When Should I Schedule My Maternity Session?

When to Book A Maternity Shoot

As a Charlottesville maternity photographer I’d say my most frequently asked question by pregnant moms is When Should I Schedule My Maternity Session?! They want to make sure they are showing enough but also plan ahead of time so they can order a dress and schedule hair and makeup. I think there is a question that is more important though so let’s talk about that first!

When Should I Schedule My Maternity Session?

How far in advance should I book a maternity photographer?

Before worrying about when to schedule a maternity shoot I think you should focus on booking your photographer. Many maternity and newborn photographers book up 3-4 months in advance. So if you wait until your ready to have photos taken you might find your favorite photographer is already booked.

I recommend researching photographers early in your second trimester. Start following them on Instagram and check out their website portfolios. Once you’ve narrowed it down to 2-3 that you really like reach out to get more info and see full galleries.

When to Book A Maternity Shoot

What is the ideal timeframe for my maternity session?

I recommend to my clients that we aim for 28-34 weeks of pregnancy to do their actual maternity photos. Every pregnancy is different and some bumps pop earlier than others. Typically my clients are around 32 weeks of pregnancy when we actually take their photos. If your belly has reached that big and round stage at 28 weeks we can definitely schedule earlier.

I only take on a select amount of clients each month so I have flexibility with scheduling and can move things around to give my clients the best experience possible! I recommend getting your pregnancy photos done before 36 weeks. Just because in my experience things start getting uncomfortable at that stage. But if you decide at the last minute that you really want to book a maternity shoot definitely reach out, as long as you are game so am I :)!

When to Book A Maternity Shoot

What if I’m high risk or expecting multiples?

This is such a good and important question! I myself unexpectedly had to deliver my daughter 4 weeks early. I highly recommend scheduling for closer to 30 weeks then, you might be able to push to 32 but if bedrest gets mentioned schedule ASAP! Even a small belly is better than missing out on these precious photos and it’s not worth risking waiting.

When to Schedule Your Maternity Photos

Do you have flexibility & backup plans for maternity photoshoots?

Yes! Many of my clients are balancing busy family schedules which is why I purposely only take on a few sessions a month. This gives me flexibility to book a time that works for your family. When we pick our initial session date we will also pick a back-up date in case of bad weather or someone feeling under the weather.

For weather we will start watching 10 days out and if it looks like a solid rain day we will switch to our backup date as early as possible. Keep in mind Virginia really likes it’s summer afternoon thunderstorms so if they are calling for spotty storms we will wait to make the call by 3pm that day. Sometimes they pass quickly and we can wait them out or get photos done before they set in.

fitzgerald at home lifestyle maternity session 106

How long does a maternity shoot take?

This is very dependent on your photographer and their style. Personally I find 45min to an hour is plenty to get a beautiful gallery of images. Plus dad really appreciates not having to spend hours having photos taken :).

Fort Lauderdale Photographer

When Should I Schedule My Maternity Session

I hope you enjoyed this FAQ on when to schedule your maternity session I shared today! Remember to book your photographer early so you get the one you want! Then think about scheduling your maternity photos when you are 28-34 weeks with 32 usually being the sweet spot.

If you liked this post we think you might also like:

5 Amazing Options for a Birth Center in Charlottesville, VA!

5 Tips for Choosing a Newborn Photographer

Hi there and thank you for stopping by! I’m Melissa, owner of Melissa Arlena Photography, a Charlottesville photographer specializing in young and growing families in the Richmond & Charlottesville area. If you are interested in talking with me more about booking a family session, let’s connect! Not quite ready, but know you want to keep me in your back pocket? No problem! Follow me on Instagram and let’s be friends!

Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond & Charlottesville Virginia Master newborn & maternity photographer. She offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style. Her clients love that not only do they get digital files from their session but artwork to display in their home. She is happy to design custom wall art galleries to show off your favorite photos! Be sure to check out the Nov 21 issue of Inspired magazine to see a feature on Melissa and her work!

Melissa serves Charlottesville, Richmond, Staunton, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, Culpeper, Gordonsville and beyond.

Miami newborn photographer

Hello & Welcome

I'm Melissa! Luxury maternity and lifestyle newborn photographer in Charlottesville, sail boater, lover of Lilly Pulitzer, and obsessed with true crime and interior design. I'm so glad you found me!


more about me


Favorite Blog Posts

free download


Disclosure Statement is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. participates in other affiliate programs, and receives commissions when purchases are made through the links. This is at no extra cost to you.

Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond and Charlottesville photographer. She recently earned her Master Photographer Certification in the Maternity, Newborn & Family categories from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. Melissa offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style.


Melissa serves Charlottesville, Richmond, Staunton, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, Culpeper, Gordonsville and beyond.



Melissa Arlena Photography captures newborns, maternity, and families.

Charlottesville and richmond, va

Like what you see?