Are you pregnant and thinking about capturing this special time with a DIY home maternity shoot but not quite sure how to do this?
Pregnancy is certainly one of the most special times in a woman’s life and it’s so lovely to have some beautiful bump photos to look back on.
I had a professional maternity shoot planned but due to the COVID-19 lockdown it sadly wasn’t possible to go ahead with this. I am used to taking my own photos for my instagram, so instead I decided to take my own maternity photos at home.
So if you want to give a DIY home maternity shoot a try as well, I hope the below will encourage you to give it a try and help you to create some beautiful maternity photos that you will cherish forever!
If you are planning on taking the photos on your own or if you want your partner in the photos as well, you ideally want to use a camera with a tripod that has a remote control function. If you don’t have a camera with a remote control function you can also set your camera on self-timer, it just means you’ll have to run back and forth to the camera a lot. And if you don’t have a tripod you just need to experiment with other props to put your camera on but this means, depending on the type of camera you have, you might only be able to shoot photos in landscape format.
If you don’t have a camera you can also get away with using your phone in connection of a selfie stick that has a tripod function and an incorporated remote, I would just recommend not using the front facing “selfie” camera as the quality of these images is a lot lower than the images you can take with the main camera.
I took all my photos by myself with a tripod as my husband doesn’t really enjoy taking photos and has a weird allergy to being photographed, but of course if you can get someone to help you shoot the photos this makes things a lot easier.
Preparation is everything! Make sure you plan what type of shots you want to take on the day. You can get inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram or the websites of professional photographers that specialise in maternity shoots.
You can also think about incorporating things like a cuddly toy, scan photos, a onsie, shoot in baby’s nursery or if you have other kids already, let them join in the photo as well.
This is my Pinterest “Maternity Shoot” board if you are looking for some quick inspiration.
Plan your outfit(s)
Based on your shot list, decide on what you want to wear ahead of your shoot. You might want to consider some outfit changes for the different shots you are planning to make the photos more varied. I won’t tell you what to wear as this really depends on your personal style but ideally I’d pick something that really shows off your bump.
You can also get yourself long, flowy maternity shoot dresses on Amazon quite cheaply (I went for this one) that you will see in a lot of professional shots.
Make-up and hair
You don’t have to go over-board but it’s definitely worth making sure you are happy with your hair and putting on some natural make up. You won’t see the make-up as much in the photographs anyways, but it will just make the photos look more flawless and you’ll probably also feel more confident in front of the camera. I personally find that wearing some lipstick really helps to not make my face look too washed out.
Where to shoot
Carefully pick out where in your home to shoot and pay special attention to the background as this plays a huge role in setting the tone of your photo. I suggest trying to keep the background as clutter free as possible as you don’t want to distract from the actual image you are trying to capture. You can even shoot just in front of a plain wall to draw maximum attention to your bump. If you want to create an interesting background you can for example think about taping some flowers to the wall.
Try to shoot with natural light but avoid standing in front of a window. Do not switching on the lights in your room as you risk creating harsh shadows that you ideally want to avoid. If you find your pictures too dark, you can always very easily brighten them up later on (see the “Editing” section further down), so don’t worry about this.
To keep it as simple as possible, I have been shooting all my photos with the “auto” or “point and shoot” setting. Set the image quality at the highest setting so you have the best possible image quality in case you want to edit your photos later on or print them in a bigger format.
Take some test photos first to make sure you’re happy with the lighting and background and work out the best angle to shoot from and set up the camera accordingly.
Once you’re happy with the set up take LOTS of photos with slight variations so you have a bigger chance later on to be 100% happy with the outcome.
The next step is totally optional. You might be completely happy with the photos how they are but if they turned out too dark or with too much exposure for example you can easily adjust this. There are lots of free photo editing apps available that you can download to your phone to make those final finishing touches to your photos.
My favourite apps are Lightroom CC and Snapseed, both available for iOs and Android.
I mainly use Lightroom to adjust the brightness, shadows and saturation of my photos and the “healing tool” in Snapseed to remove little “defects” from the image (e.g. a socket in the wall). If you only have certain areas of the photo that you want to brighten up or darken, you can do this in Snapseed using the “brush” function and just selecting the area of your image that you want to change.
You can also play around with cropping your images; this can sometimes really enhance the effect of a photo. The photo at the beginning of this post for example looked better just focusing on the bump and cutting out the rest of my upper body, in my opinion.
That’s it really. You see, no rocket science! If I can do it, you can do your own DIY home maternity shoot too!
If you’re currently pregnant you might also be interested in my blog post “Baby products I will and won’t be using this time”.