing is worse than the unmet expectations. Book yourself a free phone consultation and talk your heart out. Tell all about your hopes and dreams and expectations and prepare for the photoshoot of your dreams!

What to do on the day of Maternity Photoshoot?

The most anticipated day is here! You have your favorite outfit, props, location and time figured out. All that planning is going to pay off now. Today, just try to relax, hydrate and catch up on some zzzz’s. Pregnancy brings with it a lot of sleepless nights and tiredness and you do not want to be too tired to enjoy your glamor day. So rest up. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and reach your venue a few minutes early. You do not want to feel rushed during the first few minutes of your most awaited Maternity Photoshoot.

What to do after the Maternity Photoshoot?

The hard and the most fun part for you is over! It's now my turn to dive headfirst into editing and create magic out of your gorgeous pictures. So just sit back and relax. And while you are awaiting the arrival of your beautiful pictures, it would mean the world to me if you could write me a review. Your review is what gives wind to my sail!

When do I get my pictures back?

Editing is where I get to take your pictures from Aww to OMG!

This is where I infuse my artistry with your emotions and create magic. I hand edited every single image and put my heart into the process.

It takes me about 2-3 weeks to get back all your pictures. I do share a sneak peek a few days after your photoshoot.

When your pictures are ready, I share those with you via a slideshow. At this time you get to purchase your collection and get your digital images and print credits.

Where can I print my Pictures?

It is so important for me that you walk away from our experience together, something tangible to hold on to.

Every collection comes with a print credit that you can use in my store to print your pictures and create family heirlooms.

What good are those memories getting dusty on the digital cloud? Life belongs in print! Isn’t it?

How do I book my Maternity Photoshoot?

So glad you asked! You can book your Maternity Photoshoot on my Booking Page with a sitting fee of $300. The session fee includes all the post and pre consultation and the actual photoshoot. After the photoshoot preview, you get to choose from one of the collections.


Hi! I am Heena.
Your very own Family Photographer!

I am a mom and to two little munchkins and just like you I am a memory keeper of mprecious little family.


This is why I created this Memory Keeper's Handbook. My hope is with this Memory Keeper's Handbook you will be able to preserve the beautiful and fleeting moments of everyday life.

I believe the most important legacy that we give our children is happy memories.



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