School has started, there is a chill in the air, and fall has crept up in there Pacific Northwest. I enjoyed our crazy-hot summer and spent as much of it outdoors as I could, almost convincing myself that summer was in fact, my favorite season.
Summer maternity sessions may be some of my favorite - there is something about being able to hang on to that golden sunset late into the evening and taking advantage of the warmth to catch some beautifully bare or effortlessly draped pregnant bellies which makes for some stunning images.
But, every time September rolls around, I remember that in my heart, I am a fall girl.
Scarves, coats, sweaters, socks, boots, and layers make me happy.
Every season has its own beauty and one of my favorite things about photography is the uniqueness every client and session has to offer. It is about documenting the stage of life YOU are in and not just about recreating someone else's photograph.
And while I aim to capture images which are natural and not overly produced, it is still important to be mindful of what you choose to wear for your photo session.
It can be hard trying to decide what is comfortable and flattering any time of year for a maternity session, but the colder months can make the task seem a little more difficult, as you may worry about trying to stay warm while not looking too "bulky".
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to dress in a way that is comfortable and seasonally appropriate for a fall or winter maternity session.
Here are three tips to keep in mind while choosing what to wear for your maternity session:
1. LAYERS ARE YOUR FRIENDS
You may think that having to wear a top, sweater, and possibly a coat would make you look extra bulky during a time when maybe you already feel huge enough, but layers can actually add diversity to a photoshoot – especially a short session at a location where changing isn’t an easy option.
For instance, wearing a sweater and scarf over a top you like (tight fitting or a little flowy with a cardigan – don’t go too loose, you want to show off that beautiful bump!) makes it easy to take some shots with the scarf and sweater off for some variety in images. Unless a coat has a very classic look and fits well, it might be best to leave it in the car and brave the cold for a little bit. Coats tend to just look bulky and hide your bump, and that way you aren’t dragging it around trying to find dry places to leave it while you stop for some shots. At the same time, wearing short sleeves might not be the best, unless the sun is shining warmly – you don’t want to appear cold or stiff in your pictures, being comfortable is key!
2. STAY AWAY FROM "MATERNITY CLOTHES"
Of course, during pregnancy our bodies change and grow and we need different clothes to accommodate that change, but that doesn't mean your clothes need to be so much larger that they hide the shape of your belly. There are some great options for maternity clothes these days that aren’t made to just hide your bump behind folds of cloth.
Tops or dresses that are cinched at the waist and hug your belly work beautifully, or you can go for a form fitting knit top. Flowy does work too, and can look absolutely stunning, just make sure you aren't trying to hide behind your clothes.
Remember what the reason for having a maternity shoot is in the first place: to document how your body has transformed while going through the incredible process of growing new life inside of it. Wear something that you love and feel good in. Every mama carries differently – this session is about capturing the beauty of YOUR pregnancy.
3. ADD COLOR MINDFULLY
Here in the Northwest, we have an abundance of greenery. Against these backdrops, wearing a bright, bump hugging dress (short with leggings/tights or a more dramatic maxi) can really make you stand out beautifully and look classic at the same time. Dresses can also simplify the decision making process, as you don't need to try and coordinate tops and bottoms.
If you are going somewhere with lots of fall colors in the leaves, you might want to wear something more neutral and solid, such as a dress or pants/leggings and a sweater, and add a pop of color with a bright scarf or pair of shoes.
Hope you found this post useful! Have you found any tips that you have found helpful while preparing for a photo shoot? Please share them in a comment - I would to love hear them!
Looking for more ideas? Here are some links to other fantastic photographers with wardrobe tips:
Jean Smith Photography – Newborn Sessions…What to Wear
Ashley Vos Photography – What to Wear for Mom: Lifestyle Newborn Session