39 Ways to Nail a Stunning Maternity Photo Shoot

In search of creative maternity photo ideas? We’ve rounded up our top tips for how to capture amazing pregnancy pics.
ByAshlee Neuman
Deputy Editor
March 12, 2021
maternity photo ideas, pregnant woman posing in field in big orange tutu
39 slides

Pregnancy is a remarkable time in your life, full of amazing changes and giddy anticipation. No wonder women want to document it all with maternity photos! The ideal time to schedule a pregnancy photo shoot is generally sometime between weeks 28 and 32, so you can show off that adorable baby bump. But timing when to take pictures isn’t the only thing you need to know to pull off a stunning photo shoot. Here, we’ve gathered up our best maternity photo ideas to help you get the perfect pics.


Seek Out Unusual Backdrops

The best maternity photo ideas often start with the location. If you want jaw-dropping pregnancy photos, find a jaw-dropping setting! Your setting can then inform your lighting and outfit decisions.


Get Your Partner in the Picture

If you’re preparing to enter the world of parenthood with a partner by your side, your photo shoot isn’t complete without them in it. Your shared excitement will shine through those maternity pictures.


Test Out Different Positions

You don’t have to stand in front of the camera and smile to get stunning maternity photos. Play around with your poses, and get creative with nearby props and furniture.


Play with Perspective

Searching for fresh maternity photo ideas? Encourage your photographer to experiment with scale and perspective for a unique twist.


Get the Timing Right

Lighting can make or break your maternity photos, so schedule your pregnancy photo shoot at an optimal time of day. Photographers love shooting at what they call the “golden hour”—shortly after sunrise or just before sunset—to capture those soft golden hues.


Go for the Close Up

You’re going to want a bunch of full-length maternity photos, but make sure to snag a few close-ups while you’re at it. Focus in on your arms and hands entwined in your partner’s—and of course, that beautiful baby bump.


Take Some Candids

Not all maternity photos need to be posed. Whether you’re lounging at home or enjoying a spontaneous laugh with your partner, candid shots are a great way to document your pregnancy.


Have a Sense of Humor

There’s a lot about pregnancy that’s pretty wild—so why not just roll with it? Whether you’re hankering after all the cookies or just can’t get enough pickles, your crazy food cravings can be great fodder for maternity photo ideas.


Find a Beautiful Field

Hunting around for the perfect location for your maternity photo shoot? Keep an eye out for open fields near your home—tall, lush grasses make for a particularly striking background. Extra points if your outfit matches the colors of the season.


Brave the Bad Weather

We get it: It’s hard not to be disappointed when it starts to rain on the day of your pregnancy photo shoot. But this amazing pic should be proof enough that inclement weather can actually lead to some pretty magical maternity photos.


Don’t Shy Away from the Studio

We’re all about natural settings for your maternity photo shoot, but remember that professional photos taken in the studio can be total show-stoppers. High-contrast black and white shots really up the elegance.


Get Your Hands on a Letter Board

Add a playful element to your maternity photos with letter boards! They’re having a serious moment on social media, and it’s easy to see why—they’re a cute way to share snarky messages (and we’re betting you have plenty to say about pregnancy).


Photograph Your Bump From Different Angles

Your body undergoes remarkable changes during pregnancy. Photograph your baby bump from different angles to show off those incredible curves.


Incorporate Your Older Kids

A list of go-to maternity photo ideas isn’t complete without mentioning the need to get your older kiddos in front of the camera. After all, we’re guessing you’re not the only one who’s excited about meeting the new baby! Plus, you can use your pregnancy photo shoot to sneak in a family portrait before your numbers swell.


Be a Homebody

Posed maternity photos can be super-glamorous, but for a more intimate feel, try setting up a pregnancy photo shoot in the comfort of your home. A casual, cozy setting can be perfect for capturing those emotional moments.


Hit the Streets

If curling up on the couch isn’t your cup of tea, don’t be afraid to embrace the industrial feel of your city streets. For an urban chic aesthetic, look for textured backdrops like concrete and metal.


Have Fun with Florals

Pregnancy can make any woman feel like a goddess. Our suggestion? Embrace it! Floral crowns have topped the list of sweet maternity photo ideas for a few years now, and there’s a reason the trend is persisting.


