20 Maternity Photography Tips

20 Maternity Photography Tips

If you’re expecting your own little bundle of joy or you’re going to photography a pregnant woman, you might have looked into getting maternity photography done. There’s a lot of questions as how to prepare for the perfect maternity photo shoot, the way your model is dressed, all those different things including location, lighting, etc. In this guide I’m going to share my 20 must-have steps in taking beautiful pregnancy photography.

20 Maternity Photography Tips for Photographers

Pregnant photoshoot requires proper preparation, as it is very important to make the woman feel relaxed and comfortable. Have a look at these photography and photo editing tips that will help you save sweet memories for the whole life.

Tip 1. Choose 32-38 Weeks of Pregnancy

maternity photoshoot
Baby shower invitation photo shoot 28 weeks
Maternity photography with twins 24 weeks
Maternity photography 32-38 weeks

The perfect time for pregnancy photography is between 33-36 weeks. However, it all depends on the needs and circumstances of every woman. Maybe a future mom expects several kids or suffers from some complications or there is a chance of early birth. Then, a woman may want to organize a photoshoot sooner.

Tip 2. Tell Her She Is Beautiful

maternity photoshoot

Show what maternity poses look appealing in the photos and repeat how beautiful she is just after a few shots. Make the woman forget about bloating, morning sickness and acid reflux. Pay compliments and tell how wonderfully pregnancy matches her.

Tip 3. Avoid Shooting from Below

pregnancy photography

Frankly speaking, higher camera angles help receive astonishing photos since the higher angle has a slimming effect on a model’s face. I prefer taking a pregnant portrait photo with 50mm to 100mm lens instead of using a wide angle one. Remember the main rule: the variety of angles increases your chances of finding the best photo in the long run. Use this app for interesting poses and angles of shooting.

Posing Apps

posing app for maternity photography

Texture app allows you to access more than 100 magazines of all types and genres. It is not only useful for inspiration between shots, but it can help you with different photography poses as well.

Iphone App Store

download from google play


Tip 4. Decrease a Double Chin

pregnant photography

Personally, I have never met a woman who would like to have a double chin in the photo even if it is maternity photoshoot. Luckily, there is a great trick that will help avoid such a problem. Just tell the model to stick a neck out and point it downwards a little bit. Do your best to explain that a model shouldn’t go overboard with neck tilting. In this case, the result will make both of you upset as it looks very unnatural. You may also remove a double chin in Photoshop.

Portraits: Making the Shot

ebook for maternity portrait photography

I recommend you to get acquainted with this book, as it is aimed at revealing the features of shooting a classic portrait, which is perfect in the case of pregnant photos too.


Tip 5. Check the Position of Legs and Arms

maternity photo shoot

Placing arms on the waist will lead to snaky appearance and make the woman look big. Of course, a bulky pose is not what you need in pregnant photography. The most important thing is to get a belly look like the belly of a pregnant woman. Other body parts should appear as slim as possible. You can start with a traditional pose – one-hand-on-top-of-belly and one-hand-below. Then go on making experiments in order to find more great poses. Join the Secrets of Posing & Styling by Irene Rudnyk course to know to place your model’s arms right.

Tip 6. Focus Attention on the Belly

pregnancy poses

You need to zoom in and focus all attention on this body part. Feel free to incorporate hands to get a traditional photo. Let daddy wrap hands around the mother’s belly. Ask the woman to place her hands on it too or this can be a brother or a sister. Use your own imagination to take not only classic shots but some interesting ones too. Take a photo of a bare or a clothed belly and choose the best one.

Tip 7. Invite Other Family Members

maternity poses

Parents are not the only one who wait for the arrival of a new baby. That’s why you can offer to bring other family members to enjoy beautiful maternity photography. Invite sisters, brothers and even pets to make them a significant part of such a great story. Allow children to kiss a mother’s belly or a daddy whispering to a child.

