Life during pregnancy is far from perfect! Your days are spent waddling around as gracefully as you can manage, dealing with the strangest cravings, and feeling extremely tired.
At the same time, you know that you’re going through one of the most extraordinary things any human being can go through. So documenting your baby bump as you go through pregnancy is a beautiful way to capture it.
Taking regular pregnancy photos helps you see how your body changes, and how your little baby is growing inside you. These pictures will be fantastic to look back on in the many years to come. There are lots of ways you can document your baby bump, and here are some of the most creative to give you some inspiration:
1. Take weekly photos
Obviously, you see how much your body changes while you’re pregnant. But it will amaze you to see the differences in your pictures from week to week! This is why weekly photos are a fantastic way to document your pregnancy. Line yourself up against the same background – preferably wearing the same pose – every single week, to document your growing bump. Take a pic on your phone, and keep a record of it. I’ve shared some easy tips for you here.
Soon, you will have a collection of photos that show your body gradually changing. It looks incredible as you see your bump growing and growing! If possible, tweak your camera settings, so a grid shows up. This isn’t essential, but it helps you line yourself up in the exact same pose every single time. I find this helps you make your at-home shots look even better when you see it through a viewfinder with helpful lines to guide you.
2. Create a plaster cast
If you really want to get hands-on and creative, then creating a plaster cast is the way to go. It’s something you can do at home with the help of your partner. But be warned it is relatively messy! So make sure you have some old towels or sheets on the floor while you prep your cast.
Essentially, all you have to do is cover your baby bump in a plaster mix, then wait for it to harden. Then, it can be removed, and you have a perfect plaster mould of your bump. With this, you have an everlasting memory of your pregnancy. Plus, it’s so strange comparing the plaster to your stomach a few months after giving birth. It will amaze you how much bigger you were when you were carrying your baby!
Also, I think taking a picture with the plaster cast on – then another with it off after your pregnancy – can make for a really funny photo.
3. Close-up natural shots
Wherever possible, I encourage you to bring out the natural beauty of your pregnancy. Show people what it’s really like to be pregnant; let them see your baby bump, warts and all. Take close-up shots of your stomach where your bump is the main focus of the image. I’m talking stretch marks, blemishes – everything!
You see so many heavily edited pregnancy pics these days, so it’s good to have one that’s true to you. Avoid editing this photo too much, the imperfections are what make it your bump, your pregnancy and your baby. It gives a more honest account of your journey to motherhood, and it can be a very empowering image as well. I’ve found that people will respect you for being so open and honest, and it also helps you learn to love your body’s various stages throughout your pregnancy.
4. A belly silhouette
A very creative way to document your bump is by taking silhouette photos. Here, you present yourself on a white background, but your body is all in black. It’s such a unique shot, mainly because you really get a sense of how your body changes shape. The bump seems more pronounced than your typical side-on shot.
The best way to take good silhouette photos at home is by creating a good light source. Windows work really well, and you can put a white sheet in front of them for a better effect. Always shoot into the light to create the silhouette effect for the images. You may have to play around with things before you find the perfect shot, or you can also hire a photographer 😉
5. Use props to demonstrate the size of your baby
Displaying photos of your baby bump will give some idea as to how your pregnancy is progressing. But a really fun way to add something extra to this is to get some props involved. The idea is that you take your typical baby bump pics, but you hold an accessory that’s around about the same size as your baby. You can choose any props you want, but fruit and veg tend to be the best, purely because of the shapes and sizes.
I love this concept as it means the very first picture will show you holding something small, like a potato. Then, by the end, you’re holding up pumpkins! The image of the prop next to your belly also gives so much context as to what a magnificent achievement pregnancy is. By the end, you’ll be holding your large prop and thinking to yourself; wow, how on earth do I have something this big inside me!
6. Get professional maternity pics
All of the ideas I’ve listed here are things you can do on your own at home. But if you really want to get some expert pics, then think about hiring a professional maternity photographer. You can really capture photos you want with more detail and quality – without having to tinker around with lighting, tripods or camera settings!
This is particularly helpful for some of the more technical photo ideas – like close-ups or silhouettes. Professional pregnancy pics are also framed better, and they are ideal for printing out and hanging up around your house. Plus (and I may be biased here!) a professional photographer actually has quite a bit of experience doing this type of thing. So, they can offer some advice on different photo styles and how to creatively document your pregnancy and baby bump.
As you can see, there are some pretty fun and creative ideas to document the stages of your pregnancy. Try out as many of these as you like – give yourself plenty to look back on when you’re a mother. Of course, if you do want to hire a professional maternity photographer in the Essex area, then don’t hesitate to book your session here below!
About the photographer: Sue is a professional portrait photographer based in Harlow, Essex and she specialises in baby and child portraiture. Being a parent, she understands just how special your child is to you and her aim is to produce a collection of images that are natural and meaningful to your family. No two moments are ever the same and she wants to perfectly capture those early precious memories and the natural character of your child. For more information please call 01279 433392, visit the Sue Kennedy Photography website and follow Sue on Facebook or Instagram.