I’ve been seeing a bunch of black and white maternity photos floating around Pinterest where the mama-to-be is posed in front of a door or window and her baby bump is silhouetted against the light background. I have loved these shots, but didn’t necessarily want to pay a photographer to come to my house to take one photo. I decided to see if we could recreate the image ourselves and was thrilled with the results. Below are some suggestions for getting your own beautiful bump photo without shelling out the big bucks for a photographer or heading to art school.
I enlisted my husband as my photographer, but this could easily be managed alone if you have a camera remote and/or don’t have a toddler running around like I do. All you “need” is a well-lit window and a camera, but I also recommend using a tripod to get the best picture quality.
Here are my tips for a great silhouette photo:
Choose your location: Find an area of your house that lets in a good amount of light, a large window or glass door works best. The rest of the room needs to be dimly lit, so we opted to take the photo in the evening when we are getting the last hours of sunlight, but you could also blackout any other windows in the room.
Choose your outfit: Opt for something form fitting, like a bodycon dress or your skivvies. Depending on how much light you have in the room, you won’t really be able to see the clothing in the photo, so you don’t need to look glamorous, but you want something that will show off that gorgeous pregnant body. I wore a tight, stretchy maternity dress and threw my hair up in a top knot.
Set up the camera: My husband, Doug, set up the tripod about ten feet away from where I stood in front of our sliding glass door. We used our no flash/autofocus setting with our 50mm lens and set the timer for a 2 second delay. This allowed Doug to get his hands off the camera before the photo was taken to reduce any noise in the image.
Strike a pose: As with almost every photography session, we had to take a ton of images to get the few that we really loved, but use this time to have fun! We tried a bunch of different poses, moving my hands around my bump and popping knees this way and that. Take more images than you think you might need so that you can walk away with that “perfect” shot.
Edit your images: we used Adobe Lightroom to play around with some basic settings on the images, but you could also use a program like iPhoto or VSCO. We messed around ever-so-slightly with exposure, contrast, and the highlight/shadow settings to get the images we wanted. Done and done!
As you know, I recommend planning a maternity session if you can afford to shell out the dough, because you will cherish the photos forever, but there is no reason you can’t swing some great shots on your own—DIY for the win! I am so glad we took the time to try this out before baby was born. I hope you will give it a try, too. Let me know how they turn out!
Jenna is a writer, educator, wife, and mama living in Colorado with her husband and two children. She founded American Ingenue as a personal blog in 2008 after losing her mother to breast cancer, using the forum as a reminder to live life to the fullest. Jenna loves cooking, dreaming, and adventuring with her family. She has been inspired to share her experiences with others as she navigates this crazy life and strives to have "it all."