What to Wear for Summer Maternity Picturesby Elizabeth MacDonald
Documenting pregnancy with professional pictures is something most women budget into their “Need” category of pregnancy. It’s such a miraculous part of life, and it deserves to be remembered with beautiful photographs.
It starts with the idea that you want a few gorgeous pictures – I mean you are probably paying a small (well-worth-it) fortune for them, but then it leads to tearing apart your limited maternity wardrobe in search of something to make the pictures what you are envisioning.
Typically, it ends with pictures that could have been breathtaking just looking so-so because of the clothing choices made. There’s a reason the same images are pinned on everyone’s boards: They got it right. The location, the positioning, and the clothing. Two of the three things are up to the photographer. Find a good photographer, have good pictures. But the clothing… ugh, the clothing is enough to drive you mad.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU WEAR?
Steps to picking you summer maternity photo shoot clothes:
- Scour pinterest for ideas of pictures. You will be drawn to a few styles, perfectly posed or more natural, inside on a bed, black and white silhouette, underwater, standing in the tide, meadows and flowers, etc… Narrow it down and then talk to local photographers.
- Nail down a date – look at your belly. Are you carrying pretty small? Then wait until 36-37 weeks or so to get the biggest belly possible. Are you carrying a larger belly? Then around 32-34 weeks may be a more comfortable stage for picture taking.
- Determine the location. This will take you talking to the photographer. Inside a ‘studio’ on a big white bed bursting with light? A wall of windows behind you? Your own home? Or outside somewhere. The photographer should be willing to find the perfect place.
- Get the photographer’s opinion. This is what they do! My photographers have always been ‘virtual shoppers’ with me, meaning that I snap pics while in the dressing room and text them for approval, or we shop online together.
- Decide on a look. It is ultimately up to you to decide what to wear. Take some time to really look at your pinned pictures and then go from there. A dress, a skirt, jeans or leggings… Or lingerie and a beautiful robe that will let the light through for silhouette shots. Have a color or color palate in mind.
- SHOP. Have friends come with you or do it online, but buy or find something specifically for these maternity pictures.
Dusti Smith, www.theARTofbirth.com is a well-known photographer in the southeast. She is known for her maternity, birth, newborn, and milestone collections. Dusti gives all of her clients this advice:
“I always recommend to reflect the season your pregnancy is in. I recommend neutrals or muted color tones. The location of your session will also guide you in deciding your wardrobe and color selections. Summer maternity photos should reflect comfort, casual, and cool. You can make your wardrobe choice a little more feminine by choosing something with lace but casual cotton is a perfect choice for a summer maternity shoot as well!”
Etsy has some amazing options, but never underestimate a good find at a boutique or large store! (Shop ETSY)
Or search the attic for something that belonged to your mother or grandmother… Sometimes the hunt for the perfect item will lead you to something you didn’t even know you had to wear.
“I had a vision of a more vintage-style look, but struggled to find a flattering dress to pull it off. I couldn’t believe my mother had kept this dress nearly 30 years… As soon as I saw it, I knew it was right.” -Brandi
It can be very overwhelming, but here are a few rules to follow:
- Now is NOT the time to be shy. This is NOT the time to ‘Play it Safe.’ Embrace this body and get the pictures you want!
- Light, airy, and flowy looks always works, but make sure that your belly can be identified as pregnant. A thin belt above the belly may work perfectly.
- Tight and form-fitting also works marvelously. Show off those curves!
- Stick with a color palate that compliments your background – and your skin tone. Make sure anyone else in the pictures compliments you but doesn’t steal the show!
- Make sure that the waistband of your shorts or pants is flattering for bare belly pictures. Rolled down or folded-over stretchy fabric isn’t always cute. Instead, grab a pair of cut-offs that you can’t button. Pair them with a crop top and wedges!
- If you go with leggings, make sure your tunic style top fully covers your rear-side and birthing region. (Unless the leggings are flattering and your look calls for it!)
- Purchase proper undergarments! Bra straps hanging out, or ‘side-boob’ are probably not the look you are going for.
Break away from your normal comfort zone and have fun.