Wednesday, 1 April 2015

My DIY Maternity Photos

As much as I freely admit that I do not enjoy pregnancy at all, I still believe that it's something worth documenting in photos...I have no idea if this baby will be our last or not, but there's always the possibility that it will be and if that is the case I want to have photographs of myself carrying the baby to look back on.

Many photographers offer specialist maternity photo shoot packages, but these can be pretty expensive and with a new baby on the way the last thing most parents want to be doing is spending large amounts of money on indulgences when there are more practical things that need to be paid for.

With that in mind, I decided to try to put together my own maternity photos - armed with just my camera, my willing other half acting as photographer and PicMonkey for editing...I set myself the task of creating a series of photos to remember my bump by without spending an additional penny!

We are lucky enough to live in a great seaside location providing lots of beaches for the perfect photo opps when the sun is shining...taking photographs in natural outdoor lighting is always preferable and the colours of the sea and sand together really pop which adds to the ambience.

Even without beaches nearby though, there are always going to be great photo destinations nearby - whether that be in local parks, national trust gardens and stately homes, church yards, piers, or just a particularly picturesque street - just get out there with your camera in hand and look for somewhere that strikes you.

Your own home can also be the perfect place for photos - set aside a quiet half an hour with no interruptions from other little ones, and get snapping!

I find it works best to take LOADS of shots...I tell Jon to keep snapping away endlessly...he may take 200 shots but at least that way there's a good chance I'll be happy with 1 or 2 of them! ... always better to have hundreds to go through to find a few you like, than to only take a couple and dislike them all!

Again natural daylight is always best to shoot in but you can pick up cheap photography lights for when this isn't possible - I bought my set of photography lamps on Amazon for £40 for the pair and they're ideal for when I can't get any photos taken until Tyne is in bed and the sun has gone down!

Play around with different angles - I find some taken at eye level and some with the photographer standing above me work best for me - and be experimental with facial expressions too! The photo below was me toward the end of a series of snaps getting fed up with posing and just making silly faces...but it ended being one of my favourite shots!

Try to make sure the background area of your photos is clutter free, and ask your photographer to guide you in to the right position in the want to be central and if you're taking shots on a bed like the below ones, it's going to look iffy if you're not in the centre of the frame.

Editing photographs is essential, as they rarely come out perfect first time - I use PicMonkey to edit most of my photos, as I find the Curves feature to be perfect for enhancing the brightness and white balance of the shots.

I also like to use the black and white filter, and have a play around with the cross processing filters too.

If you do have another little one, try to get them involved in some of the shots is always much harder shooting with children around but you can end up with some gems...the below photos were two out of about 50 shots taken which were useless and just showed the back of Tyne's head...but they were worth it for the two we ended up with which I really like!

Do you have any tips for taking your own maternity photos? I'd love to hear them!

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