36 Ways to Nail a Stunning Maternity Photoshoot

In search of creative maternity photoshoot ideas? We’ve rounded up our top tips for how to capture amazing pregnancy pictures.
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By Ashlee Neuman, Content Director
Updated November 4, 2021
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Image: Leah Flores

Pregnancy is a remarkable time in your life, full of amazing changes and giddy anticipation. After all, you’re growing a brand-new, tiny human who you can’t wait to meet! One of the best ways to commemorate this special life event? With a maternity photoshoot you can look back on for years to come.

The ideal time to schedule a pregnancy photoshoot is generally sometime between 28 and 32 weeks, so you can show off that adorable baby bump. Plus, you’ll be able to check it off the list before you become too uncomfortable to sit through any kind of photo session. While timing is important, it’s not the only thing to keep in mind when planning for your pregnancy photos. You’ll also want to consider where to hold your session, your maternity picture outfit, which photographer to use and more.

When picking a photographer, it’s always helpful to look at some of their previous work. Do you like the way they shoot candids? Are you drawn to how they frame the shot? These are just a couple of the important questions to ask before making your choice. To help you plan, we’ve gathered up our best maternity photoshoot ideas to help you get the perfect pics.

Outdoor Maternity Photoshoot Ideas

Have your heart set on an outdoor maternity photoshoot? There are plenty of fun ways to incorporate the great outdoors into your pregnancy pictures. While you’ll want the weather to cooperate, rest assured there are tricks for working around any inclement weather—and you may be surprised at how they add to your photos.

Get your partner in the picture

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

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Get the timing right

Lighting can make or break your maternity photos, so schedule your pregnancy photoshoot 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.

Find a beautiful field

Hunting around for the perfect location for your outdoor maternity photoshoot? 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.

Hit the street

If you’re an urban dweller, don’t be afraid to embrace the industrial feel of your city streets for an outdoor maternity photoshoot. For an urban-chic aesthetic, look for textured backdrops like concrete and metal.

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 photoshoot. But this amazing pic should be proof enough that rainy weather can actually lead to some pretty magical maternity photos.

Have fun with florals

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

Don’t let the cold keep you inside

A winter pregnancy doesn’t mean an indoor maternity photoshoot 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 photoshoot.

Feature your fur babies

If you count your pet as your first baby, why not include them in your outdoor maternity photoshoot for the ultimate “aw” factor?

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.

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 outdoor maternity photoshoot?

Go for the close up

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

Pick up a pair of baby shoes

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

Indoor Maternity Photoshoot Ideas

There are tons of creative maternity photoshoot ideas for those who opt to stay indoors. The pros of an indoor maternity photoshoot? You don’t have to worry about the weather, traveling or packing up any props for your session. Plus, maternity photoshoots at home can showcase all your favorite rooms—like baby’s new nursery—and help capture your family in their element.

Snuggle up on the couch

Posed maternity photos can be super-glamorous, but for a more intimate feel, try setting up a pregnancy photoshoot on a comfy couch or bed. A casual, cozy setting for a family maternity photoshoot can be perfect for capturing those emotional moments.

Don’t shy away from the studio

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

Make use of baby’s nursery

You spent all that time and effort designing a gorgeous nursery. Why not take advantage of the picture-perfect setting for your indoor maternity photoshoot?

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 photoshoot to sneak in a family portrait before your numbers swell.

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 maternity photoshoot poses and get creative with nearby props and furniture.

Get your hands on a letter board

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

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.

Take some candids

Remember, 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.

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.

Make use of your baby gear

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

Enjoy a good soak

In search of trendy indoor maternity photoshoot 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.

Unique Maternity Photoshoot Ideas

From finding a location off the beaten path to changing up the framing of your photos, there are endless opportunities to orchestrate a unique maternity photoshoot to get stunning, original photos. Below, some ways to get that perfect shot.

Go for the greenhouse effect

Select a location that feels unique to you. Greenhouses and nurseries, for example, are an unexpected but totally on-theme option if bad weather gets in the way of the outdoor maternity photoshoot you envisioned.

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.

Embrace the rainbow

If you’ve experienced loss, consider a rainbow baby maternity photoshoot. You can use 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.

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 funny maternity photoshoot ideas.

Head underwater

Another popular maternity photoshoot trend that makes for some pretty unique images? Photographing your pregnant belly underwater. The distortions and reflections can make for a really cool look.

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.

Play with perspective

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

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?

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.

Celebrate your love of disney

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

Take advantage of public artwork

Using a structure as a frame within the photo creates focus and intrigue. Scout out any public art displays nearby to curate a unique maternity photoshoot.

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