What To Wear For Your Maternity Photo Shoot

what to wear for maternity photos

You’ve booked your maternity photo shoot, and are so excited to have some professional photographs that show off your beautiful bump and capture this special time before your baby arrives. 

One of the next things you might start thinking about is what you’ll wear.

The style and colour of your clothes have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your photographs, and I completely understand that choosing what you wear to your photo shoot can feel like a big decision.

So what are the best clothes to wear for a studio maternity session?

In this guide we’ll look at what to wear for a studio maternity photoshoot, so that you can confidently choose your outfits, and feel great about what you’re wearing on the day. 

Specifically we’ll look at:

  • How many outfits to bring.
  • The best colour clothes for a maternity photoshoot in the studio.
  • The different styles of outfit you can choose from.
  • Where to shop for maternity photo shoot outfits.
  • What your partner and/or older children should wear if they’re coming to the shoot too.

natural pregnancy photographer london

How many outfits should you bring to your maternity photo shoot?

I suggest bringing 2 to 3 outfits to your studio maternity session. This will add some variety to your final gallery of photographs, and also gives you the opportunity to mix and match styles if you would like to. 

For example, you could opt for one casual outfit, one more formal dress and a third outfit where you just wear lingerie or lingerie plus a shirt.

Alternatively you may prefer to stick with one style and wear two or three different outfits in the same style – for example three formal dresses or gowns.

how far along should you be for maternity photos

What Kind Of Outfits Work Well For Studio Maternity Photos?

Your maternity session is all about capturing the beauty of your gorgeous new shape, and it’s important to choose an outfit that shows off the beauty of your bump. 

The camera tends to exaggerate excess fabric which means your bump can get ‘lost’ inside loose or baggy clothes, and we can’t see the shape of your body. So choose something that is well fitting and shows off your bump.

Outfits that do this and look great in studio photographs are:

  • A form-fitting, body-con dress to show off the shape of your bump.
  • Empire line dresses with flowing skirts.
  • Lingerie – alone or with an open-buttoned shirt or cardigan over the top – whichever makes you most comfortable.
  • Jeans with a bandeau or cropped top – but not maternity jeans. Wear your pre-pregnancy jeans unbuttoned, which will give a much more flattering shape than maternity jeans will.
  • A bandeau top and flowing maxi skirt.
  • Lace dresses or lingerie – the texture of lace adds an interesting dimension to your photographs.

If you’re not sure where to start, you can find some ideas and inspiration over on my Pinterest board and in my maternity portfolio.

the best clothes to wear for maternity photos


What Are The Best Colours To Wear For A Studio Maternity Photo Shoot?

When it comes to studio photography, I always recommend keeping the colour palette very simple.

Choosing a maximum of one or two colours for each outfit. Black, white, cream and denim all work very well in the studio. 

A single colour will always create maximum impact as it keeps the focus firmly on you and your bump. An all white, all black or all cream colour palette will all work beautifully.

In the studio it’s best to avoid patterns, or anything that has words or pictures on it – these are distracting in photos and will date your pictures. Single blocks of colour tend to have a much more timeless feel.

professional pregnancy portraits

Where To Shop For Maternity Photo Shoot Outfits

There are new maternity clothing brands popping up all the time, and you may already have your eye on something that you’d like to wear for your shoot!

But if you’re not sure where to shop some good places to start are:


There are also lots of shops specialising in outfits for maternity photoshoots on Etsy. You can see a few examples here:


Finally, you don’t always have to buy new outfits for your photo shoot. You may be able to rent them. These companies all rent maternity clothes within the UK:

Kew, Surrey-Pregnancy-Photographer | Clare Murthy Photography

What About My Partner Or Older Children. What Should They Wear?

As you put your outfit together with your partner and/or children’s outfits, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Dress for the same occasion. 

Dressing for the same occasion will bring your photographs together, and make you look cohesive as a pair or group.

For example, if you’re wearing jeans and a bandeau top your partner’s outfit will look in-keeping with yours if they’re wearing something equally casual such as jeans and a plain shirt or t-shirt. 

Similarly, if your partner is in shorts and a t-shirt whilst you have a formal dress on, you won’t look like you’re dressed for the same occasion and the photograph will lose some of it’s edge.


Choose complementary colours

Colour coordination might sound a little OTT  but choosing complementary colours brings photographs together, and importantly make sure that we see the people first and their clothes second.

When putting together your family’s colour scheme choose between one or two colours that run through it. Stick with the colours I mentioned earlier in this article – black, white, cream and denim.

Then make sure that everyone’s outfits are made up from these colours.

london maternity portraits

Finishing Touches

Your hands (and those of your family) will feature prominently in some of your photographs so you may like to invest in a manicure and/or give your fingernails a quick check over before the shoot too.


What’s Next?

I hope you’ve found this guide helpful as you prepare for your maternity photo shoot.

If you’ve booked a maternity session with me and would like to discuss your outfit ideas with me beforehand please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

It can often be helpful to see real-life examples of other people’s outfits. A good place to start is my “What to Wear” Pinterest board:

Useful Articles

You may also find these articles helpful as you prepare for your maternity session:

How to do your own make up for photo shoots

What to do if you’re camera shy

Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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