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02. Photography Tutorial: Maternity Pose Ideas

Maternity pose ideas – inspiration is all around us these days.  A quick look at Pinterest will yield thousands of beautiful poses we can try to emulate.  However, poses without instructions to support them are harder to pull off than they look!  I love finding detailed posing guides to explain shot set up.

Maternity pose tips like:

  • Always make sure that the hand on the far side of the belly is visible.
  • Use the S Curve technique to guide posture and the arch of the back.
  • Set up a pose in distinct and easy-to-communicate steps that take each part of the body into account.  Next, vary it slightly by changing hand position, leg position, and the subject’s gaze to alter the photo’s tone.

Looking for new inspiration and maternity pose ideas before a recent shoot, I came across an amazing eBook.  The first thing that caught my attention about this book was the price – $9.99!  Given that many of the other products that my google search came up with were in the $150 to $200 range, I had to look.  And honestly, I was expecting to find a poorly made book that was worth, well, $9.99.

I would have paid much more for this book.  The Illustrated Guide to Pregnancy Photography is an iBook created for iPads and iPhones (sorry, non iPeople), and it takes full advantage of the technology that iBooks offers its authors.  Rather than showing you a photo of a pose with tips about it, many poses are presented as slideshows.  The Proud Mom pose, for instance, starts with a woman standing with typical posture and leads you through each and every movement the mom should make to nail the pose and its variations.  This particular pose has 24 slides in its gallery.

In addition to walkthroughs like this, Gregory Katsoulis of Katsoulis Photography has also created 200 pages worth of tutorials, videos and photo galleries.  He has given tips geared towards professional photographers as well as some for non-photographers trying to take their own maternity photos at home.  I simply can’t recommend this book highly enough for those who want to learn maternity posing.

The S Curve is a huge tip that I took away from this book.  I have long known that it was good to aim for the S Curve in many types of poses (not just maternity), but the illustrations in this book not only helped this posing element click for me, it also gave me concrete terms to use in describing it to my client.

(Do you like the processing on that B&W by the way?  The haze effect is due to one of the amazing light overlays in Kaleidoscope’s new Lightscapes overlay set.  More on that later, but for now, use code light13 to save 30% on it and everything else in Patti Brown’s store at Kaleidoscope through March 15, 2013.  And the B&W conversion is from a soon to be released new MCP product for Lightroom that I think you will LOVE!)

This posing guide covers each part of the body in describing a pose.  From the head, to the gaze, the back, the hands and the legs, The Illustrated Guide to Pregnancy Photography tells you how to pose each and discusses the implications of slight changes in the position of every part of mom’s body.

These slight changes to elements of the poses help with progressive posing as well.  I loved being able to set up one pose and vary it slightly from frame to frame, with an awareness of how a slight change in hand placement, for example, can drastically alter the message of the photo.  Katsoulis emphasizes hands in particular throughout the book.  Where mom’s hands are in relation to her belly can convey tones of protectiveness, pride, wonder – all the wide range of emotions that expectant moms feel.  Just make sure that both hands are visible in every pose!

I’ve given away a few maternity posing tips from this book in the course of this article, but I have left so much out.  The Illustrated Guide to Pregnancy Photography is a great deal for any aspiring maternity photographer, or any mom-with-a-camera to be!

02. Photography Tutorial: Maternity Pose Ideas was last modified: June 22nd, 2015 by Erin Peloquin


  1. Susan
    Posted on March 1, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I ordered this book through my itunes on my Mac but it does not “play” there. You have to have an Ipad with Ibooks to read it and view the materials. I was surprised it would not show up in my ibook on the Mac. It looks like a awsome tool though

    • Nathan
      Posted on August 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Susan, in the upcoming OSX mavericks you will be able to read and download iBooks on the Mac. I’m testing the new OSX now and you will enjoy this capability a lot.

  2. Jenny Says :
    Posted on May 24, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Thanks for the review, I’m going to take a look at this book. Good news for none i people, I just found that this is also available on kindle! And you can get a kindle reader app for most phones, tablets or computers.

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