How to make your own maternity photo shoot at home
I have a beautiful baby boy, but before I had him, I had a huuuge belly with him in it. The days to his birth were getting longer and longer and I was getting extremely bored since I had already prepared everything for his arrival. One thing, however, that I seemed to had missed, was to think about having some maternity shots done, while I was still pregnant, because who knew when that was going to happen again, if ever. It was too late to schedule a photography session because most of my favourite photographers around had already been all booked. Not to mention that according to what I’d checked – I was a bit late for the train as the due date was approaching and the general recommendation was that such photo shoots were done in the 7th month, when the belly is “the right size”.
Well, it didn’t hurt trying to do it on my own – I had a fairly good camera and a lot of time – nothing was stopping me.
So here’s what I did. I started by gathering up some ideas online but ended up using Pinterest in this particular case, because it was much easier grouping all my ideas in one place, and it’s easy to find inspiration there. It had to be all inside shots, as I wasn’t prepared to pose in public, not to mention that for this I would’ve required a helper which wouldn’t have been easy to find.
Once I had it all figured out I started collecting my accessories. I gathered up some light-coloured blankets and scarves, some gift ribbons and that was pretty much it. Most of the scenes I had picked were clear of too many objects and the focus was either on the belly or on the mother, so it wasn’t difficult to prepare.
Then all I had to do was pick some spots at home where the lighting was right and there was not too much furniture, because I didn’t want to photos to be overcrowded. I had three “sets”:
- A chair covered with a blanket by the window – this one was easy to achieve. Natural light makes for the best photos I believe, but it shouldn’t be direct light. It is best when it is light outside, but you are in the share, because otherwise the light might make everything seem too sharp.
- Another chair – a wooden one (I barely fit in this one since it was way too small and I had to place my whole self + a leg in it). I covered the back and most of the visible parts of it with a light scarf, but because it was not the right colour, I made those photos black and white to reduce the contrast.
- The sofa – most comfortable location of all. I used one corner of it with no extra styling for some pictures. I also did another set of photos just of my belly, while I was lying down on my back, but I had a white sheet in the background, because I wanted this shot to show we were expecting a boy and it seemed like the brown sofa did not fit well with the blue ribbon I had.
And last but definitely not least, I had to prepare myself. I didn’t use to put on any make-up, but did have some at home for special occasions, so I did the best I could to make my face look even and natural. I styled my hair a little bit and picked comfy clothes, again in light colours, taking some inspiration from my ideas-board.
The actual shoot was a lot of trial and error. I made a few shots and then looked at what was wrong trying to fix it in the next few. I would do all shots with a timer shutter, as I wanted to look natural and not see my hand in each photo. I had a tripod so it was much easier balancing the camera around, but if you do not – you could just stack some boxes or books and place it on them.
That was all the physical work done. I was half-pleased half-tired, because moving around with such a huge belly was already a challenge. What was left to do was just touch-up the photos a bit. As I mentioned previously – I did turn some of them into black and white ones, as I like the feel of focusing on the image and not the colours sometimes, while at the same time taming some bolder colours, that I couldn’t hide otherwise.
Here are some of my favourite photos from my homemade shoot:
Let me know how you did it – did you have a professional photo shoot or did you do some pics at home like I did. I’d be interested to find out as baby number 2 is on the way and I’d like to do something similar again if I find the time and strength J