DIY Maternity Photoshoot in Lockdown
Updated: Sep 6, 2021
We are almost two weeks into our second lockdown here in Te Anau, and it reminds me of the first time in lockdown, March 2020, when I was highly pregnant and wondering if I was going to have to give birth during level 4 restrictions. The other thing I was worried about was whether I was going to be able to get maternity photos done of this pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Zara, I dragged my poor husband out to a new spot every week for a photoshoot. Here is the result of that:
With a second pregnancy, you never get the chance to do as many photos. Life is a lot busier, and with only an 18 month gap between my girls, it meant I had a super busy little one running around. I was fully set on booking another photographer to do my shoot this time, because I knew it would be very hard to get a picture of all three of us with the bump.
And then lockdown happened. I had to do my own pictures again, and it was a challenge but the photos turned out great! Here are some tips in case you also want to have lovely photos of your bump, but you're stuck in lockdown like I was.
1. Pick an outfit that fits snugly around your belly
I chose a black stretchy dress that wasn't actually a maternity dress, but still somehow fit over my belly. It was a bit too short for my liking, so I made sure to mostly crop/compose the shot so it didn't show past the dress. It's much easier to show off your belly when you've got a tight-fitting outfit, because there's no photographer to help you pose when you're in lockdown.
2. Pick a room with lots of windows and white walls
Natural light is awesome, especially when you don't have professional lighting equipment just lying around. A white wall works really well as a background, and having white walls around you means that there will be lots of light reflected onto you as well. If the colour of the other walls in the room are not white, that colour might spill onto you and make you look a bit off - in this case, turn your photos black and white afterwards!
3. Pick a time of day that the wall you've chosen does not have any direct sunlight on it
This will give you a nice even tone with no weird shadows or light spots on you or the background. That way, you are the star of the photo... unless you have a super cheeky toddler there with you.
4. Create a tripod with whatever is around & use the self-timer
If you are alone or want your bubble buddy to be in the photo with you, you have to get creative with how to get your camera at the right height. As close to eye-level is usually the best angle, and you can use furniture, books, a high-chair, whatever you have at hand. Use the self-timer and see if it has burst mode, so it takes more than one photo at a time.
5. Find some cool poses on social media
If there's no photographer to give you flattering poses, use Pinterest or Instagram to find some inspo. This is a pose I found on Pinterest and my hubby was kind enough to recreate with me. It took a few tries, but it's now one of my favourite photos (and yes, I had the good fortune of having a softbox light and background with me during lockdown to make the photo extra awesome).
6. Just go with it
Getting a photo of the whole family including little kids is actually really hard and as a photographer I use so many techniques and tricks to get this to go right. If it doesn't look perfect, that is totally fine! Here is the best one we managed to get...