Creative Ideas for Maternity Photoshoot with Toddler

Creative Ideas For Maternity Photoshoot With Toddler Blog Post

One of the most beautiful photoshoots to do as a photographer are maternity pictures. And the best way to turn it into a special time is to include family members. Particularly, with toddlers.

While this is a great way to incorporate a whole family into a maternity shoot, it is most certainly not the easiest!

But personally, I love it and do think it’s guaranteed to be a fun way to turn a family maternity session into precious moments.

In this blog post, we’ll focus on 5 key ideas to turn a regular maternity photo session into an awesome maternity photo shoot WITH toddler in tow. And end with a quick list of bonus tips to keep in mind.

This is how we’ll break things down:

  1. Keep things simple
  2. Focus on mama’s pregnant belly
  3. Tips for the pregnant couple
  4. Make precious moments
  5. What to wear!
  6. *Bonus: List of Quick Tips
Creative Ideas For Maternity Photoshoot With A Toddler Pinterest Pin

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#1 First of all…Keep Things Simple.

My first piece of advice is to keep things simple. Not only plan to do this but convey this to your clients because working with a toddler is really touch-and-go.

I like to think of it as he or she, the big brother or older sister, is in charge because their attention span is usually incredibly short! Especially if they are a first child, and depending on their age, their focus is probably more on having as much fun as possible compared to “posing.”

Pregnant Mom With Toddler Photo

Older children are more likely to cooperate with posing but toddlers? be ready for candid moments because they move quick.


Have your camera settings set for a high shutter speed to capture any quick movements!

Family Maternity Photoshoot With Child

#2 Focus on mom’s belly

To help with this, and in the theme of keeping things simple, plan shots around a simple pose that is centered around mom’s belly.

Do whatever it takes to get that toddler involved. Have them place their hands on mom’s belly. Have dad bend down on a knee, and have the first child sit on their knee and kiss mama’s belly.

Toddler Kissing Pregnant Mom Belly
Pregnant Belly Photoshoot

Or do a reverse shot with dad kissing mama’s pregnant belly but including the first born someway, somehow.

Cute Idea For Family Maternity Shoot With Toddler

Don’t be afraid to vary this up! And get mom and dad’s ideas on what they would consider perfect poses.

This is a beautiful way to incorporate their input and truly make this pregnancy photoshoot a family maternity photoshoot.

#3 Couple tips

Next, let’s talk about making time for mom and dad! Because, inevitably, your toddler client is going to just be DONE with the session. Aaaaand that may be 10 minutes in or 20 minutes in. Regardless, letting them run around while you focus on mom and dad will allow good time for the focus to shift to capturing some parental love.


Advised your families to bring some snacks, drinks and toys in a small bag to help their toddler or toddlers stay occupied when they need a break with the photos.

So here are a few quick couple tips.

Always try to 1) emphasize the baby bump while 2) showcasing love in the form of hugs and kisses.

You can do this in a sweet way by having dad hug mom with his hands around mama’s belly, having dad kiss mom on the cheek with his hand on mama’s belly or just a good ol’ belly to belly shot with mom and dad kissing.

Maternity Photoshoot With Parents Idea
Couple Shot Ideas For Maternity Photoshoot

I mean, that’s how that baby got here in the first place! So do a photo to commemorate how things got started.


Maternity Photoshoot With Mom And Dad

#4 Make precious moments

But seriously, how do you utilize every second to make your maternity session one that includes the whole family?

Perhaps after the toddler has had their time with the photos, then taken a break with some snack time because they were exhibiting frustration with repeating certain actions (like kissing the belly again and again), they may now be less antsy and willing to be held. This is the best time to throw some good ol’ family poses in there.

Family Maternity Photoshoot With Toddler
Creative Shot Idea With Maternity Family Shoot

But change it up a bit!

Do some hugs and kisses with the toddler scrunched in between the parentals.

Creative Idea With Maternity Shoot With Toddler
Toddler With Maternity Photoshoot Idea

Do a back-to-back shot with mom holding her belly but dad holding the toddler.

Maternity Photoshoot With Family Idea

Do a straight forward family walking shot or full on facing the camera and smiling shot. Or walking away!

Family Maternity Photo Idea With Walking Shot

These are ones for the family album or for sending to family and friends and always make for a wonderful way to get one more shot with the family before the newborn makes his or her entrance.

#5 How to dress? Maxi dress!

