Let’s be real – in the world of social media today, the thought of documenting your pregnancy with Instagram or Pinterest perfection can be totally overwhelming. Add in to that the fact that I am literally a professional photographer and I almost threw the whole idea of documenting it out the window. It may sound silly, but it felt like a lot of pressure!
Of course I had visions of a perfectly curated series of bump progression photos, but I also quickly understood that there were a lot of other things on my plate and this didn’t feel quite so important to me as I thought it would.
*This all being said – if taking these elaborate photos brings you joy – by all means! DO IT! This post is geared more towards those that may be feeling guilty for not having these consistent pictures.
What’s the point?
I tried to focus on the actual goal of taking photos semi-regularly – and that was to embrace the incredible changes that were happening to my body. It honestly helped me celebrate the transformation instead of feeling like a huge whale most the time.
The cool thing about taking bump photos is that you can see how you have progressed over time. I definitely remember having moments where I thought “wow, how can I keep getting bigger?” and here we are, at 32 weeks – with ~8 weeks still to go, and my belly keeps. getting. bigger!
Just in the past week I’ve been getting more comments from strangers, mostly sweet and all well intentioned, which has made me realize that my bump is really getting *out there*. An older man said all the cliche things to me, “due soon?” (no.) “twins?” (also no.) and it just made me smile. It’s really amazing how being pregnant your body becomes a topic of public conversation (usually very annoying and un-helpful). Luckily, thanks to COVID, no strangers have touched my belly, so there is that.
My top tip? Keep it simple and don’t over think it!
I have been wearing the same outfit for my bump pics – a black bra + leggings – just for some consistency sake. I haven’t been taking them in the same location, or even facing the same direction, but I can still tell picture to picture the changes in my bump!
Luckily Kevin is a trooper with helping me take these pictures – I actually have him stand where I want to take the photo and have him copy the composition.
I have been taking them loosely every ~4 weeks which has also been cool to see!
How to Take Bump Photos
If you are looking for tips on how to take some great, simple but quality shots, I recommend a couple things:
- Simple backdrop – like a solid color wall
- Natural lighting – keep lighting consistent, take the photos at the same time of day, turn off overhead lights + lamps
- Wear the same outfit + pose in the same way – so the focus is on your growing bump!
- Ask your partner for help, or set your phone up on a timer
- Consider using week props or cards to help track – like these from Baby Notebook
These tips are also helpful for documenting baby – which I’ll be sure to post about once Fitz arrives!
Print Your Photos
One thing I do plan to do (we’ll see if it happens!) is to create a Shutterfly album of our IVF + pregnancy journey. I am always a fan of printing your photos – check out this post on my top favorite ways – and I think this will be fun to look at once our little guy is here! It will include photos from our maternity sessions, my baby shower, trips we took, etc. all in one place – that’s not just my phone.
Here’s one more example of my friend, Michele, who took very simple photos at 20, 30 + 40 weeks. Nothing fancy, but so nice to have!
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Finally, give yourself some grace. There are a million things to think about during your pregnancy, and documenting it shouldn’t be a big stressor. I see this especially with mamas pregnant with new siblings. They feel guilty for not documenting this pregnancy like they did their first – but the fact of the matter is, you didn’t have another kiddo running around while you were pregnant the first time! My suggestion is to include the older sibling in the photos too, and have fun with it. Let each pregnancy be it’s own experience and try your best not to compare (easier said than done) – at least not to feel bad about whether or not you took enough bump pics.
I DO recommend, however, hiring a professional photographer to take maternity photos of you in every pregnancy! It is so special to celebrate this period of waiting – and to capture the experience with everyone in the family together. Pro-tip, if you hire the same photographer for maternity + newborn (ahem, hi!!) this helps older siblings feel more comfortable at the newborn session since they’ve already met the photographer!
More Pregnancy Tips Coming Soon!
I have been working on this post for the Om Mama Ultimate Pregnancy Guide which I cannot wait to share! Mini lesson topics include pelvic floor health, prenatal nutrition, meditation, c-section recovery and more! Stay tuned + get on the list to hear when it comes out here!
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