Creating another life is a superpower that deserves to be celebrated! When you’re feeling achy or bloated, taking photographs might be the last thing on your mind. But hear us out - getting pampered for a maternity photoshoot is a great way to boost your confidence and highlight your beauty during this amazing journey.
There’s something so special about looking back on this moment when your little one is grown. Aim to schedule your photoshoot when you are around 28 to 35 weeks. That’s the best time since your belly will be popping, but hopefully, you won’t feel too uncomfortable or be overly swollen.
Photo Credit: Georgia Maciel, Pexels
Look for photographers specializing in maternity and family shoots and scan their portfolios to see if you like their style and process. Then, find a meaningful or breathtaking location where you want to schedule your photoshoot. If casual is more your vibe, it can even be at home.
There are many choices: you can have props, invite siblings or pets, hold a solo or couple’s session, shoot in a studio or outdoors, glam it up or dress down. Our best advice is to relax, have fun with it, and let your personality shine through. To help you narrow down all of these options, we’re highlighting some of the most creative maternity photoshoot ideas we’ve ever seen to use as inspiration.
1. Show Off Your Silhouette
A maternity shoot is all about showing off your bump, and there’s no easier way to do that than with a silhouette. It’s a graceful way to reveal your figure without giving too much away. You can take these while standing up, lying down, or sitting in a chair, but we find that side views look the best.
Include your partner or baby’s older sibling and have them kiss your belly or make a heart shape with their hands. Another idea is to choose a dramatic background like a Mountainview or outdoor tunnel that will also show in the silhouette.
2. Get in Touch with Nature
Picturesque outdoor settings always look good — plan to shoot just after sunrise or before sunset to get that natural “golden hour” lighting. Think majestic mountains in the background, woodland fairy vibes in the forest, rolling around in a field of flowers, or going for a stroll on the beach.
Venture outdoors in the winter for some equally impressive photos. Bundle up with your partner as you let the snow fall on your hair, visit an evergreen tree farm, or strike a pose in front of a frozen lake. Wear colorful earrings and textured clothing to contrast the bright, white snow.
Photo Credit: Bruce Christianson, Unsplash
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Wet
Water images are some of the most majestic, eye-catching maternity photos. Whether you are floating atop the ocean, frolicking in the waves, or swimming beneath the surface, it’s sure to be a photoshoot you will never forget.
Wear something lightweight and flowy that you won’t mind getting wet and bring a change of clothes. You can also incorporate water in other ways by using a waterfall as a backdrop, lying in a boat, visiting an aquarium, or braving it out in the pouring rain for your photo session.
4. Include Older Siblings
Is this your second, third, or fourth child? Let them join in the fun too. Older siblings will feel extra special being included in your maternity photoshoot. It’s an excellent way for them to get excited about the upcoming arrival of their little sister or brother and will make for lots of treasured photos.
Pile the family onto your bed in coordinated looks, hold them in your arms for a mommy and me shoot, or have them kiss your belly. There’s no wrong way to include older siblings and celebrate your growing family.
Photo Credit: Sandra Seitamaa, Unsplash
5. Take a Milk Bath
If you’ve seen milk bath photos on Instagram, you already know how dreamy and popular they are. Enjoy this relaxing photoshoot by filling a soaking tub with warm water, then add some milk bath soaking powder and real flowers like peonies or roses. Leave an inch or two of the stem on so they’ll float easily.
Place any extra flowers or greenery like eucalyptus around the tub’s edge. Drain some water if you need to, so your bump peeks out of the tub. Go nude or wear a lacy robe to get a stunning maternity photo you’ll be proud to look back on.
6. Put All the Attention on Your Bump
Maternity shoots are probably one of the only times your belly needs to be ready for its close-up. Keep your photo session simple by letting your bump get most of the attention. Wear a black bodysuit or a casual outfit, and use your hands to tell the story.
Place one hand above your bump and one below, or have you or your partner rub your belly. Show it off in a kimono or tie-waisted dress. Side profile poses are best for highlighting your pregnancy, but your photographer will likely capture your bump from many different angles.
Photo Credit: Lais, Pexels
7. Drape Your Bump in Fabric
Embrace your changing pregnancy body and uncover your bump. Go for a baroque, artistic look by draping fabric around your bodice, leaving your belly exposed for a tasteful touch of beauty. Wrap chiffon fabric around you, wear an open lacy gown or drape a bedsheet around you to achieve this look.
