Brittney here! We went through the creative side of taking the perfect pregnancy and gender announcement photos last week so today, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. The poses, the lighting, the angles, and all that’s in between. Let’s dig in!
FIND THE RIGHT COLOR
BLACK OR DARK COLORS:
Dark colors are usually more slimming, and a classic choice for most woman. There is a reason everyone owns a LBD, “little black dress.” Solid dark colors will allow faces in photographs to take center stage. You want to make sure you contrast with a light background if you wear dark colors, or the photo will have more a dramatic feel.
White is always a great option. It looks good on most people regardless of complexion. It’s clean, simple and compliments most backgrounds. With darker backgrounds it makes the subject pop, and become more of a focus, especially if there is a lot going on in a photo.
*Side note: off white or ivory usually photographs better than pure white.
Bright colors are hard to match if there will be more than one person in a photo. Unless you have the right background, they can end up being distracting. Bright colors are best with neutral backgrounds and props that coordinate with the color you will be wearing. It’s best to plan for a mostly neutral outfit and then incorporate small pops of color with layering jackets, sweaters, shoes or scarfs etc…
If more than one person will be photographed, coordinate clothing carefully. You will want to incorporate solids with some patterns. If everyone is wearing only patterns, or only solid colors, photos will end up being bland or a hot mess. There are many shades of the same color, so check for matching shades. Neutral colors are best, with pops of dark colors or bright colors in small patterns or accessories.
Soft light is the most desirable light for most people. In the photography world, it’s called diffused light. It has little contrast, and is more friendly to the sensor in your iPhone. You can find this light on a cloudy day, in open shade, or in the hour before the sun sets. The best way to take advantage of soft light is to position yourself in some shade, and have your face towards the sun. Your face should still be shaded, but facing the direction of the sun. Make sure you tap the subject on your screen before taking the photo to ensure proper exposure.
One of the best ways to get soft light indoors is to position yourself in front of an open window that is not receiving direct sunlight. If there are no windows, make sure you are positioned close to the light source you are using. A lamp would be the next best option. The further away the light source is from the subject, the harsher the light will be. In contrast, the closer the light source is, the softer the light will be. Be aware that most artificial lighting indoors will produce a warmer color tone, and can come across yellowish.
iPhones can produce some great silhouette photos with proper back lighting. If you want to be able to see the subject in a back lit photo, then you will need to use a higher quality camera, and use manual mode. In most cases you would not want a silhouette for your pregnancy announcement. And, a silhouette is exactly what you will get if the sun is BEHIND you when you take the photo. Or at least, some really dark faces. Always pause before taking a photo, and ask yourself where the sun is.
Don’t use. Unless you know what you’re doing. Or, you want to look like a glistening raccoon. The end.
The moral of the story is, soft light is the best light. The best option for taking your pregnancy announcement photo is to wait until later in the day, and find some open shade where you can face the sun.
FLATTERING POSES AND TIPS
1) My favorite rule is, “If it bends, bend it.” Straight arms and legs never look good. So, bend an arm, pop a hip, shift your weight so that one knee bends, cross your legs, or fold your ams. It adds a little life into the photo, and takes away the zombie feel.
2) Try not to face the camera straight on. Slightly turn one direction or another, or lean against your man and commit to profile. Your bump will be more defined, and it’s always a little more slimming.
3) Find your side. Yes, there is one side of your face that looks better. It’s a true story. Ask any model or avid blogger. So, stand in the mirror for a minute and take some selfies, you will find the perfect angle that makes you look like Beyonce.
4) Candid photos always look better than posed. But, actual candid photos usually end up with everyone’s eyes closed or goofy faces. So, the trick is to pose in a candid way. Get your fake laugh on, hard core. Take turns looking at each other, and then switch and look at someone else. Tickle kids. And, keep shifting your weight from one foot to another, so the pose doesn’t get too stiff.
5) Create different levels, and make sure everyone is on the same plane. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s legit. Promise. If heads are all lined up in a row, the image will be flat. Try staggering heads to add some dimension. It’s also really important that everyone is as close to each other as possible. If someone is more in front they will look bigger. If someone is standing slightly behind someone else, they will look smaller. Stay in the same line!
GET ER’ DONE
It’s not rocket science. Everyone loves a good pregnant belly. The love is real enough for complete strangers to come up and start rubbing you. The belly alone is gold. Add some cute props, a happy husband, or laughing kids, and I’m sure you’ll have a winner. Just make sure you document the moments. It’s not every day that a growing mid section is front page material, and it goes by way too quickly. These photos will end up being some of your future child’s favorites. Everyone wants to feel loved and important, and nothing shows a child how loved they are, more than the happy faces of those anticipating their arrival.