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7 Tips for Beautiful Maternity Pictures

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  • Post last modified:May 6, 2022

Seven Tips for Better Maternity Pictures

In 1991, when a nude and pregnant Demi Moore posed for a Vanity Fair cover, was unprecedented for media outlets.

Today, celebrities and fashion bloggers have started a trend of taking maternity pictures, both clothed and nude. It’s common for the majority of pregnant women to take maternity pictures.

Read on for 7 tips for taking maternity pics that you will love.

1. Get Your Hair and Makeup Done

nIt can be a challenge to feel beautiful or sexy during pregnancy. Particularly if your pregnancy is difficult. This is understandable. However, the beautiful woman that you are is still there under that baby bump and the swollen ankles! Harness your pre-pregnant self by getting your hair and makeup done. For one thing, you will like the pictures even more when you get them back because you will look your best. Secondly, you will feel much more confident and pretty during the photo shoot. Feeling good in front of the camera will translate into a natural smile and the happier you look and feel and how much the more you will love the photos.

2. Choose the Right Location for You: At Home or on Location

Holding the photo shoot at home is a great idea for several reasons. First of all, the photos will be more meaningful when your own items are part of the background. Also, you will feel much more relaxed and comfortable because you are in your own home. I call at-home photo shoots, lifestyle sessions. I focus on capturing the beauty of your “ordinary” life. Lifestyle sessions are planned around your interests.

Of course, you can also choose to take your maternity pictures at one of the many green-filled parks around Pittsburgh. Some of my favorite locations are at a peaceful field in the South Hills, Mellon Park in Shady Side and Hartwood Acres near Allison Park.

Maternity portraits are the best way to capture this magical time in your family’s life when a new member is about to join your clan. Having the photos done in your own space or in one of Pittsburgh’s beautiful parks will give you a glimpse into the nine precious months in your history for many years into the future.

3. Focus on Your Emotions

It’s not easy to stand or sit naturally when there’s a camera right in your face. You may feel awkward. Especially if you are taking photos that show some skin. One of the best maternity photo tips is to make sure you hire a photographer that makes you feel comfortable and at ease. Once the camera is pointing at you, don’t focus on what the photographer is doing or what he or she might be thinking (trust me, they aren’t thinking anything bad about you!) Instead, take a moment to reflect on this pregnancy and what it has meant for you and your family. Think about your feelings as you prepare to welcome a child into the world. When you start to focus on the new baby it can show your faces and body language. The result is beautifully captured photos that radiate with love, excitement, and anticipation.

4. The Right Time to Take Maternity Pictures

When should maternity sessions take place? You will definitely want to show off the bump in the photos so you probably shouldn’t take photos in the first or second trimester. If you do a session too early in the pregnancy, you might not be able to tell there is a bump. I usually recommend the beginning of the last trimester but before 35 weeks. This will give you a definite bump in all the shots, while still being early enough for a pregnant mama to be able to move around somewhat comfortably.

Too late in the pregnancy and you risk going into labor before the photo shoot (it happens). Plus you risk just not feeling up for it because you are so “done” being pregnant. You want to find the right time where the baby is very visible and you are feeling your best. If you’ve been pregnant before, try to think back to what weeks were your best last time.

Keep in mind that if you have a high-risk pregnancy or are pregnant with multiples, you will want to take the photos in the second trimester.

5. Choose Family Focused Photos

Family maternity sessions can be amazing but can also be tricky. Especially if there are older siblings that are still quite young. Check out my portfolio for some family photo shoot ideas. You might feel stressed trying to chase your other kids to get them into the proper pose and shot. Try not to take on this responsibility. Dad and your photographer can tag-team this task so you can focus on pregnant posing. I suggest taking the family photos first. This avoids kids ruining outfits or getting bored waiting. Then the rest of the maternity pictures can focus on mama.

Think about whether you want to include pets in your maternity pictures. Your fur babies are important members of the family. There’s no reason they can’t be part of the celebration.

Once baby is here, get your Pittsburgh maternity photographer back for some newborn photos!

6. Pregnant Posing Ideas

Posing for a photo is one thing. Posing for a pregnant photo is a whole other ball game. Your photographer will know how to pose you to help you look your best while accentuating the baby bump beautifully.

Standing vs. Sitting

Standing is almost always more flattering for pregnant women. It shows off the length of your body and makes the belly the focal point. Remember to look relaxed by bending one of your knees or jutting out a hip. But don’t worry if you forget. Your photographer will cue you on poses. When standing, you don’t have to be completely turned to the side to capture the classic hand on belly pose. You can stand at a 45-degree angle and bend your knee that’s closest to the camera.

7. Choose Your Outfit

Your outfit for your maternity pictures should reflect the look you are going for. Whether formal, casual, or sexy, your outfit will help set the tone for the type of photos you want. A timeless choice is a maxi dress. It is comfortable, flattering and shows the popped belly off beautifully. If you want to wear pants, use a belt. It will look absolutely adorable in the casual photos and be a cute little accent that can add a pop of color or texture to the pictures. Whatever you choose, make sure the clothing is tight-fitting. This is a time when you want to show every single curve! No loose smocks allowed!! 🙂

Read tips on what to wear to your maternity session.

You may also enjoy 10 suggestions on what to wear at your Pittsburgh photo shoot.

The End

I really hope you found these 7 tips for taking maternity pictures helpful.

Remember, this is such a special time in your life. The photo shoot should be fun and enjoyable – not something to be endured.

Want to know what a session is like with Laura Mares Photography, an experienced Pittsburgh photographer? Read all about your session experience so you know exactly what to expect.


Hi, I'm Laura Mares! I'm thankful to be a wife, mother and Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer. I photograph because I believe that life is simply beautiful and every person has a story worth telling. I'd love to tell yours.

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