married couple holding each other close with bare pregnant belly and sunset

When to Take Maternity Photos

When is the best time to take maternity photos?

Deciding when to schedule your maternity photos is a common question I get asked as a photographer. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, I’m here to share some tips to guide you in choosing the perfect time for you to book your pregnancy photo session. Every expectant mother’s journey is unique, and I’m excited to help you pinpoint the best time to capture the magical moments of your pregnancy.

pregnant belly in a yellow dress holding flowers during maternity photos

What trimester is best to book a maternity photo session?

You might be wondering how far along you should be when you take maternity photos. The ideal time to schedule your maternity photo session is usually in the third trimester, between 26 and 34 weeks (around the 7th and 8th month of pregnancy). Once you’re in your last trimester, your belly starts to become more pronounced, with a nice round shape. But this time can vary depending on your body. If you’re a first-time mom, you typically won’t show as quickly, so you can book your session towards the end of that window. If you’ve been pregnant before, you usually show a bit faster, so you can book your session in the earlier timeframe.

Pregnant mom at 35 weeks with toddler daughters hugging her belly

Is 35 weeks too late for maternity pictures?

At this point, you may be having a harder time walking around and just be generally more uncomfortable. For that reason, I suggest planning your session for before this time. But everyone is different! I’ve had a mom book me for her maternity session at 39 weeks and she wanted to hike all over! If you have waited too long to schedule your photo and you’re wondering if it’s too late, it’s not. It’s always better to get them done late than to not have them at all. If you’re finding it harder to walk around at this point, ask your photographer to help find a location that doesn’t require much walking.

25 weeks pregnant woman in lace dress holding her belly while husband cuddles her

Is 25 weeks too early for maternity photos?

Some moms are already showing enough to get their maternity photos taken this early, and some are not. It’s better to have a more defined baby bump, but if you have some reason why you need to take them early, then there are ways to make your belly pop more in photos. You can arch your back a bit and bend your leg and that will help to define it more. You can also use your hands to bring attention to your belly. If you choose a photographer who knows how to pose you correctly, you will still be able to get amazing photos of your baby bump even at 25 weeks.

Woman holding her pregnant belly while man looks back at her

When should I schedule my maternity session if I’m having twins?

If you’re expecting twins, you will be showing earlier than usual. You will also most likely be delivering earlier than most pregnancies, so you will want to schedule your maternity photo session earlier than if you were only having one baby. Generally, somewhere around 24-28 weeks is usually the best time to book your maternity pictures when you’re expecting twins.

What if there are unexpected changes in the pregnancy timeline?

If there are unexpected changes in the pregnancy timeline, it’s important to communicate with your photographer as soon as possible. Most photographers understand that pregnancy can be unpredictable and are prepared to be flexible. They can work with you to reschedule the session if needed, ensuring that you still get beautiful maternity photos at a time that is safe and comfortable for you. It’s always a good idea to discuss potential contingency plans when booking your session, just in case adjustments need to be made later on.

pregnant couple in the columbia river gorge, Oregon

How far in advance do I need to schedule my maternity photographer to ensure availability?

Depending on what time of year it is, your photographer could book up if you wait too long. I usually suggest scheduling your maternity photos after your 12-week appointment. If you will be booking your maternity session in the fall, you will want to contact your photographer earlier rather than later because that is usually the busiest season for photographers.

How does the weather or season impact the timing for maternity photoshoots?

When planning maternity photos, it’s important to remember that while we might not have control over the weather or the season, experienced photographers are skilled at capturing beauty in any setting. Each season offers a unique backdrop. And if the weather isn’t cooperating, most photographers are flexible and can either work with the elements to create stunning images, reschedule to a better day, or move the session indoors. The truth is, no matter the season, your maternity photos are going to be incredible, reflecting the special journey you’re on.

Pregnancy image of man and pregnant woman leaning their foreheads together with lots of blue sky

Tips for when to book maternity pictures

  • In the third trimester, between 26 and 34 weeks.
  • For twins, schedule earlier. Probably around 24-28 weeks.
  • If this is your first pregnancy, you will probably want to schedule later in the booking window (30 weeks or later).
  • Moms typically show faster if they’ve already been pregnant before, so book earlier in the window in this case (probably before 30 weeks).
  • Pay attention to your body and when you feel would be the best time for you.
  • Waiting too long could result in you feeling tired and uncomfortable.
  • Taking maternity photos too early could make it difficult to see a defined bump.
  • Reach out to your photographer when you are around 12 weeks to book your maternity photos.
  • Your photos will be beautiful no matter the season

And if you’re looking for local resources for your pregnancy, here’s a great page full of resources from PDX Parent magazine.

Ready to book Maternity photos?

I’d love to be your maternity photographer and if you don’t live near Portland, Oregon, I am available for travel! Find out more about the experience and pricing or book your session now.

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  1. This was Soo informative! Thank you! I think maternity photos are gorgeous and so nice to treasure the moment before things change!

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