Everything You Need to Know about Your Maternity Session: Hampton Roads Boudoir Photographer

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

So, What is a Maternity Session?

A Maternity Session with Sarah McDaniel Studio can be WHATEVER you want it to be. Boudoir, Family, Casual, Outdoors, In-home, or even at the Studio! The idea behind "Couple's Maternity" is for the partner to also be involved, and to celebrate the journey of creating a new family addition.

Bella's Maternity Session is the perfect example of the process of a Couple's Maternity.

Posed, Hair & Makeup, Sets, Partners, and sooooo Much More!

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"We have never done Professional Photos before"

This is the most popular concern I get when talking to potential clients about booking. And guess what? None of my clients are models, I do not work with models.

I work with numerous people that are looking to have Professional Fine Art created for them to celebrate their new journeys in life.

My philosophy with photography is to "Bring Light to the Beauty in Everyone." Regardless of their sexual orientation, body shape, body size, religion, or even their cultural background, they are safe and welcomed in my studio. So relax, breathe, and just know that I will guide you through every pose to make sure you look 100% Goddess material.

I remember when Bella and her husband came in to look over the studio. One of her concerns was how nervous she would be, and how she was worried that her images would not look like the rest of my clients on my website. We sat down, and went over around 12 different sessions, with 12 different men and women, and body shapes. I reminded her that it is normal to feel nervous and that every woman in those images was nervous as well before their session. I reassured her that throughout the session she would be able to look over the images on the back of my camera and be able to be guided through every pose. She was given access to look over the client's closet and felt relieved that she would be able to try on as much as she wanted. And then before she left, she was given a digital guide to poses, inspirations, and access to certain sessions to look over on her own!

"So what happened when she came into the studio for her Session?"

She was still nervous, but she was less nervous than before. And guess what? That is normal! I get it, this isn't something many women or men have done before! Before her Maternity Session, Lindsey Jenkins did her amazing Hair & Makeup, and within 30 minutes her nervous concerns were out of the window. Before her session Lindsey and she chatted about inspirations behind her Hair & Makeup, and what she wanted to have done.

All Bella had to bring was her foundation, and Lindsey Jenkins provided the rest. Bella wanted to go for a more natural look with matte lipstick. She has such beautiful long hair that was curled as well!

"Are You Going to Help Me with Poses?"

This is also one of my top five popular concerns that clients bring up. And trust me, not only will I help you with the poses, I will be your hype girl for the Whole Session. When you are posing and arching your back just know that I will be there 100% helping you with everything. By the time you leave the studio, you will feel 100% like a Bad Ass Goddess, and that is my goal!

Usually, with Maternity we start out with the Family Photos, or what I like to call "Let's not give your Family a Heart attack photos." With Bella's session, she chooses between 10 different "Family Friendly" Outfits. These Outfits I will go more into depth later on, but she chooses the beautiful dresses in the client's closet. Her first set was the "White Sheer Door" set which has been known as my "HOT DAMN set."

This was her first image, THIS. Simple & Elegant right?

When I showed her this image her nervous concerns were 500 miles away. She saw for the first time how beautiful her body was. AND HER BUTT. Like DAMN. After this photo, we took a few more of her moving her body and hands around. I have had clients absolutely love this set for the Silhouettes and Highlights that surround the client.

And then we brought her husband in.

During this pose, I asked them to become intimate and relaxed with each other. They went ahead and kissed, held each other, danced, and then they looked down at the belly. This is personally one of my favorite shots when it comes to Couple's Maternity. It allows the photo to have their own time capsule of the moment when their baby was still developing. But here is the real question..

"How Do I Get My Partner To Take Photos?"

This. THIS. Trust me when I tell you, this is the hard part. Well.. sometimes. Typically the partners in the sessions are more comfortable when they see their partner taking photos beforehand. Also, I make sure that both of the clients are well educated with past sessions and how to prepare for the session. I have never had a partner not take photos during the session, unless, of course, it is something out of their control.

"What Should My Partner Wear?"

I always recommend clients to wear whatever they feel comfortable in. I have had partners of different orientations come in and ask what they should wear, and I ask them what they feel comfortable in. Because let's face it, if you are wearing something that isn't comfortable for you physically or mentally..


So, here is my advice. Look over the Past Sessions I have for couples, look over the Pinterest Links I sent for inspirations, and do not be afraid to ask me any questions! I love it when the partner is upfront about their style! Usually, the partner brings three different outfits! One for Family Photos, One for Boudoir, and another one just in case! But just remember to be comfortable in what you are wearing, and do not stress out the color of the shirt. I promise you, you will look amazing!

