I’m often asked for advice from clients about what to wear for their session. Below are some general guidelines that will hopefully help you when choosing outfits for you and your family. You can also check out my “What to Wear” Pinterest board for more specific outfit ideas and style inspiration.
Long gone are the days of everyone wearing a white shirt and jeans (the exception for this being a newborn session where I encourage mom and dad to dress in neutrals so as not to distract from baby.) You wouldn’t normally go out with your entire family dressed exactly the same, right? Instead, pick a couple of colors as a running theme, throw in one or two neutrals, and choose your outfits accordingly. By choosing a color palette that you love and dressing everyone around it, you will create a family that looks like they belong together while still celebrating everyone’s uniqueness. To get the flow going with wardrobe for your family, I recommend, mom, that you start with one outfit that you really like and feel is flattering on you. From there, build from it for everyone else. You don’t need to shop and buy a new outfit for every single person in your family!
What colors run through your home? Do you like neutrals? Bright colors? Since you will (hopefully!) be hanging your family’s photos up in your home you want to make sure that what you’re wearing in the photos won’t conflict with the style or colors of your home.
If we’re going to be shooting in a grassy field, it's not generally the place to be wearing a cocktail dress or a tie unless you are really wanting that juxtaposition of rustic/formal. If we’re at the beach, colors that enhance the setting are great–neutrals, blues, greens, corals… but not stark white (too reflective)! Don’t forget to pay attention to your feet -- a cute pair of shoes can make the outfit but should depend on your location. Closed toed shoes for somewhere more rustic and no shoes at all for the beach! Also pay attention to the season and make sure everyone is dressed for the same one! If you're layering with that cute new coat, best not to put your daughter in a spaghetti strap dress. You get the idea! ;)
Patterns and textures are your friend! But moderation is key. Half of your family in patterns and the other half in solids (for example, a plaid, a floral, a solid top and a chunky knit sweater) works great!
Stay away from characters and phrases -- think timeless.
Layers aren't just for cold weather -- layering adds interest and dimension. Throwing a cute sweater over a top or leggings under a dress helps bring outfits to life!
And lastly -- if there's something your 3 year old wants to wear that "breaks the rules", or you have a super fancy dress you want to wear at a ranch, go with it! It's ok! These are your photos and they should ultimately be just want you want to look at for years to come!
In addition to the above suggestions, here are some ideas specifically for what to wear to your pregnancy session. (If you would like to take bare belly shots, please make sure you’re not wearing anything that will leave creases/marks on your skin.)
The perfect thing to wear for maternity shoots. For one, it’s incredibly comfortable. Comfort is key when you are pregnant, and when you’re taking maternity photos for an hour or so, you want to be as comfortable as can be. It also looks amazing on any pregnant body because it’s so flattering. One that has really lightweight fabric and flows with the wind is also a beautiful option. I have multiple dresses available to use for pregnancy sessions at no extra cost--from sheer lace, to bare belly, to more covered but body hugging.
The main focus in your maternity shoot is your bump, you may not want anything to take attention away from that, like a pattern or print. However, if its a form-fitting dress, a pattern can be great! Wear solid colors for your bump to stand out the most--especially if you're wearing something flowy. I absolutely encourage you to dress for what you feel fits your personality! Just make sure you aren’t overly pattern happy and you and your partner are wearing clashing patterns (if you're in a pattern, have your partner in a solid).
If you are comfortable with wearing tight clothing and don’t mind showing off all of your gorgeous pregnant body curves, opt for a beautiful tight bodycon dress. Many moms that normally wouldn't wear a tight dress feel the most beautiful in one while pregnant. Be proud of and don't be afraid to show off those (new to some) curves. (On the flip side of tight clothing, if you’re comfortable having on less clothing, I encourage you to bear that belly!)
A great idea is to have two have two outfits to wear for your maternity shoot, such as a casual outfit and a dressy outfit. This will not only give you options when choosing which photos you want to hang in your home, but it will also give you some variety in the photos as well. We can always find a spot for a wardrobe change! Yes, your partner can have one, too, if they so desire. (I only recommend an outfit change for pregnancy sessions.)