7 Tips for a Beach Maternity Photoshoot

Today we’re talking all about beach maternity photos. Whether you’re taking your own or you’ve hired a professional, this post is for you. This post may contain affiliate links.

Beach Maternity Photoshoot:

Are you getting ready for maternity photos on the beach? The ocean is a perfect place for a gorgeous maternity photoshoot to capture those special moments before your baby arrives.

Why the beach for a maternity session?

You have tons of options for maternity photos (studio sessions and in home sessions can both be beautiful) but there is something romantic, powerful, and stunning about a beach backdrop. Just imagine your pregnancy glow, a gorgeous sunset, and some sweet intimate moments celebrating your changing body and this new addition.

I especially recommend the beach if you’re planning on printing and/or hanging your maternity photos in your home. Be sure to get a few shots pulled back (where you are small and the beach is very big). Then you can have art on your walls celebrating the miracle of pregnancy that is also a beautiful shot of the ocean.

What is the best time of day for a beach maternity photoshoot?

Just like with any photoshoot, the best time for your beach maternity session is going to be the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset. Sunset or sunrise is going to be the perfect backdrop for your maternity portraits. Photographers call this time “golden hour” because the sun is less harsh, giving you the prettiest (and most flattering) light for photos.

If you’re debating between a sunset and a sunrise session, ask your photographer what they recommend based on which coast you’re on and the lighting at your location.

What should you wear for a beach maternity photoshoot?

You have so many options when it comes to what to wear for your beach maternity session. There is no hard and fast rule. That said, as a photographer and mama who has had a few different beach maternity photoshoots during my pregnancies, I have a few favorites.

  1. Go for a dress: Whether or not you wear dresses regularly during pregnancy (you mean there are people who don’t just wear sweatpants for 9 months?), dresses photograph really beautifully.
  2. When picking a dress, consider your vibe: What kind of photos are you looking for? If you want beautiful neutrals, go with a flowy cream dress. Love the vibrant images? Pick something bolder.
  3. Find something you feel beautiful in. For my photography clients I recommend a flowy dress in muted or neutral tones. You can always hold your belly to show off your bump and then you can get some great movement in the flowy fabric for your images.
  4. Find something you feel comfortable in: The last thing you want is discomfort to come through in your photos. There are so many beautiful and comfortable maternity dresses these days that will photograph beautifully (and bonus points, you’ll love wearing them afterward, too).

Here are 4 beautiful flowy dresses for your beach maternity pictures:

If you’re still lost, you can read this whole post on where to buy dresses for your maternity photo shoot. At the end of this post I’ll link what I’m wearing in the beach maternity photos included here.

**There are maternity photographers who offer client closets with maternity gowns you can borrow for your photoshoot.

Accessories of props for a beach maternity shoot:

A few things to consider adding to your beach photo shoot:

  • flower crown: add an element of whimsy with a flower crown
  • your partner: Get some great couple portraits of you two celebrating this exciting and intimate time adding to your family!
  • the rest of the fam: Do you already have children? Turn this into a family session and get them in front of the camera, too!
  • professional makeup: Have you ever had your makeup done for a photoshoot before? One way to guarantee you look and feel like a supermodel is enlisting the professionals. Ask your photographer if they have any recommendations because they might have someone they work with regularly.
  • professional hair: in the same vein, give yourself a break and let someone else do the heavy lifting when it comes to styling those luscious pregnancy locks
  • maternity shapewear: Don’t underestimate the power of great shapewear for your maternity photos. This is an absolute must if you go with a bodycon dress but it can also be a good idea for some flowier pieces, too. I’ll include my favorite shapewear recs below but this cooling slip is my absolute favorite for smoothing everything out and keeping you comfortable.
  • a sentimental piece of jewelry: do you have a necklace with your baby’s initials on it? a ring from a great grandma whose middle name your daughter will share? capture these sentimental details in your photos

How many weeks should you be for beach maternity pictures?

This one is totally up to you but in general I recommend between 32 and 36 weeks. If this isn’t your first pregnancy, you could take them earlier. In most of these pictures I am only 26 weeks with my fourth baby.

You want to be big enough to really show off your beautiful baby bump (and I like documenting as late as possible to showcase how miraculous the female body is!). That said, a lot of women swell and get very uncomfortable toward the end. I don’t love getting photographed the last few weeks of any pregnancy. If you’re booking a photographer, a good time to aim for is 35 weeks with your first pregnancy and 32-34 for subsequent pregnancies.

A few beach maternity photoshoot ideas:

Any questions about beach maternity photo sessions? Leave them below!

outfit details:

Green Dress: Soon Maternity // Light Blue Dress: Angel Maternity

Shapewear : Blanqi Cami Slip (full review of this FANTASTIC maternity staple here)

Other maternity shapewear I love:

Don’t own any maternity shapewear yet? If you’re going to wear a bodycon maternity dress I cannot recommend these enough. Plus, the one I’m wearing here from Blanqi is made from a cooling fabric so everything is MORE comfortable and LESS hot while wearing it.

Shop Maternity Shapewear

#1 Pick

This is slip I used and LOVED under maternity dresses during my last pregnancy. It is pricier and worth every penny. This made a big difference under my maternity bodycon dresses.

#2 Pick

This budget find will get to you in two days with prime shipping and has over 5000 positive reviews on Amazon.

#3 Pick

This budget find will get to you in two days with prime shipping and has over 5000 positive reviews on Amazon.



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