DIY maternity photos at home

Throughout my pregnancy, I had toyed with the idea of getting some maternity photos done. Partly for fun (I was itching to plan/ be involved in a shoot again) and partly for memory’s sake.

When the third trimester rolled around however, water retention and general tiredness just seemed to take over. The thought of frolicking in a field while sweating buckets really didn’t appeal to me. What’s more, purchasing all our baby necessities also increased our expenditure greatly and paying for maternity photos just seemed to take the backseat in terms of priority.

So what better to do than to do it yourself! We aren’t too picky and like things being simple, so random photos at home suited us just fine.

p/s I’ll be sharing some tips at the end of this post!

maternity2 This was us at 32 weeks. Dan was helping me take some profile photos after work and we decided to take some spontaneous photos together. These turned out to be my favourite!

DIY maternity photos | micheleng.com
Another day in the week, since my tripod and camera were already out, I decided to take another random photo while arranging photo frames in our home. Notice how my legs were bright red from my calves to my feet? Yup, glorious pregnancy hormones at work!

DIY maternity photos | micheleng.com
This final one was taken in our bedroom in front of our blackout curtains. I noticed one day that our bathroom (entrance on the right of the photo) provided a really nice outline on our bump and got Dan to take a few shots in the morning.

We were 37 weeks here and boy did I feel like a beached whale most of the time. Turning around in bed was a major affair and I didn’t think I’d get much larger than this (surely not?!). But I did.

We didn’t get a shot of me at 39 weeks before Isaac’s birth, but safe to say, this boy was pretty large for my tiny frame. My friends didn’t understand why I said I couldn’t drive anymore until I showed them this photo. I suppose other women would have been able to, but my short legs coupled with a huge bump meant that my belly was right at the steering wheel in order for my feet to reach the pedals – i.e. not safe!

I’m far from an professional or amateur photographer even, but I learnt some important things while trying to get our photos together at home and thought I’d share some with you in case you find it handy!

  • Find a source of natural light. Natural light tends to give you the best photos and be creative with the direction of the light coming in! For the first two shots, we had natural light all around from our windows, whereas the final photo had light coming in from the side which gave a different feel. We didn’t have time for a backlit photo for a silhouette shot but those would look pretty amazing too! :)
  • Move around the house and try different backdrops and props. As most of our shots were quite spontaneous, we didn’t really use any props in the photos. However, I’ve seen some that are the cutest such as holding a little pair of sneakers for a boy, and so on. If there’s something that means a lot to you, feel free to include it in the shots. If not, try to move to different parts of your home to get a variety of shots instead of always standing in front of a white wall – we were quite guilty of that and the darker bedroom shot was a refreshing change.
  • Be in a good mood. If you’re like me (my husband and I call me ‘hangry’ because I get pretty grumpy and listless when I’m hungry), you might want to fill up before and during the shoot. Halfway through some of the photos I got hungry again and couldn’t smile nicely – or rather, Dan said my profile photos weren’t turning out well and we had to stuff our faces in between. Wear clothes that are comfortable and make sure you’re well rested if possible.
  • Include your loved ones in some shots. This makes for beautiful memories and as someone who is awkward in front of the camera alone, taking the photos with Dan took the least number of tries (most repeats were trying to get the remote timing to work for us) and my smiles were the brightest and most natural (go figure!).
  • Reflect on the shots you’ve chosen. After taking these photos and looking back on them time and again during my pregnancy, it made me live in the moment of being pregnant and cherish the experience (as much as I disliked all the nasty symptoms). Despite feeling like a bloated, terrible-looking blob most of the time, the photos made me feel less like one while looking at them objectively.

Hope you enjoyed this post and that some of the tips come in handy whether you’re taking maternity shots or just random photos of yourself at home with your loved ones! :)

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