top of page

10 Tips To Prepare For Your Birth Photography Session

The day your baby arrives, honestly, the last thing you need to worry about is how you're going to look in pictures. You do what you need to do to do what you gotta do to get to the other side and have your baby in your arms.

It's important to me that I'm telling your story. It should be authentic. It should be real life. And you know what? Sometimes sweat happens. Sometimes hairs are in buns on top of heads. Sometimes we can see all over face how you're really feeling. I am here for every moment of it. I hope that you love and embrace those powerful moments, too.

That being said - I'm going to share with you ten birth photography tips that I've seen moms do to prepare for the big day ahead of time that I just didn't always think to do on my own. All of these at one time or another has made me think, "huh. What a great idea." If there's a helpful idea in here for you, awesome! If not so much, "take the meat and leave the bones", I often say!

The Luxurious

Treat yourself to a manicure. I kind of love this one for two reasons. This encourages you to take time out for yourself before the baby arrives and relax (Yes, please - Can I come?). Secondly, it's one of those things that you don't have to think about on birthing day, but might be something you'd notice in your pictures later. I don't think I ever did this with any of my babies. No regrets, but I would have enjoyed it!

Choose a professional salon to schedule a bikini wax. Okay, I did not say I've done all of these things. Just that I've noticed other moms who have. I kind of wanted to make the GIF a cringe face LOL But that's just because I don't like pain. So if this is your thing - tidy up and get rid of stubborn, hard to reach hairs. These waxes last awhile, so even after your child is born, you will still be fresh and smooth. Most importantly though - this is entirely for YOU. No one else is going to care in the slightest what's happening down south. We've seen all the things and truly, it's not even something we think about.

Many websites offer stylish hospital gowns nowadays. They even have them to match pillowcases! Choose a floral, polka-dotted, patterned, cartoon print, or any fashionable gown. The first time I ever heard of such a thing was back in 2009 as I was preparing to have my first daughter. I didn't end up doing it (again, no regrets), but I always light up when a mom pulls out something she brought with her. This sometimes seems to be one of those things I hear moms later say, "I wish I got something before baby arrived".

The Practical

If planning a natural birth at home, prepare your space. Whether it be a bed or tub, make sure it is ready and set up with plenty of time to spare. Your midwife and doula are likely the ones will have the best tips and ideas for how to prepare. Grow comfortable with knowing you will have photos done in this setting.

I'm torn on this one. Do not feel like you have to wear make up just because a camera is going to be there. But for those who want to wear makeup - I get it. If that's the case, it might be a good idea to start swapping for waterproof or long-lasting products. Waterworks are entirely normal, and you do not want a smeared, runny face in your images! Although again ... I kind of don't hate it either. It screams to me 'in the moment', 'I'm feeling lots of emotions right now', 'I just had a baby!' .... So either way, you're good.

Limit accessories. A baby might get caught on an earring, or you might scratch them with a ring. It is one less item to remember anyways!

At the same time - I've seen moms wear bracelets and necklaces that have sentimental meanings. Some of my favorite births have been ones where the special piece of jewelry was featured in multiple pictures throughout the birth.

Two words: dry shampoo. So I'm just going to say this again out loud for the people in the back - you're probably going to sweat. If it's something you're concerned about - dry shampoo is a lifesaver. The ingredients in it soak up natural oils and grease. Go ahead and spray it in before the day or night begins and watch it last!

The Essential

Breathe. I walked into a home birth last year and heard the most amazingly peaceful thing coming from the room "mom" was laboring in. It was Christian Hypno Birth. I had never seen it in action before, but it was amazing. This is a link to's video where you can see exactly what it was like. Talk about prepared. Just to be clear, breathing is the essential part here ;) . (*Not sponsored, I just love it)

If allowed, hydrate! Drinking plenty of water and fluids allows your skin to become plump and keep dryness at bay. Besides, you will need the energy!

Check with your labor and delivery unit or birthing center to make sure they allow photography. I have photographed live births without an issue in almost every hospital in Michiana. While birth photography doesn't seem to be a problem in our area, Cesareans can be a different story. I have been allowed into the OR on several occasions. It seems as though this often times ends up being the decision of the anesthesiologist. Unfortunately, you don't usually know who will be yours until you're there. Ultimately, it's important to let your doctor know I'm coming. And if you have a C-section, I will make every effort to be allowed in. This is something we will talk about ahead of time and strategize. And if you know you're having a scheduled c-section - I have a game plan. Ask me about it ;) Of course, there are no photography rules in the comfort of your own home!


A smiling woman wearing a black blazer against a black backdrop. She has long, brown, curly hair.
Michiana Birth Photographer Andrea Hartstein of Hartstein Photography.

Certified Professional Photographer Andrea Hartstein is a birth photographer based in Granger, Indiana. As one of the leading birth photographers in Michiana, she is ready and exxcited to help you and your family celebrate the birth and life of your children through time stopping imagery and storytelling. Learn more about Indiana birth photography, Fresh48, & newborn photography by visiting the main page at .

Recent Posts

See All


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page