Susan Fox shares her suggestions for how to take great photos:
Over the past few years I've taken some photos of my pregnant friends. I am a passionate amateur (by no means a professional), so take these ideas with that in mind. Here are some of the "G" rated ones that I've taken of four of my friends.
If you can't afford professional ones right now, it's certainly possible to be creative and make them happen anyway. (You might ask for photos as part of your baby registry?). Here are some ideas I use along with some from some various websites I peruse…
Get her feeling beautiful before you start. Being pregnant can make you feel big and bulky, which doesn't make for great photos. Have her do something that makes her feel wonderful: Draw her a bath, massage her shoulders, tell her she's beautiful. Also talk to her throughout the shoot, telling her she's got a great smile, gorgeous eyes, whatever it is about her that makes her special and beautiful.
Make it simple. Pay attention to the background, and avoid having anything distracting there. Hang a sheet up over a bookcase at home if you don't have a blank wall.
Take photos outdoors. Photos in the park or another natural place highlight the "natural" aspects of motherhood.
Take photos at home. It's probably the place you'll feel most comfortable, and if you have a sunset facing the window, that can make for beautiful lighting.
Use shadows. I love seeing photos of pregnant bellies that are a shadow of the whole body. It's not as "revealing" as nudes, but gives a great idea of the whole body.
Use props. A baby rattle or teddy bear can highlight the excitement of a baby on its way.
Get your partner in the picture. While it's easy to think this is only happening to the mother, if there's a partner in the picture, they are experiencing the pregnancy as well. Make sure to get a few shots of the two of them together.
Include siblings/pets. Just like with partners, a sibling knows that there's a new baby coming, and including them will help in the readiness process. One of my favorite photos is my cat coming up to the baby in the carrier—but I failed to include him in the pregnancy photos, and I'm bummed about that.
Take a few wild shots. You don't have do all lovey-dovey touchy-feely poses. Love to snorkel but can't get into your suit? Put it on and let your belly hang out. Take a few that make her belly look HUGE (shooting from the belly down to the feet helps create this effect).
Use natural light as much as possible. Sunset and sunrise photos always make people look more elegant than your standard flash. However, if you're outside, consider using a flash to fill in a face (or a belly) if it would otherwise be darkened due to the surrounding sunlight.
Take a TON of photos. I take over 10,000 photos a year and I have about a five percent "really proud" rate. So if you want to make sure you get some good ones, keep clicking.
Play with your camera's settings. If you have a black and white or sepia setting, try using those for some of the shots. Or, if you have Photoshop, GIMP (a free alternative), or a similar program, play with the photos once you've got them downloaded.
Getting inspired. Don't forget to check out all of my examples here.
Best of luck getting a few great shots! If you don't trust yourself, or if you're looking for a professional experience, we have a list of RECOMMENDED Photographers on the PSP Website HERE. Some of these folks give a PSP Membership Discount (as signified by an orange and blue PSP Member Perk icon).
Founder, Park Slope Parents