Tip 8. Think of a Proper Location

pregnancy pose

It will be great if the place is close to a model's house. If she doesn't like being in the center of attention, then choose a quiet location. Even a fantastic place doesn't guarantee receiving astonishing shots if the model doesn’t feel comfortable. If the woman wants to arrange a photo session indoors, then ask her to think about the most suitable room.

Tip 9. Give Preference to Flattering Clothes

maternity photo manipulationmaternity photo manipulation

An outfit is very important in maternity photography. That's why you'd better ask the woman to think about it beforehand. Recommend the client to select clothes which can accentuate her belly. Proper colors are important as well. It is better to choose timeless shades and style. Floral prints, heavy pieces of jewelry, too many colors will attract so much attention that a belly will not be in the center of a shot.

Tip 10. Make the Shot Look Personal

pregnant photography poses

Maybe the woman has some memorable objects connected with the pregnancy, so ask her to take them for a photo session as well. Actually, this can be an ultrasound image, little shoes, balloons or any other decorative props.

Classic Portrait Photoshop Actions

lightroom preset collection for maternity photographylightroom preset collection for maternity photography

Use these Photoshop actions to make your photo editing and color correction faster. Give a charming pastel or matte effect to your maternity photographs.

Tip 11. Experiment with Black & White Photos

maternity photo

There is one well-known challenge in boudoir photos of pregnant ladies. All possible skin problems, such as acne, blotches and spider veins are quite noticeable. However, it is possible to hide these imperfections. Just try taking black and white photos. As a result, skin flaws will be less visible. This trick might constantly come in handy, as almost all pregnant women suffer from problems with their skin.

Tip 12. Practice Romantic Couple Photos

maternity photos ideas

Don’t forget to take a few shots of future parents only. Sometimes it can be difficult because of other kids. However, make sure you have romantic couple photos as well while realizing creative pregnancy photo ideas.

Tip 13. Look Around

unique maternity photo ideas

It’s difficult to imagine ideal maternity photography with lots of unnecessary things in the background. Be sure there are no extra clothes, chairs or something like that. Try to incorporate a plain background for receiving brilliant shots.

Tip 14. Use Fresh Ideas

maternity photo shoot

Think and act like an artist. Avoid realizing only figurative maternity photography ideas. Use abstraction as well. Such portraits will look artistic but they are still able to tell a story. For example, capture a few close-up photos of a belly and then experiment with background colors or lightning.

Tip 15. Be Ready to See the Same Poses

maternity photography ideas

It’s great if you have a fantastic inspiration and are ready to take the best photos in your life. But don’t forget that you deal with a pregnant woman. So, be ready to jump, move and rotate around her to get more beneficial-looking photos of pregnancy poses at various angles.

Tip 16. Prepare a List of Poses

Think of general pregnant photography poses. Be sure you know all model’s restrictions. For example, a woman isn’t ready to pose with a minimum amount of clothes. Examine the following 7 neutral poses:

Pose 1. Straight On

maternity photo shoot ideas

Ask the mom to look straight at you and place her hands on the belly in order to highlight her pregnant state. She may even choose slinky clothes to make an accent on the bump.

Pose 2. Looking Down

family maternity photography poses

It is not a secret that a mother and her unborn child have a strong connection. Remember about it while choosing the best pregnancy pose. Ask her to stand slightly at an angle to take the photo of the belly profile. She can also look down at it.

Pose 3. Looking Away

maternity photo ideas

While the woman is looking down, ask her to look over the shoulder. It will symbolize taking a glance into the future. She can curve her back a little bit. It will draw attention to the baby bump.

Pose 4. Profile

maternity photography poses ideas

Turn a model to stay perpendicular to your camera so you can see a full profile for cool maternity photos. Pregnancy curves will look wonderful. It would be great if the woman bends her back a little bit and puts her shoulders back. She may look either straight at the camera or down at her future baby.

