Oh, What to Wear? 7 Outfit Guidelines for Gorgeous (& Flattering) Maternity Shots

Orange County Maternity Photographer

Orange County Maternity Photographer

Feeling Your Best Often Means Looking Your Best, Too.

Then again, if you’re growing an entire human being inside of you, I can understand that feeling your best isn’t always the easiest feat.

That’s why preparing for your photo shoot (just like you are now by doing some research!) is the perfect way to manage what you can control about your shoot: your clothing!

I want my mommas to feel sexy, almost-goddess like. Of course, you might be going for another vibe, just communicate that with your photographer!

For my clients, my goal is for you to see your photo collection and be enamored with your life-giving body, not thinking about how you “could have” done this with your make-up, “should have” chosen the yellow dress over the green one, and “would have” worn a different blouse if you could do it all over again.

You are here now, and after reading this post, we’re collectively throwing all these what if’s out the window.

Please note: the guidelines below are simplified to be applicable toward moms of all shapes, sizes, and styles. These guidelines are also influenced by my own personal style. Take what you want!

7 Outfit Guidelines to Gorgeous Maternity Photos

How to Dress for Your Maternity Shoot

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1. Go Tight!

Give me all of the turtleneck bodcyon dresses please. With all the gorgeous curves on a pregnant woman’s body, I find some of my most stunning profile shots are in a tight (and super comfy, might I add) mid-length, long-sleeved dress. This type of dress keeps the focus in all the right places—your baby and your beautiful body. For maximum flattery, I recommend the color black.

2. Strip it Down

Yep, you read that correctly. While we may not get quite as saucy as I would in a boudoir shoot (up to you, always!), a maternity photo shoot is the perfect time to bare some skin. Whether in a bathing suit or your favorite underwear, I assure you that you won’t regret having photos of your bare belly in a photo album. You can also throw on a cover up (a soft cardigan, a silk robe, or a stylish kimono) to emphasis your chest and belly.

A maternity shoot is a beautiful opportunity to show some skin.

A maternity shoot is a beautiful opportunity to show some skin.

Long dresses are a great call during a pregnancy photo shoot. They line the body well, and help you feel comfortable.

Long dresses are a great call during a pregnancy photo shoot. They line the body well, and help you feel comfortable.

3. Let it Flow

Lean towards skirts, dresses, and gowns for this type of shoot. I’ve rarely had a mom wear pants during her maternity photos, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something you could include if you have a favorite pair. Just remember that our goal is to create smooth lines surrounding your curves.

4. Be Sleeve Savvy

Try to avoid tank tops or spaghetti strap tops, or really anything that will expose your bra straps. I recommend strapless dresses (make sure you have enough comfy support), cap sleeves, 3/4 sleeves and long sleeves.

5. Never Forget Neutral

Because neutrals are timeless, I always recommending making them the core of your outfit collection. Blacks, whites, and even shades of brown and grey just translate so well in photos, especially when you’re in a beautiful location.

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6. Color It In

That being said, you have to include at least 1-2 pops of color in your shoot wardrobe. Most of my clients already have their favorite color, or are inspired by their pregnancy story or personal history in some way that makes choosing a color really easy. Whatever you choose (and you can take this advice or leave it), I recommend steering clear of loud patterns. Why? Well, they can clash with your surrounding environment, and distract from the true subject of the photo (you!). Let the color speak, not the pattern.

7. Stay True to You

If you want to included props (ultrasound photos, onesies, booties) and bring support (baby daddy or siblings), be sure to discuss your vision with your photographer. Your shoot should leave you feeling confident, capable and (again)—truly you.

I hope that helps clear up any confusion surrounding a maternity photo shoot wardrobe. What other tips can you share? Let me know!

Want to book a maternity photo session?


Jenna Renee

It only took me nine months of working in the data analytics industry post-graduation to realize that I was destined for something greater.

Hungry for a creative career that enabled me to leverage the power of photography and social media—while capitalizing on an unrelenting work ethic—I turned my side hobby into a living, breathing business. 


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