Pregnancy Photography

by Gavin H Posted on December 09, 2010

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When my wife was pregnant with our second child it took us until month eight to realize didn’t have any nice photos of her pregnant. As parents know, with the second, third, fourth child and so on, some of those priorities you had the first time around take a back seat and suddenly you find yourself packing your hospital bag. One regret I had was not documenting my wife’s growing belly earlier on.

Although I got a late start, we had fun including our 20 month old daughter in the pictures too. Like many portraits, one key piece of advice is to put your sitter(s) at ease. Especially for pregnant women, who, if they’re like my wife, are not totally comfortable being pregnant, it’s key to get them relaxed so it’s a fun and rewarding experience.

If you have other children, get them in the action. At the time, our toddler had fun comparing belly buttons and trying to listen to her sister inside the womb. I was able to capture those once in a lifetime shots since they were engaged in something else and not necessarily aware of me taking pictures.

I love to shoot in black & white. It’s classic and of course, timeless. Also, it really helps neutralizes things if the location has a lot of clutter or distracting color. Additionally, for a sitter who might not be thrilled with the camera documenting every flaw or imperfection, black and white goes a long way to softening the edges.

Turn off your flash. Natural light has a nice warm glow and you will avoid the harsh artificial light a flash can produce.

Last bit of advice – if you’re thinking of chronicling your baby once he/she arrives, this is a great way to start your baby Shutterfly Share site. Later on your child will have fun looking at the photos and, as our daughter tells us, “remembering what it was like to be in there!”

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  1. Joey Says:

    These are helpful tips on capturing moments of a pregnant woman.
    These photos are beautiful, i love the one of your little girl comparing belly buttons. SOOOOOO Cute!!! I also love the black and whites. Thats something i need to try more. Do you find there is a difference when one shoots in b/w vs shooting in color then changing o b/w on computer?
    Nicea article.

  2. BarbaraJ Says:

    I need to take my daughter in love photos of her last pregnancy! She is so beautiful and she has two precious little boys! Great idea!

  3. kniewohner Says:

    I love natural sunlight for these photos. And, I totally agree with you about the black and white kind of capturing the moment instead of the laundry, stray toys and outlet covers. :) My husband and I bought an SLR two weeks before our son was born and luckily enough we were able to get a REALLY GREAT pregnancy photo of the two of us. Neither of us had a clue about what we were doing but we knew that the natural sunlight would be the best light. Check out the final (BLACK AND WHITE) shot that we treasure in my son’s First Year Book (page 4)here:

    http://community.shutterfly.com/gallery/post/start.sfly?postId=/gallery/1/post/GMGDFg1bt2zZo3ag7IFt-Y

    Thanks for the tips. If I were expecting now, this would have really helped out. I’m sure a number of people will agree this is helpful. Looks like you guys had fun too! Thanks for sharing.

more about Gavin H

I was born and raised on a dairy farm in New Zealand. I have been a passionate photographer since I was 12 when I had my first taste of working in a dark room, given the odd photo assignment at a local newspaper. From those beginning days, I combined my passions of motorsport and travel with photography and have been lucky enough to have lived and travelled in many countries throughout the world. I'm thankful to have documented once in a lifetime memories through photography. Meeting my American wife in the Wicked Wolf pub in Dublin, Ireland, we are now settled in the San Francisco Bay Area with my two favorite (albeit unpredictable) photo subjects, my young daughters.

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