So you’re embarking on an amazing surrogacy journey, and you want to commemorate every step of the way with photos. That’s great news! Taking photos throughout your surrogacy journey will help you remember and cherish the experience forever. A picture says a thousand words, so it can be fun to look back on these photos at the end of your journey and remember all the little moments that add up to an unforgettable experience.

One of the most important things you’ll want to do throughout your surrogacy journey is document everything that happens—including your doctor appointments, pregnancy bump photos, and happy moments with your intended parents. You’re going to want beautiful photos at every stage of your journey, so take a look at these tips and tricks to get the best photos possible!

Use A Self-Timer

This is the most important tip:  set your self-timer and step away, especially if you have no one to help you. Take some time to figure out the self-timer on your phone. Most phone cameras have a self-timer setting with a 3-second or 10-second window. You may need to experiment with different angles (up, down, or side) until you find what works best for you.

Use Social Media to Find Inspiration

Not sure where to start with poses? Social media is a great place to find inspiration. One of the best ways to get started with surrogacy journey photography is to take your own photos and then look at what other people are doing. Look at their photo editing, filter choice, filters they didn’t use, the angle of the camera, etc. Paying attention to what you like will help you figure out your style as a photographer.

Instagram hashtags like #maternityphotos or #maternityshoot are great for inspiration. Pinterest also offers a ton of pregnancy photoshoot pictures. Or just search for maternity photos on Google images.

Natural Lighting is Best

A photo can look better instantly with the right lighting. Try using natural light for your photos, either from a light-facing window or just going outside.

Natural light is best for taking photos because it does not create harsh shadows. For the best natural lighting, do your photos first thing in the morning. If you’re outside on a sunny day, find shade to avoid glare on the screen.

Tips for Mirror Selfies

It’s a great idea to practice your photos and poses in front of the mirror before you start shooting, but if you opt to take your selfies in the mirror, make sure your mirror is clean. This helps people focus on you, not the water spots!

Be aware of your background

It’s easy to forget about the background when you’re taking selfies. Backgrounds should be simple, uncluttered, and free of distracting elements. Make sure it’s not too busy, so it doesn’t take attention away from you. Step left or right until the background contains less clutter. If you’re in a public place, try to be aware of the people in the background, too.

Use Portrait Mode

Ever wondered how the background is blurred in most professional portraits? A blurred background creates depth and helps you stand out. Phone cameras allow you to create this effect using a special mode – on iPhones, it’s called Portrait Mode. Other phones may call it “selfie” mode.

Frame Your Belly

Let’s be honest: your pregnant belly is what everyone is focusing on. Always try to highlight and frame your belly. The best way to do this is to turn slightly to the side instead of photographing straight on. Having your hands on top of and below your bump will also frame your belly and show affection.

Be Creative with Props

Props are great because they add that little “something extra,” especially in a pregnancy shoot. Instead of just posing with your hands on your belly each week, add some props to catch the eye. This can be anything from ultrasound photos, to a sign with a meaningful saying, to a gift for the parents or baby.

Final Thoughts

There are many benefits to documenting your surrogacy journey, but it’s not always easy to take those photos. We hope these tips will help you better capture the beautiful moments that make up your story! Bump day posts are our favorite part of the week!

Staci Swiderski, CEO and owner of Family Source Consultants has been involved in the field of reproductive medicine since 2002. Staci has vigorously grown the comprehensive egg donation and gestational surrogacy agency to become a worldwide leader in the third-party reproduction field. Staci is a former intended parent herself. She and her husband welcomed their son via gestational surrogacy in 2005. Additionally, Staci had the experience of assisting an infertile couple (AKA Recipient Parents) build their family through her efforts as an egg donor, with her donation resulting in the births of their son and daughter.