What to Wear for a Family Photo Session if you are Overly Curvaceous (Plus Size)
That’s how I choose to describe myself, overly curvaceous, and man is it hard to find examples like me and my family when I look for inspiration before we have a family photo session. (Because yes, I’m getting in front of the lens even if my body reflects my sweet tooth.) There are the generic tips – avoid logos and bold designs, consider where you are going to be photographed so you don’t blend into the background – but I look at some beautiful image with a spaghetti-strapped, loose and flowing silk dress and I know that is definitely not the right style choice for me!
So, here are some tips for you fellow extra-curvaceous women trying to work out what on earth to wear for a photo session.
- Be comfortable. Aim for a more put-together version of yourself, but nothing that has you tugging, pulling or feeling awkward. Sessions will often involve taking some photos while you sit on the ground together, and if you have young kids carrying and cuddling them, so keep that in mind too.
- Show some skin. Wrists, ankles and collarbones are all very flattering, feminine parts of the body so let at least some of them show. I’d encourage short-sleeves over long too, and necklines that aren’t too high, as being skin to skin is always going to feel more connected than if there is fabric between you and your loved ones.
- Create some shape. Not too tight and not too loose, you’re aiming for that sweet spot in the middle. Think flowing dress with a narrow belt, or if you prefer an oversized top or knit, pair it with something fitted on the bottom. Wrap dresses can be incredibly flattering and layers are great, just not loose on top of loose. (Maybe you’ll find some inspiration on my Pinterest board.)
- Be cautious of black. Black can be challenging for the camera as it struggles to see any details. All black dresses and tops, particularly when they are long-sleeved, can leave a person appearing as one big black blob.
- Introduce texture. Linen, lace, denim and chunky knits are all fabrics that can look lovely in photos. Clingy and synthetic is rarely going to be a good friend.
- Dress you, then them. Decide on your outfit first, then coordinate the rest of your family around it. You don’t want matchy-matchy, but instead aim for similar colour tones. Think all jewel tones, or pastels, or shades of blue with a pop of something for contrast that is used more than once. If you’ve chosen a patterned dress, pull the colours from the pattern to dress your loved ones as you can already see those colours work well together.
- Don’t forget your underwear. With your outer layers selected, try them on with the underwear you’ll be wearing to make sure you don’t have any extra lumps, bumps or bra straps claiming attention. There’s also your accessories to consider, and it’s a good idea to snap a quick photo on your phone to check what the camera will see.
Hope this helps! But my best advice – when your photo session comes around forget about all this, relax and have fun with your family. You and your kid’s or partner won’t be looking back on these photos in the future with a critical eye; your genuine love and happiness is the best beauty enhancement money can’t buy.
Looking for a Plus Sized Dress?
While I certainly don’t think you must wear a dress for your photo session, I have created a list of online stores that stock plus size dresses that could be helpful if you’re looking for one. Haven’t included your favourite store? Let me know as I’d love to add to this resource.
Still not sure What to Wear to a Photo Session?
Well I’ve gathered lots more information for you, including how to create a family look that is cohesive and coordinated but not matchy-matchy, right here.
The photo of me and my loved ones outside was taken by Posy Quarterman. Lilli, of Frocks and Frou Frou, and I collaborated with the goal of encouraging women who often shy away from the camera. Her dress is from Ever by X.
And before I go, I’d love to point you in the direction of Minneapolis Maternity Photographer Michele who is sharing some ideas of what to wear when pregnant.