What to Wear for Maternity Photos

posted on

February 6, 2023

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You have booked your maternity photography session and it is time to start planning outfits! How to decide what to wear for maternity photos?

I believe pregnancy is beautiful and women are powerful.  But I also understand that most of us are not professional models and even professional models are not experts at posing while pregnant.  It is my job to make you feel comfortable and it is my job to make you look beautiful!

A big piece of making this happen is choosing the right clothing for your session. 


When thinking about wardrobe you will want to consider your personal style as well as how you intend to use the photos.  A more formal dress is a wonderful option for a photo to be displayed on the wall, at your baby shower or shared with coworkers while more intimate photos are ideal for an album for just you and your partner. 

Studio maternity sessions allow for 2-3 outfit changes so I encourage including traditional as well as more intimate maternity photos, based on your comfort level.


The goal of a maternity photo session is to show off your bump and fitted dresses do this beautifully while offering the option of covering other areas such as arms that you might not want to show off.  All of the dresses shown are part of my studio wardrobe, available for sizes 0- 26.


I love the look of more intimate maternity photos and lace robes are a great way to achieve this look without showing too much skin.  My studio wardrobe includes the robes shown.

Causal and Personal

In addition to using items from my studio wardrobe, I encourage clients to incorporate personal items such as a partner’s dress shirt,  jeans (your pre pregnancy jeans unbuttoned) and your own lingerie.  

Nothing at all

No shopping required for this one!  This is typically the last ‘look’ of the session, after you have gotten comfortable in front of the camera. I will guide you every step of the way in terms of hand placement and angles.


I encourage including your partner and any older children (including fur babies) for a portion of your maternity session

Neutrals photograph well

Because my studio is all white, I recommend everyone wearing lighter neutral colors and avoiding blue denim as well as black.  For dads, a light weight neutral color shirt and any lighter color pant ( grey, tan, olive, etc.) works well. 

Dress for the same occasion

For example, if you are wearing jeans your partner should wear something equally causal such as jeans and a simple solid color shirt.  If you wearing a more formal dress, a dress shirt for your partner will keep the photo feeling consistent.


Hair and Makeup

Maternity photos are an opportunity to capture one of the most incredible and fleeting stages of your life.  Unlike family photos which tend to focus on the kids, this session is all about you and is a great opportunity for some extra pampering.

If you are interested in scheduling hair and makeup on the day of your session, I am happy to make recommendations.


Maternity posing involves a lot of hands on the belly so this is a great time for a manicure.  Neutral colors are best!

No shoes needed

My maternity gowns are floor length so no shoes are needed for studio maternity sessions.

What to wear for maternity photos

I hope that you have found this guide helpful as you prepare for your maternity photography session! 

More examples

If you are interested in seeing more examples of what to wear for your maternity session my maternity pinterest board is a great resource!

Have any other questions?  I am happy to help!

Additional information about maternity photography at my Boston studio can be found here:

Boston Maternity Photographer

If you have this article helpful you might also be interested in:

Maternity Studio Photoshoot

When to Schedule Newborn Photos

  1. What a great blog post for your pregnant mamas to find out what works for maternity sessions and what to wear.

  2. This is so helpful, Beth. I love that you have gowns available at your studio to choose from. The “nothing at all” tip is my favorite, just kidding! 🙂 Great read, thanks for sharing!

  3. Karla Vacek says:

    These pictures are so beautiful! I love how there are so many different options for maternity in your studio.

  4. Samantha says:

    These are all such great suggestions for what to wear for studio maternity photos, Beth! I love how you’re able to photograph such a wide range of looks from formal to casual during one session just by changing up the wardrobe. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I love the ones with casual jeans!

  5. Julianna says:

    This guide is so helpful for an in studio maternity session! Love that you are reminding about getting your nails done, i am definitely one to always forget!

  6. Ellen says:

    It is amazing how you can get so many different looks in the studio with just a few variances in your wardrobe! Definitely bookmarking this one!

  7. Becky Furry says:

    Such great tips and gorgeous options for mamas to wear for their maternity sessions!

  8. Kate says:

    You did an incredible job answering every question that an expecting mother might have before her maternity session with you! I love that you are able to create such a variety of looks and that you have wardrobe options available for your clients which takes a lot of stress out of planning a session!

  9. Jasmyn says:

    I love all of these tips for what to wear for a maternity session! You perfectly capture a wide range of looks while keeping everything consistent. I would have to purchase the whole gallery with such wonderful variety and possibilities.

  10. Karla says:

    These are all beautiful!

  11. Such a great post. I love that you offer a variety of options for mom. The “Nothing at all” seems fun 🙂

  12. Julianna says:

    Love the nothing at all and casual looks! So many great options! Beautiful work friend!

  13. Jasmyn says:

    I love all of the wardrobe options available for a maternity session! Each mama looks beautiful and happy.

  14. so cute! love the shirt option

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