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Posing Maternity

Maternity shoots can be some of the most beautifully done portraits and they are something that mothers truly cherish. Having a photo shoot done while pregnant is such a special way to honor and celebrate motherhood. These shoots can be really great sellers if you make mom look absolutely gorgeous.

Sue takes us through multiple flattering ways to shoot pregnant women including standing, sitting, and lying in water!

Key Points:

* You are limited when posing pregnant women and it’s not so much because of the pregnancy, but because the focal point changes.

* When shooting a woman who is NOT pregnant, you would never put her hands on her belly. But, when she is pregnant, it obviously makes sense to put her hands circling her belly.

* We want to bring as much attention as you can to her pregnancy — you want to define her belly. Always keep the elbows bent!

* Sue painted a white backdrop to put in the water to shoot the client white on white. You can see a DIY backdrop painting video. She also used a black velvet fabric backdrop.

* The pool seen in the videos is a kid’s pool that Sue ordered on Amazon.

* To do a pool shoot, you will need to get above her either with a tall ladder or a balcony. The pool is only filled with about 2 inches of water.

* Make sure to have a camera strap on in case you drop your camera!

* Once you have her lay in the pool, put a rolled up towel under her neck for comfort and to keep her from pulling her chin back.

* You can add flowers to the standing pose to add variety to your client’s portraits. Changing up the outfit and adding flowers and tulle will help to increase your sales with more variety!

* You can use the backlight to shoot pregnant women with the wall, standing and sitting.


  1. such beautiful shots! Have to try some ideas. Sue are you using a 35 or 50mm lens for most of the shoot. I know you have the 50 for the aerial ones in the pool, but what about the rest? You look so close sometimes and capture all body and I wonder if it’s the 35mm. If so I thought this lens created some distortion but the images are just amazing!

    1. I just found it… I’ve been looking for it for about a month… It’s Free People French Courtship Slip :o)

  2. Hi there, just wondering if you have couples maternity posing? Probably do somewhere on the site, will have a look, but I suppose some of the normal posing rules apply. Just wondering there would be some couples posing that would showcase connection with the bump

  3. Hi Sue, could not help but notice that the “window” wall is not touching the wall where the model is laying on. Is that a fake window with sheer in front? If so, i’d love to hear about it and how that was built. Its a great way of bringing natural light look to a studio. Thanks!

  4. Sue you brilliant, love, love it all. possible you can help with more camera settings, shutter speed, exposure, white Balance & Aperture., etc. Do you use Manuel setting on you’re camera and you’re lens on Manual or Auto Focus. if you not able to help me you welcome to send me a link of someone. Thank you.

  5. Hi everyone! I have a maternity shoot tomorrow and my client has kind a long and curvy nose. Do you have any tips on lighting and posing for that? Anything to avoid?

  6. I would love to see the finished, retouched photos of the pool sessions! This looked so amazing, but I can’t visualize the finished image. Thank you so much!