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Photographer’s How To: Baby Bump Shooting Tips + Giveaway

This post on maternity photography tips is brought to you by your fellow photo lovers at Shutterfly. They encourage you to capture your memories and share your amazing pictures the way you want with their New Custom Path photo books.

Even though my pregnancies were anything but easy, bed rest and weekly ultra sounds for starters, when I reminisce about each one I still get a little lump in my throat and my heart soars a bit. The entire birthing process is nothing short of amazing which is why the maternal bond develops long before baby arrives. Photographing your baby bump is a special way to capture that pregnancy glow so that you can not only remember how you looked and felt pregnant, but also to share it with your unborn child. It is so cute when my children look at me in amazement when I show them photos of my big round belly and I tell them that they were safely growing inside.

San Francisco based photographer Lindsey Stafford knows a thing or two about capturing the joy of pregnancy. She has been photographing baby bumps all over the bay area for many years and after a quick look at some of her work you can feel how the energy and happiness of her clients jump out of the photos. She has an eye for interesting settings and uses light to showcase the essence of her subjects. Lindsey also specializes in newborn and family photo sessions but she just loves to work with the pregnant mama to get those great shots of the “baby bump”. Lindsey was generous enough to share with us her favorite tips for a successful maternity photo shoot.

Top tips for a successful baby bump photography session according to Lindsey:

1. GOAL: Capture this special time in your life in a natural, fresh, comfortable and fun way. Family members are encouraged to join in (especially the kids) if they like and colorful outfits are highly recommended! I like to bring a creative surprise to each shoot – especially if you know if you are having a boy or girl and also have a name picked out.

2. TIMING: I recommend scheduling your baby bump shoot sometime around 28-32 weeks – perfect timing to show off your belly before you won’t feel like showing it off anymore.

3. OUTFITS: Color & comfort is my motto. Pattern is also a good thing to add an element of pop to a photo. I often tell families to pick 3-4 colors that tie everyone together and the same goes for a baby bump shoot – An example: navy, turquoise, yellow and lime green. Sometimes we even incorporate the colors of the nursery as a starting point. I also recommend wearing something more on the form-fitting side – a dress, a long skirt with a fitted tank, statement necklace, and a bright cardigan. We want to see the bump but also be comfortable doing it. Comfort translates through the camera in an extremely good way.

4. LOCATION: I prefer to shoot with natural light and with a couple of locations in mind either early in the day or closer to sunset to capture the best light possible. I love shooting a mommy-to-be against a cool warehouse, brick, or cement wall to focus on the baby-to-be. In addition, I love going to a beautiful more scenic setting like San Francisco’s Chrissy Field or Cavallo Point especially when the family and kids are involved. One of my favorite parts of shooting a mom with a baby on the way is capturing the happy moments with family, especially the excitement of a big brother or sister.

I want to thank Lindsey for sharing her expertise and incredibly helpful professional photography tips! Her work is so joyful and fun and I love how she uses pops of color. Weather its a baby bump, newborn or energetic family, Lindsey knows how to capture all those precious moments and you can learn more about Lindsey Stafford Photography by checking out her blog. Our friends at Shutterfly believe it’s important that your baby bump should be photographed to share for many years to come  in one of their amazing new custom photo books! They are great fun to put together and even more thrilling to go back to again and again. Just ask Project Nursery reader Rebecca who recently completed her own custom bump book and is letting us share with you a peak below!

GIVEAWAY ALERT! The first 5 readers to comment below on how you will or how did you capture your baby bump in photos win a free 20-page 8×8 photo book with hard cover. Taxes, shipping and handling charge will apply. Offer does not include premium licensed photo books, leather, or padded covers. Good Luck!

21 Comments

  1. 1

    With my first daughter, and this time around with twin girls, my sister-in-law took pictures for us. The first time around it was just me and my husband so they were more intimate. This time with my daughter in the pictures, it was more about fun and her interacting with my belly.

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    I took weekly photos-fun to see the progress, and somewhat shocking to look back at how huge I was at the end!

  3. 3

    Funny thing is I just had my maternity shoot this past weekend. The article would have been helpful last week. Thanks for the information for baby #2 someday! HA!! Thanks!

  4. 4

    My husband and I have been taking pictures each week, and I’m looking forward to using some of these tips in an upcoming photoshoot!

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    I’ve been taking weekly pictures each week and plan to make a photo book with journal entries!

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    I set up a photo shoot in our bedroom against a plain wall every four weeks. (I did it more frequently with our first child, but am sticking to four weeks with this one.) It is such a fun way to see the changes throughout my months of pregnancy.

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    When I was pregnant, I never liked how I looked. I felt lousy and bloated and huge. And that was why I refrained from having my photos taken. It made me cringe. And guess what? How I regret not having baby bump photos! I look at my 4year old daughter and how I wish I had pictures to show her!

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    I will be out in the flower garden in a bright, colorful sundress right before she’s born. Can’t wait!

  13. 13

    Baby bump photos are a really nice way to remember a pregnancy and relive that moment when your little one was growing inside of you. I wish I had commissioned a professional photographer or went to a photo studio to have baby bump photos taken instead of taking them myself in front of a mirror.

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    Both of my sisters have had twins. Comfort was key for them when they had their maternal photos taken because they had to carry two babies. However, it was challenging to communicate that they were pregnant with twins in the photos. Do you have any tips about how this can be tastefully done?

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