People are always asking me what to wear to their photo-shoot, especially if their photo session is going to be more of a specialty shoot like a Maternity Session. I’ve been getting a lot of calls again this Spring for Pregnancy Photos and because of that I thought it would be good to put together a helpful guide to styling your maternity session.
1.) Consider what type of backdrop or theme you would like for your session. Do you want something outdoorsy with a real natural feel or perhaps you’re a city girl at heart that wants to show off the vibrancy of the city you live in? Depending on what type of backgrounds you want in your photos this can help you with choosing your wardrobe selection. An urban shoot maybe would look better with jeans and a t-shirt while a mountain backdrop may call for more of a long flowing dress.
2.) Determine if you want an indoor or an outdoor session. We live in Colorado, a state with so many beautiful locations to take photos at it’s kind of hard to not want to take your photos outside, however I will always recommend an indoor portrait session in the following situations: 1.) If you want any nudity or lingerie shots of any kind because it’s easier and probably more lawful to take these photos in a controlled environment. 2.) If the time of year the weather conditions could make your photo-shoot be a little more challenging, than maybe scheduling something indoors will be a safer bet as well. You can also do more of a lifestyle type shoot and take the photos in the comfort of your own home and/or nursery for an amazing memory of all the hard work you put into designing the baby’s new digs.
3.) Determine who will be in your photos… Will it just be the mother to be or do you want your partner to be in some of the photos with you. If you have other children it’s really cute to incorporate them in the photos. Photos with the kids hugging your belly are always fun! And if you are going to incorporate the rest of the family you might want to have the family in complimentary colors. Everyone in matching outfits is pretty much a thing of the past. When I think of matching Christmas sweaters or everyone wearing a denim shirt in family photos my mind immediately goes to thoughts of the 1980s. Try not to make everyone look exactly the same, but more in outfits that look good together.
4.) If you are doing outside photos consider what the weather will be like during your session. The seasons will give you a pretty good idea on what colors will be available to purcahse and what looks great. Spring and Summer tend to have brighter and lighter feels than Fall and Winter which are more of a Warm and Cozy feel. In the Winter I often see woman in high boots, sweaters, scarves and warmer colors. In the Summer I see sun dresses and light and airy outfits.
5.) Keep from picking out something that’s too trendy. My goal is to always to make your photos look timeless. Twenty years from now I don’t want you to look back at your photos and think what in the heck was I wearing. Solid colors work great. Try to stay away from too much pattern as I always think that distracts form the baby bump. Tight fitting items that accentuate the pregnant belly work the best and minimal jewelry and accessories is also a better idea to keep the focus on your belly.
6.) Plan a couple different outfits so you can get a couple different looks. If you are planning on more than one outfit let your photographer know so that they can schedule in clothing change time and also pick a location near a restroom if you are doing an outdoor site unless you are comfortable with a vehicle change. Lay everything out and see how your pieces work together and bring a few props that remind you of baby if you have any. Great ideas are his/her first teddy bear, first set of shoes, a book you plan on reading to him, etc.
Here is a list of outfits that work great for maternity photo-shoots:
- Maxi Dresses
- Dresses that Tie at The Waist or Have a Slit
- Sheer/Lacy pieces
- Long flowy skirt with a crop top or bandeau bra
- Oversized knit sweaters
- Jeans and a fitting top
Other prop ideas that are fun:
- Sonogram Photo
- Messages to the Baby (Posters, Signs, Chalkboards, etc)
- Giftwrap Ribbon with a “Do Not Open Until *insert baby’s due date)
- Add Humor with Preparing for Parenthood Books or a play on words to make an announcement like in October welcoming our Little Pumpkin and some images taken with a pumpkin.
- Use holiday elements if you’re due around a holiday like Christmas, Easter or 4th of July
- If you’ve chosen a Name for baby you can incorporate blocks, letters, etc spelling it out
Always feel free to discuss ideas with us or the photographer you are working with as they are going to be the creative ones full of ideas, locations to suggest and more. If you are looking to do something completely original that signifies your personality that’s even better! Think about a hobby you are into or things that you and your partner like to do together and try to figure out how to bring them into your photos.
I photographed this lovely dusk maternity session with Becky and her family at the end of Summer. She was looking for a location that showed off the entire mountain range along with a lake in the background close to her home. Standley Lake checked all of the boxes for what she wanted. It had been a few years since I’ve taken a portrait session here. It was great getting back to this amazing spot. There had been so much rain over June and July and because of that the lake was so high that there wasn’t a beach that we could do photos on. Even though I was disappointed about a lack of a beach the location itself was still wonderful! It has a beautiful unobstructed view of the full mountain range and says “Colorado” in every sense of the word. We got some amazingly adorable photos with the kids and I was very happy with the results! Stay tuned for when I post some images from the newborn session!