The Internet lost it recently when Beyonce announced via Instagram that she is pregnant with twins. During the writing of this article, her post had received almost 11 million likes.
We love celebrities, and we especially love pregnant celebrities. People couldn’t get enough of Kim Kardashian while she was pregnant. (And couldn’t wait to see what the kids would be named.) We loved watching Chrissy Tiegen posting about pregnancy and impending motherhood. And Kate Middleton was one of the most glamorous moms-to-be that we’ve seen in a long time!
While some of us struggled with stretch marks, cankles, and the fact that we could no longer see our feet, it’s hard to deny that pregnancy really is a beautiful thing, and it should be celebrated. For many women, it’s the first time in their lives that they feel good about their bodies. They feel strong and capable; their bodies are doing exactly what nature intended.
Some women are happy to flaunt their pregnant curves and their new shape. With pregnancy comes glowing skin, luxurious hair, and healthy nails. While there may be some extra weight gain, it’s all going to the right places – during pregnancy, the breasts grow and hips widen to aid baby’s growth, development, and arrival.
There are many, beautiful moments during pregnancy. Getting a positive result on a pregnancy test. Telling friends and family the exciting news. Hearing the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. It’s extraordinary to think that a pregnant woman is carrying another life around inside her. Isn’t that beautiful in itself? Take a look at these 20 breathtaking moms-to-be that we found on Instagram, and check out our tips to help you get the most out of your maternity photo shoot!
20 Tasteful And Elegant
Petra Pouzar is a Swedish mom who has blogged about her life with two kids, (the third one is due soon!) home renovations, getting through a miscarriage, and depression. On her Instagram, as well as her blog, she shares several shots from a recent maternity shoot. All of the maternity photos she has shared are taken with a simple white background. In her shots, Petra is wearing long flowing gowns in shades of ivory and blush, and she seems to radiate happiness.
Photo Tip: Try to have pictures taken with a clean, uncluttered background. Look for a simple, but dramatic, background such as a wall, window, or doorway, so that you really stand out. You (and your bump!) are the stars of the show, so the focus should be on you, not on your surroundings! Other objects in the frame may draw the eye away from you, and you don't want that!
19 And Baby Makes Three
This is a great casual shot of parents-to-be from Snappystreet Photography's Instagram. Leah from Snappystreet Photography is a Sydney, Australia, based photographer who captures everything from couples, families, and weddings to corporate and event photography. Leah’s Instagram is full of colorful, vibrant pictures. The best part about them is that all of her subjects seem so casual and relaxed; the photos are candid and natural, not stiff and posed.
Photo Tip: Don’t forget to include dad! It’s a great idea to have some shots that showcase the loving relationship between you and your baby’s daddy; adding him into the shoot will make some of the pictures more about the relationship and growing family, than just about your body and bump. Plus, having dad around might help you relax, and the more relaxed you are, the better your photos will be! Plus, the photographer might be able to capture some sweet, candid moments like this one!
18 Glowing From Within
We fell in love with this picture of Mattie from Tulsa, Oklahoma, because of her radiant smile and the way she simply glows. Who took this awesome shot? Her husband, a videographer! (She credits him in the caption.) Both Mattie and her husband have lots of great photos of their new little girl on their Instagrams, but what’s great about Mattie’s feed is that she also shared a lot of body positive photos throughout her pregnancy.
Photo Tip: Go outside! Even if you’re not having professional photos taken, and are just heading outside with a camera (or even a smartphone!) and a friend, you can still take wonderful maternity photos. Be sure to watch out for power lines, signs, pieces of garbage, and any trees or objects that might look as if they’re poking up out of your head. Always check your pictures before leaving your shoot – you don’t want to go home and discover that none of your pictures turned out the way you wanted!
17 The Golden Hour
This photo was taken by Diana Hinek of Art Shaped Photography and Birth Services. Diana is a birth and lifestyle photographer as well as a doula in Los Angeles. She’s also a mother to three kids! We loved this picture because of the gorgeous light, the interesting background, and the fact that the mom-to-be looks so comfortable and relaxed, despite lying on the sand in a slim-fitting dress while very pregnant!
Photo Tip: Catch the golden hour. The golden hour is the hour after sunrise, and the hour just before the sun sets. Photographers love this light because it’s soft, warm, and basically all-around magical. The warm light during the golden hour can make your skin glow, which is very flattering. Think of it as an all-natural Instagram filter!
