The therapeutic benefits of maternity photos

The renewing power of maternity photos

Pregnancy is one of the most magical and mind-blowing transformations a human can go through. Despite being such a meaningful time, 40 weeks of growing life can be super taxing on both the mind and body.  

As surprising as it might sound, taking maternity photos provides an often much need chance to pause and connect with the incredible process YOU are enabling.  

How are maternity pictures therapeutic?

  • ALL the TLC. When all the focus is on what you can do to nurture your growing baby, this is a chance to be on the receiving end of a little TLC. The hair and makeup process will give you some much-deserved pampering and help you feel more like a goddess vs. an incubator.
  • Community. You’ll be in a safe space among other women who are there to support you. Most of our team are moms, so we can truly relate to what you’re going through. We’re here to acknowledge all that this time means, both the wonderful and the difficult.
  • Meditative. Taking pictures, much like meditation, helps you connect with the present moment. You don’t have to worry about doctors’ appointments, nursery setup, or prenatal classes. Instead, for the three hours you’re with us, you get to just relish in the wonder of pregnancy. It might sound a bit cheesy, but it’s not uncommon for women to even get emotional during their sessions. Being able to drop into your body and feel free to acknowledge all the many changes you’re going through can be cathartic.
  • You feel beautiful. The truth is, not everyone loves what pregnancy does to our bodies. Many women feel like crap for most of their pregnancy. So having professional hair and makeup, a gorgeous setting, great lighting, and all the right angles will remind you that you ARE still beautiful, even if you don’t always feel that way.

“I feel more beautiful in these than in my wedding photos and I really love my wedding photos, lol. I cried looking at them! I can’t thank you two enough!” -Demi P

Frequently asked questions about maternity photos:

Which maternity photography style is right for you?

chicago-maternity-photographerAs you’ve probably gathered looking through our images, maternity photography can range in style from intimate, boudoir maternity to natural, candid imagery.  Every session we do is customized to YOUR taste and comfort.  Some women want soft and natural, others want drama, and even others wish to fine art nude. We’ll chat before your session to discuss all the options to ensure you’re comfortable and confident going into your experience.

Going “bump-out” and all that entails:


If you go “bump-out” or even fully nude, know you’re in a safe space.  I’ve worked with hundreds of women over the last decade, most of who come in with their fair share of nerves. I have a lot of practice posing and directing women of all different shapes, sizes, and experiences. You can think of me a bit like a fitness instructor. I’ll guide you through poses that will flatter your frame and highlight all those beautiful pregnancy curves. Also, rest assured that your images always remain private by default.  Unless you give specific permission for use (as with these clients), they’ll stay locked away in the password-protected archives.

When should I come in for a maternity photoshoot

In my experience, the sweet spot is between 7-8 months or 30-34 weeks.  You should have a nice popped bump by this point but minimal swelling.  All pregnancies are different, though, so if you’re popping early (often familiar with second or third-time moms) or late (more common with longer torsos), you might want to come in a little earlier or later than the others.

What should I wear? 

Oh yes, the BIG question.  Aren’t we always asking ourselves this while pregnant?  It can be a bit of a challenge dressing your bump.  Our general advice is to let it take front and center.  Form-fitting pieces are great for maternity sessions.  I love simple, form-fitting dresses or tops that will make for a great silhouette, button-down shirts that open at the waist to show your belly, and activewear sets like boy shorts, a bralette, yoga pants, and a sports bra.  Robes are also great for flexibility and feel ultra-feminine. Tunic or maxi dresses are also fabulous but require a little more involvement with how they lay or are pulled against your body to show off your bump.  Take a peek through our images to see some of the pieces that have worked for other clients, and feel free to ask for more help anytime leading up to your session.  I’m happy to provide links to options I’ve found to photograph well.maternity-photography-white button down

In the end, stay true to yourself.  I love it when people express their personality through their clothing (like one client wearing her favorite worn-out jeans, unbuttoned to fit, but a nod to her identity beyond expectant mom.)

Can I bring my significant other? 

maternity-photography-coupleAbsolutely.  Partners are a huge part of the experience; I welcome them in the pictures.  Many clients have their significant other come for the last 15-30 minutes of their session, to get pictures together. If you’re significant other isn’t too keen on photos (it’s ok, it’s not uncommon), then even 5 minutes at the beginning or end of your photoshoot is fine.  I try to keep my couples sessions fun and easy-going for any reluctant participants 😉

Can I bring my other kid(s)?

Sure thing!  I’m happy to incorporate older siblings into the photo shoot.  If you don’t plan to have them in all your photos, please bring someone to help supervise them during that time.

maternity photographyHow many images do I receive, and how long after the session?

Your session includes at least 30 images.  I’ll have them uploaded to an online gallery within ten days of your session, where you can view and download them.

Are photos touched up?

maternity-photography-_0025They are!  I complimentary touch-up things like bruises, blemishes, apparent skin texture, and garment bulges.  These photos are all about celebrating you at this moment, so I won’t be changing the integrity of your frame or making you look like someone else. If there’s something, in particular, you’re uncomfortable with (i.e., the line on your belly button that may appear) just let me know.  Things can always be lightened to minimize the appearance without removing it altogether.

What sort of prints or products can I purchase? 

chicago-maternity-photography-003I have a wide selection of beautiful products to showcase your images.  Popular selections include framed wall art, albums, and image boxes. You can view the examples below. I’ll show you these while you’re in the studio, and you’ll have the chance to purchase your own via the online gallery.

Where are you located? What is the studio like?

My studio is in the Chicago northside neighborhood of Ravenswood. I have a two-story coach house space with white brick walls, espresso hardwood floors upstairs, and contemporary fixtures and accents.   There’s lots of natural light, photogenic sets, and plenty of privacy.

When and where are outdoor maternity photos taken? 

chicago-maternity-photography0011Chicago has so many unique backgrounds. We’re lucky to be in an area where you can find both urban cityscape, spots that look like you are miles out in the country, and even a little of both.  During our consultation, I’ll ask you a few questions to learn more about what style of images you want and offer suggestions from my list of go-to spots.  If you’re looking for more intimate photos outdoors, I even know locations for that.  Of course, early morning hours for those types of pictures will provide more privacy.  While it might be a tough wake-up, I promise the setting and gorgeous morning light make it well worth it.

Do you offer bundle packages for maternity photos plus newborn or family pictures?

I do! I can bundle you two, three, and even four sessions in a year. Our most popular bundle option is maternity, newborn, and one additional session when the baby is sitting or walking (great for holiday cards.) You can learn more about my family sessions here.

Ready to book your maternity session? Great! I can’t wait to connect. You can contact me here. If you have more questions, schedule a 15-minute stress-free phone call here.