By the end of pregnancy, things are hurting, you feel swollen, and your weird dreams prominently feature sushi, lattes and soft cheeses. But you are also glowing, and are looking and feeling your most earth-goddess ever. So you schedule a photo shoot, and pat yourself on the back that you’ll have gorgeous pregnancy photos to print for the walls, the baby book and holiday cards. What should you wear for such an occasion? It depends on your personality of course, but there are a few guidelines that you can count on to show your bump in all its glory.
1. Schedule your shoot for ideally between 32 and 36 weeks.
If you are having multiples, back that time frame up by a few weeks. Technically this is not a wardrobe tip, but it’s important enough to come first. You want your bump to be nice and round, but any later than this and you risk missing your window. Our son was born 2 1/2 weeks early, and I would have been heartbroken if we missed our chance to take these photos.
2. Obey the rules of couples photography.
Coordinate you and your partner’s outfits, but don’t be too matchy-matchy unless you are going for that… effect. You should both dress in the same aesthetic, style and level of formality so that you look like the cohesive unit that you are.
3. Avoid crazy busy patterns.
As well as patterns that have very light and very dark spots in them (like black and white stripes), and shiny fabrics, as you would for any shoot. When in doubt I recommend solids. Also be deliberate about accessories. The things you wear should complement you, not distract from you.
4. Where something that shows that bump.
Flowy is super pretty, but you want something that you can hold the fabric in on for the actual photograph. Maxi dresses are great for this. If that’s not your thing, go with something fitted from your maternity wardrobe. Generally, you want to avoid things like structured jackets that are going to hide your bump but not your size, if you know what I’m saying. If you think they would use it on a movie set to disguise the fact that that actress is pregnant, you probably want to avoid it for your pregnancy shoot. I found the Beachcoco maternity line on Amazon.com to be really affordable and photograph well. H&M and Old Navy also have nice maternity clothes at really reasonable prices (you’ll have more luck on the websites that the brick and mortar stores), and were go-to places for me throughout my pregnancy.
5. Belts can be your friend – yes, even during pregnancy.
A chunky cardigan with a fitted top and a belt above the bump is a really cute fall or winter look. We didn’t do this for our shoot because it was so warm, but as I’m thinking of this I wish we had!
6. Get your makeup and hair done.
Just trust me. These are once in a lifetime photos (even if you have another baby), and you’ll be so glad you did when you see the final images. You’ll enjoy the pampering anyway, and if you can spring for a pre-natal massage the day or two before, even better to relax you my dear. My makeup and hair was done by Autumn Skibinski, who I also use for many of my client shoots.
Follow these tips and you are sure to showcase your bump to it’s fullest potential. I wouldn’t recommend trying to take your own photos like we did – this is a photographer’s syndrome, and there was a lot of running back and forth to set the camera timer as the sun was setting during our shoot. There are also shots that we just didn’t get because we were limited to having the camera on the tripod.
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun! You might be tired, but fuel up before the shoot on some good food, and you will be so glad you made the time to capture this awesome time.