5 Expert Tips for Gorgeous Pregnancy Photos

Here's how to snap pregnancy photos you'll really love.

Pregnancy photos: Take a better one CPSC

Now's the time to snag baby bump photos you'll cherish for years to come. Tamara Lackey, a portrait photographer in Chapel Hill, N.C. and author of Capturing Life Through (Better) Photography, schools you on snapping.

Get The Right Equipment

It's worth investing in a DSLR camera; once Precious is here you'll want sharp pics to chronicle the cuteness. Lackey likes the Nikon D3300 ($600, bestbuy.com), which is light and easy for newbies. "A good camera will have user-friendly automatic settings," Lackey says. "The portrait option is best for bump photos, since it softens the background and focuses on what's directly in front of the lens."

Dress The Part

Certain outfits work better for the camera: "When I photograph pregnant women, we use flowing clothes that still enhance the belly," Lackey says. "Dress in solid colors or a soft pattern and grab a few hair clips to tighten the fabric beneath your tummy at your hip line in back. This highlights your curves so you can show them off to full effect."

Step Up Your Selfie Game

You don't need your partner around to take a beautiful bump shot. Go it alone—but not with a duck face and your iPhone. "Buy a tripod—they cost about $20—and set the self-timer so that it takes multiple images at a time," Lackey says. "Place the tripod in your open front doorway, since that spot gets great light, and position yourself just inside the door. If you're taking photos outside, shoot in the morning or an hour before sunset." That lighting is gorge and lets you leave off the flash, which can be harsh and unflattering.

Know Your Angles

Wondering how to stand? "Give the camera your side profile, and position yourself in front of a clean wall or closed curtains—nothing that diverts the eye, like a bookshelf," Lackey says. "As you pose, show your shape: Move your hips back, put your belly out and place hands on top of it."

Mind The Details

It's fun to document your growing bump by taking a few shots every week or two. The key, Lackey says, is consistency. When you do your first session, note your location, the lighting, the camera settings and how far you stood from the tripod. "Write these down so you can use the same specs throughout your pregnancy," she says. Keeping conditions the same each time prevents distracting differences between the images, so all attention will be on your transformation.