Maternity Mini Session Template

maternity mini session template

Want to beautifully arrange images from the maternity photoshoot? Get the maternity mini session marketing board with customizable templates, free fonts, print labs and present maternity photos in an appealing way.


Pose 5. Sitting Down

unique maternity photography

Prepare a chair or a bench. Let the woman arch her back and locate the shoulders back. Place the hands on the belly or behind a model so she is leaning into them. Finally, extend the woman's legs so that clothing lays prettily and demonstrates a lovely belly.

Pose 6. Close Up

maternity photos

Most moms expect this maternity photo. You need to get in close on the belly to capture the important elements. You can take a shot either from the side or straight on. It doesn’t matter. Just don’t forget to get in close.

Pose 7. Laying Down

outdoor maternity photography

Do you want to get a wonderful composition? Then ask the woman to lay down and place the hands on her belly. Choose any desired position for arms: right below, or one on top and one underneath. Move around to find a great angle or just shoot overhead or from the side.

Tip 17. Try These Maternity Photos Ideas

Considering how much a female body changes during the later stages of pregnancy, taking part in a maternity photo session isn’t something the model wants to do. However, I hope that once you look through this list of 15 maternity photography ideas, you’ll have the motivation necessary to give such shoot a try.

1. Mother Looking at the Belly

creative maternity photos

You can use height to your advantage to make the model look more appealing. Get higher by either climbing on something or taking a chair to the shoot. This will open up more creative options for your photos. For instance, the model can lie down on a blanket or couch so that you can take some pictures from above. Shooting in such a way allows making the model’s body parts that got bigger during pregnancy appear smaller (except for the belly).

2. Hands in a Heart

beautiful maternity photography

Maternity pics are great for unleashing your full creative potential. They allow you to experiment with composition, angles, props, and perspective. Such a large number of options can be confusing. Stay focused, don’t overthink and make a rough list of which new ideas you want to try out.

3. Mother and Father Kissing

unique maternity photos

When the couple shows their excitement for their unborn child, it makes their faces glow with emotion, which helps you take the best maternity photos ever.

4. Father Kissing the Belly

maternity photography poses

Every love story begins with a kiss. This endearing gesture is perfect to show the special bond connecting the couple and their baby. Furthermore, such a pose is suitable for siblings too.

5. Next to a Window

best maternity poses

Having the model(s) pose near a window is always a good idea since it adds a reflective surface to the shot. Moreover, the backlight created by it brings more atmosphere and depth to the photo. Natural lighting is also helpful for making the images softer and more colorful.

6. With a Ribbon

pregnancy picture ideas

Using a beautiful ribbon as a prop is great because it’s commonly recognized as a symbol for the gift of life. That being said, you first have to ensure that the future mom is comfortable with such an idea.

7. With Blocks or Toys

outdoor maternity photography poses

Feel free to get creative with your props when coming up with maternity photo ideas. Adding a toy or two to the shot (especially if it’s a cute teddy or other stuffed animal) is always a nice touch. Also, you can consider placing letter blocks to spell out a word or the future baby’s name.

8. Nature

maternity photography poses maternity portraits

Consider choosing a vast open field. Lush grasses are known for creating an especially breathtaking background. You can make the photos even more stylish if the model’s attire will match the color palette of the current season.

9. Incorporate kids

ideas for maternity pictures

List of maternity poses isn’t full without a photo featuring a bunch of older kids. After all, the future parents aren’t the only ones who are anticipating the birth of a new family member!

10. Flowers

outdoor maternity photo ideas

It’s natural for a pregnant lady to feel like a queen. Encourage her to embrace that feeling. Maternity photography depicting a woman with a floral crown has been very popular for several years now, and this trend is still as relevant as ever.

11. Show off silhouette

pregnancy photo ideas

A good way of showing the beauty of a pregnant woman’s body is to take B&W silhouette photographs. Tip: Having the model standing sideways brings the best results.

