DIY tips for maternity photos | The Belly DIY

Last year I dedicated a newsletter to the topic of taking your own maternity photos. It would be such a shame to let the special time go by without photos. My father took photos of my mother nearly 35 years ago, when she was pregnant with me. They could have been better. The background left room for improvement, and the poses could also have been improved. 🙂 But in spite of that, these photos are precious to me, especially since my mother is no longer alive ♥

mama zwanger van mij
*My sweet mom 8 months pregnant with me

In other words: it doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you do it. It’s so important to have later on! For you, and for the baby in your belly.  ♥

For that reason I am going to share the tips I gave in the newsletter once again, and this time I can show you some examples from my own pregnancy! It proves that you really don’t have to have a professional camera, because it’s really about the memories.

So here are some tips for taking your own maternity photos:

1. Clothing
If you’re going to be wearing clothing in the photos, keep it simple! No busy prints or pictures. The focus should be on the belly. Of course, you can choose to take photos of your bare belly. Make sure your trousers aren’t too tight, or that you see part of your (of course beautiful underwear. When you’ve been wearing tight clothing it leaves marks in your skin, especially towards the end of the pregnancy when you retain more fluids. This isn’t very pretty.

2. Background
Choose a plain background, preferably a bare wall. If you don’t have a bare wall anywhere in the house, make sure that your belly fills up as much of the frame as possible, so that the background is of less importance. You can also take a photo into the light at a window. This will mean that you appear as a silhouette against the light background.

3. The right time
It’s never too early or too late to start. If you start early in the pregnancy you can take a photo of your belly every few weeks. At the end of the pregnancy you can put them all next to each other and see how your belly has grown. It’s extra fun to finish the series with a photo of you holding the baby. The photos become even better if you use the same place, and wear the same clothes every time.

Denny and I started as soon as we had a positive pregnancy test, so I still really did not look pregnant at all. I must admit that some knowledge of Lightroom or Photoshop is useful when you want to put all the photos next to each other. This is our result so far:

001-Serie Denny 628

4. Who’s the photographer?
You can ask your partner to take the photos for you. This gives you more options when it comes to poses. You can also use a timer function, or even more simple: your telephone! With your phone it’s easy to take a quick photo of your belly, and with all the great apps out there (I have Rhonna Designs) it’s also quick and easy to add a date. You can even do this every day.

I tried this immediately, of course! On the day the embryo was returned to my womb I started taking photos of my belly. Of course at that point I had no idea whether it would be successful and whether I was pregnant, but I decided that if I wasn’t I would just delete the photos. So the first photo is from the day our little girl was placed in my belly. I have an iPhone 4, and the quality of the photos is often quite poor. I also haven’t stuck to the rule of having a clear background, and I’m not in the same pose every time, but it’s still an awesome series! And it’s so easy. It’s totally in my system now: shower, underwear on, take photo, get dressed!

I will admit that there are a few days missing. Some days in those first 16 weeks I was just too sick, and when I had the flu in Finland I was unable to take a photo every day. But that won’t spoil the fun – I’m going to keep this up right until the end!

Although without Rhonna Design, because that was too much work. 😉

Zelf zwangerschapsfoto's maken

PS. I have a lot of the same underwear and really wearing a clean one every day 😉

5. Mirror
Want to be able to check that you look ok, and that your pose is good? You can take a photo of yourself in the mirror! Then you know for sure that you look good. 😉

I’ve tried this twice, with my iPhone, and late in the evening, so it’s quite lucky that they’ve turned out so well!

Maternity photography DIY

6. Got children already?

Have you already got children and would you like them to be involved in the photo? Then it’s fun to have them show how far along you are. They can hold up fingers showing how many months along you are, or they can hold a chalkboard on which you write how many weeks you are.

Or you can use Milestone Pregnancy Cards! They’re a lovely gift for a pregnant friend, too. You take the photo with the card, which shows how many weeks you are. But there are also cards with things like “Today I felt you kick for the first time” and “Today we found you that you’re a girl/boy” Really nice!

7. Light
A good photo requires light. The prettiest light is daylight. Find a place with enough daylight, and don’t make things difficult for yourself by trying to take a photo in the evening next to a lamp. Unless of course you’re practising and trying out new things. My lamplight photos with the iPhone were surprisingly successful.

8, Inspiration on Pinterest

Excited to try it yourself? On this Pinterest bord there are loads of ideas. If you come across something nice, please post it on the board! Even better: if you took your own maternity photos I’d love to see them on this board! How? Follow the board, and then I’ll invite you to ‘pin’ your own pictures. I can’t wait to see your creations!

Good luck!!


Ps. Of course I would highly recommend a professional photo session in the end of your pregnancy -if your budget allows you. I can’t wait for mine! 🙂