Picture-perfect Pregnancy

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Many women want to document their pregnancy with a beautiful, glowing portrait, rounded tummy on proud display. The trouble is, during pregnancy we’re not always at our most photogenic. Swollen ankles, extra weight, bloating; a photo shoot may be the last thing on your mind. Fear not—thanks to the wonders of modern photography, there are a few things you can do to wave the wand of photo magic and create an image you can cherish.

Picture-perfect Pregnancy

Here are a few tips to creating the perfect shot:

  • Choose the right location. Doing it home is a great option if you are on the shy side, as you may be more comfortable in a private and familiar setting. It also showcases you and your family in your natural setting, which is warm and intimate. Then again, some of the outdoor settings in Thailand are so stunning—a shot on the beach with the ocean crashing in the background and the sun setting in the distance, could be the perfect imagery to celebrate bringing new life into the world.
  • Pick your outfit wisely. You want something tight to showcase your belly. Avoid plaids, busy patterns and florals, but have fun with bold colors. Try to choose apparel that is simple and timeless. Or, you can skip clothing altogether. Many women opt for sheer material for coverage, or even go nude. This all depends on your comfort level.  If you would like a sheer wrap, you can find diaphanous curtains at Paragon, Central World or Ikea that will do the trick.
  • Timing is everything. You want to look pregnant, but if you don’t want to go into labor in the middle of the photo session. Around seven or eight months is a good timeframe to aim for.
  • Turn off the flash. Whenever possible, use natural lighting. The early morning sun, around 6:30 a.m., or an hour or two before sunset, is the best. You’ll get that soft natural light and avoid the washed out look that a strong flash can create.
  • Beware the background. When it comes to maternity portraits, the more basic the better. A cluttered setting will just distract from the simple beauty of the shot. So while incorporating a lovely outdoor setting can be breathtaking, setting up a shot with toys, balloons or bubbles scattered about, may end up distracting from the scene rather than adding to it.
  • Bring in the whole fam! Incorporate a few shots with the father and any siblings, to add that extra intimacy and familial fun to the picture.
  • Get funky. Don’t be afraid to break the mold and do something different, or just be silly. If you have a specific hobby, like surfing, why not incorporate your board in the shot? Or if you love music, try a couple snaps with your guitar. Love the outdoors? Take a shot in the middle of a rice paddy. Whatever it is, make it you.
  • Relax and try to feel beautiful. Your comfort level and attitude will definitely have an impact on the resulting shot. So even if you aren’t feeling your most radiant just repeat the mantra “Photoshop, photoshop, photoshop.”  Because if you look happy and at ease, the picture will shine, and any little faults, like stretch marks or wrinkles, can be digitally removed using Photoshop later ;)
  • Trust the professionals. If you have a friend with a knack for photography, great. That may result in a really fun, quality time photoshoot. But if not, check out one of the many maternity photography studios in every major Thai city.

Poses to try:

  • Sitting on the beach looking out at the ocean.
  • Profile at sunset, standing on the beach with your hands on your hips. The backlight will leave you a darkened silhouette against the frame, which can look quite artistic.
  • The class close up of the belly. A must-have.
  • Sitting cross-legged looking directly at the camera.
  • Have the photographer get up above you and shoot downward. This eliminates the dreaded double chin.
  • Sibling kissing the belly. Guaranteed to elicit “awwwww”s.
  • Lying down. Great for comfort and can create flattering shots.

If you have any tips for maternity shots, or even pictures to share to give other pregnant women an idea of how the images can turn out, let us know. You can comment below and share pictures through our flickr account.


Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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1 Comment

  1. Expecting Mom from US  /  August 30, 2012, 9:18 am Reply

    Thanks for the great tips. For anyone with a digital slr camera, here are some ideas on settings:

    1) For a great portrait, try shooting in Aperture (Av) mode, and setting your aperture to the lowest number possible. You have to be very careful with focus but with this setup you can have a beautiful in-focus shot of the mother to be, with a soft or blurred background

    2) For landscapes or seascapes like the one shown above do the opposite: change the aperture to a high number. This will help set everything in the photo in focus. Sometimes when you do this on a cloudy day or early or late in the day, you may have to increase the ISO on the camera or else the photo can take too long to take resulting in blur.

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