5 Tips for Great Pregnancy Photographs

Remember how I did the Awkward Pregnancy Photos post as a little cautionary tale of what can go nuts with photography? In many of those photos I could totally see what those people were going for, yet some of them went off the rails

Well, I wanted to do a post on some of the key elements in a good pregnancy photo. Not all of them may be your cup of tea but it gives you an idea of some of the options out there.

Here’s what I found:

5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! - PENNY GRAY
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! – PENNY GRAY
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! - the mccartneys photography 
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! – the mccartneys photography 

1. When in doubt, go outside.

Some of the most beautiful shots I found were taken outside. If it’s well lit you can get away with a lot more than if you’re inside especially if you’re not springing for a professional photographer. I took my pregnancy shot on my couch with my camera timer and that’s about how good it looks. Blech.

5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! - Jennifer Loomis Photography
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! – Jennifer Loomis Photography
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! - Michelle Bates for Jennifer Loomis Photography
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! – Michelle Bates for Jennifer Loomis Photography

2. Getting naked is good.

I’ve never been a huge fan of naked anything in photography but the more I looked around at pregnancy photos, the more I realized a couple of things. Pregnancy is one of the few times when your body is doing something really amazing and you may be more willing to celebrate it rather than worry about your cellulite (as we all should, pregnant or not). Secondly, naked is timeless. If you had your maternity shot taken in 1988 you can just imagine what kind of overall/shoulder pad crazy-ass outfit you would have been wearing but if you’d been naked, it would feel less dated now.

 

5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! - Seattle Retro Photography
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! – Seattle Retro Photography
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! - Genie Magic
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! – Genie Magic

3. If you’re going to go fun, go all out.

Some of the best shots I found were total boudoir shots and the genre suits pregnancy really well because you’re all curvy and down with your bad self. I found the shots where people had added a little kitsch here and there didn’t work as well because you weren’t sure if they were serious or not. I love these shots because they document an important time in your life but allow you to portray a fun side especially if you’re not into gerbera daisies or hands in the shape of a heart over your tummy.

 

5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! - tvchicklet
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! – tvchicklet

4. If you go with a professional, be sure you like their work.

I’ve been in the advertising biz a long time and I’ve learned that if you are looking for a certain look, it’s better to go with a person that does that look instead of someone that ‘says’ they can do that look. If you think the kitschy, retro thing is what you want to do, don’t ask a natural outdoor photographer if they can do it. Some will say “no” and some may need rent money and say “yes” and may or may not do a crappy job. If you’re going to go to the trouble of paying someone, get someone good. If you can’t afford it, do it yourself.

 

5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! - Divine in the Daily
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! – Divine in the Daily
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! - little frills
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! – little frills

5. Go nuts.

Go in close, go for a different angle and take a billion shots. Straight on shots are often hard because they can look a little flat and they aren’t always flattering so try getting in really close for a few shots, a few from a worm’s eye view and couple from a bird’s eye view and any other way you can think of. You may be surprise at the neat shot you might get.

……………………………………………………………

5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! - fuzzirella
5 Tips for AMAZING maternity photos! – fuzzirella

Also wanna know what’s popular?

Here’s what seems to be the trend right now. Guys or kids kissing mum’s belly. Tight shot of mom holding flower at her tummy. Hands made into the shape of a heart over your bump. Spelling out “baby”, “boy” or “girl” with blocks over or under your tummy. Wrapping dad’s arm around your tummy (this one seems to be reserved for dads with nice pipes). And wrapping your arms above and below your belly with you looking down.

I’ve seen all of these done really well and really poorly so don’t let anyone tell you it’s a fool proof shot but don’t be scared off by the popularity either.

Oh, and finally, a word of warning. Photographers love to put music on their sites because it adds a nice effect when showcasing their work. So if you’re supposed to be doing something other than surfing for photographers to do your maternity shots (like working yourself), turn your volume off.

Happy shootin’, Folks!

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87 Comments

  • Those are really great photos, a very well done project, you have great pictures here, thanks for sharing. Maybe if you are in New York you can check <a href="www.ninadrapacz.com">Nina Drapacz Photography</a> she is great too.

  • I LOVE this! I mean, the awkward ones are always classic, but it’s nice to see some poses you could actually hang on your wall. I’ve been scared to get maternity pictures because I don’t want them to turn into a giant internet meme that will haunt me for life, but this gives me faith. 😉

  • Wow! Those are very outstanding photographs! I love the one with the pregnant woman and her child – absolutely priceless. Capturing beautiful photographs is all about experimenting with different shots and having fun.

    Chelsea Leis

  • Maternity and Baby photography has its own knowledge set, that said these photos are really very nice, and do help put forward some creative ideas that are not to hard to pull off.
    I know I struggle with Maternity shoots, its such a special time and conveying that is not as easy as some would think.
    Helpful and creative article, thanks

  • i would add, don't look JUST for pregnancy photographers. wedding photography is probably the most prolific kind right now, and you can find awesome photogs who fit your mood/style, who don't necessarily focus on pregnancy shots. looking for a photographer for any major event is a practice in lots of research and a strong vibe. if you're hiring a professional, be sure that you meet with them before hiring them and that you really "click". the best photos come from people (both shooter and shootee) who are comfortable and happy around each other.

  • Can I mention Don't Let Your Kids Take the Pictures? We did a quick thank you card pic the other day, and since the darling child is shorter than I am, the pic showed ALL of my newly formed chins. Even putting her on a stool didn't quite work out.

  • I already like the pointers (even though they mainly say that there is no 'sure winner').
    But it is especially the last comment that made my day.

    ThanX!

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