Maternity Poses: These 5 Simple Setups are All You Need

Create a gorgeous gallery of over 50 photographs with these five perfect maternity poses. We walk you through it, step-by-step. (Photographs: KAYTLIN LANE PHOTOGRAPHY)


Are you overwhelmed at the thought of delivering a gallery of over 50 maternity portraits because you imagine you’d have to come up with 50+ poses? Guess what? It’s SO MUCH EASIER than that!

All you need to create a stunning series of up to 50 photographs are these five maternity poses. They work with every pregnant person and every happy couple of every body type – even if they don’t think they’re photogenic!

Here’s where to start…


#1: Do a Little Dance

These maternity poses work well for mom-only, or if her partner is in the picture, too! Invite your clients to dance – dip, spin, twirl – and capture every grin and intimate glance.

For couples: it’s easy to dance with someone you love. Encourage them to be silly and have fun with their dance moves!

For mom-only: if she’s wearing a flowy dress, get her to make the most of the beautiful fabric by twirling and swaying.

Maternity Poses: pregnant woman in a yellow dress dancing in a field with her husband in a plaid shirt
Kaytlin Lane Photography

Dance Pose Summary

Photograph each of these four maternity poses full-length, half-length, and close-up for a total of 12 final images.

  1. twirl
  2. twirl looking at the camera
  3. sway with prop (billowing skirt, hat, or scarf)
  4. sway with prop while looking at the camera

TOTAL POSE COUNT: 12


#2: Still & Quiet

If your couple is extra-shy and not quite ready to get their groove on, you might start with some quiet maternity poses. Detail photos of hands and bellies and close-up faces can set the tone. Then have Mom face you, with her partner slightly in front of her with their back to the camera. This puts all the focus on Mom and highlights the close connection she feels with her partner.

For Mom-only, use these quiet minutes to have her “rock” her belly, turning inward toward her little one for an intimate moment.

Maternity Poses: pregnant woman in a yellow dress stands in a field with a man in a plaid shirt
Kaytlin Lane Photography

Still & Quiet Summary

Photograph each of these four maternity poses full-length, half-length, and close-up for a total of 12 final images.

  1. use partner, tree, building, or prop for Mom to lean into, partially shielding her body
  2. leaning photo, but looking at the camera
  3. (couple) holding hands or (solo) holding belly – eyes closed
  4. same pose, but with eyes toward the camera

TOTAL POSE COUNT: 24


#3: Walking Maternity Poses

Pregnant people might feel a bit awkward with their quickly-changing bodies, so it’s your job to help them loosen up! Getting your clients to walk is a great way to capture the energy and excitement of a pregnancy.

Have Mom lead her partner by the hand, looking both forward and backward alternately for a variety of moods.

Maternity Poses: pregnant woman in a yellow dress leads a man in a plaid shirt through a field
Kaytlin Lane Photography

This same walking pose can be photographed from in front of your clients for a completely different look.

If you’re photographing a couple, have them walk close, then pull apart – but always stay connected by their hands.

Maternity Poses: man in a plaid shirt walks hand-in-hand with his pregnant wife who is wearing a yellow dress
Kaytlin Lane Photography

Take advantage of these maternity poses to snag some close-up shots of hands holding and bellies being cradled.

Maternity Poses: close-up photos shows pregnant woman in a yellow dress from the shoulders down, walking through a field leading her husband by the hand
Kaytlin Lane Photography

Walking Pose Summary

Photograph each of these three maternity poses full-length, half-length, and close-up for a total of nine final images.

  1. side angle of pregnant client (walking ahead of partner, holding hands)
  2. front angle of client(s) walking (and holding hands) – looking away/at one another
  3. front angle of client(s) walking (and holding hands) – looking at the camera

TOTAL POSE COUNT: 33


#4: Seated Maternity Poses

When Mom needs a break from all that movement, invite her to sit. If she’s with her partner, they can snuggle close for a few smiley, more traditional portraits.

