Maternity photos aim to capture life-changing and significant moments in parenthood and motherhood. Before your little one arrives on the scene, consider preserving your experience with some thoughtful, beautiful photos that showcase your baby bump. Plan to schedule your photo shoot when your bump is showing and you are still feeling comfortable. If you plan ahead with your photographer and family and take the time to consider your outfits, your poses, and what you want to capture, you will have beautiful maternity photos that you and your family will cherish.
Part 1 of 3:Scheduling Your Photo ShootDownload Article
1Plan to take your photographs when you are 7 or 8 months pregnant. You will want to schedule your maternity photo shoot when your bump is visible but you are still comfortable and able to move around. Wait until you are around 7 or 8 months pregnant, or between 31 and 36 weeks, to schedule your photo shoot.
If you are pregnant with twins, consider having your photos taken between 27 and 31 weeks.
2Ask your partner or other children to join you. Schedule your maternity photos on a day when your partner or other children can join you. Including your family in your maternity photos is a special way to capture your growing family. Ask your partner what day would work best for their schedule. If you have other children, schedule the photo shoot on a day they do not have school, or see if you can sign them out of class for an afternoon.
3Find the right photographer for you. Ask friends and family for recommendations for photographers in your area, or search online to see what photography businesses are in your area. Look through various portfolios to find a style that you like. Be sure to book ahead of time—a sought-after photographer may book up months in advance.
4Talk to the photographer about your ideas. If you have a particular pose or setting in mind that you would like to include in your maternity photo collection, chat with the photographer ahead of time. Share your ideas and see if it is something they can accommodate. Be sure that your photographer knows your wishes in advance so they can plan ahead.
Talk to your photographer about what locations interest you. “I was hoping to take some photos at my family's farm. It's about 40 minutes outside of the city. Would you be willing to travel to that location?” Be sure that the photographer is able to travel to the location you have in mind.
Your photographer may have some unique locations and places in mind for your photo shoot. Chat with them to see if those locations interest you. “I would like to take some photos by the water. Do you know of a nice lake or stream nearby that might serve as a good location?” Your photographer may have a list of their favorite spots for you to choose from.
5Think about what props you would like to use. After you have scheduled your photo shoot, think about what types of props you would like to use in your photographs. Consider the season and if any special events or holidays are taking place during that time. Try to incorporate these props into your photos.
Posing with an orange pumpkin in the fall, for example, is an adorable way to mirror your growing belly.
If you snap some photos while walking along a beach, consider posing with a beach ball or children's beach toys next to you in the sand.
Use items that represent your passions in your photo shoot. If you are a sports fan, consider posing with your team's banner. If you are a dancer, consider posing with baby ballet or tap shoes.
Part 2 of 3:Getting Ready for a Maternity Photo ShootDownload Article
1Avoid wearing tight clothing if you want to bare your belly. If you would like to capture a photo of your bare belly, be sure to dress in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing or clothing with elastic bands since these can make marks on your belly.
Consider wearing a loose-fitting dress with an empire waist or one cinches just below the bust. The fabric of the dress will drape comfortably over your baby bump, and you won't be constricted by tight, elastic bands.
To show off your bump, consider wearing a form-fitting cotton dress that hugs your curves.
2Wear solid colors to accentuate your belly. When selecting your outfit for your maternity shoot, consider wearing solid colors that will highlight the shape of your belly. Large patterns can distract or conceal your baby bump. If you wish to wear a pattern with swirls, stripes, or florals, make sure you are happy with how the pattern accentuates your belly.
Give yourself enough time to consider what outfits you would like to wear. Try on the outfits a week or several days before the photo shoot. Make sure that you are comfortable and that you like each piece. If not, you will still have plenty of time to shop for an outfit that you love!
3Dress your partner and other children to complement your style. If you are including your partner and other children in your photo shoot, help coordinate their outfits in advance so that everything will work well with your outfits. Talk to your family about what they would be comfortable wearing and include their ideas and visions into the overall look. Consider having everyone wear a certain style of clothing, or have them dress in varying shades of a particular color.
If you have other children, consider having them dress like you. Dress them up in an outfit that is similar to yours, or dress them in a color that complements your outfit.
Have your other children wear a shirt that says “big brother” or “big sister.” Your little one will be excited that they have a shirt that is specifically for them.
4Apply lotion one hour before the photo shoot. Moisturizing your skin just before a photo shoot can create a glare when the flash goes off. Be sure to apply moisturizer If you are going to have a close-up photograph of your bare baby bump, be sure to apply lotion early in the day or one hour before the photo shoot at the latest. This will give the lotion enough time to properly sink into your skin.
Opt for a super-moisturizing shea butter, coco butter, or glycerin-based lotion or cream to hydrate your skin.
5Consider visiting a nail salon before your photo shoot. If your hands and feet will be featured in the photos, consider having a manicure or a pedicure beforehand. Not only will your nails look great, but you will feel relaxed, pampered, and polished.
Part 3 of 3:Choosing the Perfect PoseDownload Article
1Take a close-up shot of your belly. Consider capturing a photo that focuses solely on your belly. Take a close-up shot as you are lying on your side, or sit with your legs crossed with the camera directly in front of your belly.
Capture a unique photo of your belly by asking the photographer to take a photo looking from the bottom of your belly up toward your head. This distinctive angle offers a different perspective of the baby bump that is not often seen.
Sit directly in front of the camera with your legs crossed, and wrap your arms around your baby bump. Rest one forearm beneath your belly and the other on top. Your arms will frame your bump and create a loving, nurturing image.EXPERT TIP
Vlad HorolProfessional PhotographerVlad Horol is a Professional Photographer and the Co-Founder of Yofi Photography, his portrait photography studio based in Chicago, Illinois. He and his wife Rachel specialize in capturing maternity, newborn, and family photos. He has been practicing photography full-time for over five years. His work has been featured in VoyageChicago and Hello Dear Photographer.Vlad HorolProfessional Photographer
Our Expert Agrees: The most popular maternity images tend to be the photos that are cropped in close to the belly. A lot of times, the parents' faces aren't even in those photos, because the focus is on the baby who's going to be born. Also, people tend to really love photos of a sibling kissing the belly and just being present with their soon-to-be little brother or sister.
2Pose with your partner. Including your partner in your maternity photo shoot is a meaningful and poignant way to showcase the parents-to-be. Have your partner pose behind you with their hands gently wrapped around your belly. Stand sideways and look toward the camera, or look back into your partner's eyes to create an intimate, loving moment.
3Have your other children join in. If you have other children, include them in your photos. Ask a soon-to-be big brother or sister to hug or kiss your belly, or have them touch your stomach as if they were waiting to feel their sibling kick. Your older child will love that they have been included.
4Incorporate yoga poses into your photo shoot. If you are an avid yogi and feel comfortable striking a downward dog while pregnant, try to include some yoga poses in your photo shoot. Posing in a fierce warrior pose will showcase your strength and will perfectly silhouette your baby bump. Facing the camera while sitting down in a lotus pose will highlight your belly and create a tranquil and mindful scene.
5Snap a photo with your ultrasound. Bring along your ultrasound to your photoshoot and ask the photographer if you can incorporate it into some shots. Hold the ultrasound next to your belly, or place it in the foreground of the photo with you and your partner standing in the background.