MBL Maternity Session Guide

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This guide is here to help you get prepped, ready and excited for your upcoming maternity session! I’ll touch on everything you need to know to go into the session feeling confident and ready to get some killer portraits of yourself or you and your other half. Take a peek at all the tips and tricks I’ve accumulated for you and definitely reach out with any questions you may have!

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LOCATION

When planning for a great session, your location choice is the perfect place to start.

Think of your personality - Are you someone who enjoys the outdoors or someone who would rather spend time in the comfort of your own home? Are you most comfortable in nature or do you like the urban feel of a downtown core? Start off with some general ideas of what setting would suit you and your other half and then start to narrow it down.

Think of your hobbies + history - What do you like to do with a free weekend? Where would you spend a Sunday afternoon? Is visiting a favourite coffee shop, heading down an awesome trail or catching a sport game right up your alley as you prep for your new addition? I also love hearing about places that are meaningful to you. It could be a spot you spent time as a kid or somewhere special to you as a couple! Although we may not spend an entire session at one of your favourite spots, it could be a great addition to your collection and will be even more special when you see the finished portraits!

Think of the big picture - Invision your favourite portraits from the session hanging on a wall in your home or nursery. Think of the colours, the textures, and the backdrops that may work best with your decor!

If you can’t think of a location right away, don’t worry - I’m here to help with a bundle of suggestions for places we can head. We’ll find somewhere perfect for you!

I even have a location “Bucket List”, so if you want to take a peek at it to spark your imagination just let me know!

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STYLE

First and foremost, you should feel comfortable in and great about your outfit! Pick something from your closet that you love, and that represents YOUR style – you certainly want to look like your awesome selves during your session, not someone else.

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To start, let’s think of the time of year and of course dress for the weather. Next, think of where these photos will be displayed. If you are looking for a great wall portrait, take a little bit of time to think of the location as well as the style of the room you will be hanging it in. Maybe you’re using the images for an maternity album or pregnancy announcements and want to have the wardrobe coincide with your vision and taste. This usually gets clients thinking of how dressed up they want to be for the session. Also know there is no such thing as being overdressed. Both flowy dresses and tighter attire can show off your bump perfectly, so either approach is a great option!

Next, know that you do want to coordinate, but be careful not to match completely. Neutrals always work in any background so maybe use one of those as your base. You can add a pop of colour here and there if you want to, especially to match the season. If you’re doing the session solo, you have quite a bit more freedom to wear anything you’d like. If you’re bringing your partner for the portraits as well, think about what they will be wearing to the session as well and compliment each other as best you can!

Solid colours work great, and please be sure not to wear anything that will distract the viewer (ex. bright neon colours, very busy patterns, or large logos on clothing). Even in the summer heat it is usually best for males to wear long pants and avoid any cut off t-shirts – the sessions aren’t too long, so don’t worry!

You can also take the location of the photos into account and allow that to influence your choices as well! Putting in a small amount of effort before hand will pay off when you see the finished product and how great you will both look! And finally, just a helpful reminder that both your hands and feet with be in a lot of the photos, so don’t neglect your shoe choice, or the opportunity to give yourself a manicure!

Wondering if you can do a wardrobe change half way through a session? You absolutely can! We can swap for a more casual second option, one that will suit a second location, or even the second outfit you were dying to wear. Check out some pallets as a good place to start!

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EXPECTATIONS

So how do the maternity sessions work?

They are truly a ton of fun! We’ll stroll through the locations we’ve picked for the session effortlessly working our way through some loosely posed images, chatting away and probably laughing quite a bit. A little more on that later.

Sessions normally last between 1-1.5 hours and are typically scheduled within the first or last couple hours of sunlight. That gorgeous and glowy light that happens right after sunrise or just before sunset is PERFECT for flattering and dynamic looks to your images. It will help you look your best and is consistent with the style that may have attracted you guys to me in the first place!

Your maternity gallery will be up and ready for you typically within 2 weeks of your session, and you can pick your favourites images and products from there!

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POSING

Let me start off this section by telling you that this is the number one fear of clients going into an engagement session but it is the one thing that you definitely don’t have to worry about! I can’t tell you how often I hear that clients haven’t been in front of a lens before, don’t like being there, and are worried about looking awkward. I think I hear it every single time, which is TOTALLY normal! It’s not your job to be a model, but it is your job to be yourself.

Take the pressure off your shoulders and know that I won’t lead you astray.

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Everyone needs a little bit of guidance in terms of where to stand, how to highlight your best features and of course how to work with the setting. I’m really chatty through the sessions and will definitely help you get the hang of these things the entire time we’re together. By the time we hit the halfway mark, you’ll be a total pro!

Although I’m sure it’s easier than it sounds, I want you both to be yourselves! If you’re a joker, I’d love for you to crack some jokes...if you two are professional cuddlers, snuggle up! Even though you have me tagging along, I love to get to know my couples as they are in everyday life...and being yourself will naturally shine through your portraits every time!

Maternity sessions are nothing short of a good time, and I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you feel at ease, look your best and bring out those true personalities and feelings of excitement as you’re about to welcome the newest addition to your family. If you have any hesitations, any minor insecurities or worries going into the session - I’d love to chat about them beforehand. Getting the most out of your session and ensuring you two have the best time possible is my number one priority!

So let any posing nerves be gone! Let’s have some fun and make some awesome images that capture the true nature of this awesome milestone!

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PRODUCTS

Besides sharing them with family and friends, my favourite way for couples to display their top maternity images is either in a custom designed album for the coffee table...or blown up as artwork in their home. Some shots are just meant to fill a blank wall, those shots that are so “you guys” or the ones that capture your excitement the most. Personalizing your space and having a tangible way to enjoy the images you’ve invested in is the best decision you can make!

There is something for everyone so I’d love for you to inquire about some product options before, during or after your session!

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FINAL TIPS

Ladies - If you’re interested, schedule a hair and/or makeup appointment for the day of your session! It’s a great way to take the worrying out of getting prepped for the session - and not to mention, treating yourself to a little pampering before the baby comes is an awesome gift!

Gents - This session won’t be as bad as you think! Even on the odd chance you aren’t quite as excited as your other half, hopefully the time spent together will be chalked up as another fun date night out! Helping pick the location is an awesome way to get more invested in the photos right off the bat! Have a really cool idea? Run it by me!

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Hopefully by this point you’re more excited then you were before and you’re feeling prepped and ready to go! I’m truly so thrilled I was chosen to help you two capture this amazing time in your lives and providing you with some images to reflect all those feelings this pregnancy brings is my number one mission!

Of course, if there are any additional questions please drop me a line! If not, let’s go have some fun!!

- Lauren

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