Maternity Photoshoot: 7 Ideas to Elevate Baby Bump & You

maternity photography

7 Maternity photoshoot ideas to elevate your pictures.

maternity photographyDocument the unique experience of your pregnancy with these maternity photoshoot ideas. The journey of pregnancy is a remarkable and unique experience for every woman. Whether one goes through it once or twice is a milestone worth documenting. As someone who has experienced it firsthand, I highly recommend capturing the beautiful and life-changing process of growing a human. Though the journey may not always be easy, the end result is truly miraculous. Looking back on my pregnancy pictures fills me with immense gratitude and joy.

How to make your maternity photoshoot unique to you.

Everyone feels and experiences pregnancy differently. Some women are over the moon with the whole baby taking over their bodies. Others, not so much. Pregnancy brings with it a mix of emotions for many women.  Because this is an intimate and personal part of your life, your maternity photo shoot should reflect your unique spirit. Maybe you’re a naturalist, hippie earth-momma, and want barefoot in a field. Or on the other hand, maybe humidity and bugs buzzing nearby sounds awful while a glamorous long flowing dress, full lashes, and a fan blowing your hair like Bey at the Superbowl is more your thing. Staying true to yourself will help you feel connected to the experience and cherish these photos for years and years.

1. Choose a meaningful location.

maternity photoshoot ideasOne way to make your maternity session more unique is by choosing a location that holds a personal meaning for you. For example, my husband and I first met at Montrose Harbor. It’s now one my favorite places in Chicago, and I love going back there for pictures. 

You could also consider a photo shoot in your home using your bedroom, living room, or bathroom for a more intimate setting.  You’ll have pictures that carry an extra layer of closeness to you because of the setting. Also, it may make it much easier for your partner or furbaby to join in some pictures. 

A studio setting is great for controlling lighting and ensuring weather isn’t an issue. But, something feels so apropos about a mother-to-be taking photos out in Mother Nature. I believe the outdoors helps awaken the senses, even bringing out the more instinctual sides of us. You could take your shoes off, let your hands trace through overgrown grass, or sit beneath a tree to root yourself to the earth a bit. Water is also a powerful element to incorporate into your maternity pictures. Wade into the waves of Lake Michigan and let yourself float on a slow current in a river. The water can feel cooling against your perpetually warm skin, and your body’s buoyancy relieves aching joints and stretched muscles. 

2. Pick a theme that reflects your personality.  

Incorporating your hobby or interest is another way to make your maternity photos unique. Are you a painter? Throw on those overalls splashed with drips of color. Do you love to bake? Play off the old concept of barefoot in the kitchen while making a cake that suggests something about baby-on-board or whip up a “bun” in the oven. Do you have a green thumb? Wonderful! Flowers and plants can be a great prop visual layer for your photos. Or you could again draw through your location, choosing a greenhouse for your photos. Maybe you’re a sports fan, movie buff, or avid reader. All these hobbies can lend themselves to more creative, personal expressions of you in your maternity pictures. 

3. Select outfits that make you feel comfortable and confident.

If ever there’s a time to show off your form, it’s during a maternity photoshoot. Your body creates such an incredible, dramatic shape while pregnant. Accentuate your form with tighter-fitting clothes or pieces that open in the front to reveal your bump. There are no rules, though, so while simple black body-con dresses or long, sheer robes are popular options, feel encouraged to stay true to your style. Maybe it’s flanneled pajamas, unbuttoned a bit in the middle. How about a sports bra and yoga pants rather than a form-fitting dress. A simple white sheet, cotton bra and underwear set, oversized jeans, or cozy sweater are other options. 

4. Choosing outfits that reflect your style.

maternity photographyI’ve seen women wear “I murdered my husband robe” that looks like a traditional sheer and feather numbers from the 1940s and others who’ve opted for boxy crop tops and commando boots. I can’t encourage you enough to embrace what makes you feel good. I love hearing ahead of time what you’re thinking and customizing the scene, lighting, and props to relate to each mom-to-be. 

5. Bring props or accessories that tell your story.

I’ve worked with all types of women with such a wide range of experiences with pregnancy and birth. Some women have struggled through countless shots, pills, and tests in their journey to conceive, and other women were surprised later in life when they least expected to be pregnant. If there’s something special to your pregnancy journey, consider bringing it along. Ultrasounds, baby shoes and blankets, announcement notes, and even totems or charms are all things to consider. 

Personal mementos or sentimental items like notes, gifts from partners, and family heirlooms are also beautiful pieces to make your pictures more unique. 

6. Choose a photographer that understands your vision.

I love hearing from the women about their experiences. Pregnancy is a fascinating, magical process, and I want to create pictures that capture how incredible it is. I would love to hear from you about your vision, and if you’re still unsure, that’s ok; we can figure it out together. We can discuss the types of pictures that speak to you, the clothes you feel best in, and what setting feels good. Again, everyone is different, but it’s so fulfilling to showcase each woman in their way. 

7. Invite your significant other

maternity-photographyWhile this experience is a chance to celebrate all you’re doing, your significant other probably plays a big support role. Involving them in the photoshoot is a chance to celebrate the beautiful life you two created. It’s especially meaningful if there were difficulties the two of you went through together to conceive or throughout your pregnancy. Honor all that you have been through together with pictures that connect you to this moment.

I want you to feel that “hard to put into words” sense of rightness when you see your pictures. These photos will be your time capsule to revisit and experience this remarkable and fleeting moment in your life. Creating them in a way that feels authentic to you will only make these pictures more meaningful. I hope the tips in this article help you get those moving pictures you’ll cherish every time you look back at them.

For more maternity content, check out:

The therapeutic benefits of maternity photos

Maternity Photography Portfolio