Top Maternity Photography Near Me in San Diego | Portraits by Z

Maternity Guide

San Diego

Maternity photo shoot guide

First of all huge congratulations on your pregnancy! Bringing a baby into this world is the most precious and life-changing experience in a woman’s life. Whether you are playing with the idea of having a maternity photoshoot or not, having a professional maternity session is a perfect way to make this very special time celebrated and cherished for a lifetime. If you never experienced a professional photo session before it’s important to know how to look for a photographer that can create your vision and how to get ready for your photo shoot. You can view my maternity photography gallery here.

Choose your photographer

It is important to do a little research before you start looking for a maternity photographer. There are very different styles when it comes to maternity photography. Pinterest is a great platform to search maternity images and see which style appeals to you most.

san diego maternity pregnancy photographer

How to choose your maternity photographer?

The Style

You should choose a photographer whose style fits your vision. There are many styles out there to choose from. Do you prefer studio maternity that offers boudoir maternity, fine art, glamour or fashion styles? Do you prefer shooting outdoors in nature, beach, or in architecture? Do you prefer an editorial style or posed?

Quality of their work

Even though you may not be an expert in photography you can understand good-quality photography.

When you look at a photographer’s work first you can ask yourself how does the picture make you feel? What makes an image good is how it affects you emotionally.

A photographer specializing in maternity rather than a generalist will definitely will stand out. They will know how to work with all types of pregnant body types and they will be an expert in posing.

Lighting is a very important factor in photography. It needs to be complementing the shape of a subject and pleasing to the eye.

Other things to look for are the photographs composited well and interesting to your eye.

blonde expectant woman posing seductively behind a veil

Their experience

Although the amount of years aren’t the most important factor when hiring your maternity photographer it is definitely a bonus to work with someone who has been specializing in this genre for a long time. The more experienced photographer would know how to guide you with posing, use the appropriate lighting, the ideal setups, wardrobe options and etc.


Look for a photographer that offers printing options. Although we live in a digital era we think we only need the digital images from our sessions.

From an over a decade of professional photography experience I know for fact if I don’t deliver a finalized beautiful print for my clients they either don’t ever get printed or printed with very poor quality.

If you choose a photographer that has a beautiful print collection, they will design your artwork and create you a stunning album or wall art that will be a family heirloom for years to come.

incredible maternity photograph with a woman holding her belly

How to dominate your session

Schedule Your Session In Advanced 

The last thing you want to do is set your heart on a maternity photographer but learn that they are booked and can’t get you on their calendar. You want to book your maternity photo shoot in advance to give yourself time to plan out your session, do a little fun shopping for your shoot, and most importantly get on your favorite photographer’s calendar.

Plan to Book a Shoot for Your Third Trimester 

I typically recommend having a maternity session around 7 months of pregnancy. During this time your bump will be showing well for maternity photos and you will be able to pose comfortably during the photo session, also avoid risky timeline for swelling which may occur during the last months of pregnancy.

Schedule a consultation with your photographer 

Reach out to your photographer and see if they offer consultations before the photo shoot. it is important to share your vision with your photographer. You can share example images of the look you are looking for in your pregnancy photos. You can discuss what you are comfortable with whether you’re interested in doing nudes or partial nudes if you are having your session at a private studio. Discuss how many people will be included in your shoot. It may be a good idea to include the little ones in the beginning or at the end of your photo shoot since their attention span is very short and especially if you are planning on having nude maternity images you may feel much more comfortable not when they are present.

Watch for those tan lines! 

It is a good idea to avoid getting tan lines before your shoot. Photoshop can do wonders but tan lines are one of the hardest things to get rid of during editing.

Have Your Hair and Makeup Done Professionally 

Ask your photographer if the hair and makeup is included in your photo session. If not, it is a good idea to hire a hair and make-up artist before your shoot. A professional artist will know how to do your hair and makeup so it shows best in photographs. It is important to know what style you have in mind and share it with the makeup artist.

What to Wear 

If your photographer is offering consultations this is the time when you would plan out what to bring for your maternity photo shoot. Your photographer may have a maternity gown or dress collection you would have access to. If they don’t offer, you can find some beautiful gowns on Etsy and Amazon. If you are bringing family members to your shoot, it’s important to go with similar or complementary colors for everyone.

Try to avoid wearing clothing that would leave marks on your body coming to your shoot. Underwear and bras are important factors as well. If you planning on nudes or partial nudes you may want to consider bringing lace underwear, strapless bras, and pasties.

Including Your Other Children 

If you are planning to include your other children in your maternity photo shoot, you might consider making plans for them to be picked up when they are done with the family shots. This would allow you to focus on your single maternity shots without getting distracted.

Enjoy your photo shoot! 

Now that all the preparation is done it’s time for you to enjoy your photoshoot! Get pampered with hair and makeup and feel like a goddess on this special day. After all its a once in a lifetime event 🙂

Check out the frequently asked questions at San Diego Maternity Photography page. Contact me to book your free consultation.

San Diego pregnancy photographer

Get to know our process

Step 1

We meet via Zoom or in person and so you can share your ideas with your maternity photographer.

Step 2

We spruce up your look with quality makeup, amazing hair products, and beautiful lingerie.

Step 3

You pick your favorite maternity pictures once they’re edited and made into works of art.

Explore our completed works

Start your journey in boudoir & maternity photography here

Fill in the form below and schedule a free initial consultation to get familiar with the process before your photo shoot. Feel free to tell us your wishes and expectations, and we’ll make sure to bring your vision to life.