Photography Tips

20 Tips for Maternity Photography Sessions

Pregnancy is a special time for both the expecting mother and the family, so it’s natural if you want to capture the moment with maternity photos. While maternity photography session sounds simple, pregnant mothers often feel nervous to be photographed as they don’t always feel their best late in the pregnancy. But with enough preparation and a trusty photographer, you can make sure you get the best possible results. Here are a few tips to get you started with the planning.

1. Find inspirations

The best way to start is finding inspirations. Are there certain styles and poses you want to do for your maternity photos? Do you aim for a dreamy and whimsical look, or something elegant and glamourous, or maybe a classic look? Look at the variety of maternity photos and ideas to help you decide how you want your photos to look (a little tip: Pinterest is a great source for inspirations). Save the photos that inspire you, and show it to your photographer as a reference once you’ve booked them.

Simply perfect! These two are such awesome models… I had them hold that kiss & wait for a big wave…

A post shared by Natasha Halimi Photography 📷 (@natashalimiphoto) on

2. Choose a photographer that you’re comfortable with

Now that you know how you want your maternity photos to look, it’s time to choose a photographer. Every photographer has their own styles, including maternity photographers. Do a little bit of research on photographers who do the style you’re after, and their prices. Talk with them and ask questions before booking, and decide which photographer you’re most comfortable with. It’s very important to choose a photographer who can put you at ease, especially if you’re going to do personal and intimate shots. If the photographer can crack jokes and lighten up the mood, it’s a bonus! Anything that can make you relax during the session is a good thing.

3. Do it between the 32-38 weeks of pregnancy

The question for maternity photography is, when to do it? You don’t want to do it to do it too early when the bump is still small, nor do you want it too late. During week 32-38 of pregnancy is the best time to take maternity photos, as the bump has gotten really round and beautiful around this time, making it look great in photos.

4. Plan ahead

Now that you’ve worked out the date/week you want to do the session, and you’ve chosen a photographer you’re comfortable to work with, don’t postpone booking them! Make sure you book your photographer months in advance, as you don’t want to miss this opportunity because your photographer is already booked on your available dates.

5. Outdoor or indoor? Take your pick

Locations play an important role in setting the mood for your maternity photos. Are you after an outdoor location, or do you prefer doing the session in the comfort of your own home? Or maybe you want to do both? It’s up to you to decide where you want to do it, just pay attention to the pros and cons of each location. An outdoor location, while can give you a stunning landscape and natural beauty, can be a bit uncomfortable when there are people passing by and staring, especially if you’re not used to it. An indoor session can be more private and intimate, although it’s a little bit more restricting compared to outdoor locations, and you might have to compensate with a lot more creative poses to keep the photos interesting and unique.

6. Choose the location(s)

If you decide to do the session outdoor, start scouting the locations near your home. If you’re not comfortable being the center of attention, make it a priority to choose a place that’s a bit quiet. A gorgeous location will not be as good if you can’t be comfortable in there. If you want to do the session indoor at your house, you can start planning which room you’re going to use and whether you’re going to arrange it specifically for the session. Or if you decide to do it in a studio, you might want to do some research on the studios nearby and their costs. You can ask your photographer for suggestions as well, as they usually know the good places.

7. Pay attention to the lighting

This is crucial, especially if you’re shooting at home. Choose a room that has the best exposure to natural light, and send the photo of the room to your photographer before the session so they know what to expect and whether additional lighting is needed. If you’re doing the session outdoor, your photographer might want to do it during the golden hour. If you’re doing it in a studio, you don’t need to worry about the lighting as your photographer will take care of it.

Let your love shine

A post shared by Lin & Jirsa Family Photos (@lineandroots) on

8. Think about the poses

Obviously, your photographer will direct you (and your family) during the session, but if you have particular poses in mind, discuss it with your photographer in advance so they can prepare and incorporate it into the session. It’s also best to let your photographer know your limitations. For example, tell them if you’re not comfortable posing with minimum clothing, or if you’re a bit awkward and need directions in intimate poses.

9. Communicate with your photographer

It’s always best to discuss your expectations and concerns with your photographer. How do you want the photos to look? Do you have any tattoos or mark you want them to retouch in the post-processing? Your photographer’s opinions and suggestions can be invaluable, so ask their opinions about locations, outfits, or anything that could help creating beautiful maternity photos. It would also be good to ask their two cents about what to prepare, as they usually can remind you of things you haven’t thought about. The more you communicate with your photographer, the easier it will be for them to deliver your vision.

