Throughout my pregnancy I took photos of everything. I have lots of progress pictures of my belly as it grew, and I was lucky enough to work with my cousin multiple times for maternity sessions as well. But one day at home I was browsing pinterest and really wanted to try out some gorgeous maternity photos I had been inspired by. So I called up my mom and we DIY’d it.
Setting up the space
When taking photos at home, a clean background is key. If there is too much background noise it will distract from the focus of the photo, you! To set up my space, I used a spare white bed sheet and some push tacks to secure it up on the wall. The bottom half I draped down and across my bed so that I could sit on it as well. The result was a nice clean canvas for our photos. The sheet we used was actually pretty badly stained in spots but if you have even basic editing abilities that’s an easy fix.
First, you need a camera. If you’re reading this article from your cellphone, guess what? You’ve got your camera. Most smartphones come with at least a 12 megapixel camera as standard, which is just as good as a mid range DSLR. A DSLR camera gives you greater control of your focus and exposure, but it’s not necessary. You’ll also want to have any props you want nearby and ready to use. A prop can be baby shoes, books, a special toy, or cut out photo props. Your imagination is your only limit here. You should also have handy a stool, so your photographer can take pictures from higher angles too.
The key to great photos is proper lighting. Dark rooms with artificial light will result is photo ‘noise’. This is when a photo looks grainy or almost fuzzy. There isn’t much you can do when a photo has too much noise. Noise isn’t something that can be edited out of a photo. If you are relying on indoor light alone you will also find your photos to be quite yellow. It is best to have lots of natural light. If you can, set up and take your photos is a room with large windows. Take photos midday when the room is brightly lit. We took my photos in my bedroom, where one whole wall is a window. But it was a very cloudy day and we also needed all the bedroom lights on so my photos did take on a bit of that yellow-ness.
Work the angles
When doing a photoshoot, take lots of photos. Have your photographer change their angle just slightly for each photo. Have them take photos from down low, and then get them up on a stool to photograph from above. When you are in a pose, make small and constant changes. Tilt your head slightly more or less to one side. Change your smile from closed mouth to full and toothy. Drop your shoulders down and away from your shoulders to elongate your neck. Take at least 20-30 photos in each pose before moving on to the next. It’s easier and quicker to take lots of photos and go over them later, rather than to stop and check after each picture is taken. By making those small constant adjustments, you’re more likely to end up with more photos that you like, and more that you can share, rather than 10 of a nearly identical photo.
Editing your photos afterwards helps you clean the image up and make everything just a bit more presentable. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom are the best programs for editing photos, but they require a bit of practice and knowledge. If you or your photographer know how to use them, great! For this photoshoot, I had my mum’s help, and she is adept with photography and editing. But when I don’t have her help, I use iphone editing apps to get the job done. Picsart photo editing app is my personal favourite.
That’s how to do a DIY maternity photo session at home. Have you done something like this? Let me know in the comments below and share your photos with me! Click ‘like’ below to get facebook updates when new posts are uploaded to the blog!