How to do Pregnancy Photography Yourself

Journey through pregnancy as a photographer

Being a professional photographer, I document so many aspects of my family life.  From traveling to holidays and even special events for my niece and nephew.  When it came to documenting my journey through pregnancy I knew I needed to take a bit more of a systematic approach to it.  My husband, Jeff, and I had seen plenty of people document their journey to motherhood online in unique ways.  We wanted something to show the growth of my beautiful baby bump along the way as well as indicate the milestones.  From Michael’s we bought a photo collage frame and affixed it to our patio wall, and later the dining room wall of our new home.  Within it we printed some key facts and information about the estimated size of Baby J and things we had been doing to prepare for his arrival.  This is my story through pregnancy photography.

The Value of Photography

I can tell you from the deepest part of my heart that I will always love and treasure these pregnancy photos we took for they are part of the story of how my little son was born.  As a photographer, I value photos of the important moments in life, so we also did a full maternity photo shoot with another professional photographer in Phoenix, AZ.  Even photographers need to be in-front of the camera sometimes.  I strongly encourage you to take your own photos of pregnancy, in any manner you can, because the photos are not just for you but also for your new child.  When they grow older and want to know about that time in your life, you can share the images with them and tell the story of when you carried them with you all those years ago.

Advice for chronicling your journey via pregnancy photography:

For those of you who want to do a series like this for your pregnancy I applaud you!  This was something I found fun and exciting each week I took to the photos.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are planning, setting up and taking photos each week.

Helpful Pregnancy Photography Tips:

  1. Don’t over complicate it.  The number one reason most of these series of photos fail is because some pregnant couples over think the setup.  Thus failing to be inspired each week and becoming discouraged.  Or they put everything into one session and have scant ideas left of the remaining weeks.  Do something simple, something you can easily put together in 5 minutes before taking the photos.
  2. Set a time of week and time of day that is convenient.  Don’t pick a day of the week when you are usually busy.  Doing so could make you miss a day, then two, then a week.  Set a reminder with a phone app that can help you.
  3. Choose a time of day that the lighting works well for your photo.  Try to eliminate harsh shadows, glaring lights and keep things consistent.
  4. Write down your camera settings for the first photo you take.  That first perfect photo setting, if done at the same time each day, will work for about 10 weeks or so, due to the changing sun position during the day.  Every 10 weeks, get a new setting written down so you can get a more prefect picture.
  5. Choose an outfit to be your standard outfit. if you are going to show your belly, be sure it is exposed in your outfit.  Perhaps you want to buy a maternity top before you begin to start showing, that way you can have it remain the same in each photo you take.
  6. Get your partner involved.  This will make the session more fun doing different loving or silly poses.  There is nothing wrong with putting some personality into it. 🙂
  7. Make the photo a priority and be dedicated to the session.  If you don’t have time for the progression photos each week, them do it each month, or at each doctor’s visit. However you want to define your stages of development works.

When in doubt, hire a professional

So you have read the helpful tips above, and don’t think that pregnancy photography each week is for you, but you want to document your journey?  Contact me and I will create with you a beautiful way to celebrate your pregnancy in photos.  We can have a single maternity photo session at the beach, a local park or my studio. Or create a great series of photography sessions to chronicle your wonderful path to becoming a mother.  Whether you take pregnancy photos yourself or with a professional photographer, you will be able to share these stories with your family, friends and little bundle of joy for years to come.

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