Let’s be honest. Every pregnant woman wants the perfect maternity photoshoot. Whether you feel up to the photoshoot or not, the thought of capturing the beauty of your developing baby bump is intriguing, and a must-do.

Personally, I was “too busy” or “not feeling up to” doing a shoot for my pregnancy. I had some of the more unlikeable signs of pregnancy, like a “mask of pregnancy” and pregnancy acne.

While others are “glowing” and all you can think about is spontaneous hunger, how much your back aches and fears of popping early, a photoshoot is the last thing you want to sign up for. But guess what? You will regret not getting a maternity shoot done. I am speaking from experience!

Why You Must Get A Maternity Photo Shoot

The end of my pregnancy took a turn with complications, a birth defect, preterm labor(s), bed rest, a preemie and we came close to losing our baby three times in the NICU. Now I ask myself, what if I did lose him? What then would I have to remember all the times my baby was my bestie and sidekick for literally everything during those magical 8.5 months? I rebuke all the insecurities and excuses, for you and me.

Being pregnant is such a gift. The gift of pregnancy is to be celebrated, catered to, taken extra special care of and most of all captured in a maternity photoshoot.

Image Taken By David Paul Nelson Photography Of Expecting Mother Doing A Maternity Photo Shoot In A Wooded Area

What is a Maternity Shoot?

A maternity shoot is a photoshoot or series of photoshoots done throughout pregnancy or the maternity period for a soon-to-be mother. Maternity sessions capture the beauty of your growing baby bump and glorify the unity of mom and baby.

A photographer will suggest booking a shoot around the beginning of your third trimester or towards the end of your second. There is no cut-in-stone time to plan the shoot. They recommend a time that your belly is really round.

Image Taken By David Paul Nelson Of Pregnant Woman Doing A Maternity Photo Shoot On A Mountain Top Surrounded By Trees

Tips for a Perfect Maternity Photo Shoot

What makes a maternity shoot perfect? Your attitude, a great photographer, some planning and good lighting. That is it. You and your bump are the stars of the shoot. Being yourself, feeling joyful and allowing yourself to be filled with happiness are the secrets for you to be the best you can be for the shoot. A great photographer will be the one to capture the magic of this combination.

Image By David Paul Nelson Photography Of A Creative Maternity Photo Shoot Using Effects

We will cover these Maternity Photo Shoot Necessities:

  • the best time during your pregnancy for a maternity session
  • how to find the right photographer
  • what to bring to the shoot
  • what to wear for the session
  • photographer tips for a great maternity shoot

Here is a breakdown of things you need to be thinking about. We suggest using friends and Pinterest to do your research.

Image By David Paul Nelson Photography Of Expecting Mother In The Best Maternity Photo Shoot Dress

When To Plan The Maternity Photo Shoot

Most photographers suggest you plan it for the end of your 7th month or during the 8th month of pregnancy. They are looking to capture the nice round and full shape of your baby bump.

Image Taken By David Paul Nelson Photography Of Expecting Mother Appearing Confident During Her Maternity Photo Shoot

Finding The Right Photographer

To create the perfect maternity shoot, you must select a great photographer with extensive experience. It is usually best to hire a photographer that specializes in both maternity and newborn shoots.

You should be able to view some of their previous work in their portfolio, which you may find posted online. Sit down with the photographer and give them an idea of the type of atmosphere or theme you prefer.

If you are having trouble deciding, they may suggest some ideas that could enhance the outcome. If you don’t jive with the photographer, try another one until you both feel great about the opportunity.

Image By David Paul Nelson Photography Of Father To Be Kissing Expecting Mother's Belly In A Maternity Photo Shoot

Image By David Paul Nelson Photography Of Father and Mother To Be Hands On Top Of Each Other Forming A Heart On Her Baby Bump As A Maternity Photo Shoot Must Do


The backdrop is a personal choice; a maternity shoot usually involves being outdoors. Perhaps you have a beach or some incredibly scenic area that would make the perfect background? You should also consider taking advantage of any seasonal highlights your area has to offer.

If you prefer using props in a studio or home, you should consult the photographer to determine what colors and designs stand out best in the lighting and gear he or she is using. If you have children, you can pose with them in a few shots, and couples can choose to pose together in a variety of embraces. Most prefer focusing the hands and eyes on the belly of the mom to be. They may ask you to bring an ultrasound with you.

Lighting is so incredibly important for all shoots, so if you are going to plan an outdoor session, you should consult with the photographer regarding the best time of day to take pictures. Most professional maternity photographers have tons of ideas and know exactly when and where to shoot. So no worries if you are clueless about ideas, let them know you are open to ideas and give them room to do their job.

Image Taken By David Paul Nelson Photography Of A Pregnant Woman Doing A Maternity Photo Shoot On A Dirt Road In A Valley


Planning the wardrobe can be fun. Your photographer may put limits on some wardrobe changes, so ask before you get dead set for a full show, Beyoncé! Pinterest is an excellent place to get a wardrobe and shot ideas.

Here are a few maternity photoshoot wardrobe ideas:

  • Maxi Dresses
  • Textures like lace, knits, and sheers
  • Classic and Simple: something that doesn’t date the year, like trendy patterns.
  • Tight or fitted clothing that shows your bump and figure
  • Chiffon
  • Maternity Gowns
  • Bodypaint
  • Small belts to accent the baby bump

Being confident, feeling beautiful and comfortable is the priority. It is your shoot and essentially up to you what you wear. So wear your style with happiness and grace.

Image By David Paul Nelson Photography Of Pregnant Woman Doing A Maternity Photo Shoot Outdoors

Be Comfortable

One of the most important ways to ensure you have a great maternity shoot is to make sure you are comfortable during the whole process. You should be comfortable with clothes, scenery, and the photographer.

If something doesn’t feel like it is working for you, say something. Your emotions and mood translate to the finished product, and you want to be able to capture the feeling you desire so you can treasure the photographs forever.

If you are considering a maternity shoot, you should do some careful planning first. Find a photographer you like and feel comfortable using for the shoot. Use scenery and clothing that makes you feel happy and relaxed, and you will love the finished product.

So happy pinning, planning and shooting your maternity sessions. These are some of the most treasured moments of your pregnancy, make it special.

Image By David Paul Nelson Of A Mother To Be In The Perfect Maternity Photo Shoot Dress


About The Photographer

David Paul Nelson Photography is a husband and wife photography team based in Dallas, Texas. Together they create stunning pieces of art David coined as “Artistic Portraiture”. The popularity of their work carries them far beyond the city limits of the DFW area, as nationally recognized photographers. All the images used on this blog are by David Paul Nelson Photography and are copywritten. Contact them if you wish to purchase any copyrights to use their photography or if you want some original pieces done for yourself.