A Guide to Posing Maternity Portraits

During such a brief and important period of a person's life, maternity shoots have grown in popularity, but they're far from straightforward. This video will guide you through some posing ideas, as well as foundational elements to pregnancy shoots.

Technical mastery of lighting and camera settings would usually get you a long way in photography, and it would in portraiture too, but the overall image would still hinge on posing. An awkward standing position, or uncomfortable expression, or a pose that emphasizes the wrong part of the image can all but ruin an otherwise great shot. In many areas of portraiture you can avoid such a result fairly easily and have a few go-to stances to see you through. With maternity shoots, it can be quite different.

Many of the markers of typical, feminine portraiture still exist when photographing a pregnant person, but a number of new ones are added. For example, the focal point is now — generally speaking — the bump. Certain angles, particularly those that are more or less straight on, can not only serve to de-emphasize the bump, but they can make the overall shot awkward. Instead, you might wish to opt for angles that accentuate the hips and the bump of the subject. Similarly, the height of your camera can be lowered to increase the size of the bump too; another approach rarely used in feminine portraits.

Have you done maternity portraits before? What are your best tips?

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