7 Must-Have Maternity Shots

7 Must-Have Maternity Shots


1.} Bump bump bump (“did you ever ride a Wump?” –Dr. Seuss) Obviously, get that bump! There are a couple must-have bump shots:

  • Hands-on-bump (don’t forget Dad and siblings if there are any!)
  • Sonogram photo is a cute one. The baby’s way of saying “hey, I’m in here!”


2.} Dad – Don’t forget that the dad is an important role in this whole thing. Seems asinine that I should even have to say that, but as a mom who’s had 3 babies, I can tell you – the dad usually gets forgotten. Take some shots which are focused just on him and the emotions he might be feeling about becoming a daddy.

The only thing I would say be careful about is doing shots with just the daddy’s hands on the bump. Just ends up looking like mom has really manly hands!


IMG_0026a3.} Full length Bump Focused – Don’t forget that there IS a face up there. Try to get some shots which are focused on the bump but also include mom’s upper half. (that’s me! –>)

4.} Relationships – It’s easy to get so carried away with the new little one on the way that we forget the relationship that makes it all happen. I do realise there isn’t always a dad who is committed in the relationship. If there isn’t (and even when there is) there are many other relationships out there involved in the life of this baby. Perhaps the mom with her mom or sisters or friends who might also be pregnant. If there are big brothers & sisters, that is an important relationship to highlight. Get shots that aren’t just centred on the bump but also on the family he/she is about to enter.

5.} POV – I’m a huge fan of experimenting with different points of view. Get a different perspective on that tummy to prevent shots from looking ‘samey’.


6.} Props – A shot incorporating a prop is always a good thing to try. This shot of me incorporates my favourite flowers and, naturally, they’re pink because I was having a girl! There are lots of ideas out there: letter blocks spelling the name, tiny shoes balancing on the bump. I love a shot I saw recently of a mom sprinkling a watering can on her belly. As photographers, we might gag a bit at the thought of another bump photo showing letter blocks, but for the mom, it’s the first time so give it a rest and just give in to the cliche once in a while.


7.} Just Mom – Be sure to get a shot just of Mom. The pregnant glow is something I wish I could hang on to forever.


I’ve been sitting here for about ten minutes just trying to think of shots  8, 9 and 10 but instead of make them up out of the clear blue sky for the sake of a nice round number, over to you! What are your must-have maternity shots?

Read more about Maternity Photography at Maternity Photos – Studio or Location?

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Elizabeth Halford is a photographer and advertising creative producer in Orlando, FL. She wrote her first article for dPS in 2010. Her most popular one racked up over 100k shares!

Some Older Comments

  • Koren Reyes February 1, 2013 12:46 pm

    Torill - you are welcome. Thank you for the comment.[eimg url='http://korenreyes.com/images/maternity/1.jpg' title='1.jpg']

  • Torill Andersen January 30, 2013 04:32 am

    Koren; beautiful shots. Thanks all for ideas and inspiration they give.

  • Simon Dewey May 16, 2012 11:06 pm

    These are great. My wife wants some maternity shots doing, but is obviously very nervous about it

  • Koren Reyes May 11, 2012 10:28 am

    Specialty shots are a must-have!

    If a significant part of your identity can be captured in a photo, then bring something that represents it!

    For example, if you are an athlete, an artist, a banker or an entrepreneur, get a picture that flatters that aspect of your identity. This could mean bringing a significant prop (soccer ball, tennis racket, running shoes) or bringing clothing (uniform, pumps, riding breeches) to a shoot that pegs that aspect of your life.

    This woman taught yoga into the ninth month of her pregnancy. Is she amazing or what?
    [eimg url='http://www.maternitybykoren.com/images/1502-rivas.jpg' title='1502-rivas.jpg']

  • Loyce Hood March 15, 2012 01:54 pm

    Hi Tiffany,

    Stretch marks and scars can definitely be photoshopped out. However, there are ways to make the photos without them showing at all. For instance, standing in from of a window wearing a semi-transparent nightgown creating a semi-silhouette, or using a lace or semi-transparent curtain draped over or across the baby bump, or shooting from a very high perspective showing only the top of the belly providing there's no scars there, depending on where the scars and stretch marks are, making a shot with dad's and/or your hands covering the areas in question, etc.

    A good photographer will know how to cover that up. If you're choosing one to do the session, be sure to ask how he/she will handle any issues you have before the shoot. For me, PhotoShop is a last resort.

    Hope this helps.


  • tiffany March 9, 2012 02:37 pm

    this is all amazing information! but what do you do about a mom who's had previous pregnancies and therefore has a lot of stretch marks? what about surgery scars? i've had A LOT of abdominal surgeries and have scars all over my belly and this is my third pregnancy and have a ton of stretch marks. are you able to photo shop all of that out? i'm just not one of those "embrace the beauty of your stretch marks" kinda gal. i really want to do a maternity shoot with this one bc it might be our last and finally it's a boy!

  • Laura March 9, 2012 02:02 pm

    What kind of pics do you take when the mom is plus size and doesn't have the perfect round baby belly???

