10 Great Maternity Photoshoot Ideas
Expecting a new arrival is such a special time in the life of a family. It’s no wonder so many people want to immortalize this time with photos. A maternity photoshoot is about more than just showing off your baby bump. It’s a celebration of this time in a way that’s unique to you and your family.
So, how do you choose a maternity photographer? When should you schedule your maternity photography session? And, most of all, what are some of the hottest themes and outfit ideas?
We’ll tell you.
How to Find a Maternity Photographer
Finding a great maternity photographer is like finding the right person to do any other type of family photos.
You want someone who knows what they’re doing, but who will listen to your maternity photoshoot ideas and work with them. It’s also important that your photographer has ideas of their own for a maternity photo session.
Finally, in addition to being a competent photographer, your maternity photographer should be someone that you feel a connection to and can work with.
1. Do an Internet Search
The first step is to search for maternity photographers in your area. The internet is a good place to start, but don’t neglect neighborhood businesses that you’ve seen while out and about.
Many photographers will have example maternity photoshoots available for your inspection. In addition to quality photography, look for themes that resonate with you.
Are you thinking of an outdoor shoot? Or a shoot inside your home? Do you like the idea of costumes, or do you prefer something classic and elegant? Are you more interested in formal maternity photoshoot poses, or would you like something more informal and candid, reflecting everyday family life?
In any event, any professional photographer should have examples of shoots that reflect your tastes and the type of photos that you would like to have.
2. Make a List
Make a list of your top five photographers. It’s important to speak to all of them, to figure out who you feel comfortable with.
3. Interview Prospectives
Make an appointment to speak to the photographers on your list. Speak to all of them. This might seem like a lot of work, but you want to go with the very best photographer for you.
4. Get it in Writing
Once you’ve chosen your photographer, get the details in writing. This protects both you and them. Some things to consider:
- How many poses are included?
- Will the photographer provide costumes and props? Can you bring your own?
- Does the price include prints? If so, how many and what size?
- Will you also get a digital copy of your photos?
- Can you order other products, such as cards, magnets, and so forth?
- Can you get reprints at a future date? How far in the future will they still be available?
- When will the photos be delivered?
- What happens if you’re not satisfied with the final product?
Can You Do Your Own Maternity Photoshoot?
You can, and many people do!
Whether a friend or family member is a keen amateur photographer, or you like the fluidity and control of a DIY shoot, you can absolutely do your own photoshoot your own way.
Some places to find ideas and inspiration include:
- Pinterest boards
- Baby and parenting magazines
- Pregnancy websites
You can also consult photography websites for tips and tricks about poses, props, settings, and more.
A DIY pregnancy photoshoot is an excellent way to make a set of photos that is uniquely you!
When to Schedule Your Maternity Photography
This is, of course, up to you. Many people like to do their maternity portraits at about 30 weeks, that is, in the seventh or eighth month. Your pregnant body, at this point, will have a pleasing shape, but there should still be plenty of time left before the due date.
Your Maternity Photoshoot Dress
No, you don’t have to wear a dress if you don’t want to! And if you do want to wear one, it doesn’t have to be an old fashioned pastel maternity dress or frumpy maternity outfit.
Many moms-to-be like a flowy maxi dress for their maternity pictures. In addition to being the height of fashion right now, this type of dress is super comfortable.
But your photoshoot outfit can be anything that makes you happy. The best maternity photoshoot outfit will highlight your beautiful bump in a way that makes you feel beautiful, too.
And if you’re thinking in terms of creative costumes, that can be a great option, too!
Ideas for Maternity Portraits
Now for the fun part. What are some of the hottest themes and ideas for welcoming your little one?
1. Pregnancy or Adoption Photoshoot: The Big Reveal
Some people use photography to announce their new addition to the world. This type of shoot can be done as early in the pregnancy as you like, whether you want to make the announcement immediately, or wait for your beautiful belly to show.
If you want to share the joy of an imminent adoption, a “big reveal” shoot is a great way to do that, too!
Some ideas for a Pregnancy Reveal shoot include:
- Holding up a sign with the due date
- Close-up of the pregnant belly
- Incorporate props like baby shoes, a teddy bear, or a onesie
- Use a “bump ahead” street sign
If your new arrival is coming via adoption, you might consider:
- A globe image over the belly (for an international adoption)
- Objects that represent the region or culture of the adopted child
Two ideas that work for either pregnancy or adoption are:
- Candid shots showing the joy of family members when the announcement is made
- A movie poster design announcing the “release date”
2. Family Maternity Photoshoot
Some of the best maternity photoshoot ideas involve the whole family. This type of shoot can be formal or candid, silly or serious. It can involve human family members as well as four-legged ones. The only limit is your imagination.
