pregnant woman and husband on bridge at glencairn gardens

Selecting a Maternity Photographer

Jul 23, 2020

Who knew that selecting your maternity photographer could be such a task? After all, you want to make sure that the person you choose is not only a good fit for you, but you’re a good fit for them as well. At the end of the day, not all photography sessions are created equal and there are some perks that come along with choosing a photographer that specializes in maternity.

Here’s a quick list of things to look out for when you’re on the hunt for the perfect maternity photographer.


pregnant woman on pathway gold gown sunset selecting your maternity photographer

This one is two-fold. When I say experience, I mean the expertise of the photographer and how they’ll make you feel before, during and after the session. Are they familiar with maternity portraits or are they just dabbling? Do they regularly shoot maternity or is this a one off? It’s important to weigh all these factors when comparing photographers because posing pregnant women is slightly different than posing non-pregnant women.

Details are paramount for flattering poses. There are small details someone who specializes in this style of portraiture will be on the lookout for that others will miss. Angles matter. Hand placement matters. Positioning of legs and dropping of chins – all these little adjustments and they separate the experienced photographers from the inexperienced.

Portfolio and Style

Why is style important when selecting your maternity photographer? Are you obsessed with those light, bright and airy photos or do you find yourself gravitating more towards those rich toned, full of contrast, dark and moody images? Check any potential photographer’s portfolio to ensure their editing style lines up with what you love.

selecting your maternity photographer mom and son in forest

In Studio or Outdoors

This goes hand in hand with style. If you see that a photographer’s portfolio is nothing but outdoor images, chances are they don’t offer studio style portraits. If that’s something you have your heart set on, then it’s best to keep looking. Studio lighting is tricky and if the photographer you’re considering doesn’t have experience with them and tries to wing it, I can almost guarantee you it’ll be a disaster. On the flip-side, if all you’re seeing is studio work and you really want outdoors, the same advice applies. Keep looking, because outdoor maternity work may not be one of their offerings.


If you’re anything like I am, you just like to connect with people. You want to vibe with the people you work with and genuinely enjoy that person. You want to like the person taking your photos – you’ll feel more comfortable and it’ll shine through the images. When selecting your maternity photographer, make sure you get a feel for their personality and who they are. Do you have things in common? Can they relate to you? Will the session be awkward? After all, do you really want to spend money with someone that makes your spidey senses tingle? If something feels a little off, it’s OK to look for someone else.

expecting woman in woods selecting your maternity photographer


This may not be one that you think of immediately, but it’s definitely something to consider. Oftentimes, photographers that specialize in maternity will offer some form of client closet with outfits and gowns when you book. It’s a nice perk to know you’ll have a selection of gowns designed specifically for maternity photos to choose from. (Before you ask, YES! We have a client closet of gowns to choose from!)

I also frequently update a maternity session style pinterest board with ideas on what to wear for sessions if you’re more comfortable wearing your own clothing. Check around to see if styling is something your photographer offers if you struggle selecting the perfect outfit combinations on your own.


I really hate throwing this one on the list, but realistically, I know it plays a factor in the decision making process. My suggestion is NEVER to select a photographer based on price alone. I wholeheartedly believe you need to consider the factors above and weigh them more heavily than just the price tag. Why? Because at the end of the day, you should be booking this session with someone whose work you love and connect with, not the lowest price.

If you feel as though the cost of the session is outside of what you initially budgeted, ask if there is a payment plan option! You’d be surprised at how many photographers offer this solution.

Sweet Souls Portrait Design specializes in maternity and newborn portraits. We offer studio newborn, milestones, cake smash, outdoor maternity and limited outdoor family sessions in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas. Contact us for more information or booking!



  1. phylicia willis says:

    Great information thank you for sharing! Your expertise is amazing!

  2. My best friend is 6 months pregnant and she wants to get a maternity photoshoot done. Thank you for pointing out the importance of checking the portfolio of potential photographers to make sure you like their editing style. I will pass this tip along to my friend so she can find a photographer that is the best fit for what she wants.

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