Say Cheese! Your Guide to the Perfect Pregnancy Selfie
Selfies have been a hot topic in the past year, so much of a hot topic that it was named “word of the year” for 2013 by the Oxford Dictionary. Bloggers have raged against them, and then changed their minds and decided to embrace them. Even our president took part in the selfie movement.
I'm in the pro-selfie camp, myself. As a mom, I take pictures often of my little guy and his dad, but nobody thinks to take pictures of me! I'm fine with that because of the selfie. Before I got pregnant, I would take outfit shots in the same bathroom mirror every day for the style section of my blog. I'd also use my smartphone to capture moments with my little boy while we were playing or snuggling.
After my bump started growing, selfies became even more important. They have helped me document my growing belly so I'll remember this pregnancy even more.
Our lives are so busy. Sometimes pulling out a camera and a tripod is not easy (or that practical), or maybe there's no one around to ask to take the shot. Selfies take care of both those issues: Your phone camera is almost always with you, and you are the photographer. Problem solved.
I have hundreds of selfies under my belt, and I've “perfected” the pose, if I do say so myself (please note the sarcasm here, folks!). Here are some tips for capturing the best pregnancy selfies and creating memories of your burgeoning bump. For reference, I'm sharing my own selfies that show you what not to do.
Wear a light color or pattern
I have a black tank top that I find myself wearing every single night after I get home from work. It's super comfy (which is why it's a staple in my wardrobe), but it doesn't do much for me as far as photos are concerned. Why? Dark or solid colors tend to downplay the size of your bump. You may want to downplay your bump, and that's totally fine, but if you want a memory of just how big your bump was, try a striped or chevron shirt or tank top. It's also fun to wear the same shirt for all of your pregnancy selfies (or at least the “official” ones, if you're keeping track) so you can see your progress after you give birth.
Contrast the background
A solid, light-colored wall is the best route for the perfect pregnancy selfie, especially if you are taking a picture in a striped or print outfit. This is where the bathroom selfie is a bonus. Many bathrooms have solid colors that won't clash with your bump. When you're composing your shot, make sure the full picture has the same background. I've made the mistake of forgetting to close the bathroom door at my house before snapping a picture, leaving a distracting change in background in my selfie.
Find good lighting
As a general photography rule, florescent light, super-bright sunlight, and shadowy or dimly lit areas aren't conducive to a good photograph, and the same applies for pictures on your phone; indirect, natural light is best. If you're taking the infamous mirror selfie, make sure you're in an area with plenty of natural light—open up the curtains and adjust your mirror so you're facing the light from the window. This will also help you avoid turning on your flash, which is much harsher and less flattering than natural light.
It's all about the bump
Speaking of mirror selfies, there is a right and a wrong way to hold your phone for maximum bump viewing. Your bump should be the main attraction here, so the key is to hold your camera or phone in a way that it blends in with your clothing or background. Try holding your phone in the hand that's behind you, and bend your elbow so you can stabilize the camera. Another option is to hold your phone in the hand closest to the mirror, close to your face. Look down at your bump or at the camera, and for a dramatic effect (if you're into that kind of thing), place your hand on your belly to direct the viewers eyes to the main attraction. For a change of perspective, try taking a picture of your bump from the top down—that'll give you a good idea of how difficult it was to see your feet!
Check the area
I know bathroom selfies are super tempting—you're there alone (except for the toddler standing outside, begging to come in…), and there is a mirror. Your reflection is begging you to just snap one little shot of your bump. Before you do it, look around. What else is the camera catching? Dirty underwear? Spots on the mirror? Toothpaste in the sink? A messy background can take away from your selfie and leave viewers focusing on the stuff instead of your pregnancy glow. Change angles, pick up your things, or move to a different location.
What selfie tips would you add to this list? Are you having fun taking pregnant selfies or do you avoid them altogether?