How to Take a Pregnancy Silhouette Photo (with your iPhone!)

I’m currently 36 weeks pregnant and have been wanting to recreate this picture (scroll down a bit) from Kelly Hicks Photography for a while now. Before whipping out my fancy camera, I thought I’d see if I could get a similar look with my iPhone. And sure enough! With a little bit of work, apps, and an iPhone camera (an outdated 4 at that ;)), this is what I got.

how to take a pregnancy silhouette photo, with your iPhone! //

Every week I post a bump shot, but today’s 36 week photo got quite a bit of a response on facebook and instagram. :) And many of you wanted to know how I captured it. It wasn’t as hard as you might think, here’s what to do!

Apps You’ll Need:

  • Camera+, 1.99. It has a self timer, also takes photos with a larger resolution/size.
  • Afterlight, 0.99. Best .99 you’ll spend on an app. Hands down, my favorite for editing. Get it. NOW.

Both apps are only available on iPhone, but for Android phones you’ll first need an app with a timer, and an editing app with filters that lets you adjust the exposure.

What to Wear:

  • a tight fitting black tank top
  • tight fitting black leggings, shorts, or yoga pants
  • a messy bun or pony tail

You want your silhouette to be as simple and clean as possible. Try to wear clothes that eliminate lines and bunching.


You’ll need a window with natural light coming in, preferably with thin, white, or sheer curtains closed to filter the light slightly and create a soft glow.

What to Do:

Start the Camera+ app. Tap the gear to get your camera options, select "timer", and then tap the "5" to change it to a 15 second timer.

how to take a pregnancy silhouette photo, with your iPhone! (using Camera+)//

Prop up your camera on a box, dresser, or something across from your window so that it is at about shoulder height. Don’t use the camera facing you on the screen, you’ll get a low resolution. Point the back of the phone towards you, and look on the screen to try and get your window in the center.

Start the timer, stand about 1-2 feet from your window, hold still, and snap! This is what you’ll get, it’s your tester shot to see what pose works for you.

how to take a pregnancy silhouette photo, with your iPhone! //

You’ll notice that it’s just a regular pic, not blown out, and the laundry pile is in focus. This is your tester shot, look at this and see what you want to change about your pose.

For me, I lined up the arm next to the window in line with my body so it didn’t show, and my hand closer to the camera on my hip, making sure that you could see the curve of my back clearly. My bun wasn’t so messy either, so I fixed that. Also play with how close or far away you are from the camera, 2 feet from the window seemed to be the best for me.

Okay. Got your pose? Get your phone ready, and TAP on the corner of the curtains or window in an area where you will not be standing. Your camera will focus in on that area and make the light blown out a bit.

Set the camera timer, get in your position, and hold still.

how to take a pregnancy silhouette photo, with your iPhone! //

SNAP! Woo hoo, my light is all bright and I’m all dark like a silhouette! But this photo could still use some editing.

Open your Afterlight app, and play around with your photo how YOU like it. Here’s what I did in mine:

  • tilted the photo so the window was straightened
  • used the "Raven" filter to make it black and white, hit the check to save the edits
  • added the "Glacier" filter to give it a warm/bluish tone, adjusted the intensity 30-50% lower, hit the check to save the edits
  • increased the "exposure" a bit to make it hazy looking
  • cropped the photo to make the window centered
  • saved it in the highest resolution
  • went back to edit, then added a frame to make the photo square, and pulled it up in Instagram

Here’s the before and after of my picture:

how to take a pregnancy silhouette photo, with your iPhone! //

The one on the left still looks good and didn’t NEED to be edited. But the one on the right?! It evokes a hazy, dreamy glow. The tilting and cropping help draw your eye to the person, rather than the bed or the laundry on either side of the picture. ;)

Here’s the original (from Kelly Hicks Photography): Our editing style is a little different, but not bad for an iPhone camera!

how to take a pregnancy silhouette photo, with your iPhone! //

and here’s mine, pin it to save these directions for when you need em!

how to take a pregnancy silhouette photo, with your iPhone! //

Try it out for yourself, have fun with poses, or add your kids, pets, or family to the mix. I’d love to see it if you try it out, so feel free to email me, comment here, or tag me on Instagram (my handle is @whbsblog) if you post on there!

What do ya think?


  1. Ivy says

    Love this tutorial! Any tips on the first picture? I’m following your instructions but I’m not getting the blown out look.

  2. says

    Thanks for this great tutorial. I first came across the original photo awhile ago and thought, “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to find a photographer who could take this kind of photo of my pregnancy.” But now I can have my husband read your tutorial so he can be the photographer. So thanks again.

  3. Lesa says

    Wow! Thanks for the step by step tips instead of just naming the apps. I have both apps and wasn’t sure what you would’ve done in after light for editing. This really helps!

  4. says

    Search for them on i – Tunes or your favourite app
    store. There are some subscription charges but you can download it
    for free. Game applications work really big time and you may even give these apps free of charge and yet
    earn money.

  5. Kimber says

    Excellent tutorial/suggestion of apps! Used it today for a tiny maternity shoot with my little one. Thank you!

  6. says

    It’s rather a nice beneficial section of info. My business is thankful for you to shared this handy details with us. Remember to keep people educated such as this. Appreciate your spreading.

  7. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been wanting to do a picture like this for quite some time and I am so thankful to have found this tutorial! I edited mine a little different (like you said- do it how YOU like it) and I am just in love with the outcome. I can’t believe I was able to do it alone, too! I was wondering if propping my phone up would work, but it did! Thank you!!! You can see my picture at the link below.

    thanks again!!

  8. Kate says

    Beautiful shot, Ann Marie!
    Thank you for the tutorial–it’s great!!
    I’m just 5 weeks pregnant now, but I’ll be trying out your methods once I have a healthy bump to show off. (:

  9. Newmomma says

    That is an amazing and inspiring sharing ! Many thanks for explaning the background so clear and giving an opportunity to other moms to have such a memory <3

  10. Danielle says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve always loved shots like this and it was very helpful knowing exactly how you made yours. I just did mine and it turned out great! Thank you for sharing! :)

  11. Tricia says

    Thank you so much for this idea and tutorial! What a special picture I’ll have to remember this pregnancy with my son. I’ve already shared your blog with a few pregnant friends that plan to use this tutorial when they get their full-term bumps!

  12. Briana says

    Thank you for this!!! I’m 11 weeks pregnant with a baby via surrogacy for a family. I did this today. This will be a wonderful gift for them.

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