3 creative maternity photoshoot ideas with toddler (to do at home)

Not every maternity session needs to be glamorous. Sometimes the most intimate pregnancy pictures are the ones you take yourself at home with your family. Even as a professional photographer offering maternity sessions in my studio, I believe that families should add to their collection of pregnancy pictures with DIY at home maternity photoshoots. This way they’ll have posed, glamorous photos and fun at home photos showing life as it is. So here are 3 maternity picture ideas with a toddler you can do at home.

Expecting a new baby is a special time in a family’s life and beautiful photos include the at home moments.

Why do your own maternity pictures?

I’m not saying that you should bypass the professional maternity photoshoot, but that you should add to it with your intimate insight into your unique family life at home.

Plus, as you know, there’s only so long that you can hold a toddler’s attention. For pregnancy photoshoots with toddlers in the studio I work on the premise that I have 20 minutes to get good photos that include toddlers. After that I consider it a bonus to have a willing, happy toddler involved.

So, as an extra bit of advice, if you’re planning a family maternity photoshoot with toddlers – get the toddler shots first!

Indoor Silhouette maternity photo with toddler

Easy at home maternity picture idea with toddler. A simple shot you can do in an open doorway at home – make sure the background is well lit to get a lovely maternity silhouette.

1. Doorway silhouette maternity pictures with toddler

Of course mom’s belly is the most important part of a maternity photo shoot and what better way to highlight it than with a silhouette? The good news is that silhouettes are much easier than you think.

All you need for this simple pose is to make sure that the background is brighter than the subject and then underexpose the subject. This will make the subject just a shape and the background will blow out.

An even better way of creating silhouettes at home is to use what you have – doorways. A doorway creates a natural frame around the subject, which adds to the composition and really draws the viewer’s eyes to the subject. It works particularly well if you have a door at the end of a hallway that leads to a bright room filled with natural light, or to outdoors.

Because it’s a really simple maternity pose, it’s easy to do with just mom and or with a toddler, or other family members. To make the most of this maternity picture idea with toddler and really show off the bump:

  • Ask mom to stand in the doorway with her back to one side of it
  • Place both hands below the bump or one below and one of top
  • Bend the leg closest to camera
  • Look down towards the bump
  • Then add a toddler to the pose for a second picture

Pro tip – for a more flattering jawline I always tell my clients that it’s a fake look down, so not to actually look down at her bump. She should rather lift her chin a little and look downwards, but not as far as if she was actually looking at her bump. Otherwise you run the risk of creating double chins. If she has long hair it also helps to bring the hair forward a bit.

At this stage in the pregnancy mom is going to be feeling quite heavy and will have picked up a bit of weight around the upper arms and face, so you have to be very conscious of this with maternity poses.

If you don’t have a backlit doorframe, have mom stand in front of a large window and allow the window backlight to be overexposed.

How to do a fake look down

  • Just ask her to look down towards the floor and not the bump
  • Then to lift her chin up and forward slightly towards the opposite side of the door frame
  • Not a lot. It has to be subtle, otherwise it will look odd, so small movements are important

Pregnancy picture with toddler

One of my favorite maternity picture ideas with toddler that’s easy to do in the studio or at home is of an older sibling engaging with mom’s belly

2. Kissing /hugging bump maternity picture idea

A photo of a toddler hugging or kissing mom’s belly is always a cute shot and a must have for every maternity album with older siblings. But you can take this great idea up a level and make it a more professional looking photo by going in close and filling the frame with the moment. The image then becomes about the two siblings.

How to get a toddler to pose for this gorgeous image:

  • Get in close so that half the frame is filled with mom’s bump, and just her bump.
  • Ask the toddler to put their hands on either side of the bump. Don’t get too particular about this, because it’s more important to capture the moment than to have exactly the hand placement you want.
  • Then ask them to whisper a message to their new sibling, kiss the bump, blow raspberries or hug the bump to get them to engage.

For added variety to this maternity pose idea you can move further away to also get all of mom in the shot. Just make sure you move fast before the toddler breaks the pose.

Maternity photoshoot ideas with toddler

Not all photos that appear to be candid shots are in fact candid – you just need to plan it and play games to get the toddler the toddler involved in maternity portraits

Bonus tip – make sure that you’re happy with your camera settings before getting the toddler in front of the camera. You don’t want to be messing around with your camera and missing out on precious moments while the toddler is still a willing participant.

Finger paint maternity photoshoot idea for toddlers

Painting mom’s belly is a fun way to involve a toddler in a maternity session

3. Hand painting the bump – fun maternity picture ideas with toddler

We all know that the best way to get a toddler to do anything is to make a game of it. What toddler, or young child, doesn’t love getting a bit messy with paint? That’s why this fun maternity photoshoot idea is a creative idea that’s also a great way to engage big brother or big sister while making it fun for them.

For this maternity picture idea with toddler you’ll need:

  • A set of finger paints for toddlers
  • Somewhere that looks good in a shot, but can handle a bit of paint overspill
  • A simple outfit for mom – white shirt or vest top and jeans

As before, make sure your camera settings are dialled in before the fun begins so that you don’t miss any of the fun, messy moments.

When is the best time for a maternity shoot?

I advise my maternity clients to book in their pregnancy photoshoot for a month before due date, because they’ll have an adorable baby bump, but won’t yet be feeling at their most uncomfortable.

It’s also not a good idea to leave it too close to due date in case baby decides to come a bit early.

Black dress maternity outfit for at home photoshoot

For a minimalist look a fitted maternity dress works really well and is comfortable

What to wear for a maternity photoshoot?

When it comes to maternity photoshoot outfit ideas, the list is endless. From nude, to lingerie, to jeans and a vest top or flowy dresses.

You can spend a fortune on maternity gowns and maternity photoshoot outfits, but honestly I’d keep that for a maternity session in the studio or outdoors with a professional photographer.

For a maternity shoot at home a maxi dress, works very well – just make sure that mom places at least one hand below the bump so that her shape is shown.

Another great option is a simple fitted maternity dress, with with sleeves or without. It’s a win win – super comfortable for mom and a fantastic way to show shape, especially with silhouettes.

Outfit for Maternity photoshoot at home

Simple belly hold – posing with hands below the belly is a classic pose and easy to repeat for maternity shots at home

Whatever outfit you choose, the most important thing for maternity picture ideas with toddlers is to make sure that the clothing isn’t overly patterned. I prefer just plain solid colors, because designs distract from the subject’s face. Even though a maternity picture is about the bump, this is a portrait after all, so her face is still important.

More maternity photography help

Now all you need to do is decide on when to hold the maternity session. So, here’s some extra advice for a maternity photoshoot (plus 8 quick maternity photography tips)

Leave a comment

If you have any questions or suggestions for pregnancy picture ideas with a toddler, let us know in the comments.

Also, I love good news, so if my maternity poses and photoshoot tips have helped you to plan your at home maternity photo session, share that too.

Leave a Comment