Show Off Your Silhouette

Celebrate your amazing pregnant body by taking black and white maternity photos of your silhouette. Hint: Stand in profile for the best views.


Indulge in Your Favorite Activity

Are you a bookworm? Do you love cooking, or catching some rays on the beach? Whatever it is that makes you happy, think about capturing maternity pictures of you enjoying your favorite activity.


Head Underwater

Another popular maternity photo shoot trend? Photographing your pregnant belly underwater. The distortions and reflections can make for a really cool look.


Make Use of Your Baby Gear

The right prop can totally make the photo. If you’re need of some cute maternity photo ideas, dig through all that new baby stuff you’re busy stocking up on—incorporating books, clothes and toys into your shoot could be just the thing you’re looking for.


Find the Perfect Outfit

Your pregnancy photo shoot is the ideal opportunity to don a stunning maternity picture outfit. Maybe you’ve always wanted to wear a ballgown, or show off your midriff, or rock a hot pink tutu. Whatever it is, now’s the time to take advantage and go for it.


Pose Against a Graffiti Wall

Scroll through Instagram and you’ll see tons of selfies taken against walls covered in bright urban murals and eye-catching street art. Why not steal the idea for your maternity photos?


Embrace the Rainbow

If you’ve experienced loss, consider using your maternity photos to both celebrate your sweet rainbow baby and pay homage to those children who never came to be. Colored smoke can make for a particularly striking background.


Go Au Naturel

There are plenty of tasteful ways to celebrate the beauty of the nude human body. A lacey robe and a well-placed hand can go a long way. Printing your maternity pictures in grayscale can also lend an artistic air.


Don’t Let the Cold Keep You Inside

A winter pregnancy doesn’t mean an indoor maternity photo shoot is your only option. Bundle up and embrace the fresh air.


Stick to Your Stoop

Want a homey feel for your maternity photos? Your front steps are an ideal place to pose. Bonus: You don’t have to drag your pregnant self across town for the photo shoot.


Make Use of Baby’s Nursery

You spent all that time and effort designing a gorgeous nursery, so take advantage of the picture-perfect setting!


Incorporate Traditional Garb

Our heritage is often central to our sense of identity, so why not work traditional clothing into your maternity photos? Not only is it a meaningful nod to your cultural background, it can also be a great way to add vibrancy and color to your pregnancy photo shoot.


Show Some Team Spirit

Don’t be shy about incorporating your love of sports into your maternity pictures. After all, what’s cuter than a baby-size jersey or a onesie with your team’s mascot?


Take Photos With Your Surrogate

Just because you’re not pregnant yourself doesn’t mean you can’t revel in the excitement and beauty of maternity photos, as these amazing women prove.


Pick Up a Pair of Baby Shoes

Is there anything more adorable than teeny-tiny baby shoes? Zoom in on these heart-meltingly cute props for a sweet take on maternity pictures.


Celebrate Your Love of Disney

Who wouldn’t want to be a princess for a day? For a fairytale maternity photo shoot, dress up as your favorite Disney character. (You can even run with the theme for baby’s newborn photo shoot.)


Enjoy a Good Soak

In search of trendy maternity photo ideas? Scroll through your social media feed and you’re bound to find stunning images of women floating in milk baths, surrounded by delicate flower petals.


Rock a Chalkboard

Your pregnant belly certainly speaks for itself, but using a chalkboard to share special messages is a great way to amp up your maternity photos.


G​o for the Greenhouse Effect

Select a location that feels unique to you. A greenhouse is a great option if winter weather gets in the way of the outdoorsy shoot you envisioned.


Take Advantage of Public Artwork

Using a structure as a frame within the photo creates focus and intrigue.


​Get in Touch with Nature

Shoot at a local fruit grove or farm to capture your natural earth-mama essence.


​Find Some Fur Babies

If you have safe access to baby animals, why not include them for the ultimate “aw” factor?

Published March 2018

Plus, more from The Bump:

How to Find a Good Maternity Photographer

Why I Wish I Had Taken Maternity Photos

Pregnancy Cravings Come to Life in Whimsical Maternity Photo Shoot

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