When planning a maternity session, I recommend you be anywhere from 28-36 weeks, that way it is obvious you are pregnant but you are hopefully still comfortable walking around and we have a bit of wiggle room in case the baby comes early. If your ideal time for maternity photos falls in the winter, don't worry as we can definitely still create some stunning images.
Winter weather brings with it stunning backdrops, but also some unique challenges, but don't let the cold stop you from capturing some cherished memories at a special time in your life. Here are some questions to ask to help prepare you for your session.
Decide if you want photos to be a family event
Do you plan for maternity photos to just feature you, or are you wanting to include your spouse and/or kids? If you have young kiddos I try not to shoot outside below 0C, because there is nothing harder to photograph than a cold kid (and who can blame them!) If you have your heart set on an outdoor maternity session and the weather is chilly, I recommend the maternity session with just you and your spouse and then including the whole family in an indoor newborn session once your little one arrives.
Choose the perfect location
I am always up for a location that is meaningful to you. On-farm maternity sessions can be absolutely stunning in a field with horses or cattle. I also am partial to Cypress Hills this time of year as it looks like a winter wonderland! Choosing a space where we have space to move around, there is different types of scenery, and the background is not cluttered with houses, powerlines, or other obstacles makes for stunning photos. If you don't have a location in mind, I can recommend a few of my favourites. The best part about a winter shoot is getting those beautiful golden-hour photos starting in the mid afternoon (4-6pm depending on the location and time of year.)
Wear good winter footwear
This is especially important if it is icy out or if we have to walk around to get to our location. Wear something you feel comfortable in, and that you can walk in. If your winter boots are not super photogenic, no worries! We can slip into something else right before we start photos, I just don't want any mommas falling down on my watch.
Have a couple outfit options
This is your chance to add some variety to your shoot. Plus, it is just fun to dress up and show off what a stunning, radiant, momma to be I know you are! I recommend one casual/every day outfit and then something a little more fancy. I have some stunning client closet dresses that are perfect for bringing the wow factor to your maternity session and the best part? Almost all of my client closet options are bump friendly, made to fit multiple sizes, and lets you show as much or as little of your bare stomach as you would like.
Bundle up between poses
In a maternity session there is a lot more standing around and less movement than in other types of sessions, meaning it is easy to get cold. I recommend bringing a big coat or cozy blanket to cuddle up in between poses or as I set things up. Not only is it nice to be cozy and warm but it helps prevent you from getting a red or runny nose during your session.
Bring snacks and water
Don't get too caught up in the preparations for your session and forget to eat and drink! There is nothing worse than showing up to a shoot hangry and fatigued. The cold weather can be demanding, especially if you're expecting. Remember to stay hydrated and well-nourished throughout the shoot. Bring water, snacks, and take breaks as needed to ensure you're comfortable and energized to allow you to fully enjoy the experience.
A winter maternity photoshoot is a celebration of the beauty and warmth that comes with new beginnings. By preparing thoughtfully, dressing for both style and comfort and choosing the right location, you can turn your maternity session into a timeless collection of images that beautifully captures this precious chapter of your life. Embrace the season, bundle up in elegance and let the winter magic unfold in every frame.