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January 10, 2022

Milwaukee Maternity Photographer | Session Styling for Expecting Mothers


As a Milwaukee Maternity Photographer, I know all too well that having maternity portraits made is one of those things that feels like the perfect way to capture the magic of your pregnancy… UNTIL you realize how much time and ENERGY goes into trying to find the perfect dress that is both timeless, and flattering- not to mention how much work goes into coordinating outfits for the whole family, all of the trips to the store for the inevitable returns, all with kids in tow and the exhaustion that tends to come along with pregnancy. 

Maybe you can relate? 

A few years ago, I found myself sitting in my living room after a trip to yet another store to return ANOTHER set of clothing that didn’t fit/coordinate as expected with my dress for my own maternity session. I was really beginning to feel like this maternity session might not be worth all the hassle

What I didn’t know then was THE key to the perfect styling for a maternity session… If you’re a busy expectant mother- the key is to choose a photographer who will take care of wardrobe FOR you! My clients have a full client wardrobe, filled with the most beautiful, timeless dresses, to choose from for their session. And we even have a children’s wardrobe as well!

Today, I’m sharing a quick guide to styling for your maternity session that will change the game when it comes to how your photos turn out! 

expecting mother's beautiful belly in pink dress in white studio taken by Milwaukee maternity photographer talia laird photography


First, a glimpse inside Milwaukee Maternity Photographer, Talia Laird Photography’s Signature Client Experience:

From wardrobe to custom framing, we help busy moms get their digital memories made into tangible heirlooms.


And now for a few styling tips for the Expecting Mother!

Don’t Be Afraid to Dress It Up

Have you thought about rocking a romantic gown, tulle skirt or flower crown but just never had an occasion for it? This is your chance to do it up! Remember: There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your portrait session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! TLP Momma’s, whether expecting their first or a mom of 5, already know they don’t have to worry about wardrobe, hustling through stores, or making returns. That’s right, at TLP we’ve got you covered with a phenomenal selection of elegant, luxurious gowns and dresses! All in our signature neutral, timeless style.

Quick Tip: There’s no such thing as too dressed up.

photo of pregnant mother in field taken by Milwaukee Maternity Photographer, Talia Laird Photography


Say Yes to the Dress

Dresses and skirts look most stunning because they really flatter every female body, especially on camera — which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses and not very many pantsuits! We recommend avoiding pants and shorts for your session, and saying yes to a dress or two instead.

Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Especially when juxtaposed with nature, like the desert, forest, plains or beach. Consider softer fabrics like chiffon or tulle which allow for beautiful movement in the images.

When considering the length of your dresses or skirts, it’s also a good idea to factor in whether or not there will be little ones in your photos. If you have smaller children, we’ll likely have you sitting or crouching on the ground to interact up-close with them. Shorter cocktail-length dresses are fun for a night out, but if you have little ones in your photos, a floor-length dress or skirt, or perhaps a cute midi-skirt, will make moving around with your kids much easier, and look perfect on camera, too.

If you’re an expecting mother, we always recommend floor-length gowns or maxi dresses. These dresses create the best silhouettes to flatter your figure and really highlight your bump. A lot of our expecting mothers love to incorporate flower crowns or headpieces as well!


Choosing Colors

When choosing colors for your outfits, we recommend selecting softer, lighter tones and more muted shades of neutrals. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors, 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 shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown, chambray, and white. That softer color palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments. If you’re someone who likes a little more contrast, some of our favorite deeper colors are charcoal grey, darker dusty pink/mauve, and olive green. For newborn sessions, I recommend sticking to simple whites and soft grays.

pregnant mother in beautiful pink dress taken by Milwaukee Maternity photographer, Talia Laird Photography


Flattering Your Features

In our experience, every woman, regardless of her shape has an area of her body that she’s self-conscious about, so recognizing what area that is in advance is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos. Our wardrobe is filled with the most perfect neutrals in the most flattering styles for a timeless, classy look.

Long sleeves create an awesome slimming effect on all arms, so be on the lookout for an option with a longer length sleeve; TLP clients know we’ve got you covered with many options in our wardrobe for you to choose from! Skinny straps or strapless dresses have the opposite effect on arms on camera, so we recommend avoiding those whenever possible, unless your arms aren’t an area of concern for you.

Heels can elongate women’s legs, making them look fabulous. Although, we also LOVE the look of barefoot mommas & kiddos!  If your toes are showing, you might want to schedule a pedicure before your session so you don’t regret letting your feet show.

Quick Tip: Bring a pair of easy-to-kick-off flats to wear when moving from place to place in between photos. Your feet will thank you later!

Milwaukee Maternity Photography

Milwaukee Maternity Photography

It’s all in the details

We also LOVE dresses that have beautiful detailing- embroidery, delicate buttons that accent your bump, and petite floral patterns are some of our favorites!

Here’s an example of a gown with lace embroidery and beautiful buttons

Here’s an example with a lovely soft floral pattern

Hair & Makeup

First let me start by saying that if you’re in Wisconsin and you’re one of our clients, we have you covered here with our professional hair and makeup artist! But if you’re reading this from afar, here are our best tips!

Hair down so it can flow in the wind is always our suggestion! We HIGHLY recommend soft curls for longer hair as this looks gorgeous and provides an element of movement in your photos. We also love braided styles for something that makes a little more of a statement. For little girls, hair down is also the best bet, but you may need to consider a floral crown or bow to keep hair out of eyes. For makeup, you will need to apply more than you normally would. Mascara or *good* fake lashes can really add a gorgeous feminine touch to your photos. Again, as your Milwaukee maternity photographer, TLP Momma’s don’t have to worry about this at all since they already know we will provide professional hair and makeup for you in preparation for your session with our amazing professional hair and makeup team.

Important Tip: Make sure to apply an additional coat of mascara than you normally would so your beautiful lashes are visible on camera. Or better yet- go for some really natural looking false lashes.

To hear more about our client experience, click here!

Learn more about the artwork offered by Milwaukee Maternity Photographer, Talia Laird Photography.

  1. Mary Beth says:

    Wow! This is so very helpful! So many great tips and gorgeous photos!

  2. Bethany says:

    Great tips for planning a maternity session

  3. Lindsey says:

    what great styling tips and beautiful dresses available for your clients! gorgeous photos!

  4. Rya says:

    Beautiful!! I love the consistency in your work, and the tones! Well done!

  5. Jamie says:

    WOW!! This is so full of useful information and tips!! And your work is stunning!

  6. Michelle says:

    Such an amazing service for new mamas!

  7. Stephanie says:

    What a fantastic post – I enjoyed this! So much info for your clients.

  8. Melissa Klein says:

    So many gorgeous outfits! Styling really does make a huge difference.

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