The best time for scheduling a maternity session is between 33-37 weeks of pregnancy. 6 weeks before the due date is your safest bet, because babies don't always arrive when expected. I recommend no sooner than 33 weeks.
The best place for doing maternity photos is outdoors. I love selecting dramatic and colorful settings such as the Botanical Gardens. However, urban settings are also fun and dynamic. It it all about your personal style.
Speaking of...Pinterest is fantastic for inspiration! Check out my maternity pin board for ideas. Here you will also see the types of styles I recommend for clothing.
White or light colors, such as pastels, are the best choice. I do not recommend black. These colors allow you to take center stage in the photograph. They enable me to create strong contrasts between the clothing and the background colors. Patterned clothing can be distracting and draw the attention when the portrait is viewed. If looking for a great maternity dress, take a look here. I highly recommend gowns or dresses that are made specifically for pregnant bellies, because they contour to the body. Take a look here at examples or even purchase a gown. Do a search for maternity gowns on Amazon.com and you will find some amazing choices, all affordable and very flattering! If looking for something more high end, I love the 'Ophelia Gown' from Ana Brandt.
If your partner or other family members will join you in the maternity portraits, coordinate the color and style of clothing. Varying colors and styles of clothing will be distracting and will take away from the faces in the portrait. The end result may be a busy portrait that is not pleasing to the eye.
Consider showing your belly in your maternity portraits. Wearing a bandeaux or bringing one along, with a cute pair of jeans, can make for an adorable belly shot. If you prefer to keep your stomach covered, a tight-fitting shirt will accent the belly while keeping you covered.
The most important factor when deciding on the clothes to wear for maternity portraits is your comfort. The photography session should be a relaxing and fun experience. If you feel uncomfortable in your outfit, it may show in the maternity portraits.
The best thing about your newborn session will be that it takes place in the comforts of your home. I will bring all props, accessories, backdrops, wood floor paper, wraps, blankets and furs. Although natural light is desirable, I will bring supplemental continuous lighting, if it will be needed. Nurseries and master bedrooms will be the best places to photograph. I look for solid walls for portraits with parents. I also love incorporating the personal touches and love that go into the nurseries you create (as seen here).
Best time to take the photos: within 24-48 hours of birth is great, but if you want to wait until you are home with baby and settled in, try not wait longer than 10 days. The ideal for optimal results is up to 7 days of age. Of course this can change if you have a full term or a pre term baby.
You may think that a newborn session is quick and easy. 80% of the time, it is not. It takes a lot of patience and time, and then a little more patience.
What you can do to help:
Most important thing is to be sure your newborn has been fed at least thirty minutes prior to the session. If it has been more than two hours since the last feeding, but baby is sleeping, it is highly likely that when I move your newborn he or she will wake up hungry. Anticipate your baby being hungrier than usual, or needing the help of a pacifier or bottle to relax him/her. The posing and rearranging of baby will likely overstimulate. Nursing baby is ideal for both mommy and baby, but as nursing can sometimes take an hour - you don't want that to affect our session time. If possible, bottle feed during the session. Then you know your baby is full.
Have baby covered in blanket or wrapped very loosely, so we don't wake baby by unswaddling or undressing.
Try to make the room or home where we are shooting warmer than usual, as babies get cold very easily. If you are hoping to get certain poses, just be aware of your baby's comfort level. Some babies only like being swaddled, others like being unwrapped.
Clothing: nude babies are the most precious. I use wraps and covers wherever needed - diapers off is optional. Additionally, newborn outfits are usually too large to fit your baby.
I encourage creativity, so incorporate anything you like.
Parents should wear solid white, or pastel colors, especially for when we photograph you with your baby. I highly recommend plain t-shirts. For moms, preferably sleeves (i.e. no tanks or straps)