Like a woman who gives birth once a year, it’s time for my 3rd annual WTF maternity pics round-up. In the past, we’ve seen showy examples ranging from “basic” (painted bellies, heart hands, belly kisses) to “boudoir/pin-up/goddess/angel-style” (weird chiffon, close-ups, artsy angles, on the bed, wearing bad underwear, nude/semi-nude/in the bath/omg my eyes/why/why/why) — and yet each year, I still feel like some pregnancy belly submissions have been left unturned. I can only zero in on so many examples for this column, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a big, wide, round world of maternity photo shoot ideas out there. If you took just one look at my maternity pics submissions folder, you’d quickly see that the maternity photo landscape is both vast and growing. People are staging sexy selfies; hiring friends with expensive DSLR cameras and several hundred yards of chiffon to come over and roll around on the bed or in the backyard for a few hours; or they’re paying out the ass (presumably) for professional photos that will last a lifetime. Regardless of the approach, the one thing these maternity photos have in common is that they all get posted on Facebook (and probably Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, too).

That said, the one thing the images don’t all have in common is who’s in them. Sure, 100% of maternity pictures feature the pregnant mother-to-be, but only about half of them picture the dad-to-be, i.e. the person whose chromosomes make up fifty percent of the baby’s DNA. It makes perfect sense that the majority of the photo shoots focus solely on the mother — after all, she’s the one going through a physical transformation and preparing to birth a several-pound parasite — but the maternity pics that do feature fathers have a special je nais se quoi to them that aught not go unnoticed. I’ve posted a few examples on STFU, Parents (who can forget the Atlas God pose? Or this shirtless guy?), but today’s column is totally devoted to couple’s photo shoots and how completely weird, creepy, ridiculous, and/or emotional they can be. Let’s dig in, shall we?