Looking and feeling your best while pregnant may feel like a tall order, but there are three simple tips for maternity photos that help every time. Are you ready?
1. Pop The Leg
That’s right – simply bending the knee closest to the camera can make a huge difference in the shape of your body. You’re aiming for a nice ‘S’ shape, flowing downward across your belly and down your leg. The human eye is drawn to curves like that. Plus, bending that leg shifts the muscles a bit and has a significant slimming effect on your thighs (not that you need slimming, but it sure helped me).
My favorite maternity pose has the mother aiming her lower body about 45 degrees away from the camera. She can either gaze down at her belly for a profile shot, or twist her upper body back forward to face me. This shows off the belly’s roundness and allows for the beautiful ‘S’ shape to really shine.
(Pssst … these aren’t just tips for maternity photos – this one actually works for almost all women, all the time, pregnant or not! Try it in your next photo, and you’ll never go back to keeping your leg straight.)
2. Cradle Your Baby
I usually encourage pregnant clients to interact with their baby somehow. Holding one hand above and one hand below your belly helps to define the curve, especially if you are wearing a flowing blouse or dress (although I recommend body-hugging clothing if you’re comfortable with it). You can also hold both hands beneath the belly for another take on this concept.
Whatever you choose, make sure both hands are visible, or at least have visible finger tips. This keeps the photo balanced and the viewer doesn’t wonder where your other hand is.
As a bonus, putting your hands on your belly tends to bring your arms out away from your body a bit, which can also have a slimming effect.
3. Move Your Ears Forward
This is another tip that’s applicable to everyone, not just pregnant ladies! To avoid the dreaded “double chin”, try to to move your ears forward, toward the camera. Obviously, your ears will take your whole head with them, which is the point. Stretching your neck just a tiny bit helps to define your jaw line more cleanly.
This is especially important when looking down, which happens a lot with the classic “mom-to-be gazing down fondly at her belly” shot. Make sure you’re getting some distance between your chin and your neck. You can even “cheat” this pose a little by not looking all the way down to your belly, but instead train your gaze on the floor in front of you. No one will know!
DIY or Pro?
I encourage you to have maternity portraits taken, whether you hire a professional or attempt DIY maternity photos with a partner. Although pregnancy may seem like it takes forever, it will soon feel far away, and you may be grateful to have a record of this time in your life.
If you do go the DIY route, consider purchasing this ebook about maternity photography. I’m not an affiliate, so I don’t gain anything by you clicking – I just think this book is unbelievably helpful!
The advantage of the professional route is, of course, lighting, posing, camera quality, editing, etc. You can read all the tips for maternity photos in the world, but there is something to be said for experience. If you’re thinking about hiring a maternity photographer, give me a call and let’s see what we can do!