Pregnancy photos of family of three at Lake Sammamish State Park

When to Take Maternity Photos

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

Pregnant mom framing baby bump in black dress during Lake Sammamish maternity photo session.

When is the best time to take maternity photos? As a Seattle photographer who has captured expecting moms for over a decade, I have seen mothers at all stages of pregnancy. I am also a mother of 6 who has had each pregnancy photographed. This gives me plenty of experience on both sides of the camera lens.

Toddler boy holding mom's hand and reaching for dad's hand as they walk into Lake Sammamish during maternity photos

The first thing to consider on when to take maternity photos is the type of photography session you are having.

My approach to maternity photos is to highlight mama, your baby bump, and your family as it was just before baby arrives. Your family’s love and joy surrounding the pregnancy and the baby are the focus. While I ensure mama’s comfort and that she looks stunning, sessions are still playful with lots of movement.

Therefore, when considering when to take maternity photos you want to ensure you’d still be comfortable.

In comparison, a studio maternity photo session is much more posed, and less playful. In this case you may get away with waiting a little later in pregnancy for photos. However, please ensure you contact your specific photographer to see what they think is best.

I do want to emphasize, that while I say my sessions have movement and are playful, your comfort is of the utmost importance. You can take a look at my portfolio to get a feel for my approach to maternity photography.

Pregnancy photos of family of three at Lake Sammamish State Park

Another thing to take into account is which number of pregnancy is being photographed.

Each pregnancy is different. One thing I found true was that each pregnancy meant things progressed sooner. Meaning I was larger sooner, as if my body was like, “I know what to do!”

If you’re planning when to take maternity photos for your first pregnancy, you will want to wait a little later in pregnancy. In contrast, if this is your 2nd or 3rd pregnancy, you should schedule your session a little earlier.

So when is the best time to take maternity photos?

maternity photos with toddler boy in Lake Sammamish

The best time for maternity photos is between 30 and 36 weeks pregnant.

This may feel like a wide range. The goal is that you have a nice baby bump showing, yet aren’t super uncomfortable yet. The other goal is when to take maternity photos is that you have your session before baby arrives!

Family of 3 during Seattle photography session

An extra point to take into consideration is the time of year your photography session will take place.

Being a photographer who works in the Seattle area means being flexible. It also means being a pro at following the weather apps.

If your maternity photos would fall in winter, spring or fall scheduling a little earlier in that 30-34 week range allows for weather rescheduling. Of course, should it rain and you not be able to rescheule we could always consider an in-home shoot, or select a location with cover.

While all of the above factors are important for deciding when to take maternity photos, there is one thing that’s most important.

As long as baby isn’t here, it’s a good time to take maternity photos.

If you’re reading this and 36 weeks pregnant already, it’s not too late to schedule your maternity photo session. Contact me and we can see about getting your photos taken asap.

Now that you know when to take maternity photos, what about when to book your session?

Most families book towards the end of the first trimester to early second trimester. Other families choose to wait until after their 20 week ultrasound. As a women who has experienced several pregnancy losses, I understand the need for a little more security before booking a maternity session.

Take the information in this article to confidently decide when to book maternity photos for your family. Then move to the fun part like planning what to wear! Make sure you check out How to Pick the Right Maternity Dress.

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