  • Annene February 16, 2011 04:46 am

    Elizabeth, you inspire me!

  • Risk October 23, 2010 08:33 pm

    ok... the article is nice and will help me... just one thing... no self-portraits? I'm the photographer in the family and Id like to shoot my own maternity photographs... just i don't know how XD

  • kid clothes April 29, 2010 03:24 pm

    Really nice information, Can you provide more information on this?

  • SimoneBlog March 24, 2010 10:37 pm

    My maternity shots:

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/themaker82/4382737910/' title='giocattolino' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4044/4382737910_74fc7aa2b5.jpg']
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/themaker82/4381977617/' title='fiocco' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4031/4381977617_98459eb56e.jpg']
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/themaker82/4381977465/' title='silhouette' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2759/4381977465_675d5bfa8e.jpg']
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/themaker82/4381977341/' title='rosa' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/4381977341_71264dca09.jpg']
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/themaker82/4381977145/' title='sdraiata' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4027/4381977145_eb0e93730d.jpg']
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/themaker82/4382737650/' title='pancia' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4056/4382737650_9837dcb20c.jpg']

  • shannon hartley March 22, 2010 05:43 pm

    i love the hearts made with hubby and moms hands. I know its cheesy and every one does it. but its still my favorite!

  • Sherry March 21, 2010 12:58 am

    Very good article. I like the differnt POV and am alwau=ys experimenting

  • Dennis March 20, 2010 12:10 pm

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/48508704@N02/4445318316/' title='Bump 150' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2677/4445318316_a15bfc5d74_o.jpg']

  • Chris Seddon March 20, 2010 10:43 am

    Some good ideas there for getting some shots that are a bit different. I've only done a couple of maternity shoots for friends, and we were all interested in trying out ideas. Here's a few examples

  • Emily DiTaranto March 20, 2010 05:14 am

    Make sure to get that momemt in the pregnancy (6 to 7 months) when all is euphoric and swelling and water retention have not yet set in.

  • Matt March 20, 2010 04:06 am

    Just curious where the lighting would be situated for photo number six? I want to try this w/ my pregos wife. These comments are great, thanks for everyones input.

  • Whitney March 20, 2010 03:19 am

    My must haves are:
    Mom with whatever food she is craving

    Mom in the baby's nursery.
    With any pets that they have.

    "lifestyle" type photos

    Mom with one of the baby's toys, also so I can take a photo of the baby with that toy when they are born.

    Something sexy

  • Dennis March 20, 2010 12:27 am

    Whoops, got the URL bit wrong, try this.


  • Allison March 20, 2010 12:12 am

    My favorite photos to take are the ones that include the couple's other children...obviously this would only apply to a woman who is on her second (or more) pregnancy. But the little kids are so cute when they try to interact with their soon-to-be brother or sister.


  • Dennis March 19, 2010 07:48 pm

    My wife and I wanted something special to remember this special time by, so having first read all the stuff on here that I could find on indoor lighting, I bought a backdrop, shoot through umbrella and a reflector, and using my Sony Alpha F36AM flash, in wireless mode, mounted on my tripod, and the camera hand held, had a go.

    Really pleased with the results, and we all had fun doing the shoot.

    Many thanks to all contributors for the advice.

    [eimg url='http://www.flickr.com/photos/48508704@N02/4445318316' title='4445318316']

  • Henry K March 19, 2010 04:11 pm

    Fantastic shots. i love the one with a flower, however i would've loved to show more of the 'tummy', push the foto slightly back to show more of an attachment to the person carrying the tummy. As it is, the hand(fingers) and a flower give a vivid message that what they are touching( attached to) is the tummy. take the hand and flower away and leave the tummy exactly where it is, it will just be a roundish object. Just my personal 'feeling' but otherwise a good shot.

  • Diana March 19, 2010 02:33 pm

    The mom with the hairy arms... hahaha... oh boy, i see those hairy moms a lot.

  • azizi sabu March 19, 2010 12:51 pm

    i also have the experience shoot the pregnant mother, and of course she is my wife....hopefully you can help me by add that picture in my website to be publish in your post..please administrator.....i just want to sharing my experiences and absolutely getting comments from the pros

  • Amber March 19, 2010 09:47 am

    oops..the website & pictures http://www.flickr.com/photos/amberjoyphotography/sets/72157623646198866 did not post for some reason. Jack B, I like that idea to finish with a photo of mother and baby! Unfortunately a lot of new mothers hide out..LOL!

  • Adriana Reyes-Newell March 19, 2010 09:45 am


  • Adriana Reyes-Newell March 19, 2010 09:44 am


  • Adriana Reyes-Newell March 19, 2010 09:44 am

    I always like to use cloths. They embrace and capture the glow. Also, the belly against the window is a must!

  • Adriana Reyes-Newell March 19, 2010 09:39 am

    I always like to use cloths. They soften and embrace the glow. Also, for me a photo against a window is a must!

