I wanted to take a moment and share some of the gorgeous dresses and accessories in my Studio Closet Dress Collection with you all.

Unique Underwater Maternity Portrait of African American Woman in Red Tulle Couture Gown

The Studio Closet is one part of the Full Service Offered

One of the things I am proud to offer to as part of the boutique service I offer my clients here at Renee Stengel Photography is an extensive Studio Closet. In photography in general, but particularly when we are talking about underwater photography, there are certain styles of gowns that just work better than others.

I have learned to work with most types of fabric, and have put routines in place to care for them and make them last for multiple sessions and seasons. But, honestly, they just are not going to hold up as well as they would in a dry studio setting. That is one of the reasons why I want to provide these gorgeous Couture Gowns for my clients – so that they don’t have to sink their own gowns!

I also want every client to have access to a range of colors and styles. I think I have just about every color of the rainbow at this point. Still working to achieve every shade, but we definitely have the rainbow range of colors!

Fabrics are amazing in the water. The light weight chiffons just flow beautifully. They can add color, grace, or even a surreal aspect to a portrait. My fabrics are sheer and lightweight. They range from three to six feet in length. Currently we have about 20 colors and shades in the Studio Closet.

I also have a beautiful collection of accessories. This includes things like crowns, hairpins, hats, shoes, and jewelry. And I have a growing collection of maternity swimwear and bodysuits that work beautifully on their own or with a tulle skirt or chiffon wrap.

The Studio Closet

The Studio Closet at Renee Stengel Photography is continually growing and changing. In fact, there are many gowns that haven’t made it into the water yet. And I guarantee that by the time you read this there will be additions not yet included in this post! But, today is about showing you that the Studio Closet at Renee Stengel Photography has a wide array of options available to you.

Prior to a scheduled session, all Creative Session Clients are offered a 30 minute consultation. This provides an opportunity to view the pool and the full selection of gowns and accessories currently available in the Studio Closet at Renee Stengel Photography.

During this time we go over how the scheduled photography session will flow, the types of poses we will do, view the dresses and accessories and discuss makeup and clothing options.

We are also able to discuss any additional outfits from the client’s own wardrobe that we may want to include. And, finally, it is a time when we can discuss hair, makeup, and accessories for our session. This includes both the primary client as well as a partner or any children that may be involved in the session.

This consultation is complementary and optional. I find it provides a time for clients to get excited about their upcoming session and the wardrobe options available! It also provides an opportunity to get comfortable around my pool, and with me, prior to us jumping in. 

Studio Closet Gowns available for Underwater Portrait and Maternity Sessions
Studio Closet Gowns available for Underwater Portrait and Maternity Sessions

A Rainbow of Colors!

Underwater Maternity Photos in a Rainbow of Colors from the Studio Closet of Renee Stengel Photography
I may have a thing for COLOR!!
As much as I adore color underwater, sometimes simple is best! A black or cream lace is exactly how we wanted to showcase these beautiful baby bumps. Either of these may be worn with or without a body suit or swimsuit. And either works for Maternity or
Non-Maternity Creative Sessions.
Underwater Maternity Photo and Studio Closet Collection of Chiffon Gowns for use in Underwater Photography
Long flowing fabrics look amazing underwater.
Underwater Maternity Photo and Studio Closet Collection of Gold Chiffon and Knit Couture Gowns from Sew Trendy Accessories
All the GOLD!! This is actually only two gowns on display at the left, but one is displayed in three ways. The chiffon skirt can be worn with the accompanying top, as a scarf, skirt or wrap with the tube dress, or with a body suit (not shown).

Gold gowns can take on many colors underwater, from a paler gold to a fiery gold with hints of red and orange. The light and area of the pool we choose to use makes all the difference in how the color appears.

Use of Chiffon Fabric in Underwater Photography from the Studio Closet of Renee Stengel Photography
The selection of chiffon fabrics in the Studio Closet can be used in a number of beautiful ways underwater. As a wrap or covering, as an addition to another gown to add extra flow, or even on their own as a lovely display of color and flow to add to an Underwater Portrait, as shown on the far right. And no, that was not created with computer software or by composite, the fabric sank to the bottom in that stunning circle of color and movement, all on their own.

