There is something to be said about the endless possibilities of maternity photos. They allow your 9 months of miracle-baking to last a lifetime and will help you to remember the true, raw and natural beauty of your body for ever. Our bodies will never stop changing throughout our lives, but the idea of capturing such a powerful period of time is truly something else.
I self-run my own maternity photoshoots as I would find it difficult to be as comfortable with a photographer as I do myself. This is such a personal time, and I like to imagine it as an activity that me and squish are able to do together since we are both working the camera.
Trust me when I say that taking maternity photos is a fun experience, but also trust me when I say that if you are doing it yourself, you will have a giggle a few times at the awkward poses you make trying to make the bump look more flattering. I noticed this at my earliest “shoots” where I was not used to the bump in any way whatsoever and it was very evident in the pictures I took… just look….
I mean, hello… dear caught in headlights much?
So what are some tips on posture and body positioning for a maternity self-run photoshoot?
The “Thigh Swivel”
I find that sometimes when taking a picture of myself front facing can lead to a slightly chubby façade. I obviously do not like this, but one thing I found that combats this for me, is the “Thigh Swivel”, which is basically what you do to make yourself appear slightly slimmer but doesn’t denounce your gorgeous bump- it actually shows it off more, which is what we really want in our maternity photos.
Notice how in these pictures that one side of the thigh is being shown more than the other? It oddly draws your bottom half in which can give the illusion of a slightly larger bump but a leaner stance. Also, excuse the camel toe in the middle picture, I am aware of this but I love the way my body looks so not caring over here!
“The Bump Cradler”
We have seen (and drooled over) Khloe Kardashian’s gorgeous maternity bumps where she cradles her delightful baby girl (and oddly enough, she felt she had to defend her poses and explain why she felt the need to cradle the baby… I mean really? Can’t we just let a mama-to-be decide her own photograph poses please?), and there have been countless other gorgeous maternity photos where the mama-to-be holds onto her stomach which can project her Mother Bear instincts in protection, her love for her soon-to-be child, and the excitement of the fact that she just can’t wait to hold her baby in her arms for the first time.
I know that I cradle my bump in practically all of the pictures I take of myself. I find it to be comforting and a lovely touch, as well as the fact that it can highlight the true size of my bump.
I just love to feel that she is within and its such a special moment. You can cradle your bump in whatever way you wish, but I would always suggest having a hand touching the diagonal side of your bump to give it dimension and the other hand over the top of your bump and across your diaphragm. I think this allows anyone to see the true size of your belly and you are also showing your nurturing angle.
You will notice in the pictures on my Maternity Shoot Inpo page that my head is always tilted one way or another. I find that keeping your head dead straight is never an option if you want a flattering picture. The main reason I do this in any pictures, let alone Maternity pictures is because I am extremely lucky in that whenever I gain any type of weight, it goes straight to under my jaw. Yupp, I’m talking 5 chin Emma over here.
Its not an option for me to keep my head in a naturally straight position for photos, unless I want to show off my extra chins.
So what I do is observe in the mirror before taking any pictures, which angle works best for me to show a more profound jawline- and its always by tilting. It will feel natural when taking the pictures! But the reason I suggested this is because, I know that many mamas-to-be are suffering from increased water retention and it can make our faces appear slightly more puffy. And while its not a problem to capture the rawness of pregnancy in our maternity photos, it might not be one of those side affects that we want to capture for a lifetime.
You should try to tilt your head in different angles during your self-run maternity photoshoot. You are bound to find an angle that works for you!
Looking down can symbolise your protective gaze of your baby-to-be, looking up might show a more “holy-esque” angle.
Dressing for the occasion
I know that there are thousands and millions of mamas who have taken the most stunning maternity photos, drenched in silks, laces and gorgeous floor length gowns, but there are also mamas like me who likes to keep things simple. Don’t get me wrong, I will be taking these stunning pictures too in mountainous areas but only when I am a bit further along and the bump is more pronounced. In the meantime, I am using the smaller bump as a means to prepare and get ready for the bigger and more production-y photoshoots to come when I am 30+ weeks pregnant.
For the period of about 15 weeks to now (24 weeks), I have been keeping it simple and fresh by wearing very little but trying to maintain a classic vibe. For the shoot that I did at 20 weeks, I used some coral coloured crepe fabric and fashioned a bandeau (which I tied into my bra) and skirt (which was tucked into my undies) and exposed my belly. The colour complimented my skin tone and with the warm overlay I edited the pictures with, It really made the colours pop in my opinion.
In my most recent shoot, I decided to keep it simple again with a black crop top and undies, but added a little pattern by tying a gorgeous head scarf around my noggin. It added the extra something that this photo otherwise lacked against the dark background.
Is that all?
Well I would say that this post will be updated as I continue throughout my pregnancy as there will be many more shoots to come and that I would love to share with you. Hoping to ensure the grandeur improves as well as my camera skills- lord knows I am no photographer. But for now, these are the main tips I would suggest for your maternity photos and I hope you enjoy them!
Good luck, and be sure to share the results with me!