My Do’s and Don’ts for a Maternity Photo Shoot

I am a fan of anything “free.” So, when I perused Seattle Craigslist for “free (birth) photographer,” you can imagine the limited results. First, the usual budding photog’s portfolio required you to be at least 18 and accept that ‘nude/erotica’ was a possibility. Second, not many people want to photograph a birth that they’ll have to drop everything to wait for that birth to even happen. That’s a planned home birth for you.

After filtering through all possible Craigslist categories with a variety of keyword semantics of “photograph(y/er),” I actually came across a free maternity session. The serious thought of having someone else take pictures of my second pregnancy hasn’t crossed my mind because I think I do well with my toothpaste-backwash bathroom mirror. It gets the point across – “I’m so-and-so-weeks pregnant. Boom! ::BELLY SHOT::”


Here’s my problem: Do you make demands of what not to do or just follow the photographer’s cues because they’re free? That’s my dilemma for the opportunity for someone to use something other than a camera phone to capture my last weeks of (a possible last ever) pregnancy. My fear and ultimate embarrassment are the run-of-the-mill maternity shots that make me think, “Well, that’s entirely unnatural” or “Wow, that poor husband.” I could very well just not choose the mainstream poses as a part of the promise of 10 free edited images in return for being the photographer’s maternity guinea pig. Then it will still be floating around cyber space somewhere though. Existing. Lingering. Mocking.

Dear photographer, please don’t make me:

1) Put my hands in a heart shape over my belly.
2) Pull up my shirt to bare my belly (for outside shoot).
3) Wear a tablecloth.


But, yes, please do:
1) Capture our family’s personality.
2) Make me look good in natural light.
3) Let me make suggestions from my maternity ideas Pinterest board!


Check out our photos here: Seattle Family + Maternity Photo Shoot Session

What is your favorite or not-so-favorite maternity pose or photo shoot idea?

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17 thoughts on “My Do’s and Don’ts for a Maternity Photo Shoot

  1. Wait, there are cameras that do not make phone calls? 🙂 Love the idea od a free shoot. An a new photographer might actually welcome suggestions? Good luck!

  2. Free shoot sounds like a great idea, do you have to buy prints or they’ll email you the digital files? I like the nice family shoot, and outdoor. I would love to see your photos if you decided to do one.

  3. Buhhhhh I loathe the hand-heart shot. It’s so cheesy and weird. My friend did my maternity photos a week before I had Eleanor and it was awesome. I even sat on a stump and managed to cross my legs! (Ok, maybe just my ankles) I think you should do a boudior shoot for GH … You know, a hot preggo posing on his hot bicycle .. Bahahaha totally kidding.. Either way.. Good luck finding someone to take the photos! And if all else fails I’m sure the toothpaste-backwash shots will be fine.

    • Personally, I feel a bit weird about a sexy maternity shoot. I wanted maternity shots to be able to show the BĂŠbĂŠ later on and I don’t think I’d want them thinking I was prancing around in pearls and heels. Power to the mamas that can rock it though!

  4. I think it’s a perfect idea to print out that page of pinterest ideas and hand it to him saying “I really love these, can you make this happen?!” I would be all about that if I was your photographer!

  5. I love the idea of having a pinterest page of shots to give to the photographer. I HATE the hand/ heart pose. It just so unnatural! I’ve seen it in wedding photography too. I love your maternity board. Such interesting shots.

  6. So are you getting a birth photographer or did you find one? That is the ONE thing about my home birth that I regret; not having one. My mom took a lot of pictures before and after, but during the critical moments, I needed her neck to swing from like a monkey while HH was trying to stabilize my hind quarters and my midwife was trying to keep me sane-ish.

    • Allison, I am still trying to round up a birth photographer. My doula says she has a connection and will check with her. This photographer is also an amateur photographer so that’d be great to get a good deal!

      I know how you feel. My husband got about, oh, 1 1/2 shots of me in labor. Since this might be my last birth, I want to capture it in all its glory!

  7. Pingback: Seattle Family + Maternity Photo Shoot Session | The Laotian Commotion

  8. Pingback: Why I’m Planning a Home Birth Without a Birth Pool | The Laotian Commotion

  9. Belly painting!! I did it and no matter how much i scrubbed the blue paint seemed like it wasn’t coming off. I was almost raw by the time my belly was no longer blue!

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