12. Favorite activity

best maternity photos

Is the mother-to-be a book fan? Is she into cooking or romantic walks on the beach? Whichever thing she enjoys doing the most, come up with pregnant photography poses that involve the model being engaged in her favorite activity.

13. Underwater

best maternity photo ideas

Another idea on the list of trendy pregnancy poses involves taking a picture of the woman’s belly underwater. The distortions and reflections usually lead to unique and awesome looks.

14. Bath

family maternity photo ideas

Looking for stylish maternity photography ideas? Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are full of breathtaking photos of future moms relaxing in milk baths while being enveloped by tender flower petals.

15. Pets

maternity photography

If you or the future parents can safely bring a kitten or puppy, consider using them for an additional “Aww!” effect.

Tip 18. Pay Attention to the Lighting

creative pregnancy photo ideas

This factor is essential, particularly if you’re working at home. Shoot in a room that has the best natural lighting conditions. On the other hand, if you’re planning an outdoor maternity photoshoot, try to schedule it during the golden hour for taking amazing backlit portraits.

Tip 19. Be Attentive While Shooting Near the Window

lighting setup for maternity photography

lighting setup photo example


Organize the lighting setup similar to the above sample with the model standing in front of the window, slightly turned towards you for a better angle. Use a white foam board or portable reflectors to shed the window light back onto the future mother. If you don’t use reflectors, she’ll be obscured by the light coming from outside. The bigger reflectors you can find, the better you’ll be able to diffuse light.

Tip 20. Use FREEBIES for Editing Pregnancy Photography

Retouching maternity photos requires special tools. To speed up the image post processing, I suggest you using these freebies:

PS Action "Brighten"

Scenes that feature a lot of greenery turn out especially breathtaking. Colors become more saturated, while the photo gains a mystical atmosphere. However, it isn’t suitable for close-up portraits since it makes the skin texture and color look unnatural.

PS Action "Cold"

This is a great PS action if you’re planning a winter maternity photography shoot. I’ve included it to this list because the dimmed cool hues improve the look of almost any photograph.

PS Action "Matte"

It is versatile and doesn’t damage the picture quality or lead to brightness distortions. Simultaneously, a matte action breathes new life into a photo, while the subtle pink and yellowish tints make it more charming and soft.

Rose Petal Overlay Free "Violet"

This overlay includes amazing lifelike red petals that are chaotically added to the foreground. It’s a great way of hiding small, distracting elements in the picture from the viewers.

Bubbles Overlay "Dreamy"

It adds moderately-sized bubbles that are placed at the top and makes the photograph funnier, whimsical, and sparkly.

Photoshop Flowers Overlay "Blossom Illusion"

Adding this floral overlay makes the image look more romantic, while concentrating on the emotions of the parents-to-be and creating unforgettable memories.

Free Glow Lr Preset "Gentle"

This preset is used for making the image clearer and adding a cyan tone to the highlights, while the shadows gain a warm beige tint. This will add class and charm to the image regardless of which pregnancy pose you choose.

Glow Lr Preset Free "Warm"

This option is ordinarily combined with Classic chrome film emulation and used to adjust the main colors, reduce the highlights and get rid of unwanted shadows.

Free Fall Lr Presets "Portrait"

This Lightroom preset is perfect for autumn maternity photography as it excels at improving the overall color palette and making it more eye-catching. If your picture lacks brightness or vibrance, this option should do the trick.

Fall Presets Lightroom "Soft"


This preset is used to increase the contrast of a picture, while adding a slight blur to light shades. It’s not suitable for evening photography, but is ideal for nicely-lit landscapes to make them even more breathtaking and allow make the model stand out more in portrait shots.

Tata Rossi

Hi there, I'm Tata Rossi - a professional blogger, read more

    1. Best time
    2. Basics
    3. Poses
    4. Ideas
    5. Lighting