    [eimg url='http://www.adrianareyesnewell.com/Portraits/Maternity/shena-35/771427084_UznFw-L.jpg' title='771427084_UznFw-L.jpg']
    [eimg url='http://www.adrianareyesnewell.com/Portraits/Maternity/shena-20/771411654_MCthv-L.jpg' title='771411654_MCthv-L.jpg']

  • Jack B March 19, 2010 09:31 am

    Its great to take a series of photos taken at different stages of pregnancy but all of the same style and similar angle. Finish off with a shot of mother and new born.

  • Robin March 19, 2010 06:38 am

    Some lovely photos, especially like the shot from above. Here's an attempt of mine inspired by a shot on the wall of the birthing centre:

  • Gail Benon March 19, 2010 05:34 am

    Just last week I did my first ever maternity shoot, and had so much fun............! We did an outdoor beach shoot.
    Had some fun with mom, using her belly as the 0 in 2010...

    [eimg url='http://i1023.photobucket.com/albums/af351/digitaldaisyza/Pregnancy%20shots/Preg-2.jpg' title='Preg-2.jpg']
    [eimg url='http://i1023.photobucket.com/albums/af351/digitaldaisyza/Pregnancy%20shots/Preg-3.jpg' title='Preg-3.jpg'][eimg url='http://i1023.photobucket.com/albums/af351/digitaldaisyza/Pregnancy%20shots/Preg-2-1.jpg' title='Preg-2-1.jpg']
    [eimg url='http://i1023.photobucket.com/albums/af351/digitaldaisyza/Pregnancy%20shots/Preg-1.jpg' title='Preg-1.jpg']

  • Amber March 19, 2010 05:12 am

    Thank you for the tips! One of my favorite services I offer is the Maternity Session! I would love to share some maternity photos from a photo shoot last spring :o) Thank you for looking & any feedback is welcome! [eimg link='' title='' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com//72157623646198866_.jpg']

  • Steve Gray March 19, 2010 04:54 am

    LOL, Tom. I was just about to thank Elizabeth for not including that trite "hands in a heart shape" shot in her list!

  • Julie March 19, 2010 04:06 am

    I take maternity shots very often. One point I would like to add is the use/positioning of the hands. Whether it's the mother touching the belly, or a group shot with the father and/or children, holding hands or an embrace help to emphasize the love and family connection in these special moments of their lives.

  • Tom Twogg March 19, 2010 03:51 am

    This is a favorite, I saw one like it hanging in the birthing center where we were visiting before my daughter's birth and decided to recreate it ... http://www.flickr.com/photos/7806816@N05/546327255 ... the simple framing of the hands says so much.

  • Jay McIntyre March 19, 2010 03:49 am

    great post!! here's some shots from my first (real) Maternity shoot
    and this one was my fave:

  • Jana March 19, 2010 03:46 am

    wow...love the dude with the tat....*drool* hahaha. Seriously though great tips! I love maternity photos!!!!

  • Wendy Grant March 19, 2010 03:30 am

    Great tips. As I like to capture my clients as they naturally interact with each other, it's always more difficult when you're working with mum on her own. I try to keep it real and give my clients something different, which can be a real challenge at times. But I LOVE it, and that's why I specialise in maternity, newborn and family custom photography. And yes Jason I do refer to the bump! Does that make me any less professional? I don't think so . . .

  • Memoria March 18, 2010 02:05 pm

    Don't forget about the mothers with other women instead of men. They're plenty of same-sex relationships out there who have kids or are expecting kids.

  • fortunato_uno March 18, 2010 10:47 am

    i saw one today while getting an image framed (actually the artist helped me figure the matting and lay out). the image she took was of the exspectant mother laying on her back with her hair closer to the camera her hands on her breast and her legs straight up in the air. it was in black and white. the face could not be seen, it really was impressive.

  • Chris March 18, 2010 10:11 am

    Nice post. Great topic. Just wish my sister who is pregnant lives closer to give this a try. She lives across the Atlantic ocean!

  • Luschka March 18, 2010 05:46 am

    Those are all beautiful shots and great ideas. I loved some outdoor shots when I was pregnant. I was wearing black and it looked great against the sun.

  • Rose March 18, 2010 05:16 am

    Mom / Dad to be holding up the baby clothes/shoes / packed "suitcase" for the hospital

    Also, if you're at the "right moment" of labour starting, the shot of the Dad's reaction when the woman says "it's time".

    A photo of the mom writing a list of wishes/hopes for the baby (close up so you can see them)

  • Alphabetix March 18, 2010 02:18 am

    Great maternity shots. I like the flower one the best.

  • Jason Collin Photography March 18, 2010 12:46 am

    The flowers as a prop idea is a very good one. Is "bump" the official maternity photographer's term to use? If you were speaking to the client, would you say, "please move your hand two inches to the left on your bump???"

  • Holly March 18, 2010 12:15 am

    Mom in the nursery, and love using my lensbaby to capture an artistic belly shot (example of both on my blogsite: http://hollysissonphotography.com/2009/11/16/melanie-jason-maternity-photography-toronto-ontario/).