Now, let’s broach a point that you may be like, “what on earth does that have to do with turning a maternity portrait session into family pics?”

And yes, that subject is maternity dress.

Whaaaaaa?! Listen. Just hear me out for a sec.

Now, when it comes to fancy dancy maternity portraits like those done in a studio or formal maternity picture ideas where your maternity clients wear maternity gowns, you can throw this out the window.

But when it comes to lifestyle photography in combined maternity and family sessions where you are incorporating movement and activity, this type of attire is more ideal.

And that is the maxi dress.

A maxi dress is usually a long, flowy dress that comes to your toes or ankles. Usually, they’re form fitting from the torso up and loose from the torso down.

Pregnant Mom Maxi Dress Idea

The goal of this dress in a maternity shoot is to accentuate the pregnant belly.

Why is this so important?

Because you can literally take any photo idea that incorporates the whole family, have mama frame her belly and boom! You’ve taken what would be a regular old family photo and immediately turned it into a family maternity photo!

Here’s an example to prove this point.

Maternity Photoshoot With Maxi Dress
Framing Pregnant Belly

#6 Bonus: Quick Tips

Since we’re close to the end of this post, let me run through a few other quick tips to help make your family photos the perfect maternity photoshoots for you as a professional photographer and your clients. Especially those toddler clients.

1. Pre-meet your toddlers.

In other words, ask for the name(s) of the toddlers beforehand and memorize them. Take a few minutes to arrive early and meet them before you get them in front of the camera. This is a great idea to get them used to you so they are more comfortable with you and the camera. This will also make it easier to capture intimate moments.

2. Shoot in golden hour.

Golden hour is a beautiful time to schedule a photoshoot. BUT, prioritize the time of day at which your pregnant women and their toddlers are the most energized because that can vary from client to client and you want both at their best for these professional photos.

Listen, golden hour is bomb. It is a favorite time of day for photographers for many reasons that you can read in “The Best Time of Day for Photos.” You have two options for golden hour, thankfully but understanding why can help you narrow down the ideal start time for any of your shoots in the future!

3. Bring a prop!

Advise your clients to bring a prop like a family heirloom or a pair of baby shoes to their shoot. This can be a way to not only capture creative shots with older kids and toddlers but create special meaning to these photo sessions as well. I don’t have a photo example to show you of this but I do have a video of a pregnancy announcement with maternity footage that brought this idea to life. In this case, we used a picture hand drawn by mom, who is an artist, and the baby sonogram as the props.

4. Choose a shoot location with a bathroom.

Choose a great place that is not only a beautiful location to shoot but is easy to navigate for the pregnant mama and little ones in tow. Having a bathroom onsite is a huge plus because we all know that pregnant mamas gotta go, gotta go a LOT.

At this shoot in Phil Hardberger Conservancy Park in San Antonio, not only does it have variety to shoot at with nature trails and a building with mirror doors, but it has a bathroom onsite. For sure, my preggo mama client had to use the bathroom at least once during our shoot here. And was grateful for that accessibility!

Framing Maternity Belly

5. Shoot at mama’s 7th month of pregnancy!

And finally, shoot when mom is towards the latter end of her second trimester and no later than the beginning of her third trimester, which is usually around 27-28 weeks of pregnancy.

To learn more about the ideal time frame for a family maternity photo shoot, read “When is the Best Time for Maternity Photos.” It’ll give you a deeper understanding on why this time frame is best to plan for that we cannot get into here.

This allows room to reschedule if emergencies happen, but also provides time for mama’s baby bump to be prominent for modeling while not being too uncomfortable to move and walk around.

For another perspective on a maternity shoot with toddler-in-tow, check out this article by Lens Lounge. They have some great ideas here that can help inspire you further to have a unique maternity shoot that your toddler will love!


To wrap this up, I want you to know that it is totally possible to have a maternity shoot with the entire family that includes special and intimate moments with toddlers.

It doesn’t have to be difficult!

But to make this possible, you’re going to have to put in the work to plan ahead by keeping all these points we discussed in mind and communicating closely with your clients.

Pregnancy pictures should be the best part, if not one of the best parts, of your client’s memories of their pregnancy.

Aiming for these ideas will create the perfect personal touch to each maternity family session especially with little toddlers, to make your sessions unique and give you the reputation of being an exceptional family maternity photographer.

Family Maternity Photoshoot Quick Tips List

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