Tips for Your Maternity Photos

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StefanieHarrington1Maternity photos capture the excitement and anticipation of pregnancy and help document the memory of a fleeting and magical time in a woman’s life. As a maternity and newborn photographer with years of experience, I have written a 2-part series to help you prepare for any upcoming photo sessions for you or your family. This article focuses on tips for photographing your beautiful bump; next, I’ll offer tips for your baby’s newborn photos.


Maternity photos are a wonderful way to document your growing family. Pregnancy is such a short and precious time in our lives! Maternity photos help to freeze those sweet moments for you as a couple and for you as a family. As your child grows, it will be hard to remember your pregnant belly and your child will love to see photos of Mom when she was pregnant.



Many photographers schedule maternity sessions around 32-36 weeks. At this point, most women have a cute (and visible) baby belly, feel good and are comfortable moving around. Talk to your photographer if there are concerns of pre-term delivery, bed rest or if you’re expecting multiples. If that’s the case, schedule your session for the 2nd trimester.


Location for the session is based on your preference and interests so talk to your photographer about your ideas. There are so many options, especially if it’s your first pregnancy. I’ve taken maternity photos in urban settings, in gardens, inside clients’ homes, even a baseball stadium. Think about what you want – do you want a relaxed session at home? Does a certain location have special meaning to you as a couple or family? Have fun with it and make it about you!



Show off that bump! Clothing that fits snug to the baby belly is flattering. Flowing or maxi dresses are nice, too. When picking your outfit, think about your location – in an urban setting, I love vibrant colors. In a garden or home setting, neutral tones sometimes work better. Black can hide the baby belly so I don’t recommend it for maternity photos. Your partner should complement your clothing colors but not match exactly. Photographers get questions on what to wear all the time so just ask if you’re unsure about your outfits! I love it when my clients show me clothing choices before our session.


It’s fun to include older siblings or pets in maternity photos. Consider your location choice carefully for both so that you can play safely. Toddlers have a short attention span - bring out an activity or toy when they start to lose it. Your partner should be ready to entertain and chase around your toddler as needed.


It can be nice to incorporate items with special meaning to a couple or family. Every photographer will have a different style of posing and creative thinking. I once incorporated the baby’s great-grandmother’s car into a maternity session. Talk to your photographer about your vision and ideas. Look at their portfolio and think about the photographer’s style and about what’s important to you in your photos.

Stefanie Harrington is an on-location photographer specializing in maternity, newborn and family creative portrait + lifestyle photography. She is adding birth photography to her portfolio this year. Her style is fun and relaxed, creating modern yet timeless images. Based in Washington, DC, she primarily works in the District, Northern Virginia + Maryland areas. In her spare time, she hangs out with her husband, two young boys and two dogs.

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