How do you figure out the golden hour? When you start planning your maternity shoot, start paying attention to the times the sun rises and sets in your area. Check out different locations to see how they look during that time of day. If you’re working with a professional photographer, they may have areas in mind that they want to use as a backdrop, and they may have already scoped out the area during different times of the day for you.
16 A Thoughtful Mom-To-Be
You don't need to get all dressed up or fancy to have maternity photos taken. Just be yourself! That’s exactly what Yvonne Wang Franklin did in this maternity photo, taken by Emily Scannell, a wedding and portrait photographer in Northern California. Yvonne is wearing a solid-colored tunic or dress that shows off her bump. Her hair and makeup is simple. The focus of the photo is on her. And the results are beautiful!
Photo Tip: Since the whole point of a maternity shoot is to show off your that awesome baby bump, make sure you wear something that will really show it off! That means something tight with a lot of stretch! You might even consider skipping the maternity clothes altogether because they’re meant to be comfortable and flatter your shape, and don’t always show off the curves!
Skip patterns, florals, and checks. You don’t want any clothes that are too stylized; it’s better to have something classic and timeless. That way, when you look back at the pictures 20 years from now, you’ll think about how great you looked when you were pregnant – not wonder what in the world you were thinking when you picked out that floral top!
15 Fun In The Sun
This photo by Instagram user @thaisedemari took our breath away, all right – and made our jaws drop! This mama-to-be looks amazing hanging out by the pool in a peachy-orange string bikini. This stylish mom’s Instagram shows her in several other fabulous poolside shots, too, and she seems to look stunning whether she’s in a bikini, glamorous dresses, or posing for car selfies!
Photo Tip: When you’re planning your maternity shoot, wear whatever you are most comfortable in. You wanna lounge by the pool and rock a triangle-top bikini for your photos? Do it! Do you see yourself wearing a long, flowing dress with a flower crown in your hair? Then go for it! Would you rather wear jeans and a long maternity tunic? Then DO IT!
The whole point of your maternity shoot is to capture how you look and how you feel during this momentous time in your life. Be comfortable. Be you.
14 Like A Goddess
We kind of fell in love with everything in this picture from @pregnancygram_. The light is stunning. The mom’s long hair and flower crown make her look like some kind of goddess. The color of that dress is gorgeous. And that ruffle! Ruffles were a big trend at New York Fashion Week, and they seemed to be popping up in a lot of the maternity photos we were checking out!
Photo Tip: Listening to a photographer tell you how to pose and where to put your hands, how to turn your head, how much to tilt your chin can be a little overwhelming. Be careful when you look down at your bump in pictures; if you look straight down at your belly, it might make you look like you have an extra chin! Instead, focus on a point slightly away from your belly, or gaze off into the distance. And don’t forget to just look at the camera and smile. When you do, vary your expressions from serious and intense, to relaxed and happy. You don’t want every single picture to look exactly the same!
13 A Striking Silhouette
French stylist Maryse Landry's Instagram feed is full of wadrobe photos and well-dressed bump selfies, but this shot is one of the only photos where she’s not wearing much at all – and it still looks tasteful and elegant.
Photo Tip: A common practice in maternity photos is to show the mom’s body or bump in silhouette. A pregnant woman’s body is so beautiful, and a silhouette is made even more striking when it’s captured in black and white. Although silhouettes look dramatic and hard to properly capture, it’s possible for an amateur to capture the shot with an iPhone. Just look for a simple background and make sure there’s some back-lighting. Tap on the lightest part of the iPhone screen to brighten the image a little more, and shoot away!
If you’re not comfortable baring it all or posing for photos in your skivvies, no problem. You can still get a great silhouette by wearing something solid, tight, and smooth over your bump.
12 Strike A Pose
This picture of New York photgrapher Roseann Wang really caught our attention! 38 weeks and doing backbends (and in public!) That’s amazing. The new mom demonstrates several other yoga poses on her Instagram feed as well!
Photo Tip: Try to do something different in your maternity shoot. Your photographer will probably do some common poses:
- A close-up of your belly
- A profile of you/your bump
- Your hands making a heart shape on your bump
- A close-up of your hands making a heart shape on your bump
Remember, this shoot is all about you. Even though millions of moms have had babies, and tons and tons of moms have had maternity shoots, this one is all yours. Make it special. Just like you and your baby!
