While it’s really special to get a professional pregnancy photo shoot, you will also want to get other lovely photos of yourself throughout your pregnancy. Colette Horter is a professional photographer who specialises in maternity, baby, and family photography. We caught up with her to get her favourite tricks for taking your own beautiful pregnancy photos, at home. Here’s what she had to say.
Because these are pregnancy photos, you want them to show off your preggie bump. Wear something tight and turn to the side to best show off your tummy. Taking these photos after week 30 is ideal, as your tummy will be quite pronounced, but it should still be a while before you go into labour.
Good lighting makes all the difference
Look for an area with good, even, natural light. Even light means the lighting needs to look the same all over your body. Take a test photo to make sure that there are no shadows over your eyes, and that the one side of your body isn’t in the shadow while the other is in the light.
It’s all about timing
If you want to take some outdoor photos, plan to take them either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the light is most flattering. If that isn’t an option, the next best thing is to avoid direct sunlight, which can create stark shadows. Rather opt for a spot where there is even shade (i.e. not under sparse trees where light shines through and creates mottling patterns), or take your photos on an overcast day.
Using props can be a lot of fun, but you should always try to use something classic – like a book (think Beatrix Potter or A.A. Milne), the baby’s tiny shoes, or the sonogram photo – so that you won’t look back in five years’ time and wonder, “What was I thinking?”
If you want to take selfies, it can be hard to get your bump in the picture, so you need to be inventive – take photos of your shadow on the wall or ground, or find a big mirror and photograph your reflection.
Aside from doing the classic poses, try to also come up with a few unusual shots. Take a photo from above your tummy to your toes (if you can still see them). Get a sibling involved in the photo – ask them to hold a sonogram photo or to kiss your tummy, or take a shot including the family pets. Take a photo of your and hubby’s shoes, with your baby’s tiny shoes in-between. Secure your camera in a tree and take a photo of yourself through the leaves and branches. Put the self-timer on your camera/phone and move it around to get low and high angles, and photos close to and further away from you. The beauty of digital photos is that you can take as many pictures as you want to, and simply delete those you don’t like!
Be true to who you are
Be true to who you are as an individual, as a couple and as a family. For example, if you are a stylish couple, then dress up for the photos and sit on a beautiful stylish couch in a classic setting. If your partner has a comic book or figurine collection, then bring the theme into the photos. If you love spending time outdoors then rather opt for photos in nature than inside.
Have fun with it!
Above all, make sure you have lots of fun documenting this incredible journey that you are on.
A Growing Tummy Series
The idea behind a growing tummy series is that you take regular photos throughout your pregnancy, which show the growth of your tummy over this period. You can take one of these photos every month, but can also get away with photographing every second month – such as months two, four, six and eight – which is less of a commitment and still works well.
For best effect, make sure you:
- Choose a spot with great light
- Take the photo in the same spot every time (for example, mark the spot with a small piece of tape on the floor), and stand in the exact same position
- Make sure the person who is taking the photo is also in the same place every time
If you want to get the best effect, take all of these photos in the same clothes. However, remember that the clothes you choose will need to still fit you in month eight, so try to opt for a top that has room for tummy growth and pants with an elastic band, or with which you can use a pants extender.
For something extra special, take a photo of you and your new baby after the birth, in exactly the same spot.
App-solute Creative Freedom!
Make your photos even more gorgeous with these fun and easy-to-use image editing apps. All of these are for iPhone and Android, and free to download.
- PicsArt comes with lots of functions and effects. You can rotate, resize and crop photos, add text, stickers or frames, draw your own doodles and make collages. The latest version even lets you make animated gifs!
- Pixlr Express lets you replace traditional desktop editors with its many handy tools – including filters and overlays, collages, frames, text and lighting effects. And best of all? It has blemish and red-eye removal, as well as teeth whitening. Your pregnant selfies will be flawless, like you.
- SnapSeed offers a range of filters, as well as light leaks and lens flares to add a dreamy feel to your pics. Plus it has a removal tool so you can remove unwanted objects from your pics!
- VCSO has become one of the most popular photo editing apps, with lots of filters and editing tools. It will turn your phone into a camera, giving you the freedom to do things like select the focus of your photo, adjust the exposure, set the white balance, and