Friday, 16 June 2017

Taking Beautiful Maternity Photos ... YOURSELF!!!

Today I'm to share with you how easy it is to take these beautiful silhouette maternity photos OF YOURSELF!!!!

If you are like me and ...
a) never seem to get around to getting professional photos taken (not to mention in the small amount of time you are pregnant in)
b) don't have the time to go to have a photo shoot
c) don't want to spend the money on professional photos
d) want beautiful, lasting photos to remember your pregnancy by
e) are not a big fan of showing your stomach to the world...
then I have the perfect solution for you.

I have done this photo shoot with both my last two pregnancies. I took these photos in the comfort of my own home, by myself, it took be about 15 minutes, and I want to share with you exactly how I did it and what I learnt along the way.

First of all, to give yourself a silhouette you are going to need to find a large bright door or window.  This maybe in a bedroom or in the living room it doesn't really matter. You may need to move some furniture out of the way to ensure that you are getting an unobstructed shot. If you don't have one in your house perhaps there is one at a family members house.

The first time I did this I didn't use anything behind me, but I don't think they came out quite as well. So I suggest finding a white (or any light coloured) preferably flat (but mine was actually fitted) sheet. Give it a bit of an iron to get any creases out of it (or if you are really clever you can use one of those iron sprays that just magically make creases disappear!!!). Then find a way to hang it up on in front of your window. You can do this by pegging it to existing curtains, but I don't have curtains (it is always on my to do list to do!), so I hung some string from the blind and pegged my sheet to that.

To get the best silhouette effect you don't want to have any baggy clothing on, so I opted for a tight singlet and some tights (you know, not what you would normal head out wearing, but it will give you the best shot). Then you can do your hair however you like it, but I loved the look of the messy bun in the silhouette.

Set up your camera using a tripod if you have one, or if you don't (I didn't at the time) improvise. Here my camera is sitting on top of a few books, on top of a wooden box, on top of a stool, on top of my coffee table. Whatever you need to do to get it at the right height.  If you don't have a camera and instead you are using a phone or iPad just make sure that you are using the back camera to get the best pictures.

Now you want to find the best place to stand. I was bound by my window panes. I wanted to make sure that there was a clear shot behind me. I am lucky that my camera can connect to my phone so I was able to use my phone screen to position myself in middle of the sheet. But you could always just take some practice shots to find the best one, or use the front camera of your phone while you do the set up.

Then just use the timer on your camera to take the photo. Tip ... use some painters tape or masking tape to mark your place on the floor so that once you set the camera you can get back to where you are meant to be standing.

Now you can play around a bit with different poses until you find one that you love! It may be that the most awkward feeling pose looks the best. I liked that look of the ones with my arms back further, I think it showed a better silhouette of my stomach because you could see my back as well. It was a bit uncomfortable, but I stood with my front arm bent back and my hand on my hip and used my stomach and leg to hide my other arm down my my side.

If you have other children, don't forget that you can get them involved as well. Or you could even take some of the same photos with your baby once it is born as a bit of a before and after.

Once you have your photos you are ready to do some editing. Don't let this bit scare you. I edited mine right on Instagram using the custom filters. You don't need to spend $$$ on photo editing software when Instagram is giving it to you for free. There are plenty of other apps as well you can download to edit photos but I will show you how I did mine.

First you need to transfer your photos from your camera (that is if there are not already on your phone). I use my camera itself to do this as it has WiFi, but you could but them onto a computer and either email them to yourself or use Google Drive.

Once you have them on your phone, choose you favourite and open it up in Instagram. First of all I like to use the filter "Moon" to make the photo black and white. Then save the photo either by the 'Save as Draft' feature or post it using the 'Direct' option to yourself and save it to your phone.

Now you have a copy of the photo in black and white. You can just leave you photo like this and you are done, but I like to give it a little more depth.

So open your black and white copy in Instagram. At the moment move from the 'Filter' options to the 'Edit' options. If you have never used these to edit a photo before it is very simple. Instead of using on of the premade Instagram filters you can make your own. You simply tap on each of the different tools and then use the slider to find the exact amount of that filter you want.

I will tell you what I did, but it will be personal preference and will also depend on your original photo the exact numbers you want to use. It's just fun to sort of play around with this until you find how you want the photo to look.

Brightness (-8)
Contrast (-40)
Warmth (-20)
Saturation (25)
Colour - Shadows (dark blue - double tap [40])
Fade (40)
Highlights (40)
Shadows (50)

This one I made with a little more of a blue wash, but that it completely optional. You can keep it grey by not adding in the colour.

There you have it. Gorgeous FREE silhouette maternity photos, that were easy to take yourself and took hardly any time at all to edit. 

I love these photos, I'm so glad I have them to remember my pregnancy by. I had so many compliments on them. I only wish that I had taken them with my first two pregnancies. 

I hope this has help you to see how easy it is to take beautiful photos. Let me know if you end up taking some silhouette shots like these, I would love to see them #labellingchaos on Instagram.

I hope you are all having a lovely week, until next time...