If there’s a prop you want to bring, like baby shoes, or balloons, or a book, bring it! And don’t feel like you have to just stay in one position and smile. Stand up, sit down, strike a yoga pose if that’s your thing!
11 It's Love, Baby
And this is a great background for a baby bump picture, too! Vancouver stylist Brooke Schultz looks great in a fitted dress, booties, and moto jacket in this picture from her Instagram feed. And she recently gave birth to a baby boy!
Photo Tip: If you’re really trying to take photos that show just how big your bump is, the best way to position yourself in front of the camera is turning to the side. Depending on how big your bump is, and what you’re wearing, if you face the camera straight on, your belly might not appear as big as it is.
So when should your maternity shoot take place? Obviously, you want to have a record of your bump, so you should wait until you’re really showing, but the timing is up to you. Something to keep in mind, though, is not to wait too long. The further along you get in your pregnancy, the more uncomfortable you may be during a photo shoot.
10 Big Brotherly Love
The Instagram feed for Andi Allison Photography is full of captivating pictures of families, couples, kids, babies, and expecting moms. One of our favorites features this mom of two boys who is expecting a little girl. She looks beautiful in a long flowing dress and the sunlight in this shot is just gorgeous. The best part about the photo? The way her oldest son is gazing up at her.
Photo Tip: Don’t forget big brothers and sisters (and even family pets) in the maternity shoot. They’re a part of the family, too, and will all play a role in welcoming the new little one into the household. They can also add to the fun of the shoot – little kids are full of surprises, which adds an element of spontaneity to the shoot. If you’re working with a professional photographer, make sure they’ve worked with kids before. Also, make sure you have something (or someone) with you on the shoot to keep the kids occupied when the focus is just on you!
9 Keep It Simple
We've seen a lot of maternity photos, and most mamas seem to keep it natural. Light makeup and a little hairstyling are all you need. A pregnant mama is a beautiful thing; she doesn't need much else. Like this mama from @whimsiephotographie's Instagram feed. She has on a neutral colored dress, her hair is down, her makeup is simple - and she looks absolutely stunning!
Photo Tip: It helps to keep the hair and makeup simple. Obviously, how you do your hair and makeup may depend on what you're wearing, the location, or the style of the shoot, but there are a couple things to remember.
If it gets warm or you're sweaty, you may need a touch-up or two.If it gets warm or you get sweaty, curls may fall flat.You also have to make sure your hair can withstand a breeze!Don't forget to bring your makeup with you to the shoot.Don't forget to get a manicure - chances are, you'll have your hands all over that bump!
8 These Boots Are Made For Walking
This shot from @closetdezolas is captioned as being outfit inspiration for mamas to be. The mama-to-be in this picture looks fantastic in a sweater dress and trendy over the knee boots. Closet De Zolas is an online boutique based out of Arizona that carries lots of the latest styles at affordable prices – everything from graphic t-shirts to dresses.
Photo Tip: During your maternity photo shoot, it’s important to wear whatever makes you comfortable and happy, so if you want to rock some over the knee boots or stiletto heels, go for it! You might even want to consider a few different wardrobe changes, as well as different shoes and accessories. This can be important if you’re staying in one location; it can help change up the pictures a little bit. With that being said, it’s also not a bad idea to consider changing your outfit to something more appropriate if you go from one location to another.
This is a great shot of @mumikika on Dara Beach in Thailand. She looks relaxed and at ease, and the beach and ocean as her backdrop makes the whole picture look calm and serene. Plus, we love her hat!
Photo Tip: Don’t forget to capture what life is like for you now. Take pictures of you doing your favorite things, going to your favorite places, wearing your favorite maternity shirt, eating your favorite food, sitting in your favorite spot on the couch... And if pregnancy isn’t treating you so great, maybe figure out how to include some of those feelings, too. Maybe your spouse can catch you while you’re resting with your feet up, or while you’re curled up on your side with your body pillow. A lot of women don’t want to have their picture taken while they’re pregnant, but years from now, it will be nice to have some keepsakes to look back at, so you can remember what life was like when you were pregnant!
6 Balloons And A Bump
We loved this photo of Joanna Burgess, posing with some balloons from her baby shower. The mom to be makes a joke that there are really four balloons in the picture, but she looks amazing in a slip dress by Australian designer Zimmermann.
