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The Ultimate Guide: What To Wear To A Maternity Photoshoot

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

Deciding on an outfit for your maternity photoshoot can be tricky and a little bit stressful. Your maternity photos will be some of the most beautiful and intimate photos you’ll ever take. They will be a reflection of your pregnancy and your growing family that you look back on for decades to come! Having the perfect outfit is key to making your photos look amazing. No pressure, right?

Here are 10 tips on what to wear for your maternity shoot to help ease your stress and make your decision a little bit easier.

Before you dive into your closet or decide a shopping trip is in order… here are 4 things you need to consider before you put your outfit together.

1. Consider what type of style or theme you would like your photos to have. You can make this first step easier on yourself by considering your personal style along with some of your favorite hobbies or interests. This should help you decide on the type of shoot you are going for. Think intimate and cozy or something boho or outdoors-y with a light and airy feel. It’s all up to you!

2. Determine who you would like to take your photos with. It can be fun to include your partner in a few of the shots too. We recommend including the whole family in your maternity shoot; at least a few photos with the dad-to-be. It’s not uncommon to take couple photos during a maternity shoot or even get some family photos.There is nothing quite like a photo of big brother or big sister snuggling the baby in your belly…these shots make for very sweet moments. Just keep in mind that you’ll want everyone to coordinate their outfits, wear complementary colors and make your bump the star of the shoot. (See color coordination inspiration slideshow in #3 below.)


3. What season your are shooting in. You can kind of assume what the weather will be like depending on which season it is when taking your photos. In general, you’ll want to be more cozy with neutral colors during the winter months and more bright during the summer season. The seasons will also give you a great starting point for picking out what colors you will wear for your photos. Look to the colors of the seasons and the variety of landscapes each month offers you.

4. How your belly will grow. If you’re counting by weeks, schedule your session around 30 weeks pregnant. If you take maternity photos after your eighth month of pregnancy, your maternity shoot might be uncomfortable. You want to avoid taking photos when your belly feels too heavy, usually after 35 weeks. Schedule your maternity shoot with a quality photographer at least three months before your session. When it comes to choosing your maternity outfit, keep in mind how your body will grow in the time leading up to your session.


1. Go Timeless

You’ll have these maternity photos for a long time, so you don’t want to look back on them in 20 years and regret anything you wore. In order to avoid that, go with a more timeless, simple look.

Don’t date your photos with trendy color combos or fashion styles. Trends come and go, you won’t want to pick out something that could possibly go out of style. You want your shots to be timeless and definitely won’t want to look at these photos down the road and wonder what you were thinking when you picked out your outfit. We also suggest sticking with neutral colors, which help create photographs that put the focus on your beautiful belly.

2. Solid Colors

Since the main focus in your maternity shoot is your bump, don’t let anything take attention away form that, like a pattern or print. Wear solid colors for your bump to stand out the most. If you want to incorporate patterns into your shoot, have your partner wear a patterned shirt instead. If you feel solid colors are too boring, then bring in some textures like lace or knits. You can even play around with fun, bright and bold accessories like necklaces, scarves, hats, etc.

3. Multiple Wardrobe Changes

A great idea is to have at least two outfits to wear for your maternity shoot. A casual outfit and a dressy outfit work nicely. This will add variety and will give you a lot of lovely photos from which to choose.

4. Bare It All

From baring it all (nudes) to just the suggestion of nudity, the pregnant female form is beautiful. There are many ways to pose nude or create implied nudes in an elegant and modest way. From proper fine art studio lighting, well placed flower pedals, to open sweaters and well placed props.


5. Choose a fit that is right for you

Every woman’s body is unique during their pregnancy, so be sure to choose a dress or outfit that will accentuate your bump. Always avoid black because it makes it nearly impossible to accentuate your bump in photos. Black is slimming… and well… we want you to look as pregnant as possible.

As a maternity photographer, I love when my clients wear anything with a waistband that sits above the bump because it essentially gives you the waist you’re missing due to pregnancy and makes it easy to accentuate mommy curves! This also allows us to play with different poses and your body shape, easily and naturally.

6. Comfort

Having practical outfit selections will allow you to be comfortable during your shoot. You are sure to have fun and your photographs will shine a light on your one-of-a-kind personality.


7. Neutral Colors & Shades

When clients ask me for outfit advice for any session, I always start by suggesting some neutral options. Neutral colors might seem boring to some people, but consider these colors as a blank canvas.

Wearing an un-distracting color such as white, grey, cream– or even a lighter shade of maybe blue, pink, or purple – allows people to truly see YOU and not just your outfit. These colors usually compliment every skin tone and can even make your location/background look more like a gorgeous pop of color behind you.. Neutrals can also be dressed up or down easily and still look elegant and timeless.

Stick to white or pastels, avoid strong colors. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard to NOT wear white during a photo shoot, which is pure insanity. White is SO beautiful and allows your bump to really show because it’s not distracting.


‘Maternal Mermaid’ by Erin & Jake Photography via our drone!

8. Don’t feel limited to just a dress.

A gorgeous cream sweater for one shoot and a stunning lace top for another. Keep the same neutral, natural look but switch it up for something different!

9. Avoid heavy makeup

Also with the trend issue, there’s no reason for dark smokey eyes during a maternity shoot. You want to look like an enhanced version of yourself, and that’s it. No need for crazy makeup.


10. Shoes!

Coordinating your shoes into your outfit is a must. Try to avoid high heels. Remember, comfort is key! If you MUST wear heals, a good trick is to bring a pair flats and only wear your heals for the photos.


<3 Erin & Jake Photography


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