10 Maternity Photos Everyone Should Take
1. Beach Beauty
Why it works: Pretty, peaceful and romantic with dramatic colors, the beach is a great location for basically any photo, including maternity shots.
Pro tip: "Nice, soft images are best right around sunset," says Rochelle Shucart, a family photographer based in Naples, Fla. "I would not recommend photos be done earlier than that. This mom brought her own nautical top and hat for a 'beachy' look. This was shot right as the sun was setting in front of her with a soft lit sky."
Level of difficulty: Fairly easy. Lighting can be tricky for amateurs, but if you take Shucart's advice and wait for sunset, it's hard to go wrong.
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2. Heart Hands
Why it works: You already love that little guy growing inside, so it's only natural to show that love with a heart.
Pro tip: "This was done by using natural light next to a window," Shucart says. "I layered Dad's and Mom's hands over her belly, making sure the rings were showing." And don't forget about black and white, which, the photographer says can be done using photo editing programs on almost any image. "It always helps to pop in some contrast to black and white images, too," she advises.
Level of difficulty: Easy. A tight frame on this photo only further emphasizes the love.
3. Big Sister/Big Brother Bonding
Why it works: Do we really need to explain? Older kids can't wait for their siblings to arrive, so be sure to capture that excitement—before any rivalry sets in!
Pro tip: "Play with kids during photo shoots," Kansas-based photographer Chelsea Donoho says. "Encourage them to imagine and sing and dance and be silly and then be ready to snap a ton of photos of whatever happens. If they're having fun, the photos will radiate sweetness and joy. Also, don't forget snacks!"
Level of difficulty: Medium. Of course, your success will depend on the mood of your pint-size model, but if you have the patience to take lots and lots of images, you're bound to end up with a winner.
4. Lil Pumpkin
Why it works: It's true, right now your little pumpkin is about the size of, well, a pumpkin. So, if you're pregnant in the fall, head to the pumpkin patch for a funny, yet sweet image of your growing belly bump.
Pro tip: Pick a unique location, be it a pumpkin patch (like this one from Captured Memories Photography in British Columbia), favorite park, farmer's market, or baseball field, to show off a little personality. And, don't forget Dad—you'll be happy you included him in some of your images down the road.
Level of difficulty: Medium to hard. Photography is trickier when you're dealing with a background (not to mention Mother Nature). Be prepared to move around a lot to keep any would-be photo bombers at bay.
5. Pretty Props
Why it works: We're not sure there are many things cuter than a teeny tiny pair of baby shoes. Paired with that beautiful bump, it really might be the perfect picture.
Pro tip: "Using props for a maternity session should have a special meaning," Denver family photographer Jermaine Amado says. "The most common props for maternity pictures are shoes, a onesie, an ultrasound picture, block letters for the baby's name and a book. Since you will be incorporating a prop in your pictures, most of the time the focus will be on the prop. But you can change it up and shift the focus from the prop to the family or belly. Sometimes it's an amazing shot to see the belly and family, then have your focus shift over to see blurred baby shoes or an ultrasound picture."
Level of difficulty: Medium to difficult. If you have photography skills and know how to play with focus, you'll have success with this style of photo. If not, though, no worries. Those adorable props will still steal the show.
6. All in the Family
Why it works: Oh, my goodness, this image is Love with a capital L. All those sweet kisses? That's one lucky baby in there.
Pro tip: "Finding the perfect family pose for maternity pictures will vary on the age of your other child or children," photographer Amado says. "Most of the time I work with toddlers and you have to find activities to keep them entertained on the belly. The best family pose on these occasions is the sincere joy and happiness of having big brother or sister interacting with the belly. Something as simple as touching your belly while the family looks on will likely become one of your favorite memories."
Level of difficulty: Medium to difficult. Dealing with toddlers is rarely simple, but, as Amado says, once you capture that cuteness, you'll love the image forever.
7. Counting Down
Why it works: The simplicity of this photo by Austin/San Antonio-based photographer Johanna McShan, highlighting the ages of both big sis and baby-to-be, is pure sweetness.
Pro tip: A beautiful setting, along with pretty complimentary clothing and a simple prop, such as these chalkboards, turn a nice image into a memorable one.
Level of difficulty: Medium to difficult. This shot could take a while to set up (not to mention getting Baby to sit still). But once you get the right light and it all comes together? Magic.
8. Simple Silhouette
Why it works: There's so much beauty in the shape of a pregnant woman's body, and the black and white silhouette of this photo by Texas-based photographer McShan, is the height of elegance.
Pro tip: Look for a clean, simple, but dramatic background, such as this doorway, so the mom-to-be really stands out. You'll need back-lighting to create the silhouette (if you're using your iPhone, tap on the lightest part of the screen to brighten it more).
Level of difficulty: Medium to difficult. Composition is key to capturing this dramatic image.
9. The Name Game
Why it works: When you want to cue friends and family in on the name of your little one, do it with style with the help of a chalkboard sign.
Pro tip: Once you get the sign and the location nailed down, it's time to concentrate on wardrobe. "Wear something you feel comfortable and confident in," says Tempe, Ariz.-based photographer Melissa Young. "I like the way long dresses and skirts work for maternity. If you have any doubts on the outfits, you may choose to seek advice from your photographer in advance, as they can give tips as to what photographs best for your body type and the location you are shooting at."
Level of difficulty: Medium. You may need to take several shots to capture the fun of the moment.
10. Don't Forget Fido
Why it works: When you have a case of puppy love, there's no reason to leave out the furriest member of your family.
Pro tip: Find a simple background so that your dear dog, and your perfect belly take center stage, as in this photo from Arizona photographer Young.
Level of difficulty: Easy to medium (as long as your pup is well trained, of course!).
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