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Capture Your Baby Bump with Maternity Photos

As much as it pains me to admit it, I’ve lived in my house for almost three years and still have only one room (the family room) decorated. We have lots of odd wall space, and I just haven’t found things I love. A recent flip through unprinted maternity and family photos has inspired me, and canvases of my favorite pictures will soon decorate my walls. Photographers have gotten so good at creating art instead of totally posed mug shots!

For those investing in photography to capture your own beautiful baby bumps, there is a lot to think about to get those perfect art shots that you might actually want to hang in your home. I asked a couple photographers and a celebrity hair/makeup artist for some tips on choosing a photographer and styling your shoot and yourself when getting ready for a maternity session.

Angel Gray Photography, of Melbourne, FL, creates amazing maternity and newborn portraits. She offers the following suggestions for choosing a photographer:

Plan ahead! Some photographers might be booking anywhere from two to six months out.

Choose a photographer with a professional website and plenty of online maternity shots that match your style. Do you love photojournalism, lifestyle photography or fine art? Are you classic, modern or quirky? Do you prefer indoor or outdoors? Always ask yourself how you will feel about that choice of style in twenty years.

I recommend scheduling at 33 weeks for maternity photography. This way you have time to reschedule in the case of unforeseen circumstances (weather, sickness, etc.), and it is typically a perfect time frame for your baby bump.

Carrie Viohl, of Studio Viohl in Moultrie, Georgia, is a master at finding amazing locations for shoots. When you’re thinking about scenery and locations for your maternity photo shoot, she suggests keeping these things in mind:

Your photographer should help you find a location where you feel comfortable and relaxed. Try to think about whether you’d be comfortable with passersby when you are cuddling with your mister or showing off your belly. If that would make you uncomfortable, shoot for a secluded place.

Consider the weather. When you’re pregnant, extremes in temperature can put you in an unpleasant mood. If it’s going to be 114 degrees on your planned session day, consider a sunrise shoot or even moving it inside.

Don’t feel that you have to force a location or photo idea just because you or your photographer saw a cute idea online. For me, portraits are most successful when they have real, personal meaning to my clients. Think about places that you like to go, things you like to do. If you would never have a picnic under apple trees while wearing matching red rain boots, then that adorable idea will probably seem pretty cheesy in a few years!

Keep the light in mind when discussing locations with your photographer. If you’re going to be shooting on-location, it’s a good idea to shoot either at sunrise or sunset. That gorgeous soft morning and evening light looks better in photographs and is more flattering. A flat, open field at noon might seem like a fun idea, but when you’re squinting into that beautiful blue sky, you’ll wish you had some nice, open shade!

Renee Parenteau, celebrity hair and makeup artist (and photographer!) of Jacksonville, Florida, has a few tips on dressing and styling yourself for your shoot: 

Wear a solid colored, form-fitting top:  Wear a bra top or a cami that’s tight to show off the baby bump well. Avoid pulling a longer top up to show the belly since it will bunch up and look too bulky in the photos.

Wardrobe should be classic and simple. A flowy, long skirt gives an ethereal feeling.

Treat yourself and have your photo makeup done professionally at the photo studio or by a pro artist. If you’re doing your own makeup, enhance your eyes, use concealer and make sure your foundation matches your neckline and is lightly powdered. The look should be natural but enhanced and blended well. Earth tones are best for eye shadow color.

Thank you again to these talented photographers for sharing a few tips for getting perfect shots of those baby bumps!

rachel frampton

Thursday 6th of August 2020

I'm planning to have a maternal shoot, so I'll have memories of my pregnancy, which is my I'm currently looking for a photography service. You're right about the importance of checking the prospective service's maternity photos on its website. Of course, I'll also keep in mind to ask the photographer if he knows a secluded place where we could shoot.

Jacquiline Bertny

Wednesday 31st of October 2012

It's really nice that baby bump photos are becoming a trend nowadays. Years ago, preggy belly pics were almost unheard of.

Jillian Scotts

Thursday 1st of November 2012

You're right, Jacquiline. Before, moms just didn't take baby bump photos as souvenirs. Maybe because cameras weren't as common as they are now.

Faye Pearson

Tuesday 9th of October 2012

I never had maternity photos taken and now I wish I had. Maybe because I just don't like the way I look when I'm pregnant. I envy other moms who feel beautiful and confident even when they're heavy with child.


Thursday 4th of October 2012

Great advice. But regards to the clothing options what if it's a winter maternity session. I will be having mine done in December and have no idea what to wear. Plus I'm a little overweight and want the right piece of clothing article to look good and not make me any bigger! Thanks!