How to take the perfect a bump silhouette shot when you’re pregnant

This week, I wanted to provide some hints and tips on how to take the perfect bump silhouette shot when you’re pregnant.

Once again, I specialise in maternity shoots and taking photos of expectant mums in Shropshire and Wales.

I have nearly 15 years’ experience as a professional photographer and have spent A LOT of time experimenting with and learning about lighting to get the perfect effects.

I usually invite pregnant ladies to my studio in south Shropshire and depending on each mum-to-be and what look they’re are after, we can create shots from mum and dad to be cradling the bump, to artfully shot nude silhouettes.

Obviously, with the country currently in lockdown, I can’t invite ladies to my studio. But I don’t want them to miss out, so I thought I would share some hints and tips on how to do this at home.

What are Silhouettes?

Silhouettes are nothing but backlit images. The subjects are normally in shadow. The outline of the subject is visible in silhouettes.

Inside or out?

You don’t have to be outside to create great silhouette photos. When shooting indoors, you can still use the same principle of shooting towards the light.

Simply position your subject (which in this case is you – so you’ll have to enlist help or use a timer), in front of a window, doorway or other strong light source.

The bright light will illuminate your subject from behind, throwing your subject into silhouette.

Silhouettes with DSLR Cameras

Use the ‘Spot metering’ mode and a small aperture if you are using an DSLR camera. Focus on the bright background. You can often pop the camera in P setting for a good silhouette shot too.

Make sure that the natural light is coming from behind and there is absolutely no light on the face of the subject.

Ask your subject to give a side profile pose in order to get the features to show up prominently.

Creating stunning silhouettes is all about where you stand in relationship to your subject and the light. Place your subject between you and the light source. If you’d like to be in the shot using your timer.

Silhouettes using the camera on your phone

Frame your shot and tap the lightest part of the photo, e.g. the bright sky or the bright light from the window, to set the exposure for the brightest part of the scene.

By exposing for the brightest part, the areas that are not so bright, such as the foreground and your subject, will appear under-exposed (darker than normal).

If you need to make the subject even darker to turn them into a silhouette, simply reduce the exposure of the image by swiping your finger down on the screen.

If you are pregnant now, please have a look at some of maternity images for inspiration here. If you are hoping to book a maternity shot after lockdown, or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

The second strip of gorgeous photographs are an example taken by Donna Tudor, aren’t they adorable and such a gorgeous idea. 


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