pregnancy photography poses – how to take good maternity photos

Pregnancy photography poses How to take good maternity photos Today I would like to talk about pregnancy photography poses as one of my favourite sessions as a professional photographer. 1. […]

Pregnancy photography poses

How to take good maternity photos

Today I would like to talk about pregnancy photography poses as one of my favourite sessions as a professional photographer.

1. Pregnancy photography – special type of photography

I love pregnancy sessions as they have something special, different and a bit of magic 0 without trying to sound to funny. Maternity photography is a luxury item, not a need and that is why despite the fact there are plenty pregnant ladies around, not many of them  have the drive and desire to be photographed, also women are generally self conscious, especially during pregnancy

Having a pregnant lady in our studio is not a every day occurrence but we do get a few as I am trying to provide photos with a bit of artistic input and  different than the average shooter going in the park a shooting a belly. Also having someone in my studio ready to pose close to being naked is really special and I personally appreciate not only my difficulty as a photographer trying to create a good artistic photo, but also what is going through my models mind. I am a bit lucky as my maternity clients choose me as a photographer for the final look and i get consistent business.  Many young pregnant ladies are coming with magazines with celebrity pregnancy pictures trying to get something similar

2. Challenge – maternity poses

Half of my clients see celebrity pregnancy pics like, Jessica Simpson, or Miranda Kerr, they come with the magazines wanting something similar. as being my clients I like to make them happy and I a providing them with the desired pose and photo. After this box tick, it is time for me to go experiment my own ideas

Due to the physical limitations for a pregnant ladies there are a small amount of poses that can be done and look outstanding. I start with few classic poses like the simple standing up, on one side with the belly turned half way as a profile as that emphasise the shape of the belly and that is the main point of the session.  I am trying to take few shots on each side, as sometimes people look better on one side but just for the safety of having the right shots I try both. Also it is always good to ask the model to look at the camera and also to look at the belly to show a connection with the unborn child. Few variations are possible to change to full profile. In terms of the lighting  I use one main soft box for the main light, another fill in light, and also a back light to accentuate the contour from the back if the background is black, or 2 background lights to remove any unwanted details

pregnancy photography tutorial


In my opinion 3 quarters of the body can work pretty well rather than full body. As you can see in this image with the white background, it floats and also you can note the smooth light coming from one side and the backlight.

pregnancy photography sydney

Another pose I like and it is one of my favourites, is to get the model on a small table, or on the floor, on their knees, again half way turned at 45 degrees and holding their belly like a valuable treasure. Again,few shots left and few shots right, to make sure we get the best one, looking at the camera and looking at the belly. As a quick tip, my tables is a bit reflective to give this incredible smooth reflection on the floor. In this image (below) on the white background is seamless, and also please note the light coming from the back. I have 2 lights on each side towards the model, one background light and a low fill in light, having the shade at the front.

pregnancy photography sydney

Another pose that I find interesting is the model laying on the floor with one hand under the head and the other one under the chin. The image looks amazing in my opinion either on white or black. A single light is doing the job just fine, the largest soft box, but if there are areas to dark, I like to bring the second soft box into place. I always vary the position and the intensity of each light I use to make sure I get the result I want

pregnancy photography poses

Another favourite pose is the model wrapped around standing with a continuos silk transparent scarf, one light backlit. The model is looking at the belly creating a mysterious mood in waiting for the new life. I like this on the black and I love the fact few parts on the body are in complete shade.

pregnancy photography sydney


There are many other poses, but these are my favourites , i get very good feedback and for them many people are coming to me. I usually get ale the partner involved when present. This is not a complete guide with all the poses possible, it is just to show few ideas to get some inspiration going for whoever is interested. I will present more in a different video

3. Pregnancy props, studio setting and necessary equipment for maternity photography

In terms of props, I think few silky long scarfs can be useful. The client might choose what she would like to wear but I have found that it is good to have few fabrics handy. Just use your imagination and make sure the there are good quality fabrics. There is not a set recipe for the lights. I am trying to use the classic set up, one main light as a soft box on one side, a fill light on the other, and 2 lights at the back. Other than that for every pose, you can switch one and off, each light, take few shots and see which one looks better. Also moving the main lights on the side and at the back in various positions and combination is the way to go. I will talk about all the studio settings, lights, ideas and tips in a different video.

So, in just few words, I plan for 4-5 poses for each session after discussing with the client what she is after, I do each pose one both sides, with each combination of lights, left and right, back and front ensuring that in an one hour session I end up with 100 photos so we can select 5- 10 good final images.

4. Tips for maternity photography

Adding a bit of effort into each session will ensure your photos are standing out from the others and that will lead to repeated business. Pregnant ladies  do know other women in the same stage of their life and if happy, they will recommend you further. The more difficult is to create an image, the greater the value for you and for your client. Anyone can take photos of pregnant ladies in the park with the partner holding the belly. Differentiate yourself from the crowd and that will help you grow as a professional pregnancy photographer.

Discretion is of importance as these sessions are intimate and a good relation with the model is important. You need to make her fee comfortable, confident and relaxed as that impacts on the result of your session

Feel free the experiment new poses, new lights, new ideas, and new props.

5. Conclusion

There is no set recipe for good pregnancy photography, but your knowledge of the equipment, lighting, having beautiful props ready, and planing the session properly will ensure that not only you will enjoy the session, but you will create something magic and special for someone, who will enjoy and appreciate your work. that is about if for today.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to leave any comments and until I will see you next time, I wish you happy shooting


About Christian Tudor

professional photographer, main editor at Academy of Photography and