Preparing for your Maternity Photography Session

Congratulations on your pregnancy!  I think its fantastic that you are photographing this lovely stage in your journey towards parenthood.  Maternity sessions with me are fun and easy to do - and if you are planning to have me photograph your newborn this is a great way for us to meet before baby arrives.

Please take the time to look through this guide as many questions you might have are answered within.  Feel free to contact me at any stage if there is anything else you need to know.

Location & Session Times


STUDIO MATERNITY The studio is located: 17 Thelma Crescent Torbay Auckland 0630 There is a business sign on a white picket fence. Please feel free to use car parks that are available in the driveway on either side of the pedestrian gate so you are nice and close to the front door. A studio session will last approximately 45-60 minutes including outfit changes. We can begin a session between 10am and 1pm depending on availability. SUNSET MATERNITY Sunset sessions take place at: Sanders Reserve 180 - 186 Sanders Road Paremoremo Please park your car at the bottom of the hill outside the reserve. I will be there already waiting for you and will come to greet you. DO NOT DRIVE INTO THE RESERVE - as we are there until sunset the Reserve's gates will close shortly afterwards. Sessions start in the hour before sunset so the exact start will depend on the time of year you are being photographed.




What to Expect at a Sunset Maternity Session


Sunset maternities take place in the golden hour of light an hour before the sun goes down. I will advise at the time of booking when this will be, but expect around 5:00pm in Spring, 7:30pm in Summer and 5:00pm in Autumn. The sunset location I use is Sanders Reserve in Paremoremo as there are many locations within the reserve to photograph and the sunset is unimpeded at the top of the hill. At Sanders Reserve the track is gravel and the grass we photograph amongst is sometimes very long. Please wear comfortable shoes or jandals as footwear will not be seen under the long gowns. Sometimes in the Spring and Autumn the wind chill can be particularly freezing at Sanders Reserve. Bringing a warm jacket that you can easily take on and off for use between photographs is a good idea. We will start at the bottom of the hill and gradually time our ascent to the crest of the hill for the sunset. We take things easy and stop for photographs at various points along the way. If you are in the very late stages of pregnancy I recommend booking a Studio Maternity Session. Sanders Reserve is usually very quiet at the time of day we are there with only the odd dog walker using the park. Wet Weather If the weather is wet we will decide a few hours before the start time if we can go ahead. We may need to reschedule to another evening. If hair and makeup is booked we will make the decision to reschedule before you get this done.




What to Expect at a Studio Maternity Session


Studio maternity sessions are able to be photographed at any time of year and take place at my home-based studio in Torbay. I use studio lighting during these sessions and the style of photography is soft and dreamy and always a sunny day! Studio sessions are usually timed for the mornings between 10am and 1pm and usually last for 45 - 60 minutes. I photograph Monday - Friday and also have a few limited weekend mornings available.




What to Wear


The Mama-to-Be I have several gowns that suit all pregnancy shapes that are available for you to wear if you choose. They are a mixture of specific maternity dresses and maxi dresses. Stretchy, lacy, summery or full-length gowns. If you would like to wear your own clothing for some or all of the photographs choose clothing that is either tight around your baby bump, or clothing that flows/drapes from under your bust. Avoid patterns unless the design is a small or subtle pattern. Textured dresses with lace etc are stunning! Please do not wear black as this disguises and minimises your baby bump. Remember to wear nude or light coloured underwear. A strapless smooth bra in skin-tone colours is best. If you do not have a strapless bra a plain t-shirt bra will work fine - we will just tuck the straps inside the dress (just try to find the softest colour possible). Pretty lingere looks beautiful photographed with a bare belly so if you have something special bring it along to your studio session. In a studio session you will have complete privacy to change and swap between clothing. But at Sanders Reserve you will need to shimmy in and out of the dresses in a quiet spot in the outdoors. One of my gowns is particularly good for getting changed undereath like a little tent :-) The Daddy-to-Be I keep it simple for Dads! Just let them wear what they are comfortable in. Whether that is a t-shirt or a business shirt this is absolutely fine. Long pants pair better with the gowns you are wearing - shorts can seem a bit casual. Tidy jeans or chino-type pants are great. I recommend shoes instead of jandals - even in the height of summer. Neutral tones for t-shirts/shirts (white, grey, navy etc) or any colour in the midtone range will work well. Please try to avoid patterns, logos or pictures on t-shirts as it will be a distracting element in the photographs. I have plain t-shirts in a variety of sizes that you can borrow for the session if there is nothing in his wardrobe that suits.




Recommended Hair and Make Up Artists


If you would like to be truly pampered and looking your absolute best a hair and make up artist can tame your tresses and help you look even more glowing and beautiful than you already are. Hair and Make up artists usually travel to your home to get you ready. Their services are not included in my photography session price - this is an optional extra that you arrange on your own. This list is collated from make up artists who have already worked with some of my clients or have been recommended to me by other maternity/wedding photographers and will hopefully help you get started on your search for a good artist. Charlie McLean Make Up Paige Best Hair and Make Up Lexia Dyer Ali's Make Up Station Nessa Warne Kaitlin Chapman Make Up




After the Session


I hope you enjoyed your maternity session and that you felt like a gorgeous goddess! Shortly after your session I will pick a photo to edit and showcase on my business Facebook page if you have allowed me to do so in the photography contract. Make sure you tag yourselves in this sneak peek or share to your personal page so all your friends and family can see! Editing time usually takes between 2 - 4 weeks after your session. I will let you know at your session what your timeframe is likely to be. Once I begin to edit your photographs I will notify you via email and you can expect me to finished a day or two later - I know its hard to wait! Maternity session photographs are delivered via a temporary online password-protected gallery. You will receive an email from me via my gallery provider, Pixieset, and it will contain the links, passwords and expiry date. You are able to share this information and link to any friends and family who you think would also like to download the photographs. Remember to download your images before the expiry date! I am also able to supply professional quality prints, canvas and albums so your memories are enjoyed on a daily basis. Contact me for more information and pricing.





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mel@melaniejphotography.co.nz  |  North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand  |  021 208 3276  |

© 2018 by  Melanie J Photography.