Why book a maternity photo session?

Pregnancy is a vulnerable but powerful time in a mother’s life. She may feel the most beautiful she’s ever been, or struggle with seeing herself as beautiful. A maternity photo shoot can help her see her beauty and document such a beautiful time in her life. Many women struggle with feelings of embracing their incredible bodies. As a mom of 2 myself, I absolutely love celebrating a woman’s beautiful, incredible body and documenting the time together before the transformation into a mother (of 1, of 2, or more) happens. Each pregnancy is an emergence, and unfolding into deeper depths of motherhood. Every person’s story begins with a mother, and I love to tell not only your story, but your child’s story.

I hear from many women that they don’t love maternity photos. I felt the same way! I struggled with embracing my body when I was pregnant with my first and was uncomfortable with the idea of a photo shoot solely focused on me and my belly. I cherish the photos now and both of my daughters love looking back at those photos now- they are snapshots in time, freezing life how it was before my world so wonderfully and fundamentally changed.

When to book maternity photos?

I recommend booking in the beginning of your second trimester! The best maternity photographers book up! Shooting between 28-34 weeks is ideal in order to shoot at a time where you feel your best, swelling is minimal but you have a gorgeous bump to show! While you definitely CAN shoot at later weeks, you run the risk of course of not feeling quite as beautiful, dealing with swelling and being less mobile and of course potentially going into labor early.

What to wear for maternity photos?

A lot of women struggle with what to wear for maternity photo shoots. Your size is changing constantly and many women don’t want to invest in an extensive wardrobe where they may only wear a particular outfit once or twice. I offer a ton of assistance in this! As a maternity photographer in Phoenix of over 12 years, I know what colors, styles and fabrics photograph best in each location throughout Phoenix. I have an ever growing client closet full of beautiful, high quality dresses available to use for free for your session. These are ethically manufactured, stunning quality dresses that are designed specifically to look great for maternity photos . Check out just a small selection of my dresses below!

Maternity Photo Ideas

Although I certainly LOVE the beauty of a gorgeous pregnant mama surrounded by beautiful nature, that’s not the only option there is! Beyond the typical ideas of a beautiful outdoor scenic area, I love more documentary style maternity sessions centered around your spouse. What do you love to do together right now? What will change once baby arrives? What do you want to remember about this time in your life?

In or Near Water

Water and women just go together. We are water, especially during pregnancy! There are many ways to incorporate water into your session. If you are pregnant in the summer, having your session in water, such as at the Salt River, is not only beautiful but practically necessary in order to beat the heat.


Underwater is perhaps my favorite medium for maternity photos and a very underrated one! So many people don’t know underwater maternity exists. Water supports the extra weight, taking a load off your back (literally) and has this magical quality about it. We can never control water, but she is a beautiful muse and her unpredictability always brings about beautiful photos I could not have imagined! That’s why I always suggest not becoming too tied to Pinterest style poses, and simply loosely holding ideas and allowing the water to move and help you create your own kind of magic. I’ve been shooting underwater maternity for well over 8 years and every session is gorgeous.

creative unique underwater maternity photo ideas Arizona
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In home

I had in home maternity photos with my first pregnancy. I included my husband, my dogs and my chickens! I was uncomfortable with a photo shoot devoted solely to my physical appearance, so I leaned into a more documentary style, showing our house and lives how they were in that moment before it shifted fundamentally and deepened in ways I could have never imagined. If this resonates with you, what do you want your session to look like? What to you want to document about your life right now? What are rituals and routines you do with your spouse now that will change? In hindsight, I actually wish I had done a couples’ maternity session, documenting our relationship together as it was then in an even deeper way than what my in home maternity photos did!

in home Phoenix maternity photos

You may be thinking- but my home isn’t beautiful! Or it doesn’t get enough light! As a Phoenix photographer of over 12 years, I assure you, you do not need a home straight out of Better Home & Gardens, nor do you need tons of light! I have great knowledge of light and, in a pinch, can even bring lighting into your home. In home photos have a quality about them that just can’t be replicated in terms of authenticity and realness and documenting real life!

Green spaces

So many native Arizonans want green spaces instead of desert! Surprisingly, there ARE plenty of green areas if you know where to look! You can see a few these areas outlined throughout my site on my elopement guide, family locations guide and other pages, but always reach out to me for more inspiration and ideas if you are looking for beautiful green locations in Phoenix for maternity photos!

In studio

The Phoenix area is blessed with an ever growing list of studios throughout the valley with beautiful backdrops, from a typical color backdrop style studio to many lifestyle studios with ever changing sets like spring flowers, Christmas set ups, and beautiful bedroom and lifestyle rooms. It’s also a great option if you love the idea of an in home session but don’t want to clean up or just love the look and variety available for studio sessions, this is the way to go!


Of course, Arizona has the best locations for desert maternity photos in my humble native Arizonan opinion. I’m definitely not biased or anything! I have tons of beautiful desert locations, so definitely reach out if you are looking for a desert location!


Mountains tend to go hand in hand with the desert here in Arizona! I think maternity photos with beautiful mountains in the background are so poetic and dreamy. I’m based out of Mesa, so I live very close to the Superstition Mountains and Salt River which have some stunning mountain backdrops, but I’ve shot mountains throughout the state!

What about newborn photos?

If you are looking for a lifestyle newborn photographer in Phoenix, I’d be happy to bundle a maternity session with a newborn session! Contact me!


Alyssa Campbell Arizona wedding photographer

Welcome! I’m an Arizona-based wedding & portrait photographer specializing in natural and documentary photos. My blog is where you can see my latest work as well as check out tips & the latest news. Following me on social media is another way to check out my recent work!