Tips for Maternity Photo Shoots

If you have been, or are currently, pregnant, you know that sometimes the very last thing you feel is attractive, much less sexy. Your body is changing rapidly, you sometimes don’t feel great (and many times downright awful), you don’t have a lot of energy, and you feel like you can’t bend over, much less strike a pose. But more and more, women are realizing that not only do they want to document those changes to their bodies, but pregnancy can be both beautiful and sexy!

Because of this we’ve seen a big increase in maternity shoots, and maternity boudoir shoots in particular. Here are some tips if you and someone you know is interested in documenting this important time of your life.

It’s Okay If You’re Not Feeling Well

Everybody knows that morning sickness (or HG) can be an issue with pregnancy. It’s definitely a reason that some women don’t feel very excited about getting in front of the camera.

Our intrepid photographer, Dana, experienced severe nausea during her entire pregnancy, but made an effort to do multiple shoots to document her growing belly and changing body. Now those photos are some of her favorites, and are something she can share with her daughter.

Like many memories you don’t necessarily appreciate them in the moment, but will cherish them in the future.

Pick A Photographer Who Provides Hair & Makeup

When you’re looking for the right photographer for your maternity shoot, you’ll want to make sure they provide professional hair and makeup. Isn't it enough that you have to get dressed and leave the house when you’re pregnant? You definitely don't want to have to worry about finding somebody that will know how to do your makeup for you as well. 

Seriously though, by having a hair and makeup person on-site, you can focus on just showing up and getting pampered. Plus our pros have experience dealing with some of the changes in your hair and complexion that come with pregnancy.

Make Sure Your Photographer Has a Wardrobe Selection

You know how you pretty much wear the same things all the time when you’re pregnant because nothing fits? You don't really know what size you are because you're wearing leggings all the time. You're wearing stretchy clothes, you're wearing stuff with elastic waistbands. So it's nice to have a photographer that provides all of that for you.

When To Do Your Shoot

The timing for your maternity shoot is important, but it does vary from woman to woman. Basically, you want to be showing enough that you look pregnant, but not wait so long that you can’t pose, or that you’re just too uncomfortable. We find that the best time for most women is between 30 and 34 weeks.

As we mentioned, there is no hard and fast rule. For instance, some first time moms don’t even start showing until after five or six months, while veteran moms may start showing within the first couple.

We recommend that you book your shoot pretty far in advance, possibly as much as six months, because you never know if the baby's going to come early. Once you book your shoot, our team can touch base to see if the baby is ahead of schedule, or if you know that you’re going to have a scheduled C-section or induction. That way we can move up the shoot week if we need to. We are willing to work with you on this to make sure you get your photoshoot done before the baby is born!

Determine Your Aesthetic

Make sure you and your photographer have discussed the types of photos that you would like to shoot for your session. Do you want to go full glam with beautiful gowns and fancy dresses? Do you want to do more artistic nude with draped fabrics and lingerie? Or do you want to do something casual? 

Other things to consider and discuss with your photographer is if you want to incorporate your partner or your other children in the shoot. If you do want to bring your kids, remember that an hour long photo shoot can be extremely boring for them. If possible, plan to only have them in the studio for 15 or 20 minutes, and then they can run out with a friend, your partner, or family member.

Is Your Photographer Familiar with Maternity Shoots?

Doing a photoshoot while you're pregnant has distinct challenges. Many of the poses that are typical in a regular shoot, either aren’t realistic or comfortable when you’re pregnant. Make sure your photographer is familiar with these limitations and has worked on maternity shoots in the past, so they can get the most out of your shoot.

Don’t Wear Elastic The Day of Your Shoot!

Swelling is a real issue for most pregnant women. That means that any kind of elastic, whether in panties, a bra, socks, leggings, sweatpants, etc., are going to leave marks on your skin.

That means that you shouldn’t wear any of these several hours before your shoot. On the way to your shoot, wear only loose fitting clothes, that won’t leave any lines on your skin.


Maternity shoots are a great way to memorialize a very special time in your life, but they can have some unique challenges. Be sure that your photographer is experienced and is aware of how to deal with these needs. It’s key that they have the ability to offer hair and makeup services, as well as a wardrobe that can accommodate pregnant mamas.