Once a client has made the decision to book in, the first question, without hesitation is, “What should we wear?”. I know you have just had a baby and you’re not feeling your best; in fact you may still be struggling with some pain from your caesarean or a long difficult labour. I also know you’re exhausted, so I don’t want you worrying about what to wear; but I also think that styling your session is so important if you want your images to look modern and professional. After all, you are making a big investment so, that little extra effort will be worth it in the end.
I would recommend doing the planning before bub arrives – yes it gets hectic and crazy and your life will be turned upside down – no-one tells you how hard it is to leave the house for anything let alone your family portraits. So if it’s all planned and taken care of, it will go a long way to making your morning stress free and a little more relaxed. I do urge parents to have a backup outfit and a spare change of clothes as well. We sometimes have baby accidents, it comes with the territory, but please don’t stress about it, I am used to it.
To make it easy for you you, I have prepared a little guide, and some definite no-no’s that will help you save time, look amazing and feel great.
THINGS TO AVOID
There are some definite no-no’s, so let’s get those out of the way
- No logos or wild patterns, they cheapen your images and draw the eye away from the importance of the subjects. Please see the example below.
- No thin stripes -they cause a blurring wavy pattern in your images like this example.
- No neon colours, they do not photograph well. (Think Donald Trump orange).
- No matching outfits (Think everyone in blue denim and white t-shirts).
- No shiny fabrics – like satin – they do not flatter and do not photograph well.
HOW TO DO IT WELL
- I encourage you to have your hair and make up done professionally. Though not totally necessary if you are able to do your own as if going out to a wedding or special event. You will thank me for this advice 🙂
- Make sure nails (fingers & toes) are clean and well-manicured and chipped polish is removed.
WHAT TO WEAR
Start with a colour palette that you think is classic and you will not tire of. I strongly suggest neutrals such as creams, greys, mochas, peaches or blues, and then build a set of clothes from there.
What Should Mum’s Wear ?
I suggest starting with Mum’s outfit – A stunning, classic dress in easy drape fabric, (lace or jersey fabric looks wonderful in pictures). Now I tend to shoot torso only (who wants to see their belly after just having a baby?) so you are welcome to come in sweatpants as long as you have a gorgeous top. There are some exceptions, like if you have an amazing dress and you look amazing after giving birth. Choose something soft and textured like lace, cashmere or silk (do be prepared for accidents though). I love the skin on skin look as it creates a real sense of bonding and emotion. I also love to shoot family portraits in black and white so a nice black off the shoulder or lace top is perfect. I also have a few maternity gowns and floral crowns that work beautifully in newborn portraits and you are welcome to borrow these at your session. Here are some examples:
What Should Dad’s Wear?
For dad’s, the best is skin on skin; but sometimes dad is not comfortable with this, so a dark smart jean or chino with a neutral top like a solid charcoal, dark blue, light grey, or brown that fits nice and snugly. Remember to choose the colour palette and mum’s outfit first and then choose dad’s top to compliment.
If dad is more formal, a suit looks AMAZING
Plain simple t-shits or polo shirts ensure the focus is on your bub.
What Should Siblings Wear?
For the most part, the idea is the same. Neutrals are best, match the tones to mum and dad, and for the little boys, shirts off can be super cute. For young girls, I will often take one of my newborn wraps and tie or pin it around her torso to look like a tube top. This way she and baby can match. Otherwise something with tulle is always gorgeous – but remember, no hot pinks, oranges or yellows. Stick with creams, peaches and softer tones. Layers look really cute too.
When a sibling is holding bub, I tend to leave bub wrapped for safety reasons, especially if the sibling is in the 2-4 year range (toddlers are wiggly and can just let go!) I have heaps of gorgeous wraps to suit every wardrobe so you need not worry about that at all.
What about bub? Should I bring special clothes for him/her?
Most images are taken in nothing but bubs’ birthday suit or one of my many wraps, rompers, bonnets and tiebacks. I do provide everything you need for baby’s pictures, but if you want him/her to wear something special for a few pictures, please bring it along. I’ve had clients bring along sweet vintage rompers that once belonged to Nan or special little dresses that mean something to the family. Keep in mind that the clothing will look best if it fills well. And by fit well, I mean a bit snug. True newborn sizes or even preemie sizes are best.
A final word. Please don’t hesitate to send me pictures from a shop or link me to a website if you’re thinking of purchasing something so I can advise you if it would work or not.