The final outcome of the images I produce, is very much a combined effort between both my subjects and myself. How you choose to present yourself, be it what you wear, how your hair is styled, make-up application… it’s all a key factor in the outcome. I have come up with the ultimate guide which you can use to narrow down your outfit choices. I suggest starting with a colour palette and work from there.
When choosing colours for your outfits, I recommend selecting softer, lighter tones and more muted shades. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colours, it will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. The camera loves soft pastel colours mixed with light neutrals like heather grey, creams, browns and white. That softer colour palette fits beautifully into almost all indoor environments.
Also consider your home decor and where you will be displaying your beautiful images.
Pick complimentary colours; again neutral is best as it goes with everything.
In my experience, every woman, regardless of her shape, has an area of her body that she's self-conscious about; for new mums, that can often be a post birth bump. Choosing flattering flowy outfits and colours that will complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you'll love the way you look in your photos.
Three-quarter length sleeves create an awesome slimming effect on all arms, so be on the lookout for an option with a longer length sleeve. You could also accessorise a short or no sleeve style with a soft feminine cardigan.
Try to choose a style that isn't too complicated to breastfeed in. Bodice buttons are great for this. I always recommend floor-length empire line maxi dresses with sleeves. These style dresses create the best silhouettes to flatter your postnatal figure, especially when juxtaposed with the softness and purity of a snuggly new bub.
I like my clients to feel as relaxed as possible for their in-home newborn sessions, so if you would prefer to kick off your shoes and go barefoot, that is perfectly fine, If you would prefer to wear shoes for some of your session, closed-toe heels and wedges look great on camera because they carry out the line of your leg all the way down to your toe. Remember that if your toes are going to be showing, you might want to schedule a pedicure before your session.
Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images, and be a nice tie-in when you're coordinating with a group.
Dainty bracelets (that won't hurt bubs head) and earrings bring great visual interest, so choose one or two that don't compete for attention.
Although it might seem counterintuitive, and not all too common for newborn sessions, I still feel the need to mention that I recommend that you do not get a spray tan before your session. Spray tans tend to photograph orange even when it's applied subtly and by a professional. Your actual skin tone will photograph the most beautifully and naturally.
While certainly not a necessity, professional hair and make-up really removes the stress of getting ready on your own with a new bub occupying your time.
Whether it's lash extensions or blown-out hair, professional hair and make-up will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera and it always photographs like a dream.
Good make-up artists know how to get it all just right for the camera - and a lot of them do make house calls so you don't even have to go anywhere.
Long, fitted pants and knee length shorts are the most masculine looks for men. Leave any loose fitting, baggy pants in the cupboard. Fitted dress pants or fitted coloured pants work best on camera.
I highly recommend staying far away from graphics and logos. You will find that they are extremely distracting in the final images and they will make your images date. Choose smarter dress shirts with a rolled up sleeve over t-shirts. Accessorise with a smart, masculine watch for a nice touch.
A super simple neutral coloured body suit is all that your little one needs. If we're in the heat of summer, make it short sleeves so we can see those chunky little arms, and in winter long sleeves, no legs. That way we have easy access to those adorable little fingers and toes for all the squishy detail shots.
As glamorous, relaxed and easy as newborn sessions can appear, they are often filled with multiple changes due to spit-up, blowouts and milk spills. Try to have multiple outfit options on hand so we can get them changed and ready again stress free.
If you feel so inclined, feel free to add a simple co-ordinating headband. My style of photography is very natural, so emphasis on simple.
I will absolutely get those precious little toes and fingers detail shots, but I highly recommend that for the most part, bub is wrapped up nice and securely in a stretchy, plain white/neutral wrap. Wrapping them up is often the saving grace in keeping little ones calm, secure and happy during your session.
As you're co-ordinating your outfit with your family, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the colour palette and wardrobe pieces co-ordinate, but don't actually "match". In fact, I recommend that you avoid thinking about "matching" and instead think about what "fits" together. This will create more visual interest and allow each personality to shine through.
The goal for coordinating a family is to visually break up the colours and shades so that you're not all wearing the same colour on top and bottom. Remember the 80's style white t's and blue jeans? Yeah, we don't want that.
If you have multiple children, don't feel like you need to put them all in the same type of outfit. For example, one of your daughters could wear a dress, while the other wears a skirt and top. One of your sons could wear a bowtie, while the other one wears suspenders. Mixing up the wardrobe pieces will bring great visual interest to the photos.
I believe that the little ones don't need much by way of accessories, however a sweet headband will add some lovely visual interest and an element of personality to the images.