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Ask the experts: Take pictures like a pro

All my baby bump pictures look awful. What are some tips and tricks for taking pregnancy photos like a pro? Seek better lighting. Let’s face it, bathroom lights, especially in photos taken with a cellphone, are hardly ever flattering. There’s a reason photographers love natural light: It makes everyone look good. Try different angles. Don’t...

picofbellyAll my baby bump pictures look awful. What are some tips and tricks for taking pregnancy photos like a pro?
Seek better lighting. Let’s face it, bathroom lights, especially in photos taken with a cellphone, are hardly ever flattering. There’s a reason photographers love natural light: It makes everyone look good.
Try different angles. Don’t just shoot a side view in the mirror. Try looking down on your bump from above, lying down, or looking up from below. Switching up the angles can make for some funny pics, which is great if you have a silly family or want to convey different moods.
Choose clothes with care. Any professional photographer will tell you that photos stand the test of time when clients put thought into what they’re wearing. You’re probably not going to want to frame a photo of you in your pajama pants and faded T-shirt. Now’s the time to wear close-fitting clothes and feel good about it—you want to accentuate your bump!
Use props and hands. Try standing next to baby-to-be’s crib or sitting in the rocking chair with a book you plan to read to your little one. Use a small chalkboard to convey how far along you are—or even write on the palms of your hands! Simple but effective, these sentimental additions will help you feel more connected and also encourage you to try different poses.
Experiment with backgrounds. Whether taking pics in baby’s room, in front of your house, or at an ice cream shop, the possibilities for background choices are endless. If you can’t leave the house, make sure clutter is cleared away so it doesn’t become a distraction in the background.
Learn and practice. Cameras have amazing features—from light to warmth to shutter speed, you can control everything about your image. Get familiar with your camera so that when an opportunity arises for a fantastic shot, you’ll be prepared.
—Janelle Hamrick, Atlanta, Knoxville and West Palm Beach-based photographer and owner of Janelle Hamrick Photography.