DIY Maternity Photo Shoot

DIY Maternity Shoot - Capturing the Whole Family
Make sure you get one of the whole family. Your camera timer is your friend!

One thing we don’t have a lot of with a third baby on the way is disposable income. So when I see that a maternity photo shoot can run into the several hundreds of dollars and only includes photo rights if you’re willing to pay (a lot) extra, I knew that if I wanted to capture any photos of this glorious time of my life, I’d have to do it myself.

Neither my hubby nor I are professional photographers, nor do we have really amazing photo editing skills. But I don’t want overly photoshopped photos anyway. I want us – looking like us – captured on film. I also wanted a way to commemorate how it was with just the four of us before our final baby came along.

DIY Maternity Shoot - Mommy and Daddy
If your child is old enough, let him have a go at capturing a photo. Dexter took this one, and he’s only 3!

So when we discovered we live only two blocks from one of the most beautiful photo spots in Salt Lake City, we knew it was a great sign. Garden Park Ward is a meeting house and garden which is owned and operated by the LDS Church. As such, there are a ton of rules if you want to take photos there, including certain days of the week where it is prohibited. Respectful of this, and because weekdays are hard, we decided to get the kids dressed nicely and head on over on a Saturday late afternoon to try and catch some nice light.

DIY Maternity Shoot - Find interesting light and scenery
Adding visual interest into the background is a great way to grab the viewer

We were not disappointed. Not only did we get some GREAT shots of the kids, but Mark even stepped up as photographer to ensure that there were plenty of me and my ginormous bump!

DIY Maternity Shoot - Get the kids involved
I love this photo of Dexter gently holding my bump.
DIY Maternity Shoot - Get the kids involved
Once Daniel saw Dexter holding my belly, he wanted to feel it, too.

I edited my favorites in PicMonkey (which is an awesome online photo editor that you should totally check out if you want an easy but fun way to edit your photos), and I am super happy with how they turned out. Sure some of them have some creative effects but they ALL look like ME. And my kids. And my family. And that is exactly what I wanted.

DIY Maternity Shoot - Try strange angles to make the photo fun
I wasn’t sure about this one, but I actually love the way it turned out. You can really see the shape of my belly!

I gave Mark creative freedom here, and even though I felt very awkward in front of the camera a lot of the time, I am really glad I gave him the permission to be different. He wasn’t afraid to get strange angles or jump across water to try and get unique shots. And since he knows and loves me, he was kind to me, ensuring he didn’t capture anything I would not want to see – like my belly accidentally hanging out of my very non-maternity shirt!

DIY Maternity Shoot - Throw in a few candid outtake photos
This was a weird outtake that I thought was hilarious. I look like I’m doing the Thriller dance!

I do love candid photos, though. The kind when you’re not really posing, but just taking it all in, and you get caught off guard just being a mom. It’s my favorite kind of photo, but sadly it doesn’t happen much, as I’m the one usually with the camera!

DIY Maternity Shoot - Capture some candid moments as well as posed
High fiving Daniel after a successful shoot
DIY Maternity Shoot - Capture Movement. Capture Motherhood
Love this one Mark caught with me just walking to the next location with the boys
DIY Maternity Shoot - Capture Movement.
Another of us just walking and enjoying the location

It’s also fun to try to incorporate more traditional poses into your shoot. It may feel silly at the time, but it’s a classic for a reason. The ubiquitous heart on the belly is probably old hat and passe, but in ten or fifteen years, I will be happy that I did it.

DIY Maternity Shoot - Try traditional poses
I tried to make it interesting by using minimal color focus
DIY Maternity Shoot - Make sure you accentuate the bump!
Mark took this from across a pond. It’s a little fuzzy, but still really pretty.

I love all the photos that incorporate the kids into them. I wish I could have gotten more with Mark, but trusting the three year old only goes so far. Especially around rocks and water. But since this was a celebration of me being a mom, it made sense that there were lots of photos featuring the ones I already have as we all wait for their little brother to be born.

DIY Maternity Shoot - Focus on  motherhood
I love this photo as it shows how much fun we were all having
DIY Maternity Shoot - Show all your kids
This one came out super cute. Even with the kids not paying attention to the photographer, I still think it’s adorable

At the end of the day, though, I wanted a couple of photos of just me. I wanted this baby to feel special – to know how loved he was before he was even born. I wanted him to see that even though I went through hell for him, I did it happily, as I have for all my kids. I wanted to show him how beautiful I felt as an expectant mama. I wanted him to know that my love for him is absolute.

DIY Maternity Shoot - Smile at the camera like it's your new baby
I tried to smile at the camera like it was my new baby.
DIY Maternity Shoot - Relax and enjoy the experience
This was the hardest photo as climbing up on the railing was brutal on my aching back and legs – but totally worth it, as I LOVE this one

So there you have it. A whole DIY Maternity Photo Shoot for no cost, using our own camera, our own clothes, and a pretty little park just two blocks away. Give it a go yourself! Grab a friend or loved one to act as photographer and just see what happens.

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Katie Reed

Katie Reed

Katie Reed is a 38 year old mom blogger from Salt Lake City, UT. She is married to the man of her dreams and together they have four beautiful boys. Dexter is 9, Daniel is 7, Chester is 5 and Wilder is 2. She writes about living with mental health issues while navigating motherhood. Her blog focuses on tips and tricks for moms, information and parenting news, kid-friendly recipes and crafts. She loves to reflect on the humorous side of parenthood and shares the reality of her life, with a "warts and all" attitude.

6 Responses

  1. WOW! I am only 25 weeks but am SO doing this when I’m farther along! I have a great location in mind. These are breathtaking! Off to check out pic monkey now!

  2. Oh katie these photos are wonderful! Such a lovely idea to capture a precious time in your lives. I know this pregnancy has been hard for you but you really have handled it all so well. Much love to you, cannot wait to see baby! X x x x

  3. I saw a couple of these on pinterest, and they are so lovely! I LOVE the one of the two boys holding into your belly! Amazing how well they can turn out with no professionals!

  4. There is nothing sexier than a glowing pregnant woman. These photos are beauteous and show how desirable you are in your natural state of motherhood. I might have taken a few photos of you in a flowing virginal white gown and bare feet with flowers in your hair to really play up this gorgeous time but even as you are you look like a perfect round goddess of sex and fertility. Your husband is a lucky lucky man.

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Katie Reed [A Mother Thing] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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