Wouldn’t it be nice to own the spotlight before your life completely changes? You can do exactly that with professional maternity photos in Northern Virginia. With so many dates and so much information to keep track of, I break down when to take maternity photos for you below — so you can be sure to capture “maximum belly” while still feeling (relatively) comfortable.

With maternity photos, you can capture the absolute amazingness that your body is capable of, along with the moment in time where you’re not quite who you were before pregnancy, but not quite who you’ll be after baby arrives. It’s an incredible, transformative (physically and mentally) time that we’re able to preserve with photos.

Not sure when to schedule your maternity session? I share some tips and guidelines below — but know it’s different for every person, so feel free to reach out if you’d like personalized assistance.

So when should I take my maternity photos?

My general guideline for when to take your maternity photos is when can we maximize the bump, but also maximize your comfort. For many expecting parents, this is anywhere from week 27-35, aiming for weeks 30-32 if possible. During this time, your belly will be close to its largest size without the discomfort many people experience in the final weeks of pregnancy. We want to capture your belly when it’s pronounced, but not so large that it’s difficult to pose, walk, or feel comfortable in general. We also want to make sure we have time to capture your pregnancy photos before baby actually arrives, and they do sometimes arrive early!

Many people do schedule their maternity photos outside the 27-35 week timeframe, and below, I’ll cover some reasons why this might be a good idea for some expecting parents.

When to schedule maternity photos if this isn’t your first pregnancy

Obviously every pregnancy is different — but generally speaking, many people pregnant for the second or more time find that their bellies “pop” earlier, and/or that their babies arrive earlier than with their first pregnancy. For these reason, I recommend scheduling a maternity session for a second or more pregnancy earlier than a first time pregnancy.

If this is your second time or more pregnancy, I recommend scheduling in the 25-30 week timeframe. This will hopefully optimize belly size while having relatively more energy to interact with your other children during the photoshoot. It also helps ensure we’re able to capture your maternity photos before baby arrives, as many second time or more pregnancies arrive earlier than first timers.

When to schedule maternity photos if you’re expecting twins or triplets

I highly recommend capturing twin and triplet (or more!) pregnancies as soon as your belly “pops.” For some people, this may be as early as the 20 week mark, and for others, it may be closer to 25 or 26 weeks. I do try to keep a bit of flexibility in my schedule for parents expecting multiples, and if you let me know ahead of time, I can usually move your session within a week or two of you notifying me that you’re ready.

20-25 weeks may seem early, but there are so many rapid changes with multiples — I want to make sure we capture your pregnancy before your belly starts to feel uncomfortable. Multiples are also notorious for arriving early, and we want to make sure we capture your images before the babies arrives!

Final thoughts about when to schedule your maternity photoshoot

Maternity photos are all about capturing not just the physical but also mental and emotional changes that come along with creating and bringing new life into the world. It’s a magical time and your maternity photos should reflect that.

While I do recommend taking your maternity photos between weeks 27-35, it might not be the right time for every person. Ultimately, it’s up to you, your personal situation, and your own comfort — though I do strongly suggest aiming for earlier rather than later.

Still have questions about when to take your maternity photos?

Please reach out! I’m always happy to chat about the pros and cons of various timing, and like I said, so much depends on your own personal situation. You can contact me here. If you’re ready to book , you can find session info here. You can also read what clients are saying about their maternity photos in my Google Reviews here, or check out more images below!