What To Wear For Your Maternity Photos

There’s nothing worse than looking back on your maternity photos and seeing yourself in an outfit that was really only suitable for ‘that place in time’.  Go timeless and choose classical looks that will not date and stay away from the trends. You want your shots to be timeless and you definitely don’t want to look at these photos down the road and wonder what you were thinking when you picked out your outfit.

maxi dress

A maxi dress is a staple item of clothing for pregnant women and when it comes to a maternity shoot it is a perfect choice too. Not only it is super comfortable but it can be sculpted around your body, it very flattering and it hangs perfectly in all the right places.  A loose flowing maxi dress can hide areas you’d rather not show and by placing your hands around your bump, the fabric will accentuate your lovely belly.

a sample of a blue and white patterned maternity maxi dress

figure hugging clothing

wearing a white ruched dress, a pregnant woman raises her arms to her head

It goes without saying that you’re going to want to wear clothing that shows off your bump. Flaunt your curves, your cleavage and really let your body shine. A pregnant body is beautiful and worth being proud of. Tight and form-fitting works marvelously. Not only that, but when you dress in form fitting clothes, you can pose in a number of ways, not just the cup-hand-under-belly pose.  Dresses with ruching at the side seams is another great option, the gathers can help disguise any additional bumps that you might have as well as any cellulite dimples.

keep it simple

A pair of jeans and a gorgeous white shirt is also a simple look that can create wonderful photos. I like big, white, button-down, men's shirt, open the buttons of your shirt to reveal your tummy. Simple and effective. Any shirt or cardigan that opens down the front works well. Make sure that the waistband of your pants is flattering for bare belly pictures.  Rolled down or folded-over stretchy fabric isn’t always cute.  Instead, grab a pair of jeans that you can’t button, black pants (yoga pants work well) or maternity pants that sit below the belly.

Pregnant african american woman and her partner. A color image from the side with him looking over her shoulder towards the belly

a robe

a pregnant woman with an open white lacey robe exposing her pregnant belly.

A gorgeous silk, satin or lace robe that can cover parts of your body you want hidden and expose your belly is a great option. Just like a gorgeous piece of flowing fabric draped around you, it can really set the scene and make for stunning photos. ( Did you see the Rolling Stones cover with Cardi B? That’s the same idea.)


If you are keen on creating a sexy look, how about some gorgeous lingerie. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but beautiful lingerie can really accentuate a women’s body and when done with a professional angle, can look gorgeous.

maternity in black bra and panties

belt or waistband

I love anything with a waistband that sits above the bump because it essentially gives you the waist you’re missing due to pregnancy! Never underestimate the power of a skinny belt. You can get away with wearing your regular loose tops, belted above your belly. This look is super flattering because it cinches the thinnest part of your body.

nothing at all!

Going nude is also another option. Your belly is the focus of attention which diverts attention from other perceived flaws you might have about your body. With careful lighting a nude image can expose as little or as much as you’d like. Printing your image in black and white creates a fine art image and will make you feel less naked while looking at the images.

a black and white portrait of a nude pregnant woman with her arms covering her breasts and one in her hair

Draped and flowing fabrics.

If going completely nude is too much for you, you can hide parts of your body and expose others with carefully draped fabrics (or a robe, see above) so you get the feeling of a nude image without too much exposure. Fabrics can also be used to create flowing dresses, or other little outfits to expose or flatter your belly while creating striking images.

The photographer's wardrobe.

A lot of established maternity photographers will have a collection of fabrics and sometimes clothing that can be used by their clients. This can be used in addition to a selection of items from your wardrobe or can be what you select from completely if you feel that you have nothing suitable to wear. Here are some of the items of clothing and different colored fabrics that I have available at my studio

Coordinate with your family.

If your significant other or older children will be in your maternity photos, take time to coordinate everyone’s outfits. You don’t want to match perfectly, but you don’t want your clothing to clash and distract from your precious baby bump. Choose outfits that are different shades of the same color to keep things simple and clean-looking.

Avoid trendy styles and patterns.

You want your photos to be timeless, and nothing dates a photo like wearing the latest trendy fashion. Go with simple colors and pieces that won’t go out of style—clothing your kids won’t make fun of years down the road.

Choose two or three outfits.

Talk to your photographer about how many outfits you should bring, but it’s great to at least have two outfits to add variety to your images. Make sure you choose something that’s relatively easy to change into so you can do a quick change and have more time taking your photos.


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