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los-angeles-maternity-photographer-02 Tips & Tricks

5 Maternity Photography Tips and Ideas

By Christopher Lin on November 2nd 2012


As Wedding Photographers in Orange County, we’ve had plenty of experience posing couples and families during our wedding and engagement sessions. So posing a pregnant woman should be a piece of cake right? Well yes and no.

While you’re goal or capturing expressions of love and beauty with creativity attention to detail remains the same, you’re dealing with a different subject. For example, your scene considerations change, as the woman is not able to precariously brave open cliffs or crashing waves. Your angle considerations now change, as the weight of the woman is redistributed to different parts of the body. Lastly, depending on the style preferences of the photographer and/or the couple, your posing considerations may drastically change.

We learned quite a bit in our last year of capturing Orange County Maternity Photography, so here are a few tips to help you get through your first maternity session.

Have at Least One Hand on the Stomach

In engagement photography, we’ve got a ton of options for hand placement for the woman. There’s her own hip, the shoulder of the guy, the chest of the guy, a nearby wall or object, etc. In maternity photography, your world is somewhat simplified because the hand goes on one place, the stomach.


Remember to Have Fun

This is entirely a style preference, but I try to apply the same overall rule that I use for engagement photos. That rule is to make sure I deliver a complete session featuring: 1) natural and candid interaction, 2) stunning landscapes, and 3) … FUN! Consider playing off of jokes with a hint of truth such as the father-to-be’s emotions.


Stick to the Basic Rules of Posing

Make sure you remind yourself of the basic rules of posing. For example, keep the bodies close without gaps, mind the unflattering chins that might come with looking down, create some movement and action to bring out natural expressions, etc.


Consider Natural Light

In Wedding photography, we use a lot of strobes, playing with concepts like mixed lighting, dramatic lighting, etc. In my experience, our maternity session clients have been more into the natural look. The natural, just before sunset lighting is perfect for the orange skies and that dreamy feel that most couples want for their maternity photos.


It’s not Always About the Face

As with all types of photography, the focus doesn’t always have to be on expressions. Many times, a story can be told with images of things other than the face. In the bottom left, you can see that there is a story behind poses featuring just the woman’s stomach.


You can click here to see more of our Los Angeles Maternity Photography.

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Co-Founder of SLR Lounge and Photographer with Lin and Jirsa Photography, I’m based in Southern California but you can find me traveling the world. Click here to connect on Google +

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Maria Manjelo

    Great suggestions. Some are very useful. Thanks

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  2. Ed Rhodes

    great article, i may be using these tips soon

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  3. Rahul Behal

    Great article and very nice poses. I have a friend who is expecting and I want to take some photo’s for her so this was useful.

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  4. Pregnancy Photography Sydney

    That sure is some great work by Lin and Jirsa. I look forward to more posts by them.

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  5. Shooter

    What about a single mother?

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  6. Chris Shepard

    Why one hand always on the stomach? This feels so cheesy when very photo has a hand on the stomach. I think you can do a lot with out having any hands on the women’s stomach and make the photos very classy and elegant. 

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