The Photograph I Wish I Had: Why Maternity Photography Matters

My studio is currently being remodeled and a few of us from our artist cooperative took a break from working and, over dinner, ended up on the subject of maternity photography. One of us wondered what kids will think when they are older about seeing their mothers’ old maternity portraits.

I realized that I don’t have a single portrait of my mother pregnant. The very few pictures that do exist are simply candids – nothing a professional shot. Even if stylistically dated, it would’ve been nice to have a professionally taken photograph of my mother pregnant with me.

Last year I had a client who was  uncertain whether or not she wanted maternity portraits and needed convincing. I did some hard, emotional selling: “Get the photos done because you’ll be glad you did later even if you hate them now.” I wanted her baby to have a carefully considered picture of her pregnant mommy. Not everyone has that.

Some women disliked their maternity portraits and then, a few years later, they were sharing them on social media – gushing about how young and glowing they looked, pregnant with a child who is now walking and talking. The photos they were dreading became something they cherished.

If you’re expecting, please consider hiring a photographer to take your portrait. The person you hire does not have to be a professional photographer in the strictest sense. Find someone with intention, who wants to document an important period of your life even if you think you don’t want it. Your kids will thank you later.