DIY Maternity Shoot

Maternity shoots are all the rage now, and most probably in demand all year round. I mean, a life is being created, who doesn’t want to celebrate and get this beautiful moment captured, and eternalized forever.

Engaging a photographer to shoot in a studio setting might cost you easily from S$200 – 600 midrange or a higher range of $800-$1,200, depending on how many images will be edited and given to you, any customized props or setup and in print or in digital.

Now, I am really not an expert when we talk about photography, it just kinda grow on me as an interest. And as time goes by, I went on to picked up more and more techniques, which I hope to share more in the future.

So weeks before we decided on a D.I.Y maternity shoot, Angel was browsing on some incredibly beautiful maternity shoots pictures, and casually asked me, “you can do this also hor?” Well, what can I say to a woman who is 31 weeks pregnant? She didn’t even demand a ‘push gift’, and in my mind, I thought, isn’t this is a meaningful and wonderful gift!? ( and I can save money)

So challenge accepted and this is definitely a worthwhile challenge!

Decide on a theme.

A maternity shoot is a magical time, photos captured that convey the amazing feelings of expecting and capturing the feeling of anticipation. There are tons of ideas to get your maternity shoot going, but never forget to keep the focus on the bump. It can be a beautiful silhouette of the belly against the light, a cliché heart hand on the belly, a sonogram on top of the belly or all the above.

For our goal, we wanted a photo set where the bump is showcased in the most natural and flattering way. The only request that Angel wanted, was the milk bath shot. So that’s like the main highlight for our shoot.

And if you are keen on an outdoor shoot, there are more ideas you can play around with, like with the Punggol Lalang Field or Lake, the famous Pre-wedding shoot bus-stop saying “Arriving soon” or even a beautiful beach shoot in Sentosa.

Decide on a location.

Next, decide on the location according to your theme. It can be anywhere! A location that is meaningful to you and your husband, a sequel from your pre-wedding shoot, an unforgettable setting that you would love to shoot as a keepsake or simply just in the comfort of your home. Remember this is YOUR shoot, so don’t be worry and bend on following the trend, it is entirely up to you. So just have fun.

Our first thought is to be in the comfort of our own space since Singapore’s weather kills, and it will most probably mess up my hair and Angel’s make-up. So the next alternative is a hotel room. It is nicely air-conditioned, with plentiful natural daylight spilling in for a nice contour of the portraits and nice hotel food of course.

So after a few deliberations, looking at the decor of the rooms, the window length, the light source and direction at the shoot time and nonetheless, the pricing, we finally decided on JW Marriot. The room decoration is modern, simple and not too fanciful and they have a full window panel with lots of natural daylight coming in.

Shooting Props.

Make full use of good props when it comes to your maternity shoot. Bring along your sonograms for a good focal point, some plush toys, building blocks or some baby’s clothing and shoes. If you and your partner are avid soccer fans, bring along jerseys and a soccer ball.

For us, we brought a camera, tripod, balloons (blue, white and transparent), flowers (since blooming flowers are a beautiful symbol of new life) and lots of baby-related stuff like onesie, mittens and socks, jellycats soft toys, etc as props. And yes, we brought along our own portable softbox lighting as we were planning for a milk bath shoot and the toilet might not have sufficient lighting.

Angel decided on a minimalistic and natural styling for her make-up and hair. So she did her own makeup and her hairdo was done the night before, thus achieving a more natural look after setting and loosening for a night. Since every women’s body is different, there is no one size or one outfit for all, one dress that may look great on your Pinterest references, might not necessarily be complementing your changing body. For Angel, she decided on an @envyhersingapore outfit that works for her, and know that it wouldn’t look cringy in future when she looked back.

We also googled on how to achieve the milk bath shot without costing us a bomb, and most importantly, to not waste food. The most straight forward method was to pour in real milk or using milk powder, but that was so wasteful which we didn’t like the idea, plus the fact that it will look too watery to create the shot.

So how did we achieved this effect? A full packet of coffee mate creamer! Are you surprised by the outcome? We most definitely are!

The trick is to remember to use warm water and not cold water so the powder can dissolve in the water and not forming lumpy pieces. It does take us a little while to use our hands to mix it around, be sure to not fill up the whole bathtub. Probably try mixing it in half portion first because you still need to cater for your wife to go in! (take note on how the outfit stick to the skin) Add in the flowers and petals, and tadah!

To be honest, back then I really dragged myself to do it but now that is over, I have to say I was really quite happy with the results.

Let me know if you have any questions!  Have fun!

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