STYLING ADVICE - MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHY
BYRON BAY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Choose a flattering silhouette
It works well to choose a dress, skirt or top which is tight up top, meaning that it is tight to just above the belly, and then flares out from there. You don’t want it to be tight underneath the belly. I know there are a lot of dresses like that, and maybe this is a personal preference, but I think a flow skirt that allows lots of movement, works better. I think it looks more flattering and it also gives you something to play with and swish around.
The reason you’re booking this maternity photo session is to show off that beautiful bump, so make sure to wear colours that will show it off. Meaning do NOT wear black or navy or any other super dark color. It hides the bump and makes it hard to see, and that’s not what you’re going for. But at the same time, you don’t want to wear bright and neon colours, either. Neutral, light to medium colours will look best. They can also be referred to as earth tones. They go with almost anything. Neutrals are things like off-white, grey, cream, taupe, etc. Sticking to all or mostly neutrals the easiest route to take, because all neutrals go together, so you can’t mess it up! I suggest to wear lots of them to your Photo Shoot and only a small amount of other colours. The brighter the color, the less there should be.
Avoid Matching your Partner / Family
When deciding what your partner or child will wear, you want to coordinate but not match. If your colours are the same, you will blend into each other and it will be hard to see the separation. The same goes for anyone in your family. It is worthwhile to search Pinterest for complementary colours to get an idea of what fits together.
The Power of Texture
Textures can really add a lot of interest in your photos, but in a more subtle way. I suggest you add as much texture as possible! You can’t have too much (unlike patterns). Some textures I love are lace, corduroy, knits, chambray, gauzy or crepe fabrics, velvet, swiss dots, and waffle cloth.
What Fabric is best?
This is something that I think gets overlooked when moms are planning for their maternity photos. Fabric makes a huge difference!!
First, let’s talk about fabrics to avoid. Don’t wear stiff cotton because it doesn’t flow nicely and it can be super wrinkly. It’s just not my favourite. The second fabric I would avoid is that super stretchy fabric. You may think it will be good, and there are tons of maternity dresses made from this, but it’s a mistake. It shows every little bump, so if you have a bra on, you can see all the bumps on your back and side. It also can cling awkwardly to your legs while you walk.
Now onto fabrics that I would recommend! I love texture so gauze or crepe fabrics are amazing, I also love the texture in soft cotton. Polyester has a great flow. Rayon and Chiffon also photograph really well. Basically, anything that has a nice flow when you swish it!
Be careful with patterns
You can’t go wrong with solid colours, and fabrics with some texture (like maybe some lace or crepe fabrics). But patterns can be great, too! You just want to select the right one. If you select a pattern that is too tiny, it can be too busy and really distracting, especially if there are two contrasting colours. But you can also select patterns that are too big, which isn’t all that flattering. Medium-sized patterns are what you’re going to shoot for here. You also want to make sure that the contrast between the colours in the pattern and color of the dress aren’t too much. For example, a navy pattern on a white dress would be too much contrast. But a cream-coloured pattern against a dusty rose-colored dress would be subtle and beautiful.
You can find so many different kinds of florals that look amazing in photos! Smaller, spaced out floral patterns look awesome, and so do larger florals. I also really love a simple floral pattern where the background is one color, and the flowers are another. You can even find floral patterns that are busy but still look great!
Dress for the Season + Location
Make sure to think about the weather when deciding what to wear for your maternity photos. If it’s going to be hot out, pick a more breathable fabric. If it’s going to be cold, look for a long-sleeved dress, or bring a chunky knit cardigan to go over the top. Chunky knits are great because you can wear them off your shoulders and it looks amazing, and then between shots, you can cuddle up and get warm.
Basically wear what you would usually wear in that specific weather/season in that specific location. An extreme example is, that a party dress wouldn't look natural on a beach in winter.