4 Tips for Beautiful Pregnancy Photography

15th July 2016

A maternity photo shoot can be a great way to document one of the most momentous occasions in a new mother’s life, welcome a new family member and share the exciting news with friends and family.

In order to get the best results and take photos that will flatter, however, there are a few things you should take into consideration. With this in mind, Chicago-based portrait and lifestyle photographer Christine Waller has shared some of her top tips for beautiful maternity photography with us.

Copyright: Images in this article have been provided by Christine Waller - see more of Christine's work by visiting her website: www.christinewaller.com


1. Timing is everything

The timing of maternity photo shoots matter, because you want the belly to be clearly visible on the photos, but not so big that mum and baby are beginning to feel uncomfortable or will be overly tired out by a long photo shoot.  

“I think the main thing to keep in mind with maternity photos is when you should schedule them,” says Waller. “Every woman I have photographed has had a slightly different timeline, but as a rule of thumb, I'd say between 7-8 months is the best time to schedule a maternity session.”

Of course, she adds, each woman's body is different, so once you see the baby bump popping out, that's when you’ll want to schedule in a session.


2. Make sure your subject is comfortable

Maternity photography is all about serenity, so it’s important that everyone involved in the photo shoot is feeling calm and relaxed.

“Mums and dads should feel comfortable during their session,” says Waller. “I usually try to shoot photographs with a mixture of the home, the baby’s room, and possibly a couple of outside shots as well. This allows you to see where everyone feels most comfortable and natural.”

“Also, avoid asking mums to wear things that they wouldn't normally wear, as you can always tell when a mum is feeling uncomfortable because of the clothes that she’s wearing during her session.”

3. Choose the right setting

“I love shooting maternity photographs in a variety of settings,” Waller explains. “This way you can get some cute and snuggled up looks on the sofa or create some fond memories in the new baby’s room.”

She points out, however, that the number one thing photographers should do is choose a setting or backdrop that is true to the client as a person. “If someone loves the outdoors, you could do some shots outside, or if they’d prefer to take photos only in and around their home that is fine too.”

“Personally, I love to photograph new mums in their homes, as I feel like this helps them relax and feel comfy. I also have a lifestyle approach to my sessions, so even though I do a couple of poses with clients, most of it will just be them interacting with their baby and/or spouse.”  


4. The details matter

When advising mums on what to wear for maternity photo shoots, Waller suggests putting comfort first. “If someone loves wearing long dresses, get that maxi dress out, but if they’re more of a jeans and shirt gal, that’s fine too. With that said, though, I do suggest having two looks on hand; one that's slightly more casual and one that is a bit dressed up.”

Another thing to keep in mind, says Waller, is that large prints or patterns aren’t always flattering.

“Prints or patterns can make someone seem much bigger than they actually are and they can be distracting too,” she explains. “Solid colours are always a great thing to stick with. Also instead of 'matching' everyone you want in your session; I would say colour coordination is better.”

One last thing to keep in mind is the father’s attire, because while the mum might be the main focus of the photo shoot, it’s nice to have some couple photos as well.

“I feel like we tend to focus so much on mum that we forget that dad needs some grooming too,” she says. “In particular, make sure hands are always well washed with soap, as close up shots of the dad’s hands on the belly are nicest when there’s nothing stuck under the fingernails.”