FREE GUIDE: How to take your own silhouette maternity photos with your smartphone
Some of my favourite maternity photos are those gorgeous silhouette shots, the ones where you can just see an outline of you and your bump!
This guide will walk you through step by step to take your own on your smartphone
The beauty of these shots is it doesn't take much to set up so you can take them a few times at different stages of your pregnancy and create your own little pregnancy timeline or as just a once off momento, whichever suits you best.
What you need:
Something to hold your phone
A window with natural light
What to wear:
This is totally up to you but I recommend something figure hugging so you can easily see your bump. You can wear a tight black top and tights or you can pop on some nice underwear or a figure-hugging dress
Let's get started!
Step 1. Find your Light
Find a window in your house that is big enough to fit your silhouette.
a large window with a sheer white curtain is ideal but play with what you have. You do want the windowsill to be about knee hight or just above so you can capture all your curves.
If you don't have one big enough you could try using a little step to stand on so you're a bit higher then your window frame or try using a doorway.
Step 2. Change your camera settings
- Use the main camera rather then the selfie camera as this will give you higher resolution files so if you want to print them you can without them going blurry
- Turn on your Timer or Voice Control. My phone allows me to take photos by saying 'cheese' and I find this is much easier than the timer as with the timer you have to go back to the camera to take each new photo whereas with the voice control you can take a whole bunch of photos in a row just slightly changing your pose. and as a silhouette, you shouldn't be able to see you talking
- Turn on the 3x3 grid feature as this will help you set your camera up straight so you don't have to crop it later
- Turn off your flash (also turn off any lights in the room at the same time as these with throw highlights and colour casts on you)
Step 3. Set up your Smartphone on a tripod.
I like this Bendy one (and its pretty cheap) as you can attach it to lots of things or place it on top of a stack of books if you need more. If you don't have one you could always ask a patient partner or friend to take them for you.
Step 4. Adjust until you get it looking the way you want
Take a few test shots and play with:
- The hight of your camera. Usually about shoulder height is great but see what works for you (too low or too high may distort you)
- The distance between you and the window. If the sun is shining really brightly through the window you may need to move a little bit further away or try a different time of the day.
- The distance between you and the camera. Try to set it up the way you want it to look in camera so you don't have to crop it too much later as that will reduce the size you can print your photo
Step 5. Mark your spot
Once you find your perfect spot to stand mark it with some tape so it's easy to go back and forth from the window to the camera to view your shots
Step 6. Adjust the brightness
To get the photos darker, tap the screen in the brightest part (this may only work if you have a curtain up because if you don't the camera will focus on the garden or whatever is outside so you will then be blurry. If you don't have a curtain tap to focus on the window frame and then you may have to darken your image when you edit it later)
If you want them even darker grab the little light bulb that appears when you tap the screen and drag it to the left. (on a Samsung, will find more info for iPhones)
Step 7. Pose
There is no perfect pose, try a few till you find your favourite, have a look online for inspiration. These are a few of my top tips
- Put all your weight on your back leg (furthest leg from the camera)
- Pop your front foot up on tippy toes so your knee is bent
- Look down at your bump
and then play with different hand positions :
Both hands under your belly
Both hands on top of your belly
One hand on top one hand on under. Then switch them
Putting your hand furthest from the camera down by your side so you can't see it
You can try putting your hand closest to the camera on your back
Or try putting the same hand on your hip (start with it under your bump and then slide it back to create a triangle between your arm and your back)
Play till you find what you like best
Step 8. Select your favourites and edit them
In your favourite editing app play with the following until you get it the way you like it
- Filters (When using filters I recommend using them at a lower opacity so they don't look obviously filtered but again, play till you find what you like best)
Know that you will most likely take a heap of photos to find just a few that you love. Even I do this as a professional photographer as you cant see how your moving looks through the camera. Be patient with yourself. and remember when creating art there's no right or wrong, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I know it sounds cliche but it really is true
The pros of doing it yourself instead of getting a partner or friend to take them for you is that you can take as long as you want and get it perfect but remember it may take a little longer and you may feel a little silly (Like the last time I was taking some selfies to explain photo angles to a friend and the meter man came right up to the window I was using haha)
You can also take photos against a window like this without making them really dark for a silhouette, by upping the exposure you can get nice light and airy photos too (these really need a sheer curtain though). For these you can wear anything you love as you will see more of the outfit, in the dark photos you will see much fewer details and you want your lines really crisp so avoid fabric bunching up etc as it doesn't look as nice and your bump won't show as clearly
Please let me know if you have any questions
and I would LOVE to know how yours turn out if you try it!
Lots of love, Brittany. Xx