Pregnancy is a remarkable time for a woman: not only is your body undertaking a full-fledged miracle, but you are changing and growing in all the ways as you prepare to take on this new season of life. (You're also really, really scared.) With all that excitement and growth, many women desire to capture the wonder of this time by having professional portraits made. But when is the best time to take maternity photos?
It's quite the conundrum: Take the photos too early and you might wish you'd waited until you'd gotten rounder later, but if you wait too long, you might feel more exhausted and run the risk of missing your chance due to preterm labor. What's a mom-to-be to do for those Pinterest-worthy pics?
According to one professional, there is in fact a sweet spot. Natalie Brenner, a Portland-based photographer who says maternity photo shoots are her favorite, tells Romper that the ideal time to schedule a maternity session is between 32 and 36 weeks. Brenner says that in her experience, "Many women want to have their maternity photos done earlier in their pregnancy, before their body fills out entirely. I assure them they aren't alone in this fear, and try to remind them how incredibly amazing their bodies are."
Brenner says that if you wait until the 32 to 36 week window, "You'll be feeling round, but this ensures your beautiful bump has popped out. The entire essence of a maternity session is that you're pregnant, expecting a precious miracle to join you. So the focus should be that beautiful bump."
If you're feeling anything but incredible, it's a good idea to share those feelings with your photographer (a great argument for finding one you feel comfortable with). Brenner explains that most gestating women she works with do confide in her about the growing insecurities of their expanding bodies. By talking it through with your photographer, she or he can visually emphasize the parts you do feel awesome about.
"Mama", Brenner says, "you are gorgeous. And whether this session is just you and your bump, you and your baby's daddy, or you and the entire family, it is most certainly a time to celebrate." Don't let insecurity rob you of the chance to document that full, round, beautiful belly.