If you have had your pictures done with me before you know I take great pride in my Style Guides. I feel strongly that it’s a part of my job as a photographer to educate my clients on what will flatter their body in camera and reflect the soft romantic feel that my style has. It covers everything from how to coordinate a family outfit to what colors and patterns to avoid. This personally curated magazine is available to anyone who books with me and will be your best friend leading up to the day of your shoot. While I currently have a guide for Families and General Portrait Sessions, and a separate guide with tips especially for Engaged Couples (oh, and don’t get me started on the over 70 page Guide for Brides- it’s basically a 2nd wedding planner in your pocket for those who want to get the most of their wedding photos).
It has come to my attention that I could show a little extra love to my amazing Maternity Clients! While I don’t Currently have a Style Guide specifically for Maternity Sessions I think one is well over due! While I am working on that. (SURPRISE!! Are you Excited!!) I wanted to provide a small snippet that I have so far to you mamas-to-be and offer it as a free gift to anyone out there who is looking to up their maternity photo experience. So regardless of whether you book with me or not- Please enjoy!
Maternity Shoots can be tricky to prepare for because there are new insecurities that you may have never thought about before (think swollen ankles) and even some things you want to highlight that you NEVER wanted to highlight before (think big, round belly). So your outfit choice may differ slightly. And while I still suggest sticking to the color suggestions in my guides to enhance that light, romantic feel I would go one step further and say stick specifically to the pastel, muted neutral and earthy examples I give (baby blue, soft violet, blush, cream, light grey, emerald green, teal, maroon, burnt orange…). These colors in flow-y materials, over stretchy or tight ones, just come off so soft and maternal (not to mention less restricting). And honestly, I would avoid black in these photos unless it’s an outfit you just can’t pass up. I mention this specifically because sometimes your insecurities lead you to want to hide behind this or other dark colors but I PROMISE I know how to flatter your image better than the color black does! <3
So, pants or a dress? I always suggest skirts or dresses for women in family photos because it adds variety, interest and contrast to the image. For Maternity Photos I usually suggest that the skirt or dress also be floor length to cover any ankle or leg swelling from standing during the shoot, that btw I’m sure no-one would ever notice but you! You should LOVE how they look. P.S. It also eliminate the need for heels to elevate the look…but I’ll talk more about that later.
Here are a few links to some examples of dresses and skirts that fit these suggestions:
HERE is an affordable one from Amazon (I have seen one this in person and it is NOT this poofy haha).
HERE is another example of a great option.
I have also hear lukalula.com has some great maternity gowns made just for maternity photos but I have never purchased here personally so I’m can’t guaranteeing their stuff is great quality- it looks really cute though.
As always renttherunway.com has great options to rent amazing designer gowns that will make you feel like a princess without paying the designer price!
Things you don’t need to worry about:
-Don’t worry about showing any part of your body you’re insecure about. If you have arm swelling wear long sleeves. If you are worried about being able to reach let alone paint your toes wear close-toed shoes!
-Don’t worry about wearing heels. This is one of the few times I can honestly say it’s totally fine if you don’t feel up to it! I completely understand if the idea of wearing heels doesn’t get you excited at this moment in life. Instead of the traditional heel treat your feet to a pair of nice close-toed flats or even a thick lower heel, small platform or bootie. This is another reason I suggest floor length dresses! Heels force constant tension in your calves making them look toned- this is a big reason women wear heels in photos. If you have a full-length dress one of the biggest reasons to wear heels is not applicable anymore anyway!
-Don’t worry about getting hungry during the shoot! I will not feel weird if we need to take a water or snack break! I understand so bring your water and snacks. I’ll even carry them for you!
-Don’t worry about feeling alone! For all my maternity shoots I highly encourage the Father-to-Be to come along and get some attention too! So don’t feel singled out. Your man will be right there with you!
To my Phollowers: I don’t really have any major advice for you. I just wanted to share my biggest win from this session. I felt like I fought really hard for the light that I wanted. I think sometimes I’m afraid to move and change with the light because it makes me seem indecisive and I worry it might look like I don’t know what I’m doing- especially when I set up a shot and then have to decide if I want to move someone. There was a point in the shoot where our location was entering the full shade of a big hill and I knew I could get good pictures but I could get GREAT pictures if we took advantage of the evening glow and moved into a more open area. I was just really honest and I said- “I want to take a few shots over here but I don’t think I’m gong to love the light so we probably wont be there long”. These guys were so sweet and didn’t question me at all, we took a few shots in that spot which were beautiful but not anything near what they deserved for a sunset session! They just hopped in the car and we drove down the side of the road until I said “STOP! This is it!”. And guess what?! Half of their full gallery is from that one spot on the side of the road! We stayed there the rest of the time! Was it worth it?- Just look at that glow and you tell me!! <3 <3 <3 Keep Clickin’ -Alyssa