How to prepare – Maternity

Congratulations on your soon to be here little one! I’m excited to help you capture this incredibly transformative time. Maternity sessions are best done between 32 and 36 weeks. I think pregnant women are the most beautiful things ever and I want you to feel that way! I love capturing that wonderful anticipation that occurs in the last weeks between the parents.  There are many options for these sessions ~ I will work with you to choose the right style of maternity portrait that fits you best.

What resonates with you?
There are a few different directions we can go with a maternity session. Think of it like an engagement session, telling the story of your love for one another, yet while anticipating this sweet creation you have embarked on together. What is your story? What is your aesthetic? Is there some place special that calls to you? Or is there a particular kind of maternity portrait you just have to have?

Here’s some basic examples of different kinds of sessions:

Home storytelling – Let’s document your partner reading to your baby in your belly, your oldest sitting on your hip as you enjoy these last weeks with them just before their new sibling comes along, and let’s capture you doing all the things together that tell your story.

Nature! – Let’s go play in the forest, go for a hike on your favorite trail or visit a botanical garden.

The Coast – Let’s find the most golden light we can at the edge of the sea. Always super romantic at sunset and full of symbolism.

San Francisco – Super fun and whimsical! These are colorful, vibrant and texture filled sessions which you can feel the high energy through.

Home studio – if you desire maternity portraits that show the beautiful lines of your pregnant body with draped fabrics and textures, don’t hesitate to ask! These types of portraits are breathtaking and truly show your body in this amazing light. I do not bring a studio setup, but use your home as the backdrop using your own walls, bed, seating and windows to create classic portraiture of you.


This is a very special time in your life, if you can, buy yourself something you feel absolutely fantastic in. You are more of a goddess than ever, embrace it! Here are some of my favorite online retailers that have gorgeous dresses and outfits that are swoon worthy in pictures :

Free People
Sew Trendy
Three Bird Nest
Go Gently Nation

Basic suggestions
A neutral palette is gorgeous and lends well to more organic and natural imagery – it is my preferred look, as I feel it photographs the most beautifully. Cream, gray, earthy green, brown, beige, white, rose, light blue, light pink, etc. Coordinating those tones help to create images that are truly timeless. This definitely works well in nature – think beach, forest, open fields. Looks great for home sessions as well.

Alternatively, a color palette is super fun! If color is your thing and you want images that are vibrant and playful, the possibilities are endless for incorporating it into your shoot. Long are the days of “matchy matchy” portraits.

Layers: Jackets, scarves, vests, hats!  Gives great depth and is important for changing weather (dual purpose!).

Accessories:  Bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc. Just please stay away from giant watches, as I will ask you to remove them.

Make-up – I do suggest make-up for these sessions, but if it’s not normally your thing a little mascara, a bit of cheek color and chap stick or lip-gloss goes a long way. For those that do their make-up regularly, do as your normally would, but stay away from anything that has excess shimmer in it – dewy and glowy is great, but sparkly does not show well in pictures. I do have make-up artist connections if you are interested in commissioning one for your session.

What works
Cohesion! Coordinating a palette, not matching.
Sticking to your personalities (this will translate in your pictures if you feel yourselves!)
Layers (for diversity, interest and weather)

What to avoid
Logos on clothing
Tops that show your bra-strap
Large horizontal stripes
Florescent colors
Large patterns
Lots of red or magenta against your face

Pinterest Inspiration Boards

Please check out my PINTEREST page for wardrobe palette inspiration

Style & Select
If you are just truly baffled and need some styling assistance, I’ve partnered with an incredible service called Style & Select! Simply go to the questionnaire and use your unique access code that I emailed to you (if you didn’t receive one, let me know) to begin styling your entire family from the comfort of your couch. No more running store to store and no more guessing! Fill out the simple Style Questionnaire about your family, color scheme you are wanting and the vibe of clothes you would like to see. The quick results page will show you photo-approved clothing pieces for each family member and you can view outfits side-by-side while favoriting items. Feel free to play around with it until you have selected the perfect outfit combo! Click the email button to send yourself the selected items or shop for the clothes right away by clicking the shopping cart buttons.
That’s it! Super easy right?

Email and text me!
If you are ever in a dressing room and just need my opinion stat, text me pictures! Alternatively, you can email pictures of your choices and I am happy to lend my thoughts. I am here for you at any point, so please remember to reach out if you just aren’t sure! 650.393.9423

The Session Itself
Maternity sessions are on average 1 – 2 hours. I aim to make it fun and it usually feels like we were just hanging out by the end of it! These sessions usually unfold organically and I create as I see it happening. I will guide you! There is no guess work. Many people are not completely comfortable in front of the camera, so I have a variety of ways to get you relaxed and having fun in no time – ultimately all you have to do is be yourself! I’ll do the rest. This should be a memorable adventure, and if there is anything I can do to make your experience better, please let me know. I can’t wait to create with you!

After the Session
2-3 weeks after our session I will contact you to let you know your photos are done. You will receive a link to a private online gallery that you can order professional prints directly from, download and share with friends and family. Your complimentary gift will be to you 3 weeks after your final gallery delivery.

I like to post a sneak peek or two on my facebook and instagram pages for you to share with friends and family, so if you aren’t already following me on there, please do! I can be found here: Anne Daiva on Facebook and Anne Daiva on Instagram

I’m looking forward to hearing your initial thoughts for your session. Let me know when you are ready and we can begin the planning!!