Try some of these ideas on for size:
- Intimate shots showing the love and joy of both parents
- Matching t-shirts, outfits, or costumes
- Older children cuddling or kissing Mom’s pregnant belly
- Fur babies with a sign that says “older brother” or “older sister”
- A formal multigenerational shoot with grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.
- The whole family engaged in an activity that everyone enjoys
- Everyone together in a place that is special to the family, like a local park or the beach
Water can add texture and flavor to your photoshoot. And there are many different ways to go about it.
The bath is a natural setting for a pregnancy shoot. Use a milk bath solution to make the water opaque, and consider using bubble bath soaps, coloring, or even flowers for a dramatic touch!
Get creative: consider a nude shoot, or even a shoot wearing lingerie.
The beach is another place to take great pregnancy shots, whether mom is standing in the water, lying on the sand, or reclining in the surf.
For an informal shoot, consider playing in the backyard sprinklers or a paddling pool. This is a good one to do if you want to include other children in your shoot.
4. Seasonal Maternity Photoshoot
The seasons are a time-honored photoshoot theme. The season of the due date is a popular choice, but you could also choose the season at the time of the shoot.
For spring, images of growth and fertility are natural choices. Think flowers, greenery, and baby animals.
Summer imagery might include fun in the sun: beach balls, sand buckets and pails, and so forth.
A lot of people love autumn’s harvest imagery, including leaves in fall colors and pumpkins. Some families might even choose Halloween images like jack o’lanterns and black cats.
Winter has some unmistakable imagery, such as snow, snow-people, sleds, ice skates, and so forth.
5. Focus on the Belly
Some prospective moms want to minimize their waistline, but for many, the bump is the star of the show. Here are some ideas for making the most of that gorgeous belly.
- A ribbon around the belly, like a present
- Family members kissing or cuddling the belly
- Shadows and silhouettes that emphasize the unique shape of your pregnant body
- Form-fitting clothing in solid colors to accentuate your beautiful shape
- Flowy dresses that accentuate your femininity
- “Before and after” shots, where the bump is replaced by a baby
6. Floral Themes
A pregnant body is a body in bloom, and nothing says this more clearly or more beautifully than flowers. Some ways to incorporate floral themes into your shoot include:
- Garlands and daisy chains
- Crowns and wreaths for the head and / or the belly
- Standing in a field of flowers
- Colorful petals in the bath
- Petals on and around a bare baby bump
- A shower of petals
7. Home Sweet Home
If you’re welcoming a child into the home, why not stage the photos in your own home? A home shoot can be indoor or outdoor, as well as formal, informal, candid, humorous, serious, and so on. Here are a few ideas:
- The family together in the parents’ bed
- Everyone on the sofa together
- Cooking together in the kitchen (a bun in the oven?)
- In the back yard
- On the front porch
- Everyone helping to decorate the nursery
8. Hobby / Career Shoot
Welcoming a new arrival is a chance to introduce someone to an activity that has been meaningful in your life. If you’re an athlete, love crafting, or enjoy pets, cooking, or any other activity, you can build that into your shoot to take your maternity portraits to the next level. Consider:
- The tools of your trade
- Art supplies
- Things that you have created
- Objects that you use for your hobbies
9. Fashion Forward
A lot of expectant mothers feel beautiful, and there’s no better way to show this than with some gorgeous pregnancy fashion and dramatic poses. And if you’re feeling less than beautiful, then a set of high fashion maternity clothes and flattering poses and lighting can help with that!
Maternity fashions don’t have to be cutesy (though if that’s what you like, then go for it!) There are also maternity clothes that are sexy, professional, intellectual, outdoorsy...or whatever your aesthetic may be.
A steampunk pregnancy shoot? Why not? High fashion isn’t only for pre-pregnant or post-delivery. Plenty of models have rocked their baby bumps on the catwalk, and Vogue Magazine has the receipts.
Is there a place that’s special to you or your family? Why not stage your shoot there? Some other unique choices include:
- Art spaces
- Tourist attractions
The possibilities are endless!
Are You Ready to Take the Plunge?
Your maternity photo shoot is your chance to make a statement—to yourself, to your loved ones, or to the world, about your imminent new addition. It’s a great way to announce a pregnancy or decision to adopt, and to show off your unique family. To summarize our tips,
- Think about when you’ll want to shoot: early in the pregnancy or later?
- Consider the theme and the tone. Choose a setting.
- Finally, decide whether you’re going to do the shoot yourself or hire a professional.
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Jess is a qualified teacher who is experienced in teaching different languages and linguistics. Jess speaks multiple foreign languages, including Russian and French.