What to Wear for Maternity Photos

Sep 4, 2020

You’re all set. You’ve got your photographer booked, makeup taken care of and now you’re wondering what clothes to wear for maternity photos. While we do offer a selection of gowns for our mamas for their session, we understand that some moms are more comfortable in their own clothing.

We’ve put together a quick guide of things to remember when styling yourself for maternity photos. This not quite what you’re looking for? Maybe you can find what you need in our maternity photoshoot guide.

Photographer Provided Wardrobe

While not every photographer offers a client closet, some do – and it truly helps make the getting dressed portion of your session easy. Bonus points that it also helps you get their signature look because the dresses they have available have likely been specially curated to fit their brand and give the vibe you love about their images. If you’re booking with me, ask about a gown consultation and we can schedule some time before your session for you to stop by the studio and try on a few to decide which ones you love.

client closet dresses what to wear for maternity session pink flowy off shoulder gown

Maxi Dresses

My first recommendation when trying to determine what to wear for maternity photos will always be a maxi dress. Seriously – these things are so versatile. They’re a nice option for really almost any photo session, but especially maternity. They flatter nearly every figure and come in a wide variety of styles. Off the shoulder, long-sleeved, v-necks, scoop – there is a maxi dress for everyone. Need a visual? Check out this pinterest board.

Some of my favorites include:

sleeveless white lulus maxi gown what to wear to maternity photos city skyline
Mama found this dress at LuLu’s

Make it Casual

Let’s be honest. Not everyone wants to wear a dress or gown or fancy clothes and that’s ok. You can still get gorgeous maternity images in casual clothes. First and foremost – no matter which route you take, comfort is key. If you’re not comfortable, it will certainly show in your images.

Maternity clothes these days are super cute! Grab a pair of your favorite maternity jeans or leggings, a nice fitted top and a textured sweater/cardigan. Adding layers always lends a little extra depth and dimension – especially during the fall months. We’ll cover that further down in the article.

mom and dad looking in each others eyes at charlotte convention center

Make sure outfits are wrinkle-free

One of the worst things you can do is have a gorgeous outfit be ruined with tons of wrinkles, however with a little extra care, you can ensure it looks it best. Try steaming or pressing outfits and hanging them before the session.

pregnant woman leaning against stone bridge black casual dress what to wear for maternity photos

Aim for solid colors

While there are a few exceptions here – the general rule of thumb is to stick with solid colors. You want to avoid small, busy patterns, obnoxious logos and loud tones.

Add layers and texture

Nothing adds interest to an outfit and photo like texture. Added layers can help enhance your look and textures add more dimension. Chunky sweaters, lace robes, embroidered tops all work well.


Don’t be afraid of accessories! The shoes you wear, hats, necklaces, belts – they all help tie together and complete your look.

Form fitting

The purpose behind our session is to showcase your bump. We want your growing baby belly to be the star of the show. Clothing that is a little more form fitting helps us focus on the curves of your changing body. Feeling self conscious? Add in some layers and texture like I mentioned above.

what to wear to maternity session

Undergarments matter

It’s really important to be mindful of your undergarments. Oftentimes I’ve found they just help moms feel more secure and comfortable. If your top is off the shoulder, wear a strapless bra. If your form fitting dress is a little sheer – maternity shapers help add an extra layer of fabric while smoothing you. My recommendation is always to go with nude.

Treat Yo’Self

Who said there was anything wrong with going to the spa or nail salon before your maternity session? You want to look and feel great and a day of pampering before modeling in front of the camera is the perfect way to do so. Plus – you’d be amazed at how big a difference these small details make in your images. This goes for moms who are bringing their own wardrobe, or wearing ours. 🙂

Did you just read all of this and are still unsure about what to wear to the maternity shoot? If yes, just head over to the client closet – we might have something you love.

what to wear to maternity session pregnant woman in white lace gown

Ready to plan your own maternity session? Let’s chat! Contact us for more information or booking!



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