Maternity Self Portraits | Take Your Own

There is a way to take your own, beautiful maternity self portraits at home with your phone. Tell the story of your growing belly for youSometimes things are just for you. Not to be displayed in your home and not to be shared with the masses. Sometimes documenting your own life is a treasure that you do for future you.

Black and White Maternity Self Portrait in front of a window.

I wanted to show every woman that you can find a simple set up in your own home to take maternity self portraits. Have your hair up or down, no make up needed. Taking one picture every month with your phone (yes, your smart phone) can compile a collection of beautiful photos that tell your belly story.

The key to self portraits is always diffused light. 

Here I clipped sheer curtains behind her navy curtains for two reasons:

  1. To help block the noise, cars, other distractions from the photo
  2. to soften, spread and diffuse the light coming in behind her.

This is not direct light!!  There was enough light here to illuminate her belly and her face. It also added a slight glow, but not an overwhelming flooding of direct light.

These images were taken on cloudy days, on sunny days, usually in the late afternoon time during the summer months into the fall.

We wanted to show off the belly. I knew I was going to make them black and white (with the default editor that comes in iphotos), so I did not mind the tight black dress.  Typically when working with clients to find clothing that photographs well, we want to avoid tight black items. They can end up looking like a shadowless blob of blackness.  In this particular set up that was the intention- a solid black belly that is growing.

Why Black and White Maternity Self Portraits?

Black and white photography with your phone can also be very forgiving with skin tones, highlights and softer images.  Although you could do this set up in color, the lighted window behind your subject could throw off the consistency and the look of skin tones.

We originally wanted to skip the first few months because there was no belly to show off.  That is ok!!  Women show differently.  Deepening if it is your first child, your third child, your genes, your height, your lifestyle, just you!  But for this complete look, we wanted the full nine images to show the entire pregnancy.

When thinking about doing a maternity session with a professional photographer, a good guideline is around the 27-33 weeks mark.  This is merely a guideline, as women feel different, move different and show at different times.  One of my favorite maternity sessions of all time was done at 38 weeks!  


I took all of these pictures with my iphone11 (not the best camera).  If you do not have someone to help you take these pictures when you want to, you can absolutely set this up on your own with a front facing camera and the 10 sec time setting.  This can be done with a small phone tripod placed on a high surface or simply leaning the phone against something stable while you pose in the window.

Be sure to do the same pose every month.  Here we did the left hand on top of the belly and the right hand underneath.  We had our Mama face perfectly perpendicular to the window, drop the chin slightly and relax.

She intentionally wore her hair different in each photograph to add some contrast and points of interest to the collage, but keeping your hair the same could look super clean and cool, too!  It is up to you and how you want your maternity self portraits to look.

After you take your own maternity self portrait, give it a quick look and see if you like. Once you have a photo that makes you happy, save it to a labeled folder in your picture gallery right away on your phone. Otherwise, you will be searching through hundreds of photos to find these. Therefore, compile your images easily throughout this process.

Lastly, once you have your nine images that you love, change the image to black and white.  Use the contrast, shadow, highlights and blacks sliders to find an edit that you like.  Those are the four sliders that I suggest to start with and see where you can take your black and white photo.

Hello. Thank you for visiting. 

I am Steph, owner of Steph Kines Photo, specializing in working with young families, expecting women and growing babies in the Philadelphia area.  I hope you found my Take Your Own Maternity Photos  |  DIY Growing Belly Tutorial at Home blog feature helpful and inspiring.  If you are interested in booking a photography session and would like to talk more about how we will spend our time together, let’s connect here.  Finding your photographer can take time, so if you would like to follow along and see more behind the scenes, follow me on Instagram.

Steph is Philadelphia’s Natural Newborn Photographer, specializing in finding light and connection in your own space.  She offers maternity, family, milestone and newborn photography in a warm, natural and unexpected way.  Her clients love that her sessions are child-led which means giving space and guidance to young children to be themselves in their own environment.  This leads to more true reflection of your family at this time in your life.  All clients receive a collection of prints and the rights to fully edited digital files.  Steph can design custom, heirloom albums and assist with wall galleries to display in your home.  I invite you to learn more about the quality and feel of my offered products and art with this blog post.

Steph serves Philadelphia, Bucks County and The Main Line including:

Bryn Mawr  |  Media   |  Main Line  |  Gladwyne  |  Villanova  |  Radnor   |  Narberth   |  Wynwood   |  Ardmore  |   Malvern   |  Strafford  |   Chestnut Hill   |  Haverford   |  Merion   |  Penn Valley  |   Doylestown   |  New Hope   |  North Wales   |  Lansdale   |  Harleysville   |  Newtown Square  |  Collegeville

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