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Best reasons NOT to have a maternity photo session.

You don't even recognise yourself anymore.

Lets face it you have a hard enough time making yourself a cup of rooibos tea let alone posing in front of a camera. You just don't feel like yourself. You have a million reasons why you don't feel beautiful, even though your hair and nails look amazing and you should be focusing on how lovely that is, sometimes you cant get passed the fact that your skin is acting up with all the hormones. Your feet are swollen you don't even have ankles anymore not to mention that your boobs are the size of watermelons! You are over-heated exhausted and flustered. You have retrained so much water you feel like the 'Oros mannetjie’. Some woman only gain weight in their bellies while other gain it all over, and it is just unfair! You cant sleep and every position you try is another reminder that your body is being shared and you don't feel like you have any say anymore. You are always tired. The morning sickness has passed but you still feel nauseous and hungry ALL the time even when you eat what you thought you craved you realise your body was playing yet another game and it really doesn't agree with you. The heart burn, oh the heartburn. Remember that you are not alone and that so many woman, infact most woman feel this way during pregnancy.

A friend of mine, Ziggy once said to me that she now understands the 'glow' that everyone talks about..its the sweat on your forehead. This made me laugh so much! It is important to know that you are beautiful even if you don't feel so at that moment in time, a tissue and some powder takes care of that sweat instantly (ok perhaps you need to soak your feet in some cold water and switch on the air-con). You are beautiful just remember that a maternity shoot is about capturing the love and overwhelming joy you have for your baby, not about how you look.

Some woman find it delightful to have their hair and make-up done and just embrace the moment they focus on how amazing it is to feel their own baby move, feel the baby growing even when they kick you in the ribs and it feels like your spinal cord is about to snap. They focus on the miracle and that they are part of it, a vital part. Amongst all the not so nice things about being pregnant Yolandi reminded me about how she loved being pregnant and how she loved the dreams she had while she was. It made her feel alive, she was part of something so magnificent. Now all that being said please take a moment to realise that the maternity shoot is not about how you look, its about how you feel. Stay positive your baby thrives on positivity! Embrace the time you have left being one. Realise that none of the other things that you are going through will matter in a few months.

Your time being pregnant is special, you want to have memories to show your baby once they are grown up of how much they were loved even before they were born. You will want to schedule your maternity shoot session before you are too uncomfortable. The average time to do a shoot would be around 28-30 weeks., that being said some mommies-to-be can stretch it to the end and have no problem. But if you are starting to feel uncomfortable and your belly is prominent enough, why not, there are no rules book a session before you feel too uncomfortable.

Just let go!

Yolandi Prins, and Ru

You have nothing to wear

Nothing you try on fits anymore and you are so near the end that you don't want to invest in anymore clothes that wont be useful after the baby arrives. How will you possibly find a flattering outfit for this shoot? The idea of finding something to make you look and feel beautiful for your maternity shoot is stressing you out so much that you think that its easier just to leave it all together. You are not alone so many woman feel the exact same way. A few simple tips can change all of this without you having to go shopping, firstly when you’re taking maternity photos it will possibly last for an hour or so, you want to be as comfortable as can be. In my opinion the allround winner would be the Maxi dress, every one has one! It just so happens to look amazing on any pregnant body because it’s fantastically flattering. It covers up anything you don’t want shown, like your swollen legs and ankles, and at the same time when pulled agains your belly you can show off your round spectacular bump. The flowing fabric always looks amazing, it creates lots of subtle movement in your photographs. Its a no brainer you just can’t go wrong! Take it a step further and pair it with a pretty belt, the belt aaaah what a beautiful and perfect way to accentuate your belly without bending over backwards. Make sure you place the belt just below your bosom right where the top of your belly starts . Cant find a pretty belt? Just use a ribbon. Try to keep your fabric classic, don't opt for anything with intricate pattern or print. Try to wear solid colours so your bump stands out the most. If you feel to ‘plain Janey', try wearing a classic piece with texture instead of print it will most certainly add dimension to you photos and lets face it texture in photographs are brilliant and beautiful.

Ilze & George Watt, and Taylor.

Ilze & George Watt, and Taylor.

a Waste of 'Time&Money'

You feel like you would rather spend the money on new born photos of your new baby because photos of yourself looking this way is a waste and totally pointless. Perhaps you are a single parent and dont have anyone encouraging you? Once again you are beautiful! Start believing it! Saying that its not worth it, makes no sense! this is your experience you are going through this, it is insanely special. Perhaps this is the only chance you will have at being pregnant, you deserve to capture it. In 5 years time you will look back at these images laugh and joke with friends or your partner about all that baby weight. Or perhaps you wont even care because you will remember how you felt, how you reacted to that first kick, how you felt when it finally sank in that you are going to be a mommy! Guess what? You will have no regrets having memories captured. This is you, this is what you went through. You did this. Love it embrace it. Know that it is totally worth it, even if you never did it with your other children, this is your chance to do it now! You will have no regrets. Please also know that we as photographers understand that sometimes you cannot afford to have your bump photographed professionally, we realise times are tough,but where there is a will there is a way. Please contact me to find out more.

Yolandi and Anouk Prins, and Ru.

As a photographer I find this interesting, I take pride in being part of your journeys and I , will always be a huge fan and contributor of no regrets! Please feel free to share this with any woman you feel might be having a hard time feeling beautiful.

Happy womans day

All images © 2024 Jeanne van Heerden

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