One of the most frequently asked questions I get when clients book a maternity session is: “What should I wear?” You might be feeling a bit uneasy about being in front of the camera, 7 to 8 months pregnant, with new curves and a shape your body’s never had before. You want to look good for these photos and my goal as your photographer is to help you feel as confident and comfortable as possible! When it comes to wardrobe, my biggest piece of advice is wear what makes you feel good. Sure, that leaves a lot up for interpretation, but there are lots of ways to style your wardrobe for your maternity session without having to go crazy. Here are my top 5 tips for picking an outfit that will make you feel great:
1. It’s all about the bump. The whole point of a maternity session is to show off that beautiful baby bump, right? So let’s not hide it! Opt for clothes that are form fitting (not necessarily skin tight) to show off your new curves. Avoid overly baggy or flowy tops – these don’t do anything flattering for your figure. Instead, go for a simple maternity tee or camisole. If you like the look of a dress, stick to maxi dresses, preferably ones that have an empire waist. The long length of the dress will help accentuate your beautiful silhouette.
2. Go for solids. When it comes to colors and patterns, solids tend to photograph the best. And when you’re picking a color to wear, try to avoid anything overly bright (i.e. neon colors). Again, our focus is on the bump and wearing a large bold pattern will only be a distraction. You can’t ever go wrong with neutrals or soft colors. Jewel tones like deep reds, blues, greens, and purples can also look great depending on the setting and time of year. I prefer to photograph darker colors against a lush green backdrop, whereas lighter colors work well at locations like the beach.
3. Accessorize! One of the easiest ways to add texture and variety to your images is to mix it up with your accessories. Depending on the time of year you can add in fun scarves, shawls, or a light cardigan. Don’t forget about the jewelry! If you’ve opted for a simple dress or top, don’t be afraid to wear a big bold necklace or earrings. Accessories can easily be removed and swapped out to quickly change up your look.
4. Don’t be afraid to do something different. Now that I’ve spent all this time trying to convince you to stick to simple choices and be comfortable, I’m going to throw a curve ball at you and remind you that it’s OK to do something different with your wardrobe. By this I mean wearing a “maternity gown” for your shoot. I have several that I have purchased for my studio that clients are welcome to wear for their sessions if they are up for it. These are gorgeous, full-length chiffon gowns with a simple bandeau top. They are meant to be a bit revealing, but the result is beautiful. Sometimes clients are hesitant to wear something that’s sheer, but they always end up loving the resulting images. These gowns have enough fabric in the skirt to allow for those artistic “flowy” shots which are fan favorite. They also have a split front to allow you to show off your bare belly if you choose – it’s up to you!
5. Don’t forget about Dad. If your partner wants to be included during the session it’s important to make him look good, too! When photographing couples I like to focus on contrast to help create depth in my images. I usually tell my clients to have their husbands wear something opposite from what they’re wearing. For example, if you choose a light colored dress, have your partner wear a darker colored shirt (doesn’t have to be the same color). If you have a on a solid dress, have your husband wear a simple print (i.e. stripes or basic plaid – nothing too busy, as mentioned above). Most dads aren’t super excited to be in front of the camera, either, so make sure your guy is in something that he feels comfortable in to make the experience as enjoyable as possible 😉 A simple v-neck tshirt or casual button down with jeans usually does the trick!
I hope these tips will come in handy when planning your wardrobe! If you’re considering a maternity session, please contact me, and don’t forget to ask about my Belly to Baby package which includes a newborn session after your little one arrives.