Updated in 2022.
This past January, my husband and I jumped at the chance to tag along with my brother-in-law on a European vacation! It had been almost 7 years since our last trip abroad, and with the Euro being as close to the Dollar as it’s been in years, we quickly cashed in our airline miles and hotel points for 6 days in Germany and 2 days in London at the beginning of May.
Two days after booking our tickets, I took a little test that turned our spontaneous “no kids” vacation into an unexpected Babymoon.
Determined to not let this newly developed condition ruin my brother-in-law and husband’s “beercation,” I decided this trip would be a little different. I’d be about 16 weeks at the time of the trip, and it would be my goal to take it easy, go with the flow, and bring plenty of books for some much needed “me” time!
About two weeks before our departure, I realized I was going to be in one of my favorite countries. . . pregnant. I really wanted to take advantage of this somehow, and that’s when it hit me—maternity photos!
As much as I love to see photos of other women glowing in their maternity photos, it was never something I found the time to do with either of my first two pregnancies. I love getting professional photos taken of our family and of my boys, but when it comes to taking photos of myself, it just seemed weird. But the idea of being back in Munich with my husband and expecting our 3rd (and probably last) baby introduced all these new elements that a maternity photo shoot in Dallas never had.
Through a random Google search, I decided to reach out to a few local München photographers to see if they had any last-minute availability to book a photo session for me and my husband with a few personal requests:
- I was only 16 weeks along, and although the bump was there (bodies don’t forget what to do!), I didn’t want the focus of the shoot to be 100% on my belly.
- As much as possible, I also wanted it to be about capturing the city we love in the background.
The first person I reached out to ended up being the perfect photographer for us! She was an American from New Jersey but had lived in Munich for several years and become fluent with the language and the city. When I listed my requests, she immediately responded back with “I know just where to go!” Over just a few emails, and for almost the same price as a local photographer, we’d scheduled our photo session with Kristin Speed Photography and she took care of it all: where to meet, what to wear, and several scenic locations all within walking distance. No research was needed on my end; we placed it all in her hands and simply showed up!
At the end of the experience, as I look back on our photos, and I now 100% regret not doing this with our previous pregnancies. The photos captured exactly what I’d hoped: memories in an amazing city, a joyful time being pregnant, and the first photos of just me and my husband in over 10 years.
If you’re expecting now or hope to be soon, I highly recommend making a little room in your budget (no matter what it might be) and thinking about destination maternity photos. Here are my tips for booking a destination maternity photo session!
Tips for Booking a Destination Maternity Photo Session
1. Pick a location that has meaning.
If you haven’t already booked the trip, think of heading somewhere that has a special meaning to you and your spouse. For us it was Germany, but for you it might be New Orleans, a campsite in Yosemite, or your favorite resort in Playa del Carmen. Babymoons don’t have to be expensive and choosing your maternity photo backdrop doesn’t have to be either.
If your chosen location doesn’t already have a special meaning, make sure to create a memorable time while you’re there! The ultimate goal should be spending quality time with your spouse, not how fancy you background looks in photos.
2. Do some research.
Google is GREAT for helping you narrow down a few photographers local to your destination. Try searching terms like:
- English speaking photographer in _____
- Maternity newborn photographer in _____
- Destination maternity photography in _____
Once you’ve found a few, don’t just look at their online portfolios. Make sure to take that extra step of stalking their social media accounts and searching forums for reviews and advice. Most quality photographers will have a Facebook page and/or Instagram account highlighting their recent photo sessions.
3. Interview the photographer.
Since this is probably someone you’ve never met in person, don’t be afraid to ask questions and share your desires before booking the session. Make sure they’ll be able to provide what you need at the photo shoot so all you have to do is arrive ready to go. If you know the exact locations you want in the background, tell the photographer what you’re looking for…or be blunt and tell them you’re not familiar with the best backdrops in their city but want to make sure the culture is captured in the background.
Don’t be afraid to ask for sample photographs with your destination in the background!
Make sure you are familiar with packages a photographer offers, as what’s expected in your hometown by photographers isn’t necessarily the same in another location. (Does their pricing include high resolution digitals? Do they send them on a CD or via download link? Do they charge to print photos or provide images for you to print on your own?)
4. Let a trusted payment processor help ease your concerns.
When you’re ready to commit to a photographer in a foreign destination, chances are you’ve done your research and chosen a quality, reliable, and professional photographer. Odds are you won’t have to worry about any financial concerns, but it’s always a good idea to cover your bases.
A professional photographer usually does not ask for a full payment up front. Make sure to only put down a partial payment or deposit prior to the photo shoot (to hold your date and time) using an insured payment method like PayPal or a credit card company that can dispute charges. PayPal is great because you can easy convert payments into different currencies and can revoke the transfer if the recipient doesn’t follow through.
Hint: When looking at a photographer’s rates, make sure to think about the conversion rate first. It might seem obvious, but don’t let your brain convert foreign currencies into dollars and make you feel like you’re getting a great deal. 100£ is not the same as $100!
5. Have fun with the photos!
Photos (in general) are great for scrapbooks or printing off and hanging on the wall, but think outside of the box when thinking through destination maternity photos.
Why not use those photos to create a special memory book for your spouse or future child? OR if you’re able to keep them a surprise, think about using them for a unique and creative baby or gender reveal like we did?!
Finally, photographers in the United States are fairly easy to find in any city, but if you’re looking to book a destination maternity photographer in another country, here’s a few I can recommend from other mamas who have experienced their services personally:
L’Amour de Paris by Stacy Reeves | Paris
Love That Smile Photography | Berlin Kristin Speed Photography | Munich
2022 Update: Neither of these Germany photography companies appear to be in business any longer. Leave a comment if you have a recommendation!
Alec & T Photography | Cabo San Lucas
Monica Lopez | Cancun and Riviera Maya
Sue Greetham Photography| London
Hopefully these tips and suggestions will help you create an experience that will last a lifetime. I know they’ve done that for me!
Have you had maternity photos taken on a vacation? Do you have any tips or advice to share?
Read More: Baby #3: Why Maternity Photos?
This post was not sponsored by any of the above photographers. I just loved my destination maternity photo session and wanted to share the idea with you!