I love to take pictures of soon-to-be mothers. They’re radiant, beautiful and excited for what is to come. However, when taking pictures it's important to keep the mothers hydrated and comfortable! So, what I do is meet with the parents beforehand and I discuss the guidelines before production starts.
First, I like to know whether or not there will other people in the session with them. This could be variety of people such as older children, grand-parents or partner. Second, I ask them how many wardrobe changes they would like to make.
Offer makeup services as an extra service. If you don’t know how to apply makeup, hire someone who does. Of course, this will be an added cost to the mother but it’s worth to see her feel more beautiful and comfortable in sessions. I had one mother who thought she looked exhausted and I had false eyelashes on me and she was happy that I offered to put it on for her. Because of this, I always include make-up as an option.
During the photoshoot, it’s imperative to keep mothers hydrated. When women are in their third trimester they lose a lot of water because the body is keeping the baby hydrated. So, it's important to have a large pitcher of water on site. And of course, since the mother is drinking a lot of water, it's important to keep in mind that there will be a lot of washroom breaks. Even if you think, you have that perfect shot, make sure you ask every ten minutes if she needs a break.
In terms of lighting, I feel like mothers look so much more radiant in natural lighting. The natural light shows their glow without the need of extra lights. One book that I recommend on natural lighting is The Luminous Portrait by Elizabeth Messina.
To sum up I will provide a small little cheat sheet below:
Know how many people will be in the shot so you can plan beforehand
Discuss number of wardrobe changes
Offer makeup as as an add-on option to the shoot
Have a water pitcher handy or bring water bottles
Offer a break time in 10 minute intervals
Natural light always looks best!