10 Tips for Amazing Maternity Photos

If photographs are used as a way to remember a specific time in life, what better time to remember than the weeks and months surrounding the birth of a child? Maternity and newborn photography account for a large percentage of business for many photographers, because clients want to have memorable photos of this time in their lives.

In this article we’ll look at 10 tips that you can use to get the best maternity photos for your clients.

1. Shoot at the Client’s Home

One of the most effective ways to help clients feel more comfortable during a session is to hold the session at their home rather than in a studio. Going to the client’s home will allow you to work in an environment that they are comfortable with, and it will usually result in a more successful session. This also makes it easier for mothers who have other children, for getting the family involved in the shots, and for getting photos in the baby’s room or nursery.

10 Tips for Amazing Maternity Photos

Photo by Caitlin Sturdivant

2. Shoot Outdoors

Another great alternative to a studio is to photograph outdoors. Many of the most beautiful maternity photos will be surrounded by nature. Outdoor portraits will also benefit from pleasing natural light. Of course, the location, weather, and time of year will impact your ability to shoot comfortably outdoors, but it should be considered whenever possible. This could be done at the clients home or at a local park.

10 Tips for Amazing Maternity Photos

Photo by Rockin Shutters

3. Keep Her Comfortable

For any portrait session, including maternity, it is critical that the client feels comfortable in order to get great, natural-looking shots. For maternity sessions you’ll need to be sure that the client is comfortable with things like the location/setting of the session, wardrobe, poses, and props being used.

10 Tips for Amazing Maternity Photos

Photo by Brian Khoury

4. Include the Father

Although the mother is the star of the show when it comes to maternity photos, it is really about the couple and the family as well. Including the partner is a great way to capture the joy of this time in a couple’s relationship. There are plenty of different possibilities for including the father, see our maternity photography pose guide for lots of ideas and examples.

10 Tips for Amazing Maternity Photos

Photo by Brian Khoury

5. Include Siblings

If the couple has other children, try to include them in the photos as well. Most siblings are very excited about the new baby that will be joining the family, so include that emotion and love in your sessions whenever possible.

10 Tips for Amazing Maternity Photos

Photo by Brian Khoury

6. Incorporate Props

Using props can be a fun way to add some intrigue to your photos, and there are plenty of possible props for maternity photos.

10 Tips for Amazing Maternity Photos

Photo by Bayu Aditya 

7. Go Beyond the Cliche

While there are many standard and common maternity poses, to get the best photos for your clients you will also need to go outside the box and create images that are unique. Go ahead and do some of the typical poses, but be sure that you don’t stop there. Try to find ways to bring the uniqueness of each client or family into the session to get the best results.

10 Tips for Amazing Maternity Photos

Photo by dearestlou

8. Plan the Session Around 30-35 Weeks into the Pregnancy

Generally, the best time for maternity photos is around 30 – 35 weeks into the pregnancy. You’ll want to wait long enough that the belly is large, but not so far that the expecting mother is extremely uncomfortable. Also, many pregnancies do not go a full 40 weeks, so by scheduling the session at 30 – 35 weeks you can avoid missing out because of waiting too long.

10 Tips for Amazing Maternity Photos

Photo by Esther Gibbons

9. Shoot from High Angles for More Flattering Photos

Maternity portraits are generally much more flattering when photographed from higher angles. Depending on your height you may want to bring a small stool with you to get a little extra height when needed. In general you’ll want to avoid crouching down to shoot from low angles except for situations where you are after a particular look or effect, such as shooting up from the feet area directly at the belly.

10 Tips for Amazing Maternity Photos

Photo by Meagan

10. Capture Emotion

The time of a pregnancy can be very emotional with a lot of excitement and joy. Be sure to capture the emotions of your clients in those photos so they accurately portray the situation and the phase of life.

10 Tips for Amazing Maternity Photos

Photo by Philippe Put