Maternity Session Guide – How to Look Beautiful for your Maternity Shoot


9 Months

Pregnancy is one of the most special times in your life. Although you may not feel it - you are glowing and beautiful. Your body has beautiful curves, your hair thickens and you are carrying a new life inside of you! There is no better way to remember your pregnancy and capture your journey to motherhood than a professional maternity portrait session.


Choosing your Photographer

Its important to choose a photographer whose work you love. The best route is to choose a photographer that specializes in pregnancy portraits. This photographer will know how to light, pose and photograph you in angles that flatter your face and your growing belly.

Find a photographer whose images resonate with you. Make sure that their portfolio is consistent. When you hire with quality in mind, you buy the assurance and the peace of mind that your special moment is captured perfectly in time. Experience is important as well. While years of experience may not always equate to quality, it often DOES. Very often, the photographer with years of experience has a stronger grip on their specialty.

While price is also an important factor, it should not be the most important factor. Like any quality products or services out there, good photography is expensive. Why? Because it is not easy to create beautiful and quality images. Bad photography is even more expensive, because if you don’t like your photos, you have wasted your time and money.

When to schedule your session

We recommend having the session during your 30-36 week range. For expecting mamas with multiples, we recommend coming in earlier around 26 – 32 weeks as multiples tend to arrive much earlier than single babies. Don’t wait to get it scheduled! We do book several months in advance, so contact us as soon as you make the decision to work with us.

Professional Hair & Makeup

I highly recommend professional makeup and hair. You will feel beautiful and confident at your session. You’re investing in the session, so invest in looking your best and most beautiful. If it’s not in the budget, we understand. Just arrive to the studio (or outdoor location) looking your best - hot date makeup and hair is fine too. .


If you’ve chosen me to capture this time for you, I ask that you trust me to direct you in posing. I’ve been doing this for ten plus years, and I will be guiding you in poses that will capture your personality, feelings and the bond you have with the life growing in your belly. Many maternity poses such as hands on belly and eyes looking down express emotions and connection to the baby. Other maternity poses focus on the beautiful curves of your body. I promise, I’ll walk you through the whole process.


We offer two maternity portrait session options - in the studio or outdoors. These are two dramatically different styles, and we love them both! I recommend that you look through the two galleries, and decide what you’re more drawn too. Our studio sessions are definitely more dramatic. And we often shoot with just wraps, so you are more exposed in the images. One of the biggest advantages, is the convenience and control. We can shoot anytime regardless of weather. Dad can be in studio pictures as well, but the focus will mostly be on your and the belly. Outdoor sessions are also beautiful, and I do feel they are better for including your spouse/significant other and siblings. The biggest disadvantage of an outdoor session is that we are at the mercy of the weather and shooting hours are limited to the golden hour of sunrise or sunset (when the quality of natural light is at its best). Reschedules can happen and may trigger the rescheduling of other related appointments (e.g. professional makeup and hair). Thankfully, living in San Diego, the weather is often beautiful. But beach sessions can sometimes be windy and make the hair frizzy. Be prepared to walk/hike to the location and change outfits outdoors (we do bring a changing tent during outdoor sessions). If you just can’t decide between the two, you can always book two sessions - a studio and an outdoor!

What to Wear

I highly recommend that my clients arrive with a nude colored strapless bra and seamless matching underwear. Coordinating outfits for your significant other/husband and any outfits for siblings. I do have a beautiful Maternity Studio Wardrobe that my clients can use during their session. I keep about 50 gowns on hand for you to use, as well as pretty floral crowns. We can typically do 2-3 outfit changes during a session. This will make it so that you don’t have to go out and purchase anything for your session. We take care of that for you! You can also bring any favorite accessories or jewelry. And any sentimental items - for example an ultrasound picture.


A great maternity portrait session will not just produce stunning and gorgeous images, but also make you feel confident and beautiful during this fleeting time in your life!

Stacey Marsh with Lovely Baby Photography is a premier maternity photographer based out of Encinitas, CA. She serves the Greater San Diego areas, including San Clemente, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos, Leucadia, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Jolla, Point Loma, Mission Bay, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Valley, Carmel Valley, Torrey Pines, Sorrento Valley, Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Solana Beach, Cardiff, Rancho Bernardo and Escondido. Check out her maternity portfolio:

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