What to Wear to Your Maternity Photo Shoot, Part 1, Clothing

Pregnancy is a journey full of joy and excitement—and nausea and nervousness and moments of “I can’t see my toooeessss!” But it’s all a part of the experience, and it’s a time you’ll want to capture to remember forever—enter maternity photos.

The most important element of looking beautiful in your photos is the photographer. Find a professional photographer with strong technical skills and experience in pregnancy photography. A professional maternity photographer will know how to light, pose and photograph you in angles that flatter your face and body.

Your maternity photographer should make you feel like the beautiful Mama you are. You’re carrying life and love inside of you, and your photographer should help you feel ALL of the life and love. She should be encouraging and positive, as well as professional and helpful. It’s not always easy to get into certain poses with your center of gravity so different, but she can show you a few ways to make it easier. 

You should feel empowered, beautiful and limitless. That’s the beauty of a great maternity photographer. She can help you see what everyone else is seeing in your gorgeous bumpin’ body. You should look back on these photos with pride and a sense of accomplishment. You grew a human, Mama! Not everyone has the honor of such an experience.

Pregnancy is a special time of your life and for many women, (although you may not feel like it) you are at your most natural, feminine and beautiful self. During your pregnancy, your hair is rich and thicker, your skin is glowing and your body has more curves. For many expecting mothers, there’s no better way to remember their pregnancy and chronicle their journey to motherhood than a professional maternity photo shoot. Here are a few tips to help you look and feel your best in your maternity photo shoot.

Try a maxi dress. Floor or knee length maxi dresses with chunky necklaces are incredibly flattering on a pregnant body. They focus on your beautiful baby bump while smoothing out and assisting areas you may deem troublesome. Try to find a maxi dress that has texture to it.

Fitted versus flowy. Wearing a tight, fitted maternity dress that shows off all your beautiful curves looks absolutely stunning. Many women feel uncomfortable doing so, but if you choose a fitted dress you should know that you are more beautiful than you could possibly imagine! Flowy dresses are more popular because they feel a little less revealing. Both make stunning photos! Maybe bring one of each.

Choose two outfits. A great idea is to have two have two outfits to wear for your maternity shoot, such as a casual outfit and a dressy outfit. This will not only give you options when choosing which photos you want to hang in your home, but it will also give you some variety in the photos as well. Just tell your photographer that you want to have an outfit change during your maternity session. You will be so thankful when you have maternity photos in varying outfits, especially if it turns out you don’t feel one of the outfits was as flattering as you believed it to be.

Don’t feel limited to just a dress. Wear a gorgeous sweater for one shoot and a stunning lace dress for another. Keep a neutral, natural look but switch it up for something different!

Solids are best. You may be able to find a pattern that flatters your body in front of the camera, but cameras can often bodies in patterns. I recommend sticking with solids.

Avoid strong colors. Stick to white or pastels. Black is classic too. White is SO beautiful and allows your bump to really show because it’s not distracting.

Timeless is best. If you’re investing in quality maternity photos, you don’t want to look back in 20 years thinking “why was I wearing that?!” because something is now out of style. That’s why I prefer just a simple flowy dress and sticking to neutral, pastel tones.

Textured Clothing: Your photos will look amazing if you wear clothing that has texture to it by adding more dimension to your photos. You can pair a chunky knit sweater with some jeans, wear a lace dress, or an embroidered top. Either way the texture in the clothes will create more interest, therefore making your photos look more beautiful. It’s a great alternative to a print or pattern.

Go seasonal. Is it spring? Choose soft, pastel colors. Is it winter? Go with light blue and white, crisp and chilly. Is it summer? Add a sun hat. Is it fall? Find a flattering cardigan or scarf.

Avoid being too matchy-matchy with your partner. Matching and coordinating your outfits is great, especially for a photography session. However, if you are both wearing white or blue, it will be distracting. I recommend visiting Pinterest and searching the palettes to find complimentary colors for you and your partner. Lay everything out on the bed together. Think of it as one outfit. You want the colors and tones to go well together. You don’t want to have too many conflicting patterns in there. Don’t forget to throw in a few accessories to make it interesting and just have fun with it! It’s also a great idea to go with a color palette that will complement the style of your home, that is, if you are planning to hang the photos up in the home.

Belt it. Find a cute and simple skinny belt to accentuate that baby bump. This will define your waistline and enhance any shirt or dress, flowy or fitted.

Avoid heavy makeup. Also with the trend issue, there’s no reason for a dark smokey eye during a maternity shoot. You want to look like an enhanced version of yourself, and that’s it. No need for crazy makeup. Same goes for nails! I love simple white polishes for a clean look.

Choose a fit that’s right for you. Not all pregnant bodies are created the same, so choose a dress or outfit that will accentuate your bump. I love anything with a waistband that sits above the bump because it essentially gives you the waist you’re missing due to pregnancy!

Rent your dress! I love to use Rent the Runway. Rent a totally over the top dress for one of your looks, and the photos will be absolutely stunning. You will look back on them with heart eyes forever! It doesn’t have to be a maternity dress, just find one with that high waistband to sit right above the bump, which is perfect. It’s the perfect place to browse for what to wear for a maternity shoot.

DO invest in a quality photographer, if you can. I’ve had many people say to me they just afford a good photographer, and I understand that. But if good photos are what you want, you need to hire someone good! Which means they’ll most like cost you some money. Look at it like an investment, as you’ll have these photos to look back on for years. Lastly, some photos are better than none, so ask about mini sessions and try to find the best for what you can pay for.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to envision a session in your own unique style. Whether it is wearing and adorable little bikini, Or doing a milk bath maternity session, the creativity and beauty is endless in the special genre of photography that only happens once in your life!

Lastly, if you love these tips, click here and I have a few more I can send you on how to have an unforgettable Maternity Photo Session!


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