Maternity Poses: pregnant woman in a yellow dress and felt hat sits on the ground in a field with her husband who is wearing a plaid shirt
Kaytlin Lane Photography

Make the most of seated maternity poses by creating full-length, 3/4, and close-up photographs. By utilizing a wide-open aperture and shallow depth of field, you can even change focus to highlight faces or hands or Mom’s belly. This will give you a variety of images with only a few clicks!

Maternity Poses: close-up shot of pregnant woman in a yellow dress sitting close with her husband in an overgrown field
Kaytlin Lane Photography

Seated Pose Summary

Photograph these four maternity poses full-length, half-length, and close-up for a total of 12 final images.

  1. seated in a comfortable position – looking away/at one another
  2. seated in a comfortable position – looking at the camera
  3. above angle – looking away/at one another
  4. above angle – looking at the camera

TOTAL POSE COUNT: 45


#4: Belly Love

By definition, maternity poses are all about that baby belly. A partner can help Mom cradle her belly, adding sweet kisses and tender hugs as you shoot.

Maternity Poses: two side-by-side photographs of a pregnant woman in a yellow dress. In one she's standing in front of her husband who cradles her belly and kisses her shoulder. In the other, she's wearing a hat as her husband cuddles her from behind.
Kaytlin Lane Photography

Any pose that requires Mom to reach out has an elongating effect and works beautifully to highlight her unique shape. If she can reach a hand around to touch her partner’s cheek, wonderful. If she’s being photographed alone, encourage her to keep her elbows loose from her body, and have her gently touch her hair or even reach toward the sky.

Maternity Poses: man with a beard and a plaid shirt stands behind his pregnant wife, cradling her belly, as she reaches a hand around to touch his cheek
Kaytlin Lane Photography

Simple props like hats and scarves add interest to any series of maternity poses. Get cutesy by having your Mom-to-be bring a tiny pair of baby shoes to hold, or stay classic by focusing on props she herself can wear.

Maternity Poses: man with a plaid shirt and beard pulls his wife close, cradling her belly. She is wearing a brown felt hat and a yellow lace dress.
Kaytlin Lane Photography

Belly Pose Summary

Photograph these two maternity poses full-length, half-length and close-up for a total of six final images.

  1. belly cradled from the side, looking down
  2. belly cradled from the side, looking at the camera

TOTAL POSE COUNT: 51


#5: Look Anywhere but at the Camera

This is an easy one if you’re photographing a couple, since they can look at one another. But if you’re photographing Mom solo, you’ll want to ask her to look over her shoulder, look toward the horizon, look over your shoulder, or even look at your reflector-holding assistant. These movements help get hair blowing and smiles growing.

Maternity Posing: 3/4 length portrait of pregnant woman wearing a yellow lace dress and looking over her shoulder
Kaytlin Lane Photography

If you’ve guided your client to pick a flowing wardrobe, you can use billowing skirts to create movement without asking much of Mom. But if your client prefers a form-fitting outfit, you can still emphasize texture and layers by having her sway and lean and angle her body in different ways that will help her outfit conform more eloquently to her frame.

Maternity Poses: Full-length portrait of a pregnant woman in a yellow lace dress wearing a brown felt hat in an overgrown field. Her dress is flowing behind her and she is cradling her belly.
Kaytlin Lane Photography

Mom Pose Summary

Photograph these three maternity poses full-length, half-length, and close-up for a total of 9 final images.

  1. walking – looking away and at the camera
  2. seated – looking away and at the camera
  3. standing – looking away and at the camera

TOTAL POSE COUNT: 60


Time to edit!

With well-over 50 poses captured, and multiple versions of each pose in your camera, you can easily pare down to a stunning gallery of 50 photographs for your clients. By consistently delivering the best-of-the-best, you’ll quickly earn your reputation as a true pro!


What maternity poses do you use over and over again?

Tell us in the comments!


Written by ANNE SIMONE | Photographs by KAYTLIN LANE PHOTOGRAPHY


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