I love shooting maternity sessions. Part of it is seeing the glow on the mom-to-be’s lovely face and the physical proof that in a few short weeks a new little life will be here. But the real fun of it for me is hearing the excitement and anticipation in the expectant mom’s voice – whether this is her 1st or 5th new baby. There is just magic about all of it and I am always honored to be a part of it, catching this time before the beginning.

And here’s the thing. Any woman who had been 30+ weeks pregnant knows it can be hard to get excited about having your photo taken. From the outside, all we see (and I mean everyone but you) is a gorgeous bump and an amazing, if sleep-deprived, time in your near future. But you, understandably, want to look your best. Read on, dear friend, for 3 tips that will help you rock that time in front of the camera as you anticipate the arrival of your new little one.

1. Talk to Your Photographer. As a photographer, I welcome honest input about anything you want to capture AND anything you are concerned about. Pregnancy, for all of us, is filled with challenges that often look like extra pounds in irritating places, skin issues that we haven’t dealt with since age 15, or ankles that just don’t really look like ankles. I can help! Tell your photographer your concerns and I guarantee they will have tricks and strategies for minimizing problem areas. And it will help you relax and enjoy the time.

2. Change it Up. Consider bringing two or three outfits to your shoot. It’s nice to have options and switching your outfit means you’ll have a variety of shots. I’m partial to belly-hugging dresses that show off the star of the show and tend to be flattering for a variety of body types.

3. Get Your Nails Done. Your hands play a big role in most maternity shoots. And honestly, with a newborn just around the corner, this is a good time to take some time for just you. Pretty nails – even cleaned up and painted clear – are a nice touch in photos that inevitably include a lot of hands on the belly.

That’s it! I’m glad you are committed to or at least considering documenting this time in your life. It is a big deal and an amazing memory that will be hard to recall even a few short years from now. Take some great photos of it while it’s here.