Setting up the Picture Taking

So now that things are finalised, I felt that we needed to really get this picture-taking on the move. It’d be a damned shame if we procrastinated this until I’m the size of a bomb before realising that we didn’t capture tummy growth.

Just some starting tips – although we live in a digital age, and we’re more than capable of taking photos with our camera phones, it DOES help to have a good camera on hand. Plus again, I’m kiasu so I don’t mind to be a bit kwa zhang (exaggerated). We use a Canon 60D DSLR. And I normally take pictures on Auto No-Flash, because I’m a camera idiot 🙂 Anyway, the DSLR is a MAGIC camera. Even on Auto, No-flash, pictures almost always come out gorgeous.

But back to tutorial proper… (Not that it’s really a tutorial, rather just to share how we put a spin on getting stuff done.)

WARNING: Picture heavy post ahead.

 Step 1 – Pick out an Outfit

There are actually a lot of different ways to do this. Most people go for wearing a similar outfit throughout the photoshoots so that the time really looks as if baby is growing in a blink of an eye. (Which kinda IS the case)

peektures

There are quite a number of other options available like this lovely different-angle collage.

peektures4

and this cute idea with the chalk board to say how big the baby is at that very moment.

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I am leaning into doing something a little simpler. But with the option to change it up a little. Like this one:

peektures3

I love how she’s wearing the same dress, but the composition of the picture and the poses change and she’s got her hair in different styles throughout the year. It’s lovely to see that while your body is changing, everything else changes with it.

I am going  with a full-cover cross back bra because I get a tonne of support with it. It’s also relatively easy to find black bras and tops in case my boobs really explode and want to break free of their restraints and I need to get a replacement shirt of sorts. And it’s also relatively easy to find matchy-matchy clothes items to compliment the basic black bra top. I’m ALSO going to go with stretchy Yoga-type pants or tights because I’m definitely going to need the extra give in the tummy

SO final look:

uniform


 Step 2 – Where’re you gonna Stand?

First things first is to find a nice place to take the pictures. John and I actually take a LOT of pictures in front of a full length mirror that we have next to our front door.

Collage

But after looking through a lot of the pictures on Pinterest, we’ve found a lot of people opt for a solid background so that it’s easier to see the progression. We really wanted something that would focus on the tummy so we came up with the tiny alcove that leads to our study and guest bedroom. The idea is for the pics to be nicely framed by the doorway. It’s also a good non-moving landmark that will help to emphasize the growth of the belly. The walls are not meant to move as far as I’m aware of, so we figured it’s as good a place as any for starters.

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There are also a lot of other options, like on the couch and on the bed. But I figured being as OCD (obsessive compulsive ) as I am, I’d want somewhere where the chances of having shifts and changes to the angles and perspectives of the photos from week to week would be less likely.

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After a few test shots, we marked out the position of the tripod stand so that we’d have a stationery point of reference before moving on to any more vigorous picture-taking activity.


 Step 3 – Figure out your Positions and Poses

I actually don’t have a lot of pictures of me making a fool of myself trying to find a cute pose.Or maybe I do, but I just don’t want to show you. Either way, keep your eyes peeled for the progression over the next few months.

What you want to do is find a position that flatters you and accentuates the main object in the frame – which is YOU. And your Belleh. SO play around with the camera and try and get different shots of you doing different things so that you figure out what’s the most flattering way to portray you.

selfie 2

Important Considerations: While framing your belly, make sure that you account for growth. You don’t want to have to reframe your entire picture history just because you misjudged how big your belly will grow.  In fact. YOU CAN’T. Because you can’t turn back time.

I took this photo originally and then realised that that that is WAY too little space. I intend to get fatter than a fat cow. So we had to readjust everything and remark everything out. Zzzz. Small price to pay for a season’s worth of well-framed piccies.

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There are actually a fair amount of charts available online if you are worried you don’t know how huge you’re going to get. If in doubt, take a picture with a larger frame, so you can always crop it later when you reframe.

Just Google “Belly Progression”. Or if you’re lazy click here. (You can also just chuck in the word “Twins” at the back if that’s what you’re expecting too 🙂 The pictures look almost identical to me though…)


Step 4 – Mark out your Perfect Position

Okay, So I brought out a roll of masking tape, and trust me, before I got down to this final marking, there were masking tape stickers all over the damn place to see if that’s where I wanted to stand for the rest of my pregnant photoshoot life. It was an interesting experience trying to tie it down to just a single location.

I actually settled with 2. One front-facing and one forward-facing position.

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It’s actually not so important to know HOW you’re going to stand, but more for the framing of the camera. If you’re going to do something like a flipbook or a progressive video with the same background, you wanna KINDA stand in the same position every time. Or at least very least try to minimise the variations.

I actually have no idea how to make a video, but I want to have at least an option should that be how I choose to roll the next time around.

But, you should mark out the borders if you can. The hubs and I did it the cheapo way by just looking through the view finder and getting the other person to paste masking tape just at the border of the frame with a little black highlight for extra prominence

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 Step 5 – TAKE PICTURES and HAVE FUN!

Once you’ve got the place marked out, every week/month when you’re taking your photos take lots and lots of pictures. So that you have more to choose from for the final compilation. DON’T restrict yourself to something stiff and sturdy staring into space and the like.  DON’T treat it like a chore. Do something wacky and zany for that week/month that will put a little oomph into your photos. Besides your belly of course.

Come up with a funky way to showcase your pictures. But don’t fret too much if they don’t come out too nice the first time around. Remember I said to take LOTS of photos? As long as you have the softs, you can always make changes no matter how far down in the pregnancy you are.

What you CANNOT do, is take photos of when you were 5 weeks pregnant when you are 10 weeks in, so get all those photos taken, AND THEN SOME. NEVER regret a lost photo opportunity. You will thank me for it.

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I hope that that helps a little and gives you a few pointers if not ideas. This little write up is really meant to just help me document the process of my journey, but I hope it helps others in some way to get started with arranging a home photo shoot for belly progression too.

This is my final “test” picture but I fully intend to take the next few weeks by surprise and bust out a whole bunch of different moves that ain’t nobody have ever seen before. (I’ve also got to do something about my hair…)

Pretty as a Picture,
Jess

P.S. If you want to see how my picture taking has been going, visit the “Belly Growth Progression” Pictures Page 🙂

P.S.S. Some bonus stills of husband helping me out with Step 2 – figuring out some cool poses and positions.

IMG_7679          john's

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