You're the closest I'll ever come to magic #LinandJirsa

A post shared by Lin & Jirsa Family Photos (@lineandroots) on

10. Wear flattering outfits

Outfits play an important role in maternity photography, so make sure you plan your outfits carefully before the day. Outfits that are reflective of your personality and can make you feel confident are the best choice. That being said, there are a few things worth considering. For instance, choose clothes that can accentuate your gorgeous belly, and stick to timeless style and colors to make sure there will be no regret later on. Avoid floral prints, checks, too many colors, and heavy pieces of jewelry that can take the focus away from the bump. Don’t forget to take locations, weather, and time of the session (especially for an outdoor session) into considerations when planning your outfits.

Princess arriving soon!

A post shared by naomihewittphotog_ (@naomihewittphotography) on

11. Remove tight-fitting clothes for bare tummy shots

If you decide to have a few shots with your bare tummy, remember to remove any tight clothing and elastic band at least 2 hours before the session to allow the marks to disappear. It’s best to get the bare tummy shots first thing during the session, so you can change into other outfits later without worrying if it’s going to cause any marks on your tummy.

12. Personalize it

In the years to come, you’ll want to remember little things about your pregnancy, so why not incorporate them into the photos as well? If there are any particular items that have stories behind the pregnancy, bring them to the session and have them photographed with you. It could be the ultrasound images, cute baby shoes or onesies, or even decorative props such as balloons or chalkboard. Get as creative and personal as you want! Just remember not to use too many props in one frame.

• Someone has been promoted to "Big Sister" 💕👧🏻 • @mari_buck7_ @voltaaomundocomsophia @fabio_buckeridge

A post shared by Carla Costelini (@carlacostelini) on

13. Leave enough time to prepare

It’s important to not feel rushed before and during the session, so set aside plenty of time to get ready. If you feel you need the help of a professional for your makeup and hair, go for it! Pregnant women can often feel uncomfortable late in the pregnancies, so it’s important to do things that keep you confident and relaxed as your mood will show in the photos. Whatever your choice is, just remember to keep the makeup and hair look natural.

14. Moisturize your skin

Pregnancy often causes dry skin, and it will show in the photos. So don’t forget to apply moisturizing lotion before the session, and re-apply if needed in between shots.

15. Bring the family

It’s not only the parents who will welcome the baby into the world, but also the family. Bring all family members to the session, including the pets, if you’d like. Use this opportunity to bond and make memories, and the photos will be a lovely memento of the time before the baby arrives.

16. Focus on the interactions between family members

When you have little ones joining your maternity session, it’s not always easy to direct them to pose. If they’re good with following directions, that’s great, but if not, don’t worry! Ask your photographer to capture the moments and interactions between you and your family, and you can relax and be playful with them without thinking too much about posing. Sometimes, it’s the candid shots that tell the best stories.

17. Don’t forget the romantic couple shots

This is often overlooked when you have kids, as things can get pretty busy with them. Make sure you have a few romantic shots of you and your partner, as the parents-to-be. It’s also a good idea to tell this to your photographer in advance, so they can remind you during the session in case you forget.

A break in the rain for these beautiful parents-to-be ❤

A post shared by corinne mccombs (@corinnemccombs) on

18. Bring snacks and water

Maternity session can take a while, especially if you plan to change outfit or place. Pack some snacks and water to fill you (and the family) up during the session, and remember to stay hydrated!

19. Keep it simple

The focus of maternity photos should be the expecting mother and the bump, so keep things simple as not to divert the focus. Make sure the background of any location you choose is not too cluttered, and go for simple outfits and accessories, as well as props.

20. And finally, relax and have fun!

Now that you’ve done all your best to prepare, it’s time to relax, have fun, and let your photographer do the rest! Just remember to keep smiling and embrace the moment, and you will have a memorable photo shoot.


If you’d like to preserve the memories of your pregnancy, Photojaanic can help you print your maternity photos and make it into a photobook. We understand that expecting mothers are busy preparing the arrivals of the little ones, so we’ll do the work. All you have to do is upload your selected photos and arrange them, and we’ll do the printing and delivery for you. If you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact us at customercare@photojaanic.sg. 

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