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Maternity Photography: 8 Pros Share Their Techniques

  • Summerana 

Every woman experiences pregnancy in a different way! Some love it and some not so much. Our job as photographers is to make every single one of them feel & look stunning in their maternity photographs. We asked some of Summerana’s Pros to share their maternity photography techniques with us.


Fast Shutter Speed


“I love taking photos in natural light! This Queens, NY park was the perfect setting to highlight the natural beauty of this maternity mama.  This image was shot with my Nikon D750 and my Tamron 70 – 200mm. I stood pretty far back to make sure I captured the full landscape and get the full dress in view. When shooting an image tossing a maternity dress, you need a high shutter speed in order to capture the fall and flow of the gown. I was at 500 shutter speed here and shooting wide open to get some background blur. Though her husband did an excellent job tossing the dress, we only got the perfect shot from one side. When taking this over to post-processing I decided to clone the image of the left side of the dress and copy it to the right side, and in turn it almost made her look like a butterfly with wings!  It turned out to be one of my favorite maternity photos.“

– Gayana Grigoryan of Gayana G Photography



Touch of Imagination


“I am a natural light photographer and my favorite time to shoot is during “Golden Hour”. My style is created 50% in camera and 50% during post processing. I strive to make my work look like it came straight out of a fairy tale. Some may even call it “painterly” or “fine art”. I believe with all my heart that photography and editing are soulmates and one can’t go without the other. You can capture the beauty of the subject in camera but you can only add a touch of your imagination through post processing! They are each beautiful on its own but when combined the art created is breathtaking!“

– Alexandra Bitton of Alex Bitton Photography



Bright Light

Camera Settings: Nikon D750 – 85mm lens – F2.8 – 1/640 – ISO 100


“With the green setting I knew I had to put my client into a white gown so she would really pop against the background. This session was shot at 2pm in the wide-open sun, even though there was plenty of shade to work with, as a light and airy photographer I love the bright light. With the sun behind her adding that beautiful glow and my 85mm offering amazing bokeh I captured this stunning image.”

– Ashley Flug of Ashley Flug Photography



Providing Wardrobe and Accessories


“Styling my maternity sessions by providing wardrobe and accessories has elevated my brand and is such a fun and exciting experience for both me and the momma to be!!! I have a styling session before the shoot in which the client tries on gowns and chooses their accessories. This may be my favorite part as it gives me the opportunity to share my creative vision with the client and for them to share theirs with me!!! Every single client has thanked me for the experience of making them feel and look stunning and for capturing this miraculous time in their lives. For me there is no better reward than being  able to help a momma see how beautiful she truly is and to have created something that she will treasure and look back on for years to come!”

– Erin Marrero of Through the Looking Glass Studio



Silhouetting with Natural Light


“I love using as much natural light as possible in my photography. When doing photos in someone’s home I always seek out a good spot in front of a window. I love using natural light to create high contrast photos, especially in maternity sessions. It makes for a nice silhouette of the mom’s bump. I used a higher shutter speed to get a dark silhouette shape of them to start, and then warmed it up slightly in post to highlight their faces. My lens of choice for this type of session is a 35mm, which made working within this tight small bedroom doable.”

Shealena Hartwell of Shealena Hartwell Photography & Design




Camera Settings: Canon 6D Mark ii, 70-200mm f/2.8 L


“As much as I love nature maternity sessions, urban sessions can be very unique! This beautiful mom-to-be was extremely comfortable posing for me in the middle of a busy sidewalk. Most people avoid urban sessions in busy areas because the editing process can be overwhelming but if you work fast, people are kind enough to wait for a few seconds and the ones in the background are usually really blurred or easily removed in Photoshop. The reason we chose to go with urban for this session was the dress! As soon as my client sent me a picture I had a vision. To me location plays a large role in each session and usually the outfits dictate it. If you ever feel like you are in a creative rut, explore a new location and watch ideas start flowing.”

– Monika Cioban of Masquer8 Photography & Designs



Golden Hour


“The golden hour is my favorite time to shoot because it creates a soft even light which I love for my maternity sessions. I shoot mostly wide open with my 70-200 2.8 II Canon lens. To achieve the light and airy look, I always look for lighter and clean backgrounds and make sure my clients wear light or neutral colored clothes. To make things easier on them, my maternity clients have the option to wear some of the dresses I provide for the session. I meter for the skin and over expose just a little bit. This image was shot at f/2.8, shutter 1/400, ISO 200. In editing I adjust the image in Adobe Camera Raw first. I brighten up the shadows and blacks and also click the “enable profile correction”, which removes the vignette and distortion in the corners of the image. I also reduce the oranges and yellows and adjust the white balance when needed (I shoot auto white balance). In Photoshop I lighten up the face using curves, enhance the colors and smooth out the skin. As the last step, I love going back into ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) and adjust the white balance and shadows once more to perfect the image.

– Tina Maciej of Tina Maciej Photography



Wide Angle

“Maternity sessions at the beach are some of my favorite sessions to shoot. When you combine the beauty of the ocean, sunset, exposed reef, and sand with a gorgeous mama-to-be, it’s magic! I always shoot during the golden hour for beach sessions. My style has a light & airy feel to it & I always try to maintain the beauty of the sky as well. This is such a special time in their lives. I love helping them feel gorgeous & a big perk to working with maternity clients is getting the chance to photograph their adorable newborns a few weeks later! Most of my beach sessions are shot with my Nikon D750, Tamron 35mm lens or my Tamron 15-30 to capture more of the amazing scenery. ”

– Tristan Quigley of Tristan Quigley Photography

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