What To Wear For Maternity Photos

August 31, 2020

My Tips on How To Dress For Your Maternity Photo Session

What to wear for maternity photos - Beautiful pregnant mom in a white lace dress smiling

There are lots of options for what to wear for your maternity photos, but what I want is for you to look amazing. What you would wear in normal day-to-day life may not necessarily look the best for photos so keep reading for my recommendations.

maternity photo of mama wearing a lace pink dress

Choose a Flattering Silhouette for Your Maternity Photos

I’m adding this first because it’s the most important. If you stop reading after this tip, at least you will see this one! You want to wear a dress that will give you the most flattering silhouette for your maternity photos. So here is what to look for:

  • A dress/top that is tight up top, meaning that it is tight to just above the belly.
  • A dress or skirt that flares out starting just above the belly. You don’t want it to be tight underneath the belly. I know there are a lot of dresses like that, and maybe this is a personal preference, but I love a flowy skirt that allows lots of movement. I think it looks more flattering and it also gives you something to play with/swish around.
  • Length should be to the floor. Not too much longer than that because you don’t want to trip on it. And it’s okay if it’s slightly shorter if you want to show off your shoes. But typically a floor length dress is most flattering.

And when I say these recommendations, I’m taking about your main dress. You can definitely bring another outfit that is completely different, but for the main part of the session, this is what I love best. 🙂

couple standing and looking at each other, holding hands - what to wear for maternity photos

Wear the Right Color

The reason you’re booking this maternity photo session is to show off that beautiful bump, so make sure to wear colors that will show it off. Meaning to NOT wear black or navy or any other super dark color. It hides the bump and makes it hard to see, and that’s not what you’re going for. But at the same time, you don’t want to wear bright neon colors, either. Light to medium colors look best.

family cuddling and looking happy - maternity photographer

Be Careful With Patterns

You can’t go wrong with solid colors, and dresses with some texture (like maybe some lace or crepe fabrics). That would be my top choice. But patterns can be great, too! You just want to select the right one. If you select a pattern that is too tiny, it can be too busy and really distract. But you can also select patterns that are too big, which isn’t all that flattering. Medium sized patterns are what you’re going to shoot for here. 

maternity photography in lace dress

Dress for the Season

Make sure to think about the weather when deciding on your maternity outfit. If it’s going to be hot out, pick a more breathable fabric. If it’s going to be cold, look for a long sleeved dress, or bring a chunky knit cardigan. Chunky knits are great because you can wear it off your shoulders and it looks amazing, and then between shots you can cuddle up and get warm.

Dad holding son upside down while mom holds his hand. Everyone laughing. Maternity photo session

Avoid Matching Your Partner/Family

When deciding what your partner will wear, you want to coordinate but not match. If your colors are the same, you will blend into each other and it will be hard to see the separation. Same goes for anyone in your family, we don’t want anyone blending into each other. You can search pinterest for complimentary colors or to get ideas. I also have a what to wear guide on my website or just message me for help! 🙂

Beautiful pregnant mom with orange fringe top - Portland Maternity Photographers

Bring an Extra Maternity Outfit

Bringing another outfit to your maternity session is a great idea and give you some variety. I can bring my changing tent so you can change easily on location. Sometimes the extra outfit is just a lacy cardigan over underwear so we can really emphasize your beautiful belly. Or maybe you want some casual photos in your overalls. Whatever your style is, just let me know ahead of time so we can decide when the best time to wear it is, in the beginning or at the end of the session. I can help you brainstorm and I might have something in my client closet that you would love to use!

pregnant mom holding son with both eyes closed - maternity photography in portland oregon

Hopefully you have a better idea now of what to wear for your maternity photo session, but remember that I am always here to help! When you book a session with me, you gain access to my client closet, as well as my styling advice, so please ask me any and all your questions!

Beautiful maternity session, mom in yellow dress with flowers, wind blowing her hair.portland maternity photographer



I’m doing this in December so thanks for the tips!! I never know how to dress myself in general LOL