We recommend keeping your background simple. Lay near a window or outdoors in the sun to let in some natural light. Up the drama by printing this image in grayscale or black-and-white.
8. Spell it Out
Add some personality to your photos by holding up a letter board or sign during your shoot that speaks your mind. You can write a funny message or get cute with baby blocks. Another popular idea is to hold a “bump ahead” street sign perfect for an urban, cityscape-themed photoshoot.
Write a phrase like “ready to pop,” or share your baby’s name if you already have one picked out. These options are especially helpful if you plan to use these images on social media later.
Photo Credit: Marlon Schmeiski, Pexels
9. Wear the Crown You Deserve
When you think of epic maternity photoshoots, Beyoncé probably comes to mind. Channel your inner Queen by wearing a crown. We’re not talking about some princess-style tiara but Coachella-esque floral crowns or modern halo ones fit for a Mama. There’s a reason this trend continues strong year after year.
Up the ante by creating an ethereal background with a floral swing or “throne,” a regal-looking chaise lounge, or a bed of colorful tulle and scattered petals. You can even incorporate your crown into one of the other maternity shoot ideas listed here.
10. Work Up a Sweat
If staying active is a big part of your lifestyle, you might want to capture your fitness routine on camera. Grab your partner and take photos while jogging along the beach or during a morning prenatal yoga class. You’ll not only work up a sweat but also create lasting memories. Wear activewear that enhances your bump, and grab a fitness ball or bands as some extra props for your photo session.
Photo Credit: Beau Horyza, Unsplash
11. Turn it into an Adventure
If you love a good adventure, there is no reason you can’t turn your maternity photoshoot into one. Pick a site that’ll be fun to spend the day at, like an amusement park, museum, carousel, or cute part of town. You can even incorporate it into your babymoon by shooting during a vacation or road trip.
Look for interesting murals, famous bridges, or streets if venturing locally. Enjoy the day and let the vibrant colors and excitement show in your maternity photos.
12. Highlight Their Nursery
You’ve spent a lot of time decorating your nursery to perfection; why not show it off? Your maternity photoshoot is the perfect way to do just that. Hold onto the crib's edge, glance down, and pose like you are waiting for your baby to arrive. Or sit next to your partner by the crib while you each read a children’s book.
However you choose to highlight your nursery for your maternity shoot, we urge you to stay in the room for a bit and enjoy the silence. Soon, this room will become a hub for your baby, and it might be a while before it is so quiet again.
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13. Add a Prop
Try to limit props to one or two small items. Some of the best options are baby shoes and ultrasound photos. You can also bring baby clothes, toys, or a baby book. Rest the prop on your bump or hold it between you and your partner.
Large balloons, colored smoke, or confetti work great in the background if you're looking for something to liven up your shoot. Mention what you are bringing to your photographer beforehand, so they are not caught off guard on the day of your shoot.
14. Get Your Sexy On
As your feet swell and your body changes, you might not be feeling so hot. But try to remember that being sexy is what got you here to begin with. Embrace your pregnancy glow and use your maternity shoot to boost your confidence with a sexy photo session.
Put on some cute lingerie, a sheer or lacy robe, and strike a pose. Let your belly pop and go for it. You don’t need to share these photos with anyone but you and your partner. But we’re sure they’ll be a big hit down the road. If you are feeling extra confident, pose nude. Then, wrap your arms around your chest and baby bump.
Photo Credit: Vlada Karpovich, Pexels
15. Bring Your Fur Baby Along
Many moms were pet moms first. Your fur babies are family, so why not include them in maternity photos? It’ll definitely up the cuteness factor too. We especially love seeing pets in at-home shoots where you can really get in your comfort zone.
Include your dog, cat, bird, lizard, or even horse in your session. Snuggle little pets in your arms or let them lie down on your bump. Grab your pets, partner, and children and sneak a family portrait into the mix during your photoshoot.
Whichever idea you choose for your maternity shoot, try to let your inhibitions go and enjoy the experience. No one will be paying attention to stretch marks or any hang-ups you may have. Your photographer is there to capture your beauty. Use this time to celebrate you and your partner, your pregnancy, and that little one on the way.