Last week, I finally had the courage, and time to have my maternity shoot. 😀
It was such a surreal experience; it was a first time for everyone! My hair and makeup artist, the photo and video team, my husband, and of course, me!
I know it can be unnecessary, since we have so much to prepare for birth and the days after that, but I definitely wanted to push this idea to document this wonderful miracle while I can. And of course, it won’t be possible for me not to write about it here. Teehee!
So I’d like to share some tips and a guide on what you need to do just in case you’ll be holding your own momma-shoot!
Find a Comfortable Venue
I was 35 weeks when I had this shoot, and according to some of my readings, the best weeks to hold this photoshoot is when you are between your 28th to 35th. In this time, at least your tummy is showy enough to be captured, and at the same time, safer. We don’t want to be bothered by the fact that you can give birth any minute while posing for the camera, do we?
I tried looking for studios, and a good AirBNB place, but all the places I’ve looked for are either too cramped, doesn’t allow photoshoots, or are waaaaaaaaaaaaay too expensive!
Good thing, I stumbled upon a post in my feed about this cute getaway place in Bulacan. It’s called San Rafael River Adventure, and the place actually looks divine! 😀
They have a lot of fun activities that you can use for other types of shoots, like the prenup. But since I will just be using the entire accommodation, this should be enough.
It is highly important that you feel comfortable with the location or your venue, because of our condition. This is not the shoot where we can be adventurous. Leave it to the prenups and getaway trips! 😀
I booked the Glass Stilt Cottage, which is newly constructed by the way. I can’t believe I have a view of the lake in front of me! They have a comfy bed, and a jacuzzi. The space outside was enough to cater at least 6 people. There was a hammock, a sliding sofa, good lighting and a breezy weather to top it off. The air condition was good inside as well, plus the windows were perfect for those silhouette shots I was eyeing. Plus I thought that their rainy season promo was just perfect! So, what does a pregnant girl got to do? Book it right away of course! 😀
I am happy that the resort was very quick to reply, and I was given the available dates. I made a group chat, and voila, scheduled it right away together with the available dates of my team! 😀
2. Create Your Mood Board
I am a very bad pregnant-person-slash-client. Grr. I bash myself.
Oh well, I know I have to prepare for this weeks ago, but I was only able to send this to my team two days prior to our shooting day. I was too busy with some other things that I rarely had time to browse Pinterest or create a mood board.
But being the good crammer that I am, I was able to whip one just in time. Hehe 😀
Since I got a really good deal with Grid Studio too, (they are our civil wedding photo and video team by the way); they offered me unlimited shots, so yeah I want to maximize that. 😀
I thought about 5 sets and took inspiration from the things I found online, and of course with the available props and wardrobe that I have.
a. Whimsical Woman
I bought this pink ensemble way back in May, thinking it could be a good alternative for a bridal robe for my church wedding. But turns out, it could serve its purpose at an earlier date!
I also bought these flower crowns in SM. I couldn’t decide which one I like more, so I got them both. Haha Ayoko na pahirapan sarili ko! (I don’t want to have the burden of thinking which one is better!)
b. Simple and Laidback Mom + Hubby
I saw a lot of simples, and laidback shots that are perfect to include baby things, and the husband too. It looks soft on the eyes, very loving, and “very family”.
c. Boss Mama
This one is credited to my working-productive-self! Even though I’m pregnant, I am still very hands-on in my business especially that it’s new and the brand is just starting to pick up.
I always tell myself, I will not lose my identity and individuality just because of the new role that motherhood could bring; more so, it will be a big improvement. I will be a much better version because I’m adding a new role in my resume.
I actually wanted one before prior to getting married, but due to time constraints and indecisiveness, I wasn’t able to come up with one. Hopefully, when I get my body back post-pregnancy!
So in the meantime, I thought why not have one while expecting? It’s a totally new form because for once in my life I am not skinny, and I’ve got a few extra curves to flaunt. 😀
I can’t wait to share the silhouette photos! 😀
Since I love wearing a bikini, and there was a Jacuzzi in our venue, there was no way I would pass on the opportunity of wearing one.
