Prepping for your Maternity Session | What to wear

Maternity Clothing, Styling and Session Tips

Our Goal:

We want your images to be displayed and enjoyed in your home for many years to come.  You are going to want these images to stand the test of time.   Your outfits should be classic, not considered too trendy, and won’t take attention away from the subject.

Sitting down to choose what to wear for your maternity session can be daunting.  At 32-36 weeks pregnant you typically are not going to feel super sexy and your clothes may be chosen by what fits rather than portray your sense of style. The most important thing is to wear clothes that show off that beautiful baby bump!  We like to wait until the 33-36 week ensuring your bump is fully showing.  Now we can still do them later if need be, but we find around 36+ weeks you are focusing on preparing for the arrival of your little one and are considered full-term at 37 weeks.  We try to avoid waiting and having you go into labor and miss out on having these beautiful images taken.

Pre-session Pampering:

Your hands will be in nearly all of the images and sometimes close up as well as some of your toes.  Make sure they are well hydrated and well manicured.  This goes for dads too, a clean and trimmed manicure.  You can do them yourself or use your session as an excuse to go to the salon for some pampering.

Your hair and makeup should reflect you.  Avoid trends and just dress up your everyday look.  Don’t be afraid to hire a professional MUA to do it for you!  If you are feeling primped, beautiful, and sexy your images are going to portray that.

If anyone is needing a trip to the salon, be sure to let the hair cut grow out a week or so in order to look most natural.


Wear clothing that is fitted to your belly.   We will take shots from angles that accentuate your bump, but if you are wearing flowy clothing your belly can get lost in the material making you appear to just be carrying around a few extra pounds not a baby.  Avoid busy prints and opt for something with texture or a pop of color.  You and your spouse/partner should coordinate but do not have to be a perfect match.


Bring along a strapless bra, as well as a really supportive bra.  Your chest is going to be much larger than normal and we want to visually show the separation of the space where your chest and belly meet. It is easy to have a gradual slope from your chest arcing down to your lap, we want to avoid this.  We will help you achieve this by the way we pose you, but the clothing choice helps tremendously!  When choosing a top anything that gathers or seams just below the bust is a good option.  If it doesn’t have gathering or seeming under the bust, make sure it is slim fitting enough to show off your bump and separate your belly from bust.  While with most sessions we recommend layers, maternity sessions typically don’t follow that rule of thumb.  You can still bring in visual interest with scarves or chunky jewelry, but don’t lose the bump in the layers!

Bottoms:  Your bottoms should play a role in not creating a slope from belly to crotch.  It should be clear where your bump ends.  Posing will help this divide happen too, but the bottoms you choose can do a lot of the work for you.  Have some contrast in color between your bottoms and top.  Doesn’t have to be polar opposites, just don’t wear a black top and black slacks together.  As far as the panels go, wear whichever is more comfortable.  To prevent the panel line sometimes seen when you wear the full panels, we may have you pull the panel down for some shots.  Dark, wide leg jeans and trousers are great for maternity.  Don’t rule out skinny jeans or leggings either though!

Dresses: Dresses can look amazing on the pregnant body!  The maxi dresses work wonderfully as long as they are slim enough to catch the contours of your body.  A thin belt worn at the top of your belly with tops or dresses helps to make your belly pop. Sweater dresses with tights or leggings work great as well.  With dresses most of the same rule as tops apply.  Posing and placement of your hands are key when wearing dresses!

Whatever you choose to wear for your session feel beautiful in it!  Have fun with your pregnancy fashion.  It is the only time a size 20 can pull off the same fashion trend as a size 2.  If you can’t choose an outfit and dare to bare, that is beautiful too!  Another tip is if you are planning on wearing heels, bring some flats to throw on in between sets.  The third trimester is notorious for swollen feet and ankles, and your feet may need mini breaks during the session.  If you can’t decide what to wear, we can certainly help you decide.  Don’t be afraid to do a few looks either.  Start in a white fitted tank and jeans and finish in a cocktail dress and 4 inch heels!


Studio Session:

Many women choose to go au natural, or at least topless with a pair of cute undies.  If that’s not your cup of tea, try to choose a fitted top—something that accentuates the bust line and belly. If your clothes are too big, your belly will not be highlighted, and that’s the main idea of these pictures. Right? If you despise your pregnancy jeans, the ones with the elastic panel, bring a pair of regular jeans and unzip them.  That looks really cute with a tank top.  If someone else will join you in the pictures, be sure to select clothing and accessories for them that do not distract from the main subject: YOU and your beautiful belly.  Wild patterned clothing and shiny accessories (watches, belt buckles, etc.) lead the eye away from the main focus.  I love to shot moms to be in their husbands button up shirts, we leave it open and showcase the belly.  A black bra or tank and panty set work really well for studio photos.  One light colored and one dark colored outfit for both couples.

Be adventurous! You don’t get a lot of opportunities to take these kinds of photos!


Checklist for your session:

Get a manicure/pedicure.  This goes for dads too.  There will be close ups of your hands and they will be in nearly every shot.

Moisturize your skin.

About two hours before your photo shoot, remove any clothing or accessories with elastic.  Bras, pants with elastic waistbands, even socks, leave marks on your skin that will show up in your pictures.

You may want to bring a few of your baby’s things to hold in your photos. Maybe you have already purchased an adorable pair of shoes, someone may have given you something at your shower that means a lot to you, or maybe there is a family heirloom that you would love to memorialize in your pictures.

Bring face powder and lipstick or tinted Chap Stick for touchups during the shoot. Even if you don’t normally wear makeup, it’s a good idea to use powder to control shine, mascara to bring out your eyes and something to add a bit of color to your lips.

Bring your brush or comb and several changes of clothes. I have women show up with a suitcase all the time!  That’s fine with me.  I love to just play around with whatever fun stuff someone brings.

If you’d like to use my maternity gowns and lace wraps, then I also ask that you bring a strapless or bandeau bra and underwear set preferably nude colored.


It couldn’t hurt to have a white crew neck and a black one as well.


Maternity Studio Session

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