Photo Tip: It’s a great idea to have a photographer (or at least someone on hand with a camera or a smartphone) at your baby shower. Often at baby showers, everyone will get pictures of the mom opening presents or posing with friends and family – maybe use the day of your shower to pose for some maternity photos as well!
During your maternity shoot, consider using some props! Some great items to include in your photos are balloons and flowers. Many moms use baby shoes or baby clothes because they’re so tiny and adorable. Blocks that spell out the baby’s name or a short message are popular as well, and are a great way to reveal the baby’s name or gender, if you’re ready to do so.
5 Bright And Beautiful
This shot by @featherandarrowtx caught our eye because of the striking contrast between the mama’s glamorous gown and the great outdoors! The focus is all on mom in that bright, bold color! She really stands out, like a rose in the middle of the woods.
Photo Tip: Go glam. Some women may have a rough time with pregnancy or may be unhappy with how they look. Pregnancy can have some benefits, though, like thicker, fuller hair and glowing skin. Some women also finally feel comfortable with their curves for the first time ever. So, if you love your new curves and are feeling good about yourself, go with it! Take this as an opportunity to go all out. Get a facial, have your hair and nails done, and wear a gorgeous dress to show off your figure. It will be nice reminder of how beautiful, strong, and feminine you are feeling right now.
4 A Chic Bump
Inna of the Oh La Femme blog looks stunning in a form-fitting dress in this candid shot by California photographer Dali Ma. Though her caption states that she’s feeling third trimester exhaustion, tired feet, congestion, and cravings, she still manages to be a show-stopping mama!
Photo Tip: Don’t forget to take weekly pictures of your bump at home to document your pregnancy! Even if these pictures are just for you and aren’t meant to be displayed for everyone to see, it’s fun to look back and see how your body changes throughout pregnancy. Some ideas?
Pose in the same location each time, maybe in front of a blank wall.Consider wearing the same shirt in each picture.Use a chalkboard to write out what week, how big the baby is, and how you’re feeling.Don’t forget to take an after picture, with you holding your little one in front of you.And then make a photo book out of all of your bump pictures!
3 A Bundled-Up Bump
This mama’s smile and radiating happiness brings warmth to the shot, even though there’s snow in the background! Barcelona blogger @sweetcarolblog is wearing a warm sweater, gloves, and a fun hat to commemorate being pregnant in the middle of winter!
Photo Tip: Celebrate whatever time of year it is. If it’s spring, take pictures surrounded by flowers. If it’s summer, go to the beach, the pool, or the park. In the fall, visit a pumpkin patch or take your pictures with beautiful fall foliage in the background. If it’s winter, go out and play in the snow, or take pictures cozied up by a roaring fireplace. An interesting idea? Take a picture in the same location in each of the four seasons: one while you’re pregnant, and the other three after the baby gets there. The location stays the same, but the subject of the photo will be a little different each time!
2 Bringing Up Bebe
This picture of Amber is amazing for so many reasons. Her dress, her son, THE LOCATION! Amber lives in Hawaii but her Instagram feed is full of amazing pictures of her travels all over the place with her husband and kids – who are all just as beautiful as she is. Amber is also known as the Barefoot Blonde (the name of her blog) and has a hair extension line.
Photo Tip: Taking a baby moon? Be sure to take lots of pictures during your trip! Your husband can get plenty of shots of you and your bump, but be sure to enlist the help of others to get some pictures of the two of you, as well – especially if this will be your last “just the two of us” trip before the baby arrives! What great memories to have, and what a wonderful way to document the love you have for each other.
1 Something Different...
Doesn’t this shot by @elizabeth.ellen.photography look gorgeous and dreamy, like the mama is floating? It’s because she’s underwater! Talented North Carolina photographer, Elizabeth Ellen, has attempted other underwater maternity photos and the results, which can be found on her Instagram, are equally as stunning!
Photo Tip: If you have something in mind for your shoot, make sure you find a photographer who will help you accomplish what you have envisioned. Don’t just pick a photographer because a friend used them for their maternity photos. Don’t just pick a photographer based solely on price, either. You want to make sure that you find someone who will give you the images you want – the memories that you want preserved – so don’t settle! Scour the Internet, look at photographer’s websites and their social media feeds. See what kind of work they’ve done before so that you can decide if their style of photography suits you!