It was very funny too, because for once in my life, I have to buy an extra-large bikini! Haha 😀 I was pretty sad when I didn’t get the color I wanted because I was too big for the available Large size. Goodie, they have this red one that can fit my baby bump.
Which reminds me, I actually had a mini shoot wearing a bikini when I was in Bataan. I was 18 weeks here, and you could see how I just look ‘busog’.
3. Find a Good Maternity Shoot Team
This was easy. I was able to establish a really good relationship with my civil wedding photo-video-HMU team that I thought about them instantly. They actually haven’t done any maternity shoots, so this made the whole experience more exciting.
I actually thought of getting other suppliers, but I realized I will still get a better deal if I get my original team. I also saw some studios offering maternity shoots. Sure they are cheaper, but what I didn’t like is that they don’t give raw files of the photos, and they will only release like 5 to 10 shots, printed and edited. Plus there was no video too.
Grid Studio offered me unlimited shots, a video, printed photos and raw files, plus we can shoot anywhere I like, so yes, there was nothing left to discuss.
Elaine Cordova Makeup Artistry is such a good find too. She has done my makeup for a blog photoshoot and at my actual wedding, and I am really satisfied. She has great skills, plus I don’t have to burn holes in my pockets just to avail her airbush makeup. Elaine is also very instinctive, she knows what you want, asks for your makeup pegs, and deliberately retouches you every now and then, without you even asking.
4. Know Your Poses
Expect a lot of dreamy looks and belly-touching poses on a maternity shoot. So be sure your nails are polished! If you gain some weight and some extra chubbs in your face like I do, be sure you know your angles so you can still achieve the looks you want.
It’s also good to research poses with your husband/partner so things could go on smoothly. I am so happy that Rose and Michael of Grid Studio are very directive when it comes to poses. It was amazing how they handled and directed us even though it was also their first to cover a maternity shoot.
5. Prepare Your Props
We weren’t able to buy a lot of props, but good thing I was able to nick some of the random shopping baby finds we had. Plus it is so helpful that friends and family also gave their baby gifts earlier! Haha More props for us!
Here is the list of the props I think would help add more character to a maternity shoot:
- Baby clothes
- Baby shoes (Be gender specific)
- Baby socks
- Baby toys
- Ultrasound Photos
- Baby book / Storybook
- Pregnancy book
- Stuffed toy (I had a kangaroo with a little joey in its pouch)
- A figure of the first letter of baby’s name (We didn’t have time to find one. Sad. )
6. Get a Good Night Sleep The Day Before
Please do! It’s good for your skin, and to rid those circles under your eyes. Plus it helps you to have good energy for the entire day!
I only had an hour’s sleep though. I was finishing bulk orders ready for delivery the next day, that’s why. I think my strong desire and excitement for the shoot to happen are what sustained me to last the whole day! 😀
7. Enjoy Being Gorgeously Pregnant and Pose the Belly Away
Honestly, I was extra weary that I won’t look great in this shoot, because I’m fat, my skin is dry, my belly button is protruding, my linea nigra is so apparent, my face feels like it’s going to burst, etc.
But hey, I am a walking miracle! That should be enough to keep me happy and make me feel beautiful. So I just accepted all these flaws that I have in my head, after all, these are all normal for a pregnant woman, duh?
So I just prepared myself that I won’t get the usual results in this photoshoot, unlike the past ones. I have to accept that early on. I will look different. Very different. But there’s a growing life inside me, and this little one is going to change my life forever. And being able to document that in a maternity shoot is already a blessing. Truly, something I would treasure for the years to come.
If you are thinking of having one too, I highly recommend it! It doesn’t have to put a big dent on your wallet though. You can always have the kind of shoot you want, whether in your home, studio, in a DIY setup, on the beach, or anywhere you find it comfortable doing. You just have to do your research, and be resourceful!
Go my mermom merfriends! 😀 Be confident and strut that baby bump soon! 😀 You only get pregnant once, or twice, or thrice! Haha 😀 Whatever the frequency is, it would be a great keepsake for your family to remember by, and a great photo to show the little one once he is outside too!
I will share my final shots when I get them!
Enjoy your pregnancy! I’m popping soon!