Photographer Exposes the Truth Behind Those 'Perfect' Maternity Photos


Gilmar Silva

Getting the perfect birth, wedding, or pregnancy announcement picture can be a tricky task for photographers. Ever wonder how they get ethereal shots of a new mom swinging on a flower garland, babies looking blissful in a meadow, or gravity-defying pictures of couples kissing in mid-air? Well, Brazilian wedding and family photographer Gilmar Silva has decided to peel the curtain back on all the tricks and tips that professional photographers use to get those amazing shots we all hang with pride in our living rooms. The project is called LUGARxPHOTO (meaning "place and photo") and reveals just how much trickery is involved -- not to mention Photoshop! 

  • One of the most important tricks that Gilmar points out on his Instagram is his use of angles to hide the location of his shots.

    Take this image, for example. Not only is this little girl not in a majestic meadow in the middle of the forest -- she seems to be frolicking near a busy street.

    Silva was able to get the shot by getting an angle between two of the cars in the background and making the focus in the back blurry. On his Instagram, he writes that the mother of the child did not like the location of the shoot at first, but after she saw the photos, she was left with her "chin on the floor." And for good reason -- this shot is gorgeous! 

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  • Or, how about this maternity photo trick that anyone can use?

    Silva explains on Instagram that if you put rose petals on the ground, have the pregnant woman lie on top of them, and then take the photo from high above her, you can easily give any bump photos an ethereal vibe.

  • Can you believe this gorgeous mom was actually squeezed behind a recycling can?

    Earth goddess, indeed!

  • Here's another one with this mama posing next to the side of a highway.

  • Then there are the old-school tricks that Gilmar uses to alter the background of his photos.

    Using a hose to make it look like it's raining? Classic.

  • In this picture, Silva has an assistant throwing flour in the back to create a hazy, smoky effect.

  • And in this picture, two assistants hold up balloons to fill up the shot and make it seem like a room full of balloons!

  • And finally, sometimes one needs to use a little Photoshop to make the magic happen.


    Like in this astounding photo, where Silva not only made the shot lighter, he even made it look like it was snowing! Can you believe that this mama didn't have to leave Brazil to get the perfect winter pregnancy shot?

  • By being transparent with his process, Gilmar has given all folks the chance to make their own photo magic!

    Now go forth and take your own amazing photos!

    You can check out more of Gilmar Silva's work on his Instagram, website, and Facebook page.