Leah O'Connell

client tips, Featured sessions, maternity, newborns

Maternity photos at home in Charlottesville

maternity photos at home
I'm Leah!

I’m obsessed with stories of family, creativity, and simple joys.  A nostalgia nerd, educator, wife, and mom of 3, I believe life’s most fun when you’re dreaming big and having kitchen dance parties. 

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There are so many reasons to choose to do your maternity photos at home, but my favorite is the ease and comfort of it for new parents. Maternity photos in today’s world can feel very dramatic, but for those who feel a quieter, cozier approach to celebrating their growing family, home is a perfect choice.

It’s an opportunity to really be present as a couple together, to honor what’s taking place and the love that started it all.

Especially if there are older siblings or pets involved, maternity photos at home can keep the stress level low and focus on the joy and connection of family as you anticipate a new baby.

maternity photos at home in Charlottesville, VA

Other benefits of maternity photos at home

Another bonus of choosing to do your maternity photos at home is that it’s a great location year-round, keeping you comfortably out of severe cold or sweating like crazy in the summer.

You also don’t have to have a perfectly styled, neat, or large home to use it as a location.

I’ll take you behind the scenes of a few shots from this session as an example!

maternity photos at home with big dog

Behind the scenes of a maternity session at home

This couple lived in a beautiful townhome, which meant that there were windows in the front and back of the house only, limiting our spaces significantly. Still no problem, though! You’ll see just how much variety we were able to achieve with a few small corners and windows.

creative poses for maternity photos at home
creative poses for maternity photos at home

This blue chair was initially turned facing away from the one large window in the townhome, but I loved the color along with the personality of the art and books on the shelves on the adjacent wall. I rearranged the furniture a bit to get the chair in a better spot for light and background. Last but not least, a playful pose and expression mixed with her more formal dress make this shot feel relaxed, vibrant, and elegant all at once.

poses for maternity photos at home

This image above (and the ones that follow along the white wall) are all taken in the baby’s future nursery. It was incredibly tiny, with just one window source in the front of the room. But the colors in the rug were so lovely with mama’s dress, so an overhead shot with her lying on the fug and her head slightly tilted toward the window worked beautifully.

Then, I moved the bassinet that was against that white wall into the closet so we could have a cleaner backdrop on the wall and more space to all fit! I love how clean and calm these images feel with the focus on just the people.

behind the scenes of maternity photos at home
maternity photos at home in pajamas
maternity photos at home, poses in kitchen

We wanted to try some shots in the kitchen so I used the countertops to get playful and use the light source from the back door. I edited out some hanging light fixtures to eliminate that extra distracting element coming out of their heads.

backyard maternity photos at home
behind the scenes maternity session at home

The backyard of this townhome was very simple and small – basically, a grill and this beautiful sette -that’s it! By shooting nice and tight with just the right angles, we captured all the relaxed vibes of hanging out together in their backyard without anything fancy.

charlottesville va maternity photos at home


Maternity photos at home are so special and can be such a gift as your family changes and maybe even moves away from that home someday. Your home doesn’t have to be fancy or perfect for it to be a wonderful location for photos.

For couples who are looking for a relaxed and personal approach to maternity photos, or if you just feel awkward in front of the camera, this could be the perfect option to keep things cozy so you can really enjoy the experience.

Here’s what this mama-to-be said about her maternity photos at home:

“You have woven magic! We love them all so much. [My husband] said that he felt you made me more comfortable than any other photographer we’ve spent time with – which is no easy feat as I flex my awkwardness like a superpower in front of the camera. Thank you!!”


Grab the best advice, local recommendations, and insights from Firefly mama tribe via the Newborn + motherhood resource guide 2.0 HERE.

Learn more about the Firefly experience.

Reach out to ask about or book your maternity photos at home!

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Hi, I'm Leah.
Family photographer, writer, educator.

I’m  one of the first to meet your newborn baby, the one who won't judge your clothes baskets and unmade beds, and the one who can capture the way your husband looks at you with a twinkle in his eye after 12 years of marriage. I believe in honoring people and telling stories.

I believe art has the power to light up the world in dark places, starting at home.