Best Pregnancy Photos: Tips From Professional Photographers

Short dresses can work for pregnancy photos as long as you have nothing to hide. Photo by Karen Cooper.

Short dresses can work for pregnancy photos, as long as you have nothing to hide. Photo by Karen Cooper.

Pregnancy is one of those times in your life when documentation is a must, so you want to make sure the photos you get taken are the best they can be. To look and feel your best during a pregnancy shoot, think about it from an artistic perspective, and try a few tips from a professional photographer.

Dress to Impress

Getting dressed when you are pregnant can be frustrating enough without being photographed. Getting ready for your shoot doesn’t need to frazzle your nerves. For the most flattering pregnancy photos, long, flowing dresses such as the maxi dress work best for most moms-to-be, especially if you want to hide swollen ankles. “The best advice is whatever you choose, just make sure it defines and contours the best parts of your body, focusing on your precious baby bump,” says professional photographer Karen Cooper.

Makeup in Pregnancy Photos

When it comes to makeup, simple is always better. Avoid heavy eyeliner, bright colors and thick lipstick. A little foundation, light pink or tan shadow, nude or tinted lip gloss and a few swipes of mascara are all you need to look like a mommy goddess. If you have pregnancy acne, you may want to get your makeup done by a professional before the shoot to get the best results, since acne is very hard to hide with over-the-counter makeup.

Pregnancy Posing Problems

Posing is usually up to the photographer, but there are a few things to consider before the shoot.

  • If you are at the point in your pregnancy where it is hard to stand up after sitting down, then posing may be very simple. Tell your photographer about your problem, so that she can plan to pose you in standing positions only.
  • If you are self-conscious about a double chin, have your photographer photograph you from above – or tilt your chin slightly upward.
  • Everyone expects photos of you and your belly, but how about a few shots with the daddy or an excited grandparent? Think of these as your very first family portrait with the new baby.

Nude or No-No?

One of the biggest trends in portraits is nude pregnancy shoots. Are they in or passé? Cooper says, “I prefer fully clothed myself because, since being a natural light photographer, we are outside and wouldn’t want to be seen, haha.  I do show bellies, though.  Just depends on my clients and their request.  As long as it flows with my style I am totally fine with it. I wouldn’t say it was passé, because I know several photographers who choose this style.”


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If you are planning a nude or almost-nude shoot, the most important thing to remember is your comfort level. Would you be comfortable sharing a nude photo with Grandma or Uncle Joe? If not, you may want to cover up – or have one nude photo done for yourself, and clothed photos taken for family.

Also, make sure your photographer knows how you want your photographs used. “If you decide to do them nude and do not want your photographer to use them in marketing materials, just make sure you tell her and she will gladly respect your request,” says Cooper.

Pregnancy Photo Shoots for Fond Memories

Don’t waste money on a failed shoot – make sure you’ll have these precious pregnancy memories for years to come. Make sure to keep these tips in mind before planning your first photography session, and don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for other suggestions before the shoot!

© Copyright 2013 Alina Bradford: Arts, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Pregnancy
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