"Boudoir? What Does the Male Client Wear?"

Usually, when it comes to Boudoir the Male Partner wears their favorite Underwear or button-up shirt. However, I am going to say it again. WEAR WHAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE IN. Almost all of my male clients have never had their bodies photographed like this. AND IT IS NORMAL TO FEEL NERVOUS. So, bring some nice underwear, shirts, jeans, or even just a tux. Whatever you feel comfortable in. Usually, male clients wear jeans without a shirt, and if they want, they dress down to underwear. I go over all of this before the session with the male client so they will be better prepared, and educated!

"Boudoir? What Does the Female Client Wear?"

For the Female Client, I have a ton of options for their ideal session and look. We go over all of this before their session, and after their Hair & Makeup. If your partner is of the same sex, they are also welcomed to have their Hair & Makeup done, and they also have access to the client's closet as well! Sarah McDaniel Studio is a non-judgemental studio, and we welcome the LGBT community! Also, I have tons of Outfits and Jewelry for Partners that are Same-Sex, or Female Sex. My closet is full of 80 different pairs of lingerie, body jewelry, fishnets, and of course dresses. I am going to be expanding my client's closet as well for the Male sex soon!

"What types of Sets do we get to play with?"

For the In-studio Maternity, you have around 10-15 different sets to play in. We already went over the "Hot Damn" Set aka Shear Set, so let's adventure into a few more we have!

The Candle Couch Set

This set is for the transition between Boudoir & Family Photos. Most of my clients will remember this set from the Goddess Boudoir theme I supply. The couch is an amazing set surrounded by ivy, plants, candles, and of course dramatic lighting. For the Family Photos, I tend to add more light, and then for the boudoir, the candles are in full control. We spend around 10-15 minutes with this set, allowing each client to receive their ideal photos and experience. I am going to add in another photo from another session to help bring in the overall experience with the change in lighting. Bella wanted the more bright photos for her couch sets, so we did a little twist with hers.

I also allow the Fog Machine to come out during this set. I have had clients use this set for their Boudoir Images as well! And of course for that "Tushy Tuesday" Photos!

The Blue Wall

The Blue Wall set is the home for the "Darker Images." I have clients that love the intimate and dark shadows that are produced throughout this set. During this set Clients usually are dressed for Boudoir and Nude images! We also allow Couple's Boudoir to come into play! I am going to add in several other images to showcase this amazing set!

"The Chair"

This Chair is a newer set for Boudoir & Maternity Sessions! I have had clients literally fall asleep in this comfortable chair. And yes, it is SAFE! Usually when I am doing the solo images the Partner "Sits" in the chair, aka Falls Asleep! For Maternity we all base this set around how comfortable and flexible you are! So do not worry!

"The Bench"

This is my "HOT DAMN PART TWO" set! During this set I have real and fake candles going around the bedroom! You and Your Partner are placed onto a bench to do 4-7 different sets and poses. Each pose is unique and allows your images to feel Artistic and Locked in Time. Oh, and of course.


"The Bed"

The Bed is everyone's favorite. We spend around 20 minutes just with this set. Allowing Solo Boudoir and Couples Boudoir to come into play. At this point in the session you are completely comfortable. This also might be because this bed is literally the more comfortable bed known to man.

"The Shear Milk Bath Set"

This set is the first set for the Milk Bath Portion of the Session. During this session the client is placed into a Claw-foot Tub, and surrounded by Flowers of their choice. The first set is the brightest of the sets. It allows all the light to be focused on the client. We also bring in the partner for the more intimate photos, and we allow the client(s) to feel comfortable and safe! The client usually wears between 1-2 outfits during the Milk Bath Session, and has the option to be nude and covered in shear!

"The Candle Milk Bath Set"

The Candle Milk Bath Set is the more dramatic lighting set. I place real and fake candles around the tub. During this portion the client is moved and posed in several different sets to show off the Goddess Within. The Candles are used to light the Client as well! The Client has the option to choose another outfit or place additional Shear and Flowers into the Tub!

"The Grand Ending"

The ending Set allows the client to be able to sit on the edge of the tub, or be sitting up in the tub. Both Sets can be done within the session as well!

So yes! Maternity Sessions are completely different at Sarah McDaniel Studio. Interested in Booking?



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Sarah McDaniel Studio offers maternity and boudoir photography services throughout the coastal Virginia area including:

Chesapeake  | D.C. GloucesterHampton Roads | Norfolk | Portsmouth | Richmond Suffolk | Virginia Beach | Yorktown 

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