Don’t you just love a good bump photo? Every time I see another social media pregnancy announcement, I get excited for the flood of bump shots about to invade my newsfeed. First time moms, especially, are great at documenting that balloon blowin’ up.
First, let me just say that I am not a great photographer. But I knew before I was even pregnant with my first child that I wanted to photograph it, and not just in a snapshot, mirror-selfie kind of way (though nothing wrong with that). I wanted to be able to hang these on my gallery walls. I wanted my daughter to see how much I loved her right from the very start. I wanted the photos to look as empowered as I felt. Simple, natural and beautiful.
What I didn’t realize was just how much work it would be. Or how much I wouldn’t feel like getting all dolled up. Towards the end of my pregnancy, it would sometimes take me an hour just to get dressed, made up and get a shot I didn’t feel absolutely whale-ish in.
I knew better the second time around.
Aren’t maternity silhouettes beautiful? They put the focus right where it should be – the bump. Plus, these shots are sooo forgiving, from both a photography and vanity standpoint.
- No makeup
- No clothes, except whatever will give you the shape you’re going for (think sports bra, leggings, flowy night gown or dress)
- No worries about “moon face” or showing off those new love handles you’re sportin’
Don’t believe me? For comparison, here are both photos from my 38th week of pregnancy for my first child and my second child. I’m 25 pounds heavier in the silhouette. Trust me, it was not all baby.
- A camera. I used my iPhone.
- A tripod or something tall enough to take a shot straight from about eye level. I used my step-ladder with a tool tray.
- Camera timer. I used the Camera+ app, which is also what I used as a…
- Black and white or monochromatic filter. I LOVE the Ansel filter on the Camera+ app (for those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know I use this filter a lot).
First, set up your shot. The key to this silhouette is finding a brightly backlit area. For me, this was in front of a bedroom window that gets direct sunlight all day. It also happens to have white semi-sheer curtains I could pull shut for a smooth, fully lit background.
Next, set up your camera on the tripod or makeshift camera stand and adjust the angle and frame. Most camera phones have an autofocus that also adjusts lighting. Play around with the focal point, putting it on lighter and darker areas of the shot, to see how it affects how much detail is visible in your silhouette.
Now say cheese! Or don’t. You may have to take a few at first to get the pose and lighting right. Once you have the shot you want, apply the filter to polish it off. Voila. Frame-worthy bump art.