When I was in the midst of struggling to conceive, I had this strange worry–or maybe it’s not that strange, maybe people just don’t talk about it. I worried that because I couldn’t imagine what it would physically be like to be pregnant, it somehow meant I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant. It seems silly now. There are so many things that happen in this life that you can’t necessarily picture happening, yet they somehow find a way. But when I was in the throws of anxiety about infertility, this was a real worry of mine.
Now that I am pregnant, I love watching my body change. I am so grateful for all the miracles my body is performing on a daily basis. I want to remember as much of this time as possible, so I’ve been asking Zak to take a lot of pictures of me. Zak had photography training through his journalism studies in college, and I’ve always been a ham in front of the camera; I’m not ashamed to admit it. When we got married, Zak knew he was also taking on the title of my personal photographer haha!
If you do a little research, most people will say that you should do a maternity shoot somewhere around 7-8 months when you’re really showing, but not too swollen and uncomfortable. We’ll do photos then, too, but I was ready to do a little trial when we were on our babymoon in Delray Beach. I was a few days over 20 weeks when we took these photos.
1. Do a little research on your aesthetic. I did some poking around on Pinterest to find some pictures that looked like the kind of style and setting I wanted for my own. I made sure to show my photographer (aka Zak) what I wanted to go for.
2. Time your shoot well. I knew that we needed the sun to be low for our pictures to get the lighting I wanted, so we waited until about an hour before sunset to get to the beach. That helped to create the real soft lighting.
3. Pick your outfit ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than a last minute wardrobe scramble. The dress I’m wearing was a recommendation from a blogger named Lynzy (from Lynzy & Co.). It’s from Forever 21 and is only $29.90. I’m a big fan of this washed green color. I knew it would look great at the beach because of how breezy it is. Here it is: Mineral Wash Maxi Dress. I’ve linked a few other similar options at the bottom of the post. I’ve also included Zak’s outfit details there, as well.
4. Give yourself time to get ready. I did my own hair and makeup in the spirit of keeping this whole thing truly DIY. I wanted to keep the look soft and light, so I let my hair dry naturally and just ran my curling iron through a few pieces. (If you’re interested in more about the makeup products I’m using, send me a message and I’ll either PM you or make a post about it if I get a bunch of requests.)
5. During the shoot, keep moving and keep shooting. I don’t like when photos look too posed. Sometimes the best shots come from the in-between moments. I asked Zak to just take as many photos as he could. Make sure you feel comfortable with whomever is taking your photos. The more comfortable you are, the more natural you’ll look in front of the camera. Zak tries to keep me laughing because sometimes I can get too serious. It can also be helpful during your research phase (from step 1) to look at how the model in photo has their body positioned. It can help you feel more confident in how you move in front of the camera.
6. Invest in a camera. First, I should say that this is not essential, but it certainly makes things easier. You can get great photos using your smartphone if it’s just not possible to purchase a camera. We just started using the Canon M50 Mirrorless Camera. What’s awesome about this camera is that it also shoots 4K video. This camera is for sure an investment, but it’s basically dummy-proof. Seriously, this camera makes it really hard to get a bad shot. I know we are going to want to take so many pictures when the baby comes, so the purchase feels well worth it.
7. Download a good photo editing app. I like to use the Adobe Lightroom app on my phone because it’s free and easy to use. What’s really cool about it is that you can create a look you like with one photo, save the settings as a preset, and then apply the preset to other photos you want to use the same look for. You can pay a small monthly fee to have Lightroom on your computer, but after doing the desktop free trial, I found that I honestly like doing the editing on my phone more. Using the cloud makes it really easy because I just save the photo to my camera roll after editing, and I can see it on both my phone and computer.
8. Keep your purpose in mind and have fun! Don’t take yourself too seriously. Remember why you’re taking the photos and what you want to evoke. Whether you want to memorialize your pregnant belly or sharing an outfit you think other will love, keep your purpose in mind and allow that to shine through.
Mineral Wash Maxi Dress $29.90 // Wearing a medium (for length). It has a lot of stretch and a lot of room, but I know with Forever 21 dresses that I usually need to size up a bit for length. It fit perfect and is so so comfortable! It’s sold out right now, but keep checking back because they restock it. Here are a few other similar options: Off-the-Shoulder Dress with Tulip Bottom OR Off-the-Shoulder Maternity Dress.
Myles Apparel Everyday Shorts $58 // He’s wearing a size large (long) in the color River. These shorts are all he wears all summer long. He has them in several colors. They are quick dry and can double as a bathing suit but also look so stylish.
Lululemon Evolution Polo $88 // He’s wearing a size large in the color Heather Antigua. This shirt has great texture and fits perfectly. We have a bit of a Lululemon problem in our house.