Many of us feel less than our best when pregnant. Perpetually sweaty and uncomfortable, our ‘glowing’ visage blotched with brown spots, and every move restricted by an unwieldy, Mr. Blobby-esque physique…it ain’t pretty.
No wonder the mere mention of the word ‘photo!’, has a multitude of mums-to-be running (or waddling) for the hills.
But once you’ve welcomed your little one into the big, wide, world, you can’t help but feel a bit wistful for the time your babs was snuggled safely within belly; and a maternity photoshoot is one of the most vivid ways to capture that fleeting moment in time.
So what to do?
Learn how to work that baby-on-board bod for the camera, with Parents.com’s list of top tips from the pros – guaranteed to get you and your burgeoning bump’s good side:
TIP #1: Wait until you’re big, but not too big.
You want your belly to be big and beautiful, but you don’t want it to be so large that striking any other pose but ‘beached marine life’ is unbearable. Professional photographer Mariah Milan Dagupion suggests taking photos right around 30 weeks. “That’s when your belly gets really round”, she says, “but it’s not too heavy yet”.
TIP #2: Avoid background clutter.
Location, location, location. Avoid standing in front of a messy living room — or worse, a messy bathroom. (In other words, don’t let art imitate real-life.) Think simple when it comes to styling a backdrop and using props; a solid-colour couch against a plain white wall works great. Or change things up and step outside: Pick a tranquil spot in your backyard (sans dog) or nearby park or beach to set up the shoot.
TIP #3: Turn off the flash.
Camera flash will wash out all depth and ambience from your pics. Maternity photographer Ashley McNamara suggests standing right in front of an open door or window to get natural light instead. And if you’re shooting outside, avoid midday sun. “The best times to go outside are early in the morning or an hour or two before sunset when there’s that golden, sun-tanned, highlights-in-the-hair light,” Dagupion says.
TIP #4: Wear something tight and stretchy.
While tent-style couture is SO much comfier at this point, it’s far from flattering. Surrender to stretchy fabrics that celebrate your curves.
And skip the florals, plaids, and checks. “You want to be able to look back at these pictures in 10 or 20 years and still think the photos look great. Whereas really stylised clothes can get dated, solid darks and neutrals are timeless,” maternity photog Koren Reyes explains.
TIP #5: Find a great photographer.
You don’t necessarily need to go professional – if you’re not keen on a stranger taking your pic, the shots will reflect that. Choose someone you feel comfortable with and will have fun around (husbands come in handy, here – they also make good roadies if your location is away from home and there’s equipment to haul). Alternatively, plan a fun photo date with one of your girlfriends.
Poses to Try
A few of the expert maternity photographers’ favourite poses:
* Close up on the belly
* You lying on your back on a couch.
* Older sibling kissing the belly
* You holding older sibling (so they’re sitting on the belly facing you)
* Sitting Indian style, facing the camera
* Working the S curve — one hip out, one shoulder high, one shoulder low, hands relaxed. Think supermodel!
* Profile shot
* Any yoga poses you know (and can get into easily)
For pointers on how to get amazing pics of your kids, check out this photographer-mum’s advice.