January 2021 // The Beauty Edition

Maternity Posing | Donatella Nicolini

If you’re a portrait photographer, you know how important it is to master posing, especially if you work with clients who are not professional models. As a portrait photographer specialized in maternity portraits, my eye is trained to look for poses and angles that flatter every woman’s body shape while showing the belly and the curves of pregnancy. There are many things to keep in mind when posing a maternity client or model. Their ability to pose and stretch is not the same as a non-pregnant lady. Pregnant women also get tired easily and need more breaks during the photoshoot, as you can expect from a person who is carrying the weight of a baby inside her body. Now, every pregnancy is different and every woman is different. You’d be surprised how strong, stretchy, fit and energetic some pregnant ladies can be. But even then, as a photographer, you should always respect the fact that they’re going through a very delicate time in their life. You should not be pushing them into doing risky poses or keeping them in a pose for too long just for the sake of the picture you’re creating. I make sure to always pay attention to their facial expressions and any body language or signals that show that my client is not comfortable doing a certain pose. I ask her how she feels posing like that and tell her she must let me know if anything feels off or painful at any point. Don’t just expect them to tell you. People might get shy or be intimidated by your authority as a professional figure or by this new experience they’re living. They might not tell you right away if something hurts or they’re not feeling great doing a pose you asked them to do. I believe it’s my job to notice if my model or client is not feeling at ease and to take care of it.

So the first thing to consider while posing a pregnant body is safety.

That being said, it doesn’t mean maternity posing has to be boring and always the same—not at all!

I enjoy experimenting and I have so much fun challenging myself to find new posing options to add variety in my portfolio and to my clients’ galleries.


For sure it helps to enhance the best features in anyone’s body and conceal the parts that are not as strong or the best looking. Overall, when done right, posing can really change and improve the appearance of the subject we are photographing. This can be a major confidence booster for our clients when they see how good they look directly on camera just by following the photographer’s directions and posing in a specific way.

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