You need to erase all thoughts in your mind of other people’s portraits, engagement shots, senior photos, etc… This session is about YOUR baby bump, so make sure it speaks your style and your personality. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Make sure those one thousand words are fitting for YOU.
Now you are ready to think about your session and how you want to come off in your images.
Think about what compliments your bump…
Everyone should know that their figure is complimented, or hindered, by a variety of things. Structure is the MOST important when it comes to dressing a baby bump for pictures. The dress should be well-fitted (at least around the belly). It is also important that you keep in mind: colors that work with your skin tone, length at which you look taller or where it hits you “wrong” (mid-calf), and that too much of a pattern can hide the bump in photographs!
Have you ever received a compliment on something that is currently in your closet? Was it the color they were complimenting you on? Was it the structure or the length? Keep this in mind when choosing your outfit for the shoot.
GO ALL SKIN! Want to show off that stunning bump in the nude or maybe just with a bandeau top and a bohemian skirt? I can accommodate that. Just say the word!
Think about YOUR style…
Are you trendy? Are you casual? Do you often wear outfits inspired by another decade? Are you rarely found outside of your workout gear? The answer to this question will gear you toward the styling of your session. Take your style and enhance it. Enhance, meaning alter it slightly; refine it. We can formulate the session AROUND who you are! Don’t feel like you have to go with a dress you have seen other’s where because it is what is expected. Are you still hitting the gym, let’s do a lifestyle gym session!
Think about what you are comfortable in…
Never wear something that “rides up” in the front or you feel reveals too much of you. Not only will those issues show in pictures, your facial expressions will be different and less relaxed. As humans, we rarely can conceal what we are thinking. If you are in pain because the Jimmy Choo’s you purchased are pinching your toes, your smile won’t be as bright and your posture won’t look natural. Not to mention, when you are in pain, frustrated or embarrassed, it is normal to feel warmer or even sweat and loose out on the enjoyment of the shoot.
Think about what works with the “feel” and the location of the session or photo shoot…
I am excited to be “along for the ride” with my clients. In addition to my more structured sessions, I hope to continue to tag along on some interactive maternity sessions like family hikes, walks around the pond, beach days, strolls through downtown and fitness shoots. Each one of these sessions bring a unique look to them and my clients need to keep this in mind when they are choosing their outfits.
Think about the cohesiveness with the other people also being photographed…
If you are hoping to have your spouse or your children in the session, there are some colors and a few styles which do not work together, therefore not looking as united as they could be. Don’t mistake the term “united” for “matchy-matchy”. I HIGHLY advise against everyone wearing the same clothing or even variations of it. Long gone are the days where everyone in the family wears a white t-shirt and khakis. Also, avoid letters or numbers, words and large logos.
Below are some colors which, in my opinion and in most cases, do not work well together:
- Red doesn’t seem to work well with: most shades of pink, orange or green (unless this is a holiday or Christmas shoot).
- Neon colors are very harsh colors to photograph, but there are exceptions to this rule. (Senior sessions and childrens portrait sessions can be enhanced with an appropriate pop of neon.)
- Black is a color which CAN be slimming, but it also can make you look like a black blob. Black absorbs light and any beautiful textures or patterns within the black may go unnoticed. Also, Too much of a dark color in a photograph will also change the tone of it. Finally, it is rare that everyone’s black will look the same due to fabric and age of the garment. If you have the option to get the same shirt or dress, but in another color, it would be more likely you would see the definition of the garment. Another option is to break up the black with patterns of another color.
Keep in mind there are exceptions to every rule, as shown below. DO NOT stress, I pride myself in making almost anything work. These are merely suggestions for you to get the most out of your session.
Accessories can make or break a photo shoot. Over-accessorizing may change the focus of the baby bump. Make sure your wedding band & engagement ring are cleaned and their sparkles are ready to shine! Add in a light necklace or ask me about getting a beautiful flower headpiece! Accessorizing your shoot could also mean adding some tasteful (or tasty in this case) details which work with the feel of the shoot OR some newborn accents (newborn onesie, baby shoes, ultrasound picture, etc).
Refine your eyes…
Now keep in mind that what you wear on your body doesn’t stop with clothing. You need to be mindful that your hair and makeup go well with the clothes, location and time of day you have chosen. Of course, it also needs to be true to who you are. If the only time you have been caught with your hair curled is at your wedding, then in most cases, it wouldn’t be suggested to wear it curled for your session. For a beach session, a loose curl would be best so that the wind won’t take it every-which-way and the frizz will stay in check.
The only place where I would suggest to add in where you normally wouldn’t is make up. I, for one, am a huge fan of natural beauty. However, I would not suggest to roll out of bed and walk in front of a camera. The camera has the rough reputation for adding 10 pounds, but one thing rarely mentioned is it’s knack for enhancing the oils on our forehead, the blemishes on our chin and the bags under our eyes. Photoshop is a wonderful tool, but the time it takes to put on a bit of makeup versus the time it takes to edit each image is exponentially different (especially for the longer sessions or events). Make up can be applied to eliminate those problem areas while still maintaining a VERY natural look.
I love to focus on the eyes of my clients. If you are wondering what I suggest as a bare minimum for makeup, it is as follows. Cover Girl is a great brand to go with. I find that it stays looking fresh and it is easy to apply.
Concealer — One shade lighter than your skin tone, applied under the eyes and dabbed on any problem areas.
Foundation — Powder foundation, applied in a circular motion over your entire face, under your chin and faded down your neck.
Mascara — Black lash lengthening mascara, applied twice with a few minutes in between applications for the coats to dry.
Blush — Depending on the shade of your skin and the shape of your face, you should add a touch of color to your cheeks.
*optional* Lips — A tinted chapstick to a slight gloss, applied lightly. Try to find either something which goes with your outfit or makes a statement, depending on what the session is for.
*optional* Brow Liner — A shade lighter than your natural brow, applied lightly to your current brow shape. YouTube has some GREAT tutorials. Do not apply this if you are unsure.
If you find yourself worried , there is no need to fret. I am more than happy to offer advice or assist you when you are thinking of a color pallet for your family’s clothes or your makeup.
For a small fee I am also more than willing to style your hair and apply your makeup. Inquire by emailing me and we will get everything set up stress-free. After all, this is YOUR Lifesong we are capturing.
Thanks for stopping by my blog! Email me at Chelsea@LifesongDesigns.com with questions or to book your next session!