Maternity portrait sessions are literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is a tiny window to capture one of the most amazing, memorable, and unique times of life. The idea of being able to document a child’s life even before they are born is so exciting! Here are a few maternity photo posing ideas and tips to make that beautiful mom-to-be look stunning while keeping her comfortable and feeling great.
Highlighting Mom Posing Ideas
Glowing skin, luscious hair, and a big round belly. Does it get more beautiful than that? Highlight the future mom-to-be and her growing tummy by focusing on her belly, her changed body, and a few portrait shots. However, always keep in mind that after a certain point in pregnancy (around week 35) the mom to be may not be feeling (or looking) her best. Be sure to let your expecting couple know that maternity photos should be taken between weeks 28-34.
Show Some Love
There is nothing more special than the love between husband and wife, especially when a new life is growing. Include the dad and show how much he adores his growing wife, and the little one inside. Treat your subjects like an engaged couple for about half of their session. The focus doesn’t have to be so obviously on the belly all the time. This will be the last time the couple is a couple – highlight that before they become a family of three.
If the couple already has older children, involve them in some of the shots as well. This is an exciting time for them as they look forward to meeting their little brother and sister.
Leave the Animals at the Zoo
Most pregnant women cringe at the idea of having their picture taken in their larger-than-life state. My favorite comments are:
“Don’t make me look like a beached whale”,
“I look like cow right now, so can you make me look skinny?” and
“Yes, yes. I AM the elephant in the room.” Not all poses are created equal – especially when there is an expectant mother in front of your lens.
Use poses that show off a mama’s belly without making her self-conscious about her changing body. First, always make sure to ask questions to determine her comfort zone. Is she okay with showing her naked belly? How is she feeling? Is your moving her up, down, and all around too much exertion? If you’re looking through your lens and thinking, “WOW that is one HUGE pregnant lady!” it’s time to change poses! Try some of these:
- Use Dad to take some of the focus off mom in full body shots.
- Shoot from above so the tummy is out of focus. This has the added benefit of eliminating the dreaded double-chin.
- Position the mom one-quarter turn away from camera, have her put her weight on her back leg, and eyes back to you.
- Rather than a side profile, try turning mom three-quarters away from the camera and bring her face back to half-way. In this pose, you achieve a pleasing facial profile while minimizing the size of her pregnant belly.
- Be Funny!! Capture the future parent’s personalities by doing something silly! Not all pictures have to be posed with a serious face.
- Speaking of flattering poses… my go to maternity pose is flat on the ground. It is 100% sure to be comfortable, and will compliment any pregnant woman. Shoot straight on, from above, or from the side – just about any angle will make your subject look fantastic.
A maternity portrait session should capture the essence of the couple in love who also happen to be showing off their future bundle of joy. And with these posing ideas and tips, you can help highlight the love and beauty of this very special life experience.
Hayley Bradshaw is a portrait and sports photographer in Southern Utah who lives for the moments that only come around once in life. Follow her blog to see more.