All About Bridals Journal

How do you take a reflection portrait?

Sep 29

Maternity portraits are more complex than regular portraits. I don't mean those who have 20-50 extra pounds or experience indigestion and kicks to their ribs. Here are some tips for beautiful maternity photography:


First, choose a place that she feels most at home in. Some mothers prefer to be in their own homes and have privacy and comfort. For a more formal feel, some prefer to work in a studio. Some prefer to shoot outdoors, while others prefer a studio. I prefer natural light, so I won't choose a location with skylights or glass walls unless there is a hailstorm.

Remember that outdoor locations for maternity photos can present their challenges. You must deal with the stars of the public with your pregnant client. While this may not be an issue for some moms, I know many who view their protruding belly as a private part.

This brings me to my second point...


The experience of conceiving a human being inside your womb changes how you see your body. This understanding and sensitivity are essential for a successful maternity shoot. You might need to listen to her body language to understand how she feels about showing certain parts of her body.

One time, I photographed a maternity shoot for a woman pregnant with her second child. She was embarrassed by her stretch marks and didn't voice them until the middle. It was an outdoor shoot. It was warm and soft. The lighting was ideal for some naked belly photos. 

She said she wanted to do it but was embarrassed by the weight gain and the stretch marks. This was evident when the first person who walked toward her was only 30 feet away. She quickly covered up and waited until the other person passed. Her belly was the only thing she was covered in.

You should be prepared to allow for more pauses. You can ask your client to wear a transparent robe, her husband's button-down shirt, a tight-fitting tank or shirt, or a solid-coloured fabric that drapes well to create a Grecian look.

Highlighting Features

A good photographer should know how to highlight the best aspects of your subject. Maternity portraits are a great example of how to make the belly look its best. To get different perspectives on the belly, try different angles. The mom's face will be highlighted, and the roundness in the belly will be seen from the top. 

This view will hide stretch marks and other imperfections under the belly. This view, suitable for most pregnant women, will show how big the belly is from the bottom. This perspective is ideal for pregnant mothers with a slight bulge or a low birth weight. This perspective creates the illusion of an enormous belly.


The best time to schedule a maternity photoshoot is when the belly is large, but they're not in the Oh-My-Gawd-I-Think-The-Baby-Is-Coming period! This usually occurs between Months 7 and 8. Because you never know when the baby will make an appearance, I avoid Month 9. You could choose Month 8 if your client is a first-time mother. If your client has had children before, I would recommend Month 7.

Another reason to choose Month 7 or 8 for a photoshoot (and avoid Month 9) is that pregnant women often feel their best during those months. The last month of pregnancy is when there are more chances of moms retaining water, having hormonal skin problems, or not fitting in any "cute" maternity clothes. This brings me to the most critical and final key to beautiful ....maternity portraits

Feeling Beautiful

The essential thing in a maternity photoshoot, I believe, is to make mom feel beautiful. It is LIFE! She will soon be holding her baby girl in her arms. Remind her of how beautiful she is and how incredible the creation of life is! Your client will be able to connect emotionally with her baby, so there's a good possibility she'll forget all about the people watching and the stretch marks.Sometimes, I ask my pregnant clients to close their eyes and place their hands on the belly of the baby to think about it. To capture the perfect shot, contact Alyssa Orrego Photography.