With the recent glorious sunshine the UK has been receiving, I thought it the perfect opportunity to head outdoors for a DIY Maternity Photo Shoot. We didn't get any proper photos during my pregnancy with William and Noah as I was in and out of hospital so frequently and on bed rest at home in between. So this time, I was keen to get some shots of my growing bump which I could treasure for years to come.
I wanted something pastel, floaty and whimsical to wear, but the selection of maternity dresses available is pretty dire, so I headed to Missguided and bought a maxi dress in my regular size 8, which I just about managed to squeeze my ever-expanding bust into! I do prefer to buy non-maternity outfits where possible so I can wear them again, so no doubt this dress will be making an appearance again next summer.
I'd recommend every woman take some maternity shots while pregnant. We had a lovely time taking taking these pictures, and the photo shoot is now one of my favourite memories of this pregnancy. Whether it be using a professional photographer or a DIY project, you'll cherish the photos for a long time. I've added some DIY Maternity Shoot Tips below if you'd like to do one yourself.
- Make sure you have a visible bump! It's suggested a good time is between 30 and 35 weeks, but it depends on the individual and whether you have a big or small bump. We took mine just before 26 weeks, as my bump was big enough for the photos and I didn't know if we would get another sunny weekend to take them!
- Props can be fun to include. I had planned on taking a little chalkboard and writing the number of weeks on it, but forget at the last moment. Other fun things to use would be scan pictures, balloons, baby books or baby shoes.
- Try and take your photos outside for a pretty backdrop. We returned to Whatton Gardens for ours (where our wedding reception was held) as we knew there was plenty of beautiful scenery. Other lovely locations for photo shoots are forests, botanical gardens, parks, walking trails and beaches.
- If possible, shoot on a cloudy day and avoid direct sunlight. The best time to take them outside during summer is between 4-6pm, for soft lighting. We had to go against my own advice and battle the midday sun as the gardens closed at 4pm and I knew if I left it to the evening my hay fever would be unmanageable. We tried to take most of our photos in the shade or under some cover, but a few were taken in the direct sunlight and I'm still happy with how they look.
- Take along a tripod if you plan on taking photos with your partner, or enlist the help of a family member or friend. It was a bit of a hassle setting up the tripod to the correct height and distance under the scorching sun, but worthwhile for the photos we got from it.
- Don't worry about the people around you if you're taking your photos in a public place - you'll never see them again! A few people paused to peer at us out of curiosity, but we just continued on with what we were doing and they soon went away.