Having professional maternity photos taken is one of the absolute best ways to document your trip, but getting great photos does take a little planning and preparation. For inspiration, you can use this pregnancy photoshoot guide to help you style your photoshoot, find a good photographer, and strike all the right poses. (Spoiler alert: You don’t have to pose like a natural Demi Moore on the cover of Vogue to get a great photo.)
One of my biggest regrets as a mom is that I didn’t take professional photos during either of my pregnancies. It sounds obnoxious by today’s standards, but almost a decade ago now-standard maternity photos with flowing dresses and flower crowns were just starting to become the norm. Don’t be like me. These tips will help you document the glow of your pregnancy and create a special memory to cherish for years to come.
Best time to plan your pregnancy photoshoot
There are basically three types of pregnancy photoshoots: announcement, gender reveal, and third trimester. Pregnancy announcement photoshoots will obviously happen earlier in your pregnancy (likely in the first trimester) than maternity shoots meant to reveal your baby’s gender or capture your baby’s bump in all its glory.
“For a mother who is expecting a first time, the best time for those perfect belly shots will be a little later than a second time mother or a mom who is expecting multiples,” Sarah Smith, owner of Adventures in Photography in Houston Texas tells Romper. Smith typically advises moms to allow 32 to 36 weeks to give her time to edit photos before their due date. Other photographers suggest starting a little earlier, around 28 weeks, to make yourself feel your best.
When it comes to scheduling your shoot, Smith says the time of day you schedule your shoot depends on where you want to do it. “For outdoor sessions in natural light, the ‘golden hour’ about an hour before sunset, or in the first hour after sunrise, will be the best time for your session,” she says. “For a studio or home daylight session or a maternity milk bath session, the best time to plan will be when the sunlight is brightest in the studio – and it depends on the direction in which the windows are oriented. “
How to find a maternity photographer
“I find the best way to pick a photographer who best matches what you’re looking for is to see who is showcasing a style on their Instagram that really speaks to you,” Smith says. “Some people like a light and airy photographer, and others like a rich, moody dark montage photog. Most of the time, you really don’t know what style you’re looking for until you do a little research to see what jumps out at you.
Smith also adds that asking questions in mothers’ groups on social media can also be extremely helpful. “Usually the best recommendations pour in and you can quickly click on a photographer’s page to see how many reviews or likes they might have, or how long they’ve been in business to give you a better idea of its credibility. “
You can also ask your friends and family for suggestions or even search on Google for local photographers. Once you’ve fine-tuned your choices, schedule a call or meeting before your shoot to discuss all the details.
Current trends in maternity shoots
As you browsed your social feed, you’ve probably seen a plethora of pregnancy photos featuring a variety of creative setups. Here are some popular ideas to try:
- Milk bath: Ideal for moms who have been advised to limit their movement, milk bath sprouts are an extremely popular – not to say gorgeous – choice.
- Silhouette: High impact shadow or silhouette shots can beautifully capture your pregnant body shape.
- Floral: A wreath of flowers, a fresh bouquet, or even rose petals scattered around you can create a truly ethereal photoshoot.
- Boudoir: Don your best lace lingerie and let your photographer capture your glow and bump with a boudoir photoshoot.
- Outside: Wear a flowing dress and head out to a field, lake, or the woods to create an earthy and natural vibe.
- Submarine: As long as you and your photographer are comfortable with it, underwater photos are unique and on-trend shots.
- Nursery: Consider having your photos taken in your baby’s nursery. Strike a pose by folding baby’s clothes, sitting in your rocker, or adding blankets to the crib.
- Family session: Have your partner, older children or pets come with you and pose for some photos during your pregnancy shoot.
Clothing styles to consider
What you wear for a pregnancy photoshoot really depends on the style of shooting you are doing. Flowy dresses fitted at the top are a staple for maternity shoots – they are literally an entirely separate section on many maternity wear websites – but you can also play around with lacy jumpsuits, floppy hats, or dresses. flower crowns, or even (gasp!) lingerie.
“Some moms go for the classic clean-styled dress in an all-white studio backdrop. Some moms want a full blown train. Some moms want to wear fun denim jumpsuits and frolic with their partner in the city with the skyline behind them, and just look super cute rather than glamorous, ”Smith tells Romper. “It depends on what best suits your personality.”
Peek-a-boo looks are also a popular choice. Buttoned tops can be opened a bit to reveal your bump, or you can purchase a maternity dress with a specially designed opening to show off your burgeoning tummy. But when it comes to choosing what to wear, Smith tells Romper that his best advice for moms is, “Don’t be afraid to really go into your style and have a good time with him!”
Your photographer can also help you with ideas if you have family members accompanying you on your photoshoot. “If you’re doing a maternity shoot as a family or as a couple and you’re stuck with color coordination, take a look at a color wheel and see which colors complement each other,” Smith says. “For example, green and red or dark yellow and blue complement each other very well.”
You can work with what you already have at home, buy special outfits to wear, or borrow wardrobe items from a friend. You can also rent maternity dresses online from websites like Mama Bump Rentals, which offers a variety of affordable styles including boho dresses, lace dresses, and even formal wear.
We only include products that have been independently selected by the Romper editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of the sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Potential accessories to use
Whether you’re posing for pregnancy announcement photos, revealing sex, or capturing your last trimester look for posterity, you’ll want to have a variety of props available during your shoot to pose with.
Here are some popular options that might spark your own ideas:
- Baby shoes, onesie or other baby clothing
- Ultrasound impressions
- Legacies from your own childhood
- Baby blocks or toys
- Bottles and diapers
- Seasonal items like pumpkins, beach ball, or holiday stockings
- Sports memorabilia
- Foods you craved during pregnancy
Tips for posing during pregnancy photoshoots
You are probably not a professional model, so the idea of a photoshoot during pregnancy might have you wondering things like What should I do with my hands? and Do I look too stiff? The standard “hold your belly” pose is awesome and all, but when you really want to capture all of your best pregnancy looks, trust your photographer’s eye.
Your photographer will likely have sample maternity photos on their website showcasing their best work, but you can also scroll down Pinterest or Instagram for some ready-made ideas to try out. For example, use #pregnancyphotos or #maternityshoot to search for different ideas.
If you choose to have your partner or other kids in the photoshoot with you, make sure you’re prepared to let your photographer pose all of you in the way that works best. The most important thing though is to just have fun and enjoy the moment by creating memories that will last a lifetime.