7 Tips for Capturing Stunning Maternity Photos


June 2, 2023

breeze blows sheer curtains over posed pregnant couple

Photographing maternity sessions is one of my very favorite things to do. There’s just something about burgeoning life that is so beautiful and poignant to me. There is no limit to the options available for a maternity session and there’s a lot to be seen on my Instagram and website in case you need some inspiration! Here are some tips for capturing stunning maternity photos:

pregnant momma in blush dress creates stunning maternity photos

Stunning Maternity Photos: Location

Choose the right location: for stunning maternity photos, we should select a spot that reflects your personality and style. It could be a natural setting like a park, beach, small town vibe or an urban feel, or an indoor setting like a studio or a home. I have access to the *most* beautiful indoor studio nearby – images from which I’m sharing in this blog post to show just how lovely studio shots can be 😍

maternity portrait reflection in mirror

Stunning Maternity Photos: Light

Use natural light: Natural light is the best light for photography (in my opinion) and will result in stunning maternity photos. Many photographers love shooting during the golden hour, which is the hour before sunset or after sunrise, as they believe it provides the most flattering and soft light. However, I don’t love the orange tones that come with that pre-sunset light so I try to start at least 2 hours before sunset and I may start dabbling with 3 hours before to see how I like it. I just love clean, light-filled images…without any colors contributed by the sun. There definitely IS a place for golden hour light…I just don’t utilize it often anymore in my photography and I *still* produce stunning maternity photos 😉

stunning maternity photos using natural light, a window, and a mirror

Stunning Maternity Photos: Outfits

Dress appropriately: I always encourage the mother-to-be to wear clothes that accentuate her belly and make her feel comfortable – this is a great way to come away with stunning maternity photos. Flowy dresses, fitted shirts or wrap dresses work well. I love when mamas show up in dresses that have a lot of movement. Sometimes maternity photos can feel like a lot of the same posing resulting in not a lot of variety in the gallery – when the dress is able to be swished around, that gives us a lot of opportunity for different types of shots.

overhead portrait of pregnant wife being embraced by husband

Stunning Maternity Photos: Props

Use props: Props like ultrasound images, baby shoes, or fresh flowers can add a personal touch to the photoshoot and make the images more meaningful, resulting in stunning maternity photos. I’ve had clients bring baby books so that dad can read to mom’s belly. Those shots are always sweet and sentimental (and it’s fun to re-create that shot at the baby’s first birthday!).

stunning maternity photos featuring husband and pregnant wife in Savage, MD, studio

Stunning Maternity Photos: Using Artistry

Embrace creativity: Indulge your photographer’s desire to experiment with different angles, poses, and compositions to create unique and interesting images. I love to shoot from above, from below, or from the side to capture different perspectives. I also adore using sheer curtains to add some creative whimsy (the studio I mentioned above has gorgeous, large windows with floor to ceiling sheers and, when the windows are cracked, the sheers billow and waft with the breeze – it’s so romantic and dreamy and we’re guaranteed stunning maternity photos!

backlit pregnant momma in blush flower dress

Stunning Maternity Photos: Bring the Family

Include family members: If mama has a partner or other children, I always want to include them in the photoshoot to capture the excitement and anticipation of the entire family. It can be pretty one-dimensional to only have one subject and our goal is stunning maternity photos – so bring on the husbands and littles! Dads are amazing about providing a “safe place” for mama to stand. He encircles her with his arms and gives her a solid place to lean. He cherishes her by placing his hand on her tummy and he makes everyone jealous with the loving gaze he directs on her (sometimes prompted, sometimes not 🤣 the viewer will never know!). And don’t get me started on the kiddos – they always make things fun!

stunning maternity photos include tender embraces

Stunning Maternity Photos: Personality

Don’t forget to bring the laughter: in any photo session of mine, laughter is a requirement. Not only is it fun to laugh, the genuine expressions that result from you giggling together are photographic gold. I *will* be instructing you to look into each other’s eyes and laugh out loud…count on it.

tender embrace in Maryland natural light studio

Stunning maternity photos are a celebration of life, love, and family, but they don’t have to be intimidating with all they entail. We *will* make it fun. Plan to be walking out saying, “that was WAY more awesome than I was expecting it to be!” – and expect it to be pretty darn awesome 😉

play of shadows, light, and breezy sheer curtains during Maryland maternity photo session

Featured on Subkit, Liz Viernes Photography is based near Colesville, MD, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.

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