Maternity Session Photo Ideas

Our maternity photo ideas will make you feel all the more beautiful.

Unlike newborn photo shoots, maternity session photo shoots don’t require as many poses or as much effort. But it’s still important to execute the session effectively because it can create some truly magical moments that only can be captured once. Here are some all-important maternity photo ideas to ensure a successful session.

The Best Time for Maternity Shoots

Pregnancy or maternity sessions are best held when the mother is seven to eight months pregnant, depending on how her belly is developing. You want the belly to be extended past the breast line so that mom looks genuinely pregnant and couldn’t be mistaken for just being large.

Fully Clothed Maternity Shoots

Traditional maternity shoots are the best choice if you already have other children, as the subjects in these shots are typically fully-clothed and the poses are fairly minimal. It can be more difficult to show off the bump when it is covered under a shirt, but with the right background and lighting, it can be done. Just remember that dark clothing and a dark background (in chiaroscuro-style) create a slimmer look while light clothing and light backgrounds accentuate size. If your partner likes the fully-clothed style, just play around with backgrounds and lighting and try and find a good balance between highlighting the belly and minimising problem areas.

Partial and Fully Nude Maternity Shots

Use unique maternity photo ideas to stand out from the crowd.

At the other end of the scale are moms who want very dynamic portraits in which they are fully nude and highlighted with creative lighting and posing. These can be beautiful sessions, but covering the necessary areas while highlighting the belly and face can be challenging. But if mom is not comfortable being fully nude, it’s best to simply work with partial clothing or wraps. Fabric wraps are a nice bridge between the traditional and artsier photographs. With fabric wraps, you can use a small section to form a bra of sorts and then tie a knot to serve as a front of the bra and then wrap the sections around and tie them securely in the back.

Maternity Photo Ideas: The Poses

No maternity photo ideas will be right for every woman - you need to choose what's right for you.

Regardless of what type of photos you want, most of the poses mom will make will be very similar. One good pose is just having mom simply standing, with one hand resting on the lower edge of the belly, almost on the hip, with the arm and elbow extended away from the body. This pose can be quite sophisticated and flattering for most body types and helps to minimize the problem areas and highlight the belly and face. One knee pointed across the body can help to create the always-beautiful S-curve.

Another good pose is to drape one arm over the breasts with the other poised in the air over the head. Having dad’s and mom’s hands making a heart over the belly is another popular choice. You can use pillows or cushions to create stunning shots of mom resting in thoughtful contemplation. These look incredible in nude sessions but are a bit unnatural with clothed sessions.

We’ve found that it’s best to avoid the pose a lot of other photographers shoot, where the body is pointed straight at the camera with both arms crossed over the breasts. It’s very unnatural and unflattering. Remember when photographing: the belly points away from the light while the face points towards it.

With these tips, you should be able to create some beautiful, flattering maternity poses from which you can pick out a masterpiece for a wall canvas. And when you’ve done just that, click here and we’ll transform your photos into stunning canvas prints.