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Maternity Portrait Photography Tips

A mother in a dress holding flowers next to her baby bump | Motif

Your pregnancy is a uniquely special time, and a maternity photo shoot will produce pictures your family will treasure for generations to come. Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, make the time for these first family portraits.

The following maternity portrait photography tips will help ensure you feel your most beautiful—and that the photographer is able to capture images as magical as the relationship between mother and child.

When to take your maternity portraits

Most photographers recommend scheduling your pregnancy photo shoot for the beginning of the third trimester. Between 28 to 30 weeks is ideal; it’s the sweet spot when it comes to photographing your bump. At around 35 weeks, you’ll start to feel a bit more awkward and less like posing.

A mother in a field looking down at her baby bump | Motif

How to pose for the most flattering pregnancy photos

You’ve likely been taking the side-view bump profile shots at home. Try posing at a 45-degree angle for your maternity portraits. A 45-degree angle showcases the size of your bump but is also flattering in general.

Pro tip: If you want to pose for a shot looking down at your baby belly, then you should lift your chin and focus your gaze on a spot just slightly beyond your bump. The camera will catch you looking down at your baby—but you’ll avoid the dreaded double-chin.

What to wear for your maternity photo shoot

The focus should be on your baby belly. How you choose to display your bump depends on your personal style:

  • A flowing, bohemian-style dress with an empire waistline will give your photos a goddess-like feel.
A pregnant mother in a field with her daughter | Motif
  • Fitted clothing that hugs your bump will spotlight its size.
  • For a simple, natural look, have your bump photographed bare.

Ideas for solo, partner, and family maternity portraits

No matter the size of your family, you can showcase everyone in your maternity photos.

Partner photos: This is a special time for the three of you. Capture your partner patting or talking to the bump, or go for the traditional heart/hands post. Ask the photographer to take some shots where you’re looking directly at the camera and some where you’re interacting with one another—as if you don’t even notice the camera. Try incorporating some props—perhaps a pair of daddy-and-me-style basketball shoes or a favorite stuffed toy from childhood.

A pregnant mother with her husband and dog | Motif

Family photos: If older children are part of the family, don’t leave them out of the fun! Help them welcome little brother or sister. They can kiss your bump, hug the baby belly, etc. You can even work your fur babies into the photos.

Solo photos: Don’t overlook the importance of solo photos to recognize the special, unbreakable bond between mother and child. Rub your belly, talk to your baby—have the photographer capture the ways you interact with your unborn child when no one is watching.

Creative ways to enhance your pregnancy photos

  • Consider taking pregnancy photos in silhouette. A dramatic backlit shot automatically amps up the emotion and will put the focus on your bump.
  • Honor your rainbow baby. Many mothers who have experienced miscarriages remember the babies they’ve lost by incorporating rainbow imagery in their maternity photo shoots. A simple rainbow flare is subtle but beautiful.

How to make a maternity photo book

Once you’ve received your maternity photos, it’s time to preserve them for you and your family in a high-quality photo book. Motif is a MacOS-exclusive photo extension that integrates seamlessly with the native Apple Photos app. Motif makes it easy to create coffee-style maternity photo books with dust jackets and heirloom-quality materials.

After you select the maternity portraits you want to use in your custom photo book, Motif’s advanced technology will autoflow the photos into your project, recommending ideal placements and preventing duplicate photos. Once Motif handles the hard work of your first draft, it’s up to you to put the finishing touches on your album and select your theme. (Find more tips in this guide to creating your best photo books.)

Congratulations, Mommy—baby will be here soon! Don’t miss your chance to capture the last special weeks of your pregnancy!

Bring your photo memories to life with Motif.

Experience the joy of creating personalized photo projects with Motif. Our photo book app seamlessly works with Apple Photos in macOS and iOS, doing the heavy-lifting while leaving the creative freedom to you.