Social media changes the way we share big news with each other. This is true for life-changing events, such as engagement, wedding and pregnancy. In our relentless effort to make big pregnancy reveals even bigger and better, a growing number of parents-to-be ask me for help with professional photos for their pregnancy announcements. You ask, “What should I do?”

You have a positive pregnancy test. Your doctor confirms it. Somewhere between morning sickness and painting the second bedroom a light pastel hue is the perfect time to make a pregnancy announcement. Photo shoot ideas for this special news range from you and your partner holding a heart-shaped sign to traditional belly shots, only if you’re starting to show. Which pregnancy announcement photo shoot ideas are best? The shortlist depends on you.

Do you prefer the elegance of including a portrait photo with a formal announcement in fancy script on fine paper? Sometimes a simple portrait photograph pairs nicely with a mailed announcement. While this traditional portrait photo may seem perfect, your smiles may not clearly communicate the exciting news, especially if you aren’t showing just yet. You’re glowing, but why? Show us. Use props to give the couples photos clarity. The simplest and most widely used technique includes a small chalkboard sign with the written announcement. If you already have a child or even a pet, it’s fun to have them join you in the picture as they hold the sign. If holding up something doesn’t move you, consider a portrait photo of a warm embrace with hands held to form a heart over your belly. The shot may zoom in on the heart-shaped hands.

What if a traditional portrait or holding a sign doesn’t do it for you? If you want to have a lot of fun with your big news, there are many more pregnancy announcement photo shoot ideas to inspire you. Before you add one more blurry printout of an ultrasound to the World Wide Web, let’s think about ways to make your announcement fun with a portrait photo. Imagine placing pair of baby shoes in between the two of you (or just your shoes) with the caption: Our family grows by two feet this year. Picture a couple in New Year’s Eve props and formal black-and-white attire, counting down to the birth of Baby New Year himself. If you’re not into costumes, we can find a new way to hold up a bottle of Prego® or stand around a bun in your open oven.

The best pregnancy announcement photo shoot ideas might exist in the moment. Just like I tell my parents with kids that just want to play, relax and let go of the idea of a perfect setup for the perfect shot. Sometimes the most authentic and memorable photos are made when we let go, get outside and let the lens do what it does best. We forget about the camera. If we choose to pose, it’s often spontaneous. That’s how we capture candid shots. That’s how we get the pose that doesn’t look forced. That’s how we announce the kind of news that’s bigger than anything you’ve ever announced in your lifetime. Get ready. You’re bringing a new life into the world. This bundle of joy is going to change your everyday in profound and amazing ways. You’ll see.

Before you share anything, let’s discuss pregnancy announcement photo shoot ideas that speak to you. Schedule your outdoor photo session to make your family a part of the announcement.