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  • Writer's pictureRiaan Greeff

Seven Tips of what to wear for your maternity photo session?

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Your maternity photo session is an exciting time to capture the anticipation, the bond and the love that you already have for your baby! These images will have a special place in your heart and you will look back at them with a lot of tenderness (and maybe some nostalgia).

Maternity photos can be some of the most beautiful and intimate photos that you’ll ever take and having the perfect outfit is key to making your photos look amazing. No pressure, right?

Since the maternity shoot is all about your gorgeous belly and the life growing gift inside you, if you’re searching for the perfect outfit to wear for your upcoming maternity photo shoot, here are 7 ideas that will help you and your beautiful belly look stunning.

1.) Type of Clothes

The type of clothes that you chose will have an important impact on the overall feeling of your session. Do you prefer a more casual look? A fitted top and a pair of jeans would be a great choice. Are you looking for a more elegant look? Maxi dresses are a perfect option.

It is not always necessary to buy pregnancy clothes for your session. Many ‘regular’ dresses can accommodate your belly and look wonderful in portraits. Please also don’t feel limited to just a dress. You can wear a gorgeous cream sweater for one shoot and a stunning lace top for another.

There are a couple of great reasons why a maxi dress is the perfect thing to wear for maternity shoots. For one, it’s incredibly comfortable. Comfort is key when you are pregnant, and when you’re taking maternity photos for an hour or so, you want to be as comfortable as can be. It also looks amazing on any pregnant body because it’s incredibly flattering. It covers up anything you don’t want shown, but can also be pulled against the belly to show off your adorable baby bump.

If you’re really not feeling a maxi dress, that’s okay! It really is about what makes you feel the most comfortable and confident. If you decide to go with the pants/shirt combo I would let the seasons guide you. During the winter/fall, a soft sweater would drape beautifully over your bump and would still be a little looser and comfortable. During the summer/spring, I would opt for a gauzy or silk blouse paired with any pair of trousers or jeans because it would have great movement in the photos like a dress would. They are flattering, comfortable and perfect to show off your beautiful pregnant form.

Doing a nude or semi-nude shoot is an incredible way to remember your baby bump. From timeless silhouette to elegant bare portraits, they can be the most incredible way to remember your pregnancy. During the summer months a bikini or lingerie may also be great ideas to show off your bare belly.

There is also no rule to wear only one outfit, bring multiple outfits, 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.

2.) Accessories

We want to show our bumps off because after all, they’re beautiful! A great way to accentuate that beautiful belly of yours is to wear a belt. You’ll want to place the belt just below your bosom right where the top of your belly starts. It will pull in any loose clothing and creates a waist line that defines your belly. A belt looks great with any shirt or dress whether its’s flowy or form fitting. It’s also a great way to bring in a cute accessory without thinking too much about it or being too overpowering in the photo

Anything with a waistband that sits above the bump gives you a “waist” back and really flatters your new/changing body shape. You can do this all the time with non-maternity dresses, tanks, blouses, and tees!

Other accessories to add to your maternity shoot are hats, soft umbrellas, scarves and jewelry. Your options are limitless!

3.) Colour

Colour is a great way to include the baby’s gender and while I usually recommend neutral and pastel colors for baby and newborn sessions, pregnancy portraits can look stunning with some brighter blue and pink colors. Solid colours will allow your belly to stand out and create timeless portraits.

In case you prefer to wear prints or patterns, make sure they will not steal the show. Patterns have way too much going on and tend to draw attention AWAY from your bump, and ultimately make you look larger or smaller than you really are or detract from the reason for the shoot.

Remember White is also a colour and is SO beautiful and allows your bump to really show because it’s not distracting in any way.

4.) Fit

Not all pregnant bodies are created equal, so choose a dress or outfit that will accentuate your bump.

If you are comfortable with wearing tight clothing and don’t mind showing off all of your gorgeous pregnant body curves, opt for a beautiful tight bodycon dress. They look absolutely stunning on pregnant women because they truly show off the amazing body of the pregnant body. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing and what a woman’s body does when pregnant is incredible. Showing that off is the perfect way to pay tribute to your pregnant self. Be proud of those beautiful curves. Tight clothing does not mean too small. don’t wear something that is too small or don’t fit you.

Baggy shirts, sweaters, are an absolute, NO, and doing nothing for you when you have a giant bump. This may be acceptable for first trimester when you aren’t really showing, or if you’re trying to hide your pregnancy because you haven’t made the announcement yet. But wearing a large baggy sweater to your maternity shoot is not flattering! You will most likely feel very large, and not good about yourself.

This is a time you should embrace because you’re GORGEOUS and therefore, you should feel amazing, and not hide behind layers!

5.) Texture

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.

6.) Don’t follow the latest Trends

Avoid trends. If you’re investing in maternity photos, you don’t want to look back at them in 20 years thinking “why was I thinking?” Or “ Was that really fashionable!” because something is now out of style. That’s why I prefer moms to be just wearing a simple flowy dress and sticking to neutral, pastel tones.

7.) Makeup and nails

Remember babies are soft and light and therefore avoid heavy makeup or dark smokey eyes during a maternity shoot. You want to look like yourself, and that’s it. No need for crazy makeup.

The same goes for nails! Stay away from the bright colours. BUT don’t go to the shoot with chipped nails. If you are going barefoot during the shoot also add soft colour to the toe nails.

If you would like book a mani-pedi, hair and makeup pamper session just before the shoot. This can also be arranged through me on request with your shoot.


Hope that helps some soon-to-be mamas out there! Show your shape and really enhance your curves and grow with your bump. Remember you are pregnant and beautiful. You are growing a blessing inside of you.

If you have not yet booked your maternity shoot, don’t waist time and book a shoot with me now before the baby is due!

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