Whether you’re pregnant for the first time or expecting a subsequent baby, you want to look your absolute best for your maternity photo session! In fact, the two most important factors to amazing maternity photos are a stunning location with pretty light – and an incredible wardrobe to match!
After photographing hundreds of gorgeous mamas-to-be over the years, I’ve got the perfect recipe for selecting outfits that will make you look and feel like a queen, starting with a must-have color palette.
The best color scheme for incredible maternity photos – neutrals!
Hands down, my favorite colors for clients – no matter her size, height, skin/hair color, or number of pregnancies – are neutrals.
Shades like white, cream, light gray, tan, khaki and even pastels in blush, faint blues and minty teals, will give your photos a fresh, romantic vibe. These colors are universally flattering and work well for pregnant mamas and their spouses for such special memories!
Can you have too much neutral for one session? Not a chance!
I photograph clients often in an all-white studio, or even in a clear glass greenhouse, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, gauzy white drapes and white marble floors; their neutral outfits still look show-stopping incredible, even in a setting featuring lots of whites and creams.
Even still, I’ve answered many a panicked email or text message from a client before her session, worrying that she’ll look washed out or that her photos will lack sparkle without bright colors to break up the earth tones.
The truth is, as I reassure mamas every time, a neutral outfit, especially in a location that is on the lighter side, only gives your images a more high-end look!
The high-end look & feel a là Pottery Barn
The reason why this works so well is that we associate neutrals with being upscale and expensive. If you flip through a Pottery Barn catalouge, you’ll see page after page of mostly earth-toned furniture and accents. Sure, there may be a pop of color here and there, but the overall look and feel of Pottery Barn is luxurious, elegant, indulgent, pricey neutrals.
Contrast this by looking over a Target ad. I’m by no means throwing shade at Target – I’m a die-hard fan of their $1 section, just like every other mama I know! – but Target’s overall asthetic is affordable, playful, fun items that fit a family budget. Therefore, you’ll see lots of bright, whimisical colors and patterns – and you can’t miss their fire engine red logo. Both of these brands are well-established, with millions of loyal shoppers, offering a completely different experience and price point to customers.
So, if you want that same high-end look and feel to your maternity photos, I’d suggest a more Pottery Barn-style color scheme – even if you find those sleek, neutral outfits at Target! You certainly don’t have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks for your maternity session.
Neutrals don’t distract like bright colors do
Another reason to consider a more earthy color scheme is that these colors don’t distract like bright colors do. You want the focus of your maternity photography session to be on your faces and your baby bump. The easiest way to do that is to select outfits that won’t steal the show.
I suggest my clients add in texture and visual interest through accessories like jewelry and shoes, or even through the fabrics they select. I adore light, breezy, layered dresses that can blow in the wind or move as a mama walks; movement alone can add so much sparkle to an image! Fabrics like lace, cashmere and chiffon offer tons of elegance to your look and are far from boring!
Earth tones shine no matter where you are
About half my clients want a unique, romantic indoor location for their maternity photos and the other half want to be outdoors for a natural vibe. When I’m shooting inside, we’re either in the all-white studio I love, or in the clear glass greenhouse that is stunning year-round. For outdoor sessions, my clients tend to favor locations with lots of trees: eucalyptus-y greens, deep browns and some kind of water feature.
No matter where we are, the couples I photograph don’t have to worry about competing with the beauty of the location; our setting only adds to the romantic, joyful feeling of their images. Mamas never have to worry about their wardrobe clashing with the background as neutrals look good everywhere.
Even better, when your wardrobe consists of earth-toned shades, you can literally hang those photos anywhere in your home and they’ll look amazing! No matter how you decorate your living room, or baby’s nursery, you can bet your photos won’t clash with your decor, making it super simple to hang these special moments on your walls!
How to guarantee soft, romantic images using neutral colors
If you’re dreaming of joyful, light and airy maternity photos, start with earth tones! My top suggestion for a gorgeous maternity session is always a floor-length skirt, gown or dress. This keeps 100 percent of the focus on your bump and your face, and removes all other distractions.
Consider fabrics that can move as you walk or if there is a breeze on the day of your session. Multiple layers and light fabrics litle cotton and chiffon are great for adding movement to your wardrobe.
Next, add in classic accessories that won’t distract from your face or your bump. I love simple silver or gold necklaces, as well as pearls. One statement piece is fine, but make sure it won’t take attention away from you or baby!
Finally, remember to make sure your shoes are photo ready, with no noticable scuffing.
For your husband:
The best way to guarantee light, bright images is for him to wear khakis instead of dark jeans or dress pants. Not a fan of khakis? No problem! Stick with a lighter color pant – a soft gray or blue would work well. Then, pair his pants with a neutral-colored top. Keep in mind that stark white can photograph as light blue under some lighting conditions, so you might want to go with a cream or champagne color instead.
Many of the dads-to-be I work with favor button-down shirts or henleys that can be rolled up to the elbow for a more casual look. Make sure he avoids the dreaded white sneaker, and you’re on your way to gorgeous maternity photos!
While I adore a neutral palette for both mamas and dads-to-be, that doesn’t mean you to match from head to toe! Instead, opt for colors that flow well together without being perfectly matchy-matchy.
Want more wardrobe advice? I’ve got you covered!
Wardrobe is such a big, critical decision for your maternity photos! We haven’t even covered lots of other important aspects of your clothing, like how to select an item that flatters your bump without being too fitted or loose, or how youc an work in tasteful pops of color that will add to, not take away, the romantic vibe you want.
That’s why I compiled years of wardrobe advice into my Celebrate Motherhood magazine! It’s a 76-page session guide that breaks down every single thing you could ever want to know about how to get absolutely unbelieveable maternity and newborn photos. I gift a copy to all of my clients, and all of those mamas will tell you that you simply cannot plan a stunning, stress-free photo session without it!!
Ready to get your copy?! Head over to the Contact page and tell me when you’re due!