Couture Tulle and Lace

The Studio Closet at Renee Stengel Photography is full of dozens of beautiful gowns in many shapes, styles and colors. These gowns have been chosen specifically for how they move and flow in the water, the quality of craftsmanship, and for how they will hold up in the water.

But the jewels of the collection? The Couture Gowns from International Designers like Katarina Hakaj and Sew Trendy as well as local designers. These gowns are an investment well worth making and time and again are the gowns that make my clients gasp when I carry them out.

When a client slips on one of these gowns and starts glowing before she even steps into the water, I am reminded time and again why I keep such an extensive collection. These gowns are fit for a Princess. And when my Mama’s put these gowns on, they glow like the Queens that they are!

This collection is currently available the Lavender and Red shown here, as well as Gold and a deep Purple.

Underwater Maternity in a Katarina Hajak Couture Coco Gown in Lavender
Underwater Maternity Photography using Red Celine Gown from Sew Trendy Accessories
I love how this tulle and lace gown looks amazing on so many different body shapes.
The Studio Closet now has this gown in Red, Gold, and Purple.

Creative Sessions

While I often showcase the maternity gowns from the Studio Closet, many can be used for both Maternity and Non Maternity Creative Sessions. There are also gowns such as the black lace and red tulle gown shown at the bottom left (previously featured on the cover of Carolina Bride) which are primarily for use in Non Maternity Creative Sessions.

Collection of Gowns from the Studio Closet of Renee Stengel Photography for Non-Maternity Creative Underwater Portrait Sessions
While I often showcase the maternity gowns from the Studio Closet, many can be used for both Maternity and Non Maternity Creative Sessions. There are also gowns such as the black lace and red tulle gown shown at the bottom left (previously featured on the cover of Carolina Bride) which are primarily for use in Non Maternity Creative Sessions.

Currently, there are two of these gorgeous full tulle skirts in the Studio Closet. One in a bold yellow and the other in a bright hot pink. Both of these were created by local designer RCB Fashion of Charlotte, NC.

Underwater Tulle Skirts used created by RCB Fashion of Charlotte in Yellow and Pink.
Tulle Skirts by RCB Fashion in Yellow and Pink.

Keep your Heels, Head, and Standards High

“Keep your Heels, Head and Standards High” Coco Chanel.

Let’s not forget about the accessories! We have pearl and metal necklaces and bracelets, headpieces, hairpins, and more.

Asian Mama to be in Tulle Chiffon gown and Pearl Waterfall Statement Necklace with matching earrings
This Pearl Waterfall Necklace is of a few new Statement pieces purchased specifically for use in Underwater Portrait Sessions. Matching Earrings are also available for use.

The Studio Closet also has a growing collection of high heels available for use underwater. Shoes underwater are something that can add an unexpected but very fun look to your Creative Underwater Portraits.

Use of High Heel Shoes in Underwater Photography
The black heels on the bottom right are currently available from the Studio Closet.
The Pink heels and Leopard Print heels are client owned.

Can I bring items from my own Closet?

Of course! Many clients use a combination of items from the Studio Closet and their own closets. And some use items purchased specifically for their session. I am available to help in choices, guide in which fabrics and materials will work well in the water and what is most likely to survive the dunk!

Examples of Client Outfits and Fashion in Underwater Maternity and Underwater Creative Portrait Sessions
All of these clients brought in items of their own to use for their sessions. Some are things from the Client’s own closets. Others are gowns or accessories purchased specifically for their Underwater Portrait Session with Renee Stengel Photography.

Collaborative Temporary Additions to the Studio Closet

At times there are things that visit the Studio Closet at Renee Stengel Photography for a limited period of time. These collaborations with designers and artisans have provided some amazing opportunities for Collaborative Creative Sessions!

Underwater Creative Collaborations with RCB Fashion of Charlotte NC and Finfolk Productions Mermaid Tails.
Skeleton Mermaid Tail by Finfolk Productions, Bridal Gown from, and Lavender Tulle and Lace gown created by RCB Fashion of Charlotte NC.

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  1. […] of my work on hold over the last fifteen months. But one thing I had trouble staying away from? Collecting Gowns for my Client Closet! The late nights of internet scrolling, the time spent looking for distractions from the state of […]

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