Posted: Jun 28, 2012 10:00 AM
It wasn't too long ago that pregnant women who bared their naked bellies in maternity photos were cutting edge. But lately, it seems that more and more moms-to-be are stripping down to their pregnant birthday suits (or close to it!) to document their pregnant bodies. Where do you stand on nude or boudoir-style maternity photos? Here's what real moms and professional photographers have to say!

Nude & proud

"By the time I got to my third pregnancy, which I knew would also be my last pregnancy, I had the urge to document how great I looked (mainly because I was already running around after two children during this pregnancy!)." A mom of three from Boston tells us why she chose to take nude maternity photos, "Plus, I wanted to have something to show my daughters someday when they were pregnant themselves."

Following the current trend of women having boudoir photos taken, maternity photo shoots are also going sexy, with pregnant mamas-to-be showing more than just their enlarged bellies. You can easily take it as far as you'd like -- from wrapping yourself in pretty fabric or the sheets on your bed to give the illusion of being nude, to busting out some gorgeous lingerie (yes, they make maternity sizes!), to taking it all off -- this is a far cry from being in Playboy. husband was so surprised and thrilled -- he keeps one in a frame on his nightstand...

Another mom, Cindy Matthews, shares that she wasn't planning on going nude during her maternity photo shoot, but she's so glad she did. "It was a spur of the moment decision and just felt right at the time. And, my husband was so surprised and thrilled -- he keeps one in a frame on his nightstand where it's hidden from guests!"

Jenni Sandmeyer, a photographer in Seattle who often does maternity photo shoots for her clients, tell us, "I strongly encourage women to do at least a few semi-nude shots during their maternity session. Even if they don't want to display the photos on their walls afterwards, they are always glad they had those shots, at least for themselves."

What the professionals say

Considering going nude for your maternity photo shoot? Jenni assures us that it's not as painful or awkward as you may think. "We ease into the shoot and usually start with photos with their clothes on -- maybe a cute fitted shirt or dress to show off the bump. I'll often get them talking about the baby and how excited they are, which helps them feel more relaxed." Jenni says that she also uses humor to make her clients forget that they are next to naked, "Some of the best shots are when they think I'm not shooting. That is often when you get the most natural photographs."

Tips for having a successful nude maternity photoshoot

  1. Find the right photographer. Check out their work online and meet with them before the photo shoot to make sure it's a good fit.
  2. Have a vision for your photos, but keep flexible. We know it's hard to go with the flow when you're pregnant, but give it your best shot. Let the photographer take the lead.
  3. Consider bringing a friend along for support... and to make you laugh. Having someone there who knows you and can tell you how great you look will make you feel even more comfortable, which will result in the best possible photos.

More on photographs

Outdoor photography tips
What to do with family photos
How to style your family for a professional photo session