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What to wear to a Maternity Session?


Just like everyday you want to choose clothing for your maternity session that you feel most comfortable and beautiful wearing. Here are a few tips and ideas on how to choose the right maternity session outfit to get beautiful photos and the results you love.

1. The Maxi Dress.

Long or mid knee length maxi dresses with a chunky necklaces photograph well. A maxi dress highlights that beautiful baby bump and covers up any areas you feel are “problem” areas.

What to Wear Maternity Photo Session

2. Wear Solids.

Solid colors photograph best however if you have a pattern you love and you want to include your significant other in the photos you want to be sure that you aren’t overly pattern happy and are wearing clashing patterns. Keep in mind that patterns can be very distracting, you what the focus of your images to be that beautiful baby belly not the pattern of your husbands favorite shirt.

3. Look at the colors in your home.

If your home color palette is composed of neutral colors – if your walls are beige and brown think about what colors would be complimentary. Colors such as a deep turquoise or burgundy pair well with neutral colors. If you have a more bold color palette with accent walls with pops of colors you may want to match some of your color choices with your accent color. When you get your large canvas print up on the wall you don’t want the colors to clash with your wall color.

4. Choose your color palette.

There are lots of factors to consider when you are planning your colors but first and foremost choose a palette you like. Keep in mind the location of the shoot and the colors of the background. Colors such as deep blues, sea foam and mint photograph well on the beach but may not look as natural in a park setting. The time of year that you are having your photographs taken may also influence the colors you choose. Other questions to ask yourself: Do you want to use the photos for any particular reason? Are you alright with wearing orange because it’s fall and then have that canvas on your wall year round?

There are lots of great ways to get color palette inspiration. You can search on Pinterest for color palette boards or just photos that contain a color scheme that is appealing to you. Design Seeds is another excellent resource and you can actually search for color palettes based on choosing a color you want to use as your base and work other colors around. You can also search by season, style or theme such as “The Sea”, “Floral” and “Nature”. It pretty much rocks.

Here are a few ideas that I created using Design Seeds color palettes and Polyvore:

5. Don’t get too “matchy-matchy”.

If your “significant other” is going to be awesome enough to take some beautiful photos with you think about wearing complimentary colors or colors in the same color palette. Choose the color palette you love and then start raiding your closet to look for items you already have that fit in that color scheme. Another tip: If you have a favorite piece of clothing that you know you want to build your outfit around go to Design Seeds and search color palettes using that color as the base color – for example: you have a beautiful coral maxi dress you know you want to wear but you are not sure what other colors to use to accessorize. Set coral as your search color on design seeds and see what palettes come up. You may not have thought that a dark blue would go well and your husband has a dark blue shirt, you add a dark blue scarf and bam! you are coordinated and look amazing.

6. Avoid the jeans and black/white shirt look.

While a white shirt is classic you can sometimes end up seeing more than you intended in your photos. White can also wash you out and make you look pale.

7. Choose a timeless look.

You’ve invested quite a bit of money for your maternity photos that will become treasured family heirlooms (imagine your son/daughter looking at your maternity photos when they are adults – the worth of these images is invaluable.) You want to choose clothes that have a somewhat classic and timeless look. Another reason to avoid patterns – think back to your Mom’s 1970’s living room curtains!

8. Choose clothing with texture.

It’s great to choose articles of clothing with different textures to add interest to the photo. Pair cotton with jeans, throw in some tweed or have your husband wear chords. Be creative.

9. Accessories are awesome….so are layers.

Start with your base layer of clothing – your solid colored dress, a solid colored top and jeans and then add layers of texture and accessories. Add a textured short jacket or blazer, add a floral scarf, add a chunky necklace and bracelets or a headband. Don’t forget to pay attention to or feet. A cute pair of shoes can make the outfit but it may be appropriate to go barefoot depending on your location.

10. Lay it out.

There are tons of great tools out there online including thousands of Pinterest boards dedicated to ideas on what to wear for portraits. Once you’ve pulled some options out of your closet just keep it simple and lay your clothing choice out on a solid neutral colored surface (beige carpet works great).

For more great inspiration check out my Baby Bumps board on Pinterest!

Natalie Weber is a Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin offering photography and memory preservation services to Wisconsin’s Lakeshore communities from Mequon to Door County.

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