Love them or hate them, elaborate celebrity maternity photo shoots are a pop culture trend that’s probably here to stay. Many celebs tend to enjoy keeping the early days of their pregnancy quiet, avoiding the stress often caused by prying paparazzi and nosy fans.
However, when a famous mom-to-be finally does decide to confirm that there’s a bun in the oven, it’s usually in the form of an artistic, and sometimes over-the-top, maternity shoot with all the bells and whistles. If you have access to the brightest creative minds in the world and the means to fund the lavish announcement, why not go all out?
When it comes to stunning, artistic maternity shoots Demi Moore immediately comes to mind. She was one of the first high-profile women to popularize and modernize the custom of a maternity shoot. Revered photographer Annie Leibovitz captured a gorgeous nude portrait of a pregnant Moore for a 1991 Vanity Fair cover.
At the time, Moore was seven months along with her second child with then hubby Bruce Willis, when the photograph went on to be one of the most influential pictures of all time. In fact, Serena Williams had her own iconic shoot for Vanity Fair (also shot by Leibovitz) that referenced the timeless Moore image.
Nowadays many celebrity mamas practically blind us with their pregnancy glows in extraordinary shoots. Whether submerged completely under water, surrounded by flowers, or perched high in barely-there wardrobe, these moms gave us much to talk about with these major maternity moments.
Count on Beyoncé to break the Internet with one maternity photo. The global superstar announced that she was expecting twins back in June 2017 with a garden-themed photo snapped by Ethiopian artist Awol Erizku.
“We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over,” she captioned the image of herself cradling her growing bump. “We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes.” The Instagram photo garnered over 11 million likes.
Beyoncé posted more of the ethereal maternity photos in which she is pictured next to her eldest daughter Blue Ivy. She even pushed the limit with a few underwater shots.
In less than two years, Cassie has had one heck of a glow up in the love department. After ending a longterm relationship with Diddy, she went on to find her soul mate in celebrity trainer Alex Fine (who makes no secret of the fact that he worships the ground this beauty walks on).
The couple got married in a private ceremony when Cassie was seven months pregnant. In 2019 she gave birth to their daughter, Frankie. The happy couple sprinkled good vibes all over our timeline with photos of their beautiful child.
A year later we were pleasantly surprised when the singer announced her second pregnancy. A photo of her bathed in golden sunlight, and baring her baby bump while rocking some dramatic baby hairs left us speechless.
3. Monique Samuels
Monique Samuels did not half-step during her underwater maternity shoot in 2019. The Real Housewives of Potomac star gave us mermaid vibes while pregnant with her third child, which is quite an achievement considering she’s afraid of the water.
In a blog post, Samuels revealed the special reason she decided to face her fear for this special occasion. “Being that I suffered a miscarriage previously, I wanted to do something that speaks about life and rebirth,” she said. “What better way to represent this than water!”
Photographer Kristina Sherk and her team traveled to Samuels’ residence to capture the aquatic glamour shots, and the reality TV fave’s husband and children even got in on the action. Talk about commitment!
4. Cardi B
The “Bodak Yellow” rapper channeled her inner Diana Ross for this artistic and floral maternity shoot with photographer Jora Frantzis. The ready-to-pop entertainer was filmed in all of her pregnant glory, highlighted in more than her usual ornate style.
Draped in a silk overlay and gold bangles, Cardi announced that she and Offset had welcomed their baby girl, Kulture Kiari Cephus, on July 10, 2018.
5. Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj went full-on Barb mode with the announcement of her first child, to the delight of her fans. The “Megatron” rapper sported a classic yellow bob wig, a bedazzled floral bikini, and sky-high pumps in her maternity shoot.
A final maternity photo, shot by David LaChapelle, showed Minaj baring her belly in a Virgin Mary–themed pic. The queen vibes were on high as she embraced her final stages of pregnancy before taking time off to enjoy her baby boy (her son’s name has yet to be revealed). We’ll be waiting with bated breath for those first photos of baby Minaj!