How To Prepare For A Maternity Photo Shoot

maternity photo shoot tips

Date: 18 May 2017 | Posted by: Vera Kruis | Category: Family Photography Blog

Expecting a baby, especially if it’s your first time, is a very exciting moment in every women’s life. It’s a moment where you are excited to see another life formed in your belly. Although you are aware of the pain and aches while being pregnant, that feeling of growing new life gives a unique glow and shine to all expectant mothers. But there are some questions that almost all professional photographer hear from their pregnant clients. When is the best time to take pregnancy photos? Where is the best place? Indoors or outdoors? What should I wear? What do I need to prepare?maternity photo shoot tips

Maternity Photo Shoot Tips

Maternity photography not only captures some timeless images of your beautiful round belly but also encapsulate the love and affection that accompany the final moments of your pregnancy. To help expecting mothers prepare for their maternity photo shoot, here are some useful tips for them to be able to get the best experience and have fun while making lasting memories in their shining, albeit pregnant moment:

Pick the best time for your photo shoot.

As a general rule, the recommended schedule for your maternity photo shoot is between 28 and 34 weeks of your pregnancy. During that time, your belly has a perfect and lovely round shape. The transformation in your body is fascinating to capture in photos. After the 34th week most women will start to feel bloated and a tad uncomfortable in photo sessions. However, it does vary by body type. It is still alright to have a session even outside the recommended time frame.

Each and every session are unique.

It is an excellent idea to discuss with your photographer any concepts you can think of about your poses, look, location, or even props you might have in mind. Yes, your photographer is the “expert” in this field, but every client is unique. Every pregnant woman’s needs and expectations are distinctive. Discussing them with your photographer will help you be in sync and prepare. You can find a lot of ideas on the web. If something catches your fancy, you can bring them and put it on the table for discussion.

You can opt to print your portraits.

If you are considering to have the images from your photo shoot printed, for instance, in your baby book, wallet-size photos, large format canvases or prints, or just post them online on your Facebook page, let your photographer know in advance. It matters whether you plan on keeping the images private (in your bedroom or maybe share with your closest friends and family), or showing them in public for all the world to see (displaying in your living room or share the images online).  Also, if you plan to order large format prints for display in your living room, your photographer will need to adjust the image quality as compared to having just wallet-size prints or for posting online.

You will show some skin.maternity photography tips

Your body during pregnancy goes through some transformation. It is not uncommon for birthmarks or stretch marks to appear. Be sure to discuss with your photographer if there are parts of your body you are not entirely comfortable with. Maybe you have some tattoos which you don’t want to show in the final images; your photographer will use clothing or some props to hide this. Of course, the other option would be just to remove them upon edit of your final images. 

Bring your loved ones along; having company is fun!

Don’t hesitate to bring your husband or older children (if any) or anyone else who is important to you and your baby’s life. It will always be an excellent idea. If you plan to bring others along, you can plan your outfits together. You might also need some privacy and quiet time for image sessions with your husband. You need to be undisturbed in more intimate maternity portraits, so privacy may need to be considered in planning your photo sessions. 

Outfits do matter.

Stretched clothing or garments can leave marks on your round belly. Plan to remove any elastic bands or tight clothes at least two hours before the start of your photo shoot. This includes socks, maternity pants, even your undergarments. Dress in a robe or loose clothes will keep your skin smooth. You can also opt to wear slip-on shoes or slippers to make it easy for you to take them off when needed. Not having skin marks is of particular importance if you plan to have nude or partially nude images taken.

Take it easy, calm down, and have fun.

This is the most important yet commonly neglected words given to clients. Of course, excitement is but common and looking great in your sessions is a given, however, if you are not relaxed or may seem uneasy, they will surely come out in the photos.

Practice your poses to help create great photographs.

Your poses is a big part to create beautiful pregnancy portraits. Your family photographer will most likely direct and explain how and what to pose. But if your have some suggestions or specific poses in mind, make sure to discuss them before the sessions to allow your photographer to incorporate your ideas and adjust some lights and backgrounds if needed. Talk with each other what poses you are most comfortable or some limits you want to set. Are you comfortable with posing nude? Do you want some conservative shots or more intimate poses? Do you want black and white effect or bright-colored concept? Discuss your personal preferences.


Some women think that accessories are not a splendid idea in maternity photo shoots. However, when they are applied with moderation and with a good sense of fashion and taste, accessories may add some interest and focal point to your photos.

Final Thoughts

We hope these tips help expecting mothers to be more prepared for their maternity photo sessions.  Just remember that no matter how prepared you are, things might not always go your way.  What’s important is that you are having fun during the shoot.