I'm all for professional family photos but it's just not in the budget, so I broke out the camera and set up my own little photo shoot to capture my last (mark my words!) pregnancy. I don't have any fancy photography equipment - just a regular ol' point and shoot camera, a small tripod and some good ol' natural light.
Our bedroom is one of the best places to catch some good filtered light which is what you want rather than direct light which casts unsightly shadows. I started out the photo shoot in front of one of the windows which is draped in sheer, white curtains from Ikea and is the perfect backdrop to get that gorgeous soft backlit effect. I also placed a small bench in front of the window so I would be elevated and would have a comfortable place to sit for these first few poses.
The photos are not very crisp - the lighting was not ideal in the room so I was left to make adjustments in my camera and in Photoshop which created a grainy quality. I'm definitely in need of a DSLR that can handle less than ideal lighting situations and shoot sharp, focused photos and a wireless remote. My little point and shoot is great when someone is behind it but falls short when it comes to setting up self-portraits with a tripod and timer and auto focusing on the subject. Although, I could definitely be the one to blame as I haven't played around with the manual settings as much as I probably should and rely heavily on the auto settings.
Since I don't own a wireless remote, I tried to focus on a specific background area or subject when I set the timer (Luke made a great stand in.)
Sometimes it worked (like against the graphic background) but mostly it didn't. Aside from the shortcomings I still captured this special moment and that makes me one happy lady.
I also played around with dark silhouettes against the sheer drapes. I love this high contrast look.
This maternity self-portrait photo shoot was fun and so much more comfortable than posing and smiling in front of some random stranger...or my husband, for that matter.
For some great tips on shooting your own self-portraits or at-home photo shoots, whether they're pregnancy or not, check out these awesome resources.
- Tips for Taking Great Self_Portraits
- Serena Severtson's A Quick Guide to Quality Self Portraits
- How to Take a Self Portrait
- How to Take a Professional Self Portrait
Have any tips for self-portrait shooting or for a Photoshop newbie? Please share them below.