So, you’re preggo — congrats, by the way! — and want to have a photoshoot to commemorate just how crazy huge you’ve gotten. Only one problem: it’s winter. Snow on the ground (location depending) and no leaves on the trees might not be ideal for the magical maternity photoshoot of your dreams, but that doesn’t stop us. It inspires us.
From a cozy holiday-themed shoot to taking photos in a sparkling winter wonderland, there are plenty of ways you can memorialize this magical time in your life, even in the midst of winter. Read on for the four things you need to know about a winter maternity photoshoot below.
Step One: Choose a Photographer
Like choosing a wedding photographer, a maternity photoshoot is such a special and intimate occasion that selecting the right photographer is essential. Social media has made it easier to find a ton of talented photographers, but how do you know which one is right?
First, take a look at their portfolio or all of their previous work. This will give you a solid indication of their sense of style, editing techniques, and the type of mood they usually create. We especially recommend choosing a photographer with previous experience with maternity photoshoots. This way, you can see what kind of work they’ve produced in the past and whether it aligns with what you want for your own maternity photoshoot.
You’ll also want to consider the photographer’s personality. This might sound ruthless, but you’re going to be spending a lot of time with them during the shoot, and it’s important that you feel comfortable and relaxed around them. You need to be able to trust that they’re going to carry out your vision for the photoshoot, and that’s a big deal!
Schedule a Zoom call or an in-person chat for an interview, if possible. You’ll want to ask a few questions, like:
- What does a typical session include? How many digital images or prints?
- What’s your average turnaround time?
- How many looks/outfit changes are included in each session?
- What props or attire does the studio provide (if any)?
- Are you up to date on recommended vaccinations?
- How is the studio cleaned, and how often?
Check out their previous testimonials from previous clients before you commit to choosing them as your photographer. This photoshoot is all about you and your growing little one — don’t be afraid to be picky about who gets to be a part of that.
Step Two: Pick a Theme
You might think the theme of this photoshoot is obvious: You’re pregnant, duh! But choosing a specific tone, theme, or overall vibe for the photoshoot is one of the best ways to make it really special and memorable.
Are you going for a classic and elegant shoot in a sparse natural landscape? Or is it going to be more whimsical and fun, with a Christmas tree or Hanukkah decorations in the background? Or maybe you’re a stylist and want to go with a fashion-forward shoot.
A talented photographer can work with you to help you choose a mood for your shoot to make the photos consistent. They might provide a mood board, examples of previous work, or suggestions to help you choose outfits and poses that align with the overall theme.
Deciding if you want the shoot to be indoors or outdoors can narrow down the theme. If you’re planning to take snaps outside, a winter wonderland theme complete with pine trees, icicles, and even some faux snow might be precisely what you need. Or, if you’re going for a more indoor look, consider a cozy, warm vibe with a fireplace, warm blankets, and twinkling lights.
Depending on where you live, the weather might prohibit an outdoor photoshoot. Spend some time thinking about where you want the session to take place, which will help you narrow down the options for the overall theme of the shoot.
Step Three: Select a Location
Once you’ve decided on whether your shoot will be indoors or outdoors, as well as the vibe you’re going for, it’s time to pick a specific shooting location. Outdoor locations such as parks, gardens, and nature preserves can provide a beautiful, natural background for the images, even in the midst of winter. Indoor locations, such as a studio or a warm, cozy home, can provide a more comfortable setting for the shoot but might be more limiting in terms of space.
Weight the pros and cons of each shooting location carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for hot tips. They’ll likely have some good input and help you figure out which setting is best to get the maternity photos of your dreams.
If you’re shooting outdoors, it’s important to remember that you’ll be limited by winter daylight. Light during the winter is less intense, possibly making it more challenging to take great photos, especially if you live in the Northern Hemisphere with much more limited daylight. To counteract this, schedule the shoot for the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest point or use artificial lighting to supplement the natural lighting.
Step Four: Choose Your Outfit
This is our favorite part! We simply can’t hold off anymore; it’s time to talk fashion.
One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make for your maternity photoshoot is also the most fun: choosing your outfit! (Okay, at HATCH, we might be a little biased). Long gone are the days of frumpy maternity outfits and shapeless dresses. Now, you have a ton of maternity clothing options to choose from that are pure luxury.
If you want the shoot to be more formal and elegant, a long, flowy dress or a fitted maternity gown can be a great option. Or perhaps you’re going for laid-back and cozy, and a knit maternity sweater and leggings are more appropriate.
The Serena Knit Dress
Try the Serena Knit Dress made from 100% merino wool. The high-low hem and slide slits make it easy to look chic and stay warm. Pair it with tall suede boots or combat boots, depending on the vibe and the other accessories in your lineup. This dress works as a postpartum stunner, too. Perhaps do another photoshoot with your new baby in tow, wearing the same dress for a delightful nod to your journey.
The Rivera Dress
A beautiful empire-waist gown like The Rivera Dress for cool navy tones that are the very essence of the winter season. Or, go for gold literally — in the gold colorway to bring some sunshine to cloudy days. It might be a good idea to bring along a scarf or shawl to add an extra layer of warmth and texture to the final images.
High Fashion Jumpsuits
Dressing for success isn’t only about dresses. We’re talking about magazine-worthy jumpsuits. Maternity jumpsuits are all chic and all cozy — all at once. This head-to-toe ensemble is simple to style and even easier to wear, which is definitely welcome as mom brain sets in. Denim jumpsuits just beg for an oversized red plaid shirt and knit beanie, while all-black jumpsuits offer a canvas for endless creativity.
Shop Before You Pop
Consider everything you’ve thought about already — the location and the mood of the shoot — before committing to an outfit. Staying winter-ready during nine months of baby bumps can be a bit tricky.
Between hot flashes and the winter chill rushing in, layering is the name of the game. Particularly if you’re shooting outside, dress in warm layers that can be removed as needed. Additionally, you might need to grab a new pair of winter boots if your feet start growing.
If you aren’t exactly sure what look you want, feel free to refer to our handy-dandy style guide to help you along.
Picture Perfect — At Least for the Shoot
Once you’ve nailed down all the major details (photographer, mood, location, outfit), you’re well on your way to the perfect winter maternity photoshoot.
The last thing you need to do is to pick a day, show up, and be yourself! After all, the best photoshoots don’t create magical images; they capture the magic that’s already there, and it doesn’t get much more magical than pregnancy… Well, most of the time.