Even though I did have Blue Sugar Photography open when I was pregnant with babies #3 and #4, with my last pregnancy, I knew it was my last and I wanted to document it as much as possible. I have always loved silhouette photos so one day, I set out to take my own and after posing in the mirror first then taking a million and one pictures, it’s probably my most favorite maternity photo of myself that I have!
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WHAT YOU NEED:
1. Camera – I used my Nikon D700 but you can use any camera you have – point and shoot or cell phone.
2. Tripod – You will be thankful for a tripod when attempting to take your own photos, otherwise, your stack of boxes may move and you’ll have to adjust your camera every time. Try this tripod.
3. Remote Trigger – A remote trigger will make things much simpler so you don’t have to run back and forth but a timer on your camera will do just fine. I used my timer for these picture but have since purchased a trigger and it makes all the difference.
SETUP YOUR PHOTO SHOOT:
1. Find a window in your house that gets great natural light pouring in, preferably one that is tall and narrow so you can get your body in the frame of the window. You don’t have to have sheers on your window, but it adds a nice texture and filters the light. If you have thick curtains or blinds, open them. You might find the oddest place to take your photo, mine was on the landing of my stairwell.
2. The best time of day to do your pregnancy silhouette photo will be midday or a time when the sun is shining its brightest through your window. That way you get the contrast you’re wanting.
3. Set your camera up on the tripod and turn the self timer on (or use your remote trigger). Feel free to use auto mode on your camera. I use Manual mode exclusively on my Nikon D700, with my Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens, my settings were: f1.4, 1/400 and ISO 160.
4. Stand about 1-2 feet away from your light source. On my stairs, I could only go about a foot away from the window and still keep my head in the frame of the camera. After you take a few shots and find the right spot, put a marker down so you know where to stand after you move to check your camera.
WHAT TO WEAR:
1. Now that you have everything setup, you can change into your photo shoot outfit.
2. Because you’re taking a maternity silhouette photo, you’ll want to wear something form fitting to show off your baby bump.
3. Black or dark colored clothing will be the best contrast for your photo. I chose a form fitting black tank and black leggings.
4. Your hair style will also come into play in these photos so choose something that will show the shape of your face. I did a long braid and brought it off the shoulder away from the camera (so the light would also show contrast against my hair). A messy bun would also be ideal.
HOW TO POSE:
1. Stand Sideways
2. Place the hand closest to the camera on the small of your back
3. Bend the leg closest to the camera and point your toe to accentuate your curves
4. Chin up and out – when looking down at your belly, pretend you are looking out over a ledge. (This will eliminate a double chin as much as possible)
5. Snap, snap, snap. Go check the camera and see if you like any of the poses. Adjust as necessary and snap some more.
Experiment with posing from both side views and see which form you like better.
Your body is different on both sides. I also tried a messy bun in this photo.
EDITING YOUR PREGNANCY SILHOUETTE PICTURES:
1. There are so many apps and editors you can use to edit smart phone photos these days and I’ll admit, I don’t play with any of them. I use Adobe Photoshop CC with many purchased and hand created actions and filters. To achieve the look in my photos, here’s what I did:
2. The easiest way to achieve your silhouette photo, is to convert the picture to black and white or remove all saturation.
3. If you know photoshop: Layer –> New Adjustment Layer –> Hue/Saturation –> Slide the Saturation slider all the way to the left.
4. Layer –> New Adjustment Layer –> Levels –> Select the Red Channel –> Add 2 or 3 to the Output Levels. This will give the photo a slightly warmer look.
5. Layer –> New Adjustment Layer –> Curves –> Pull the Shadows up just a little. (That’s your far left point.) This will give the photo a more hazy mood.
6. Merge your layers and save!
I hope you have fun with this tutorial and come back and share your results if you try it out!