I visited my hometown, Tallahassee, last year for the first time in many years. I was visiting for an old friend from high school’s baby shower. While I was there I took photos of another friend and her new baby...
Often people are looking for Maternity Shoot Poses because they’re worried about having to direct themselves for their own photos. One of the major roles of a photographer is to direct clients, to become “experts” on all things posing, to observe people and how they appear most flattering and comfortable.
No one wants to worry about before their session is feeling awkward in their photos. Different photographers have different posing philosophies. Some see themselves as a “Fly on the wall” documenting your life. Others will tell you exactly where to place each limb down to the last finger. I consider myself more your director. I want your photos to be natural so I avoid the awkwardness of letting you flounder on your own and the uncomfortableness of someone else dictating your every move.
Maternity Shoot Poses
For maternity shoot poses, I have some standard guidelines that I use no matter what. The biggest one is: Hand on the baby! You want to emphasize that baby bump and show connection with the unseen second person in these images. So always keep at least 1 hand on the baby. Usually giving preference to holding underneath the bump. This maternity pose cradles the baby. It is a classic. I also always like to include a more close up of the bump.
Another variation is to have one hand above and one hand below.
Another guideline is when you “look down at the baby.” Don’t actually look at your belly. That might give you a couple extra chins. I recommend picking a spot a couple feet in front of your toes. It creates a lovely connection and a softer tone to the photos.
When a husband joins for the maternity shoot, there’s several more variations on posing we can include. You can look at these sessions more extensively here and here.