Great Ideas! 8 Ways to Take Flattering Photos of Your Bump

08/15/2013 at 10:00 AM ET

Pregnancy Photo Tips from Jennifer Loomis
Courtesy Jennifer Loomis Photography

Taking homemade photos of your growing belly can be a beautiful way to document the evolution of your pregnancy, especially during your last trimester. But sometimes it’s tough to capture really flattering shots.

That’s why we’ve asked author (Portraits of Pregnancy: The Birth of a Mother) and photographer Jennifer Loomis — she’s photographed over 1700 expecting moms during her career! — to share her ideas on how to best visually document your road to motherhood.

Because even though you may not want to hang them on the wall, an artfully taken maternity pic can be a special memento you and your family will appreciate for years to come.

From choosing the right clothing to making the experience fun, check out her tips below:

Enlist help from family or friends. It’s almost impossible to take a good photo of your own belly — selfies definitely don’t count. So ask a friend or your partner to help you, both with taking the photos and coming up with creative ideas for poses.

Take time to set the stage. Choose a simple, uncluttered area (think blank wall or window) for a backdrop. Distracting objects like a plant or painting won’t really add to your photo.

Pay attention to lighting. If the room is too dark, then your photos might appear out of focus. Using natural light, such as near a window, is ideal, but be careful to avoid direct sunlight because it creates too much contrast. I’d also avoid using the flash only if you must — natural, indirect light is much more flattering.

Show off your bump. That’s the whole point so choose clothing that exposes your belly in an elegant way. Form-fitting pieces in a solid color are very chic. Drape-y silhouettes are also a good option. But if you’ve got a big personality, try a bright color or fun accessories to make the experience more enjoyable.

Pregnancy Photo Tips from Jennifer Loomis
Courtesy Jennifer Loomis Photography

Go light with make-up. You mainly want to focus on evening out your complexion. Don’t go too heavy, because everything appears darker in images. Even a small amount of makeup will make a difference.

Experiment with poses. I suggest looking at different websites for inspiration. Hands on the belly or arms lifted up are two of my favorites. Also, why not include your dog, cat or child in a few frames? Take a risk. Be unique.

Consider photo composition. Taking the time to ask yourself a few questions (should the focus be on the belly or full body, how your head should be angled and more) before you start really makes a difference on how the finished product will look. You might want to also consider if you want to hide your blemishes including stretch marks or other body parts that make you uncomfortable. The last thing you want is to look awkward in your photos.

Have fun. I love the idea of photographing your belly every month in the same spot and putting the images together. Have an interesting dream during pregnancy or are you craving certain foods? Use it as inspiration. You’re the artist in charge so you can really do whatever you want. The key is to tastefully capture the moment. You only have nine months.

Pregnancy Photo Tips from Jennifer Loomis
Courtesy Jennifer Loomis Photography

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