1) Find the right photographer for you

Make sure you look through their Maternity Portfolio, and that their style fits yours - think about how posed you want to go, what sort of gown you want to wear, if you want to include partner/kids/dogs, whether you want to go Studio, In Home or the outdoors!. Check out if they have gowns you can wear or add on as part of your package. My style is natural, relaxed, intimate and boho inspired for Maternity or Pregnancy shoots, and I love a Wild West beach shoot, or even a more intimate indoor shoot. I offer a range of Maternity Gowns and dresses as part of my maternity package, and try to fit at least two looks into your shoot.

2) Decide on your location

Each sort of location can offer a different vibe to the shoot and there are lots of choice for an Auckland photoshoot - a beach out west like Bethells or Piha can give a wonderfully dramatic vibe with the vast scenery, and is a great spot to do belly out or nudity as it's less populated. Hair will blow in the wind, you might get a dramatic storm one minute and blue sky the next - it's all about letting go of perfection and embracing it! A grassy meadow with trees at sunset like Cornwall Park can give a beautiful boho vibe, and could be a good one for including the family, or an in home shoot might be the perfect spot if you are less fond of people being around, if you want a bit more of a boudoir vibe, or if you just want some more candid, relaxed shots of you in your favourite spots before baby arrives. I have a guide with all of the Auckland locations I use frequently, pop me through an enquiry if you'd like to see it.

3) What to wear for a Maternity Shoot

There are so many different looks you can go for!

- Here is a glimpse of some of the dresses available in my client closet below, there is a range of sizing or many are OSFA - get in touch if you'd like to see the full range of dresses available.

- Bring a chunky knit or statement coat to add a bit of a different vibe over your dress for some of the shots

- A robe or open linen shirt over underwear, shorts or a bikini can be gorgeous for an in- home or beach shoot

- Using your own wardrobe for a more casual look can be gorgeously natural and is great for those shots with your partner and family 

- Remember to wear underwear that is appropriate for the dress - this might mean you will see some of it in your photos, so wear the good stuff!

- Bring warm layers for in between shots, Auckland weather can be so unpredictable!

4) Dressing the Fam/Partner for a Maternity Shoot

 For the Adults - simple always works well - no big logos or text on tops please. Something like guy dressed in chinos and relaxed linen shirt, gal dressed in flowy maxi/midi dress or jeans and a "nice top", and kids dressed in simple colours always works well. I like to think of it as dressing as if you were going to a BBQ at a fancy house, or the next day event after a wedding!

For the Kids, go with timeless, neutral pieces. Boys in chinos or jeans with button down tees or linen-y shirts, girls in a dress they can twirl in, or flowy top and pants. Little ones in rompers, or overalls for the boys is always a winner too. Using neutral colours like khaki, cream or denim always looks good in photos and helps to balance out patterns, especially if you use colours from their patterns on other people

5) Don't stress about feeling awkward!

Pretty much everyone I take photos of thinks they are awkward in front of the camera, and it's all part of my job to get you feeling relaxed and comfortable. I will try and make you laugh, goof around, and tell you when you are doing awesomely (and you will be!). There is lots of guidance on maternity posing I can give you to get the right angles and get you and your partner looking naturally gorgeous! As well as those maternity poses, there's lots of things you can do like walking, playing with your hair, goofing around with your partner that I'll be snapping away at too, to get lots of beautiful,candid moments. If you re feeling camera shy or apprehensive about the shoot, or particularly worried body conscious, make sure you let me know so I can help in any way :)

6) Getting the bump out/ going nude

- There is no pressure at all to either have a "bump out" shot or go nude, it's not for everyone and it's completely up to you. I would recommend going to one of the beaches out West if you are thinking about it, as they are much more secluded. You don't have to make the decision beforehand, you can see how you are feeling on the day. Lots of times we have talked about it at the start and by the time we are halfway through my clients have felt comfortable enough to go for it. Feel free to bring a support person too!

Other bits & bobs

- If you are thinking about getting hair and make up done (great idea!), make sure you check in with timings for your photographer so everyone can run on time. I have some preferred suppliers I can recommend too.

- Remember to select underwear or a bikini that will work best with your dress, and that you don't mind being visible if you choose to do some with belly out

- Bring treats/bribes for your kids/dog/husband (hehe)...actually bring snacks/water for yourself too because babies make you hungry!

- If we're heading to the beach, bring a towel