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What is Maternity Photography?

There are plenty of things to stress about when you're pregnant – but don’t let one of those things be your maternity photography. These sessions are fun, and you'll be able to capture one of the earliest moments of your child's life: your pregnancy. Plus, a variety of photographers offer maternity/newborn packages to help lower the costs of common photography sessions.

Maternity photography captures the period of time while a woman is pregnant. Some women will get their photos taken during the 3rd trimester to showcase their larger stomachs. Others may take it during the 2nd trimester to use for gender reveals. If you plan on using the 3rd trimester, it is recommended not to schedule your session beyond week 36. A baby's due date is rarely exact, and you don't want to plan your session too late and then have the baby early.

To Bare or Not to Bare… That Is the Question

There is no right or wrong amount of skin to bear when taking maternity photos. Do you want to only bare your pregnancy belly and use a wrap; or do you prefer not to reveal anything, and just showcase your stomach by the outfit you're wearing, props, or other methods? It doesn't matter which your preference is, it's all about your comfort level. You only have to do photos you are comfortable with.

Should You be the Only One in Your Photos?

It's all up to you if you want to be remain alone in your shots, or if you want to have other people in the images as well. Nevertheless, most photographers allow up to a specific number of people in their sessions. So if you plan on having any family shots taken, and you have a larger family, you may want to make sure it will not be an issue with your photographer. Just make sure you capture your moment in a way you want it to be shared.

What Expectations Should I Have?

Maternity photography is generally a relaxed atmosphere. It is a time you can showcase the love, intimacy, and joy associated with pregnancy and adding a new member to your family. The best part is there is no right or wrong pictures. You can be as versatile as you want or stick with traditional poses. All you have to do is be yourself.

Where are Maternity Photos Taken?

Maternity photo shoots can be taken anywhere. However, make sure to check with your photographer. Some allow multiple locations, while others will only take photos on-site (their studio). The most common locations are either: your home, a park, or the photographer's studio. The important thing to keep in mind is the lighting. You want to make sure there is plenty of natural lighting, especially if you plan on using an indoor shoot.

Whether you're trying to decide what you're willing to reveal or what style you of photography you want to use, maternity photography is all about your comfort level and your own personal style. It doesn't matter if you take the pictures in your home or at the photographer's studio, as long as you can remain relaxed and have fun. After all, the best images tend to happen when everyone is having a great time and are tension free.

by SmartShoot
Ellie Kate

Tips for Maternity Photography


Be Prepared

Always come prepared to your shoot. Have your hair and nails groomed. Pamper yourself before your shoot. Get a manicure or have your make-up professionally done. Make sure to bring water and snacks, especially if you have any dietary needs during your pregnancy. Remember not to wear anything that applies too much pressure to the belly (ex. leggings) before your maternity photography session. Otherwise, you will have visible marks left on your skin during your photo shoot.


Don't Take Them Too Soon

The whole purpose of taking maternity photos is to showcase your pregnancy. If you take the photos too soon, you won't be able to tell you're pregnant. However, don't put it off too long either. Otherwise, you could end up having issues holding the different poses for long lengths of time, or you could go into labor before your photo shoot even takes place.


Try Something Different

There are plenty of traditional maternity photos: for instance, the silhouette of you and your belly, or a heart of hands over your belly, or a holding a pair of baby booties over your belly. However, just because everyone else uses a specific pose doesn't mean you have to. Nor does it mean you should stay away from a pose because it has been done many times before. Offer yourself plenty of options to choose from. Be creative. You can always suggest or use a more unusual shot later in the shoot. It's all up to you. Be as abstract or as traditional as you want to be.


Remember Your Angles

Not only do you want the photographer to use different camera angles, but you want to pose using different angles as well. For instance, if you pose standing with your left leg slightly forward, it will naturally pull your right hip slightly back. This in turn will create a more flattering angle for you to be photographed. Avoid unflattering posture, vary your poses, and vary your camera angles to create a wide variety of options for you to choose your prints from.


Use Props

Props are a fun way to customize your photo. You can announce your baby's gender, incorporate items from the baby's room, use blocks to announce the due date, or showcase something sentimental and special to your family. The possibilities are endless.


Treasure Your Time

You only get to experience this pregnancy once! Cherish your time and memories. The goal of these images is to capture that special time while you were creating your child.

by SmartShoot

How much does Maternity Photography cost?

Pricing is an aspect that can drastically vary from photographer to photographer. However, each session generally includes: a session fee, a specific number of photos and/or poses, and may or may not include prints or a CD of the digital images. Typically photography prints are an additional fee per print, sheet, or promotional item (ex. canvas, mug, etc.). Another common fee is to expedite your order so you can receive your images quicker. The total cost is really up to you and how much you are willing to spend. All you have to do is set your budget and find a photographer who can capture great pictures and works within your price range.

Hiring a Maternity Photographer

When choosing a maternity photographer, you have a limited time frame to work with. The best way to get to know a photographer is by viewing their portfolio. The photographer's previous work shows not only what images they have previously captured, but also what type of style they have. You can decide if they are capable of capturing your photos the way you want them to be captured.

Talk to your photographer about what you intend to accomplish with your photos. Are you looking to get large canvas prints, photos for framing, or just a CD of the digital proofs from your session? Maternity photographers usually fall into one of three categories for deliverable content: only prints, only digital content, or a combination of both.

Find a Maternity Creative near you!

SmartShoot brings the power of professional photos and videos.

We help businesses and individuals find and collaborate with professional freelance photographers and videographers. Our creatives have delivered over 80,000 projects around the globe.

An example project

10-20 maternity photos needed

An affordable maternity photography shoot will include 10 - 20 retouched images. Be sure to request some options for delivery and be amenable to packages. Discuss if a studio, or home shoot is preferred or possible and what props or outfits you should bring and what the photographer can provide. It is important to retain all rights to the images so be sure to specify that in your contract with the photographer (and consider allowing the photographer to use some of your images for marketing themselves).

Suggested Price: $400

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