Creative maternity photoshoot ideas and tips

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by David Em
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A maternity photoshoot documents an important moment of a mom’s life. The photos serve as memories of a life forming in her belly.

Pregnant woman wearing a dress and looking at her stomach outdoors.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Maternity photos result in some of the most cherished images, making maternity photography a fulfilling type of portrait photography.

Pregnancy is a special time in a mother’s life since a human is forming in a mom’s belly.

A maternity photoshoot is the best way to document memorable moments. Down the road, the images evoke emotions and memories of the time.

The following covers everything you need to know about a maternity photoshoot, including when to do it, what to wear, poses, and examples of maternity photos for inspiration.

When to take maternity photos

The best time to do a maternity photoshoot is between 28 and 36 weeks.

It’s the time frame when a mom’s belly will be nice and round. Plus, she’ll feel comfortable enough to pose and move around without being too close to her delivery date.

If twins or triplets are expected, it’s best to do the maternity photoshoot between 20 and 24 weeks.

Of course, there aren’t any rules set in stone regarding the time frame.

Since every pregnancy is unique, it’s about when a mother feels her best.

What to wear for maternity photos

The key to clothing for a maternity photo is for a mom to look beautiful and confident. A stunning maternity photo begins with the colors.

The best colors to wear are white, which is a classic, pink or blue to match the gender of the baby, yellow, or red, which adds contrast for outdoor photos.

Regardless of the color, make sure it’s solid. Patterns and prints are visually distracting.

When it comes to clothing, a maxi dress is the best option because they look gorgeous and are very comfortable.

Aside from a maxi dress, clothes that enhance form and shape are amazing.

Belts above the belly are also great accessories because it accentuates the bump.

Textured clothing is an excellent choice because it makes a photo more interesting.

With the right clothes and colors, the maternity photos will turn out breathtaking.

It’s also a good idea to bring two outfits to have variety in the photos.

Best poses for a maternity photoshoot

The location of a maternity photoshoot is essential. The ideal place is somewhere that’s meaningful.

Aside from location, posing is the next key aspect of maternity photos. The following are the best poses for maternity photos:

  • Front view of the belly.
  • Side view of the belly.
  • Belly close-up.
  • One hand on top of the belly and the other below it.
  • Sitting on a bed, couch, or bench.
  • Lying down.
  • Belly sticking out behind something.
  • Top-down view.
  • Silhouette or shadow of the mom’s body.
  • Candids of the couple interacting.

By having a list of poses, you won’t run out of ideas. It also ensures that you’ll have variety when it comes to how the maternity photos look.

Outdoor maternity photoshoot ideas

Outdoor sessions present many opportunities for beautiful maternity photos in nature or the city.

The following are the best outdoor maternity photo ideas.

Close-up of the belly outdoors

Close-up of a pregnant woman's hands around her stomach.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

One of the most stunning outdoor maternity photo ideas is a close-up of the belly with a mom’s hands around it.

In nature, the blurred trees or bushes in the background look beautiful and contrast with a white and textured dress.

Walk and look to the side

Pregnant woman walking in a field and looking to the side.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

A white dress in a field looks astonishing. Have the mom walk and pull the side of her dress back to accentuate the bump and look the side.

She needs to look in the direction that she pulls the dress because it looks natural and visually interesting.

Side pose outdoors

Pregnant woman standing outdoors and looking down at her belly.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

The side pose is an excellent way to show the shape of the belly. When shooting outdoors, use a wide aperture to blur the trees to achieve a creamy green background. Then, have the mom look down at her belly with a smile.

Dance with a sunset

Pregnant woman dancing with a sunset behind her.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Capture a magical and serene maternity photo by having her dance with the sunset behind her. It exudes bliss, happiness, and joy.

Indoor maternity photoshoot ideas

Indoor maternity photos are excellent because you don’t have to worry about the weather or walking outside.

Instead, the session can be in a photography studio, a home, or a hotel room. Plus, it’s easier to change into different outfits.

The following are creative ideas for indoor maternity photoshoots.

Sit on the floor with props

Pregnant woman sitting on the floor in a home with cones on her sides.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Keep it simple while still being creative by adding a few cute props.

The mom can sit on the floor with her belly showing and put props that make the image aesthetic to her sides.

The props can also be pink or blue to match the gender of the baby.

Laying on the bed

Pregnant woman laying on her side on a bed.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Side poses are superb for showing off the bump. Have her lay on her side on the bed and hold the top of her belly.

Focus on the belly and ultrasound picture

Pregnant woman sitting and holding an ultrasound picture.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

The ultrasound photo shows what’s inside. Use selective focus to accentuate the belly and ultrasound picture in front of it.

Mom can sit on the couch, a chair, bed, or stand. The key is to show the ultrasound photo near her belly.

Silhouette in front of a window

Silhouette of a pregnant woman in front of a window.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Silhouettes highlight the shape of a person. To show the outline, highlight the bump by capturing a silhouette of her posing in front of a window.

Maternity photoshoot ideas with partner or spouse

Show the love and joy between partners or spouses in the maternity photos. It’s a child they’ll raise together, and this is the beginning of a special journey.

The best maternity photo ideas with a spouse or partner are as follows.

Touch noses and the belly

Couple touching noses and standing outdoors.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

A romantic pose to do with a partner is to touch noses while also touching the mom’s belly together.

It can be outdoors or indoors. However, a maternity photo in a field with the warm glow of the sun is gorgeous.

Kiss on the cheek and laughter

Man kissing woman on the cheek and laughing outdoors.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Have the partner hug her from behind and kiss her on the cheek. Capture the fun and love between them.

Lean in for a kiss

Pregnant woman sitting on a chair and holding flowers with her partner touching her belly.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Intimacy between the couple in a maternity photo looks incredible. Have them lean in for a kiss, but capture the photo before they kiss.

Hold little shoes by the laces

Couple holding shoes by the laces outdoors.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Instead of the traditional bump photo with the partner or spouse, hold little shoes by the shoelaces. It’s a creative, unique, and cute maternity photo idea.

Stand in the water together

Pregnant woman standing and a man crouching down in front of her in the water.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

The ocean provides a stunning background. So, what better place to have a maternity photoshoot?

If the couple is willing and has a change of clothes, get in the water and use a slow shutter speed to blur the waves. It’ll create the most magical scene.

Maternity photoshoot ideas with family

Aside from a couple or mom by herself, try including the entire family or pets in the maternity photos. The following are the sweetest ideas and examples.

New sibling

Family walking in a field.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Maternity photos with current kids are an excellent way to welcome a new family member. It’s adorable to see kids looking forward to their new siblings.

Child kissing mom’s bump

Child kissing pregnant mother's stomach.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Get a close-up of a child kissing mom’s bump. It’s one of the cutest types of maternity photos.

Plus, it shows the love and excitement for the new family member.

Child on dad’s shoulders

Family walking in a field with the daughter on dad's shoulders.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Take a stroll through a field with a child on her partner’s shoulders. Have the mom lead the way and accentuate the bump.

Conclusion

Pregnancy is a beautiful time filled with many emotions. A maternity photoshoot documents images to cherish for a lifetime.

Whether the session is indoors or outdoors, use the tips, poses, and examples to capture stunning maternity photos.

Featured image courtesy of Canva.

About David Em

David Em.

David Em is the founder of Portraits Refined. He’s a published portrait photographer dedicated to helping photographers develop skills, capture incredible photos, and build successful businesses.

About Portraits Refined

Portraits Refined (PR) is a media company that publishes the latest expert-backed portrait photography tips, in-depth camera gear reviews, and helpful advice to grow your photography business.

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