What to Wear: Your Maternity Photo Session Clothing Guide

Deciding what to wear for your maternity photoshoot doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. I’ve put together this simple guide to help you know what to bring from home for your photo session. You can also take a look at the options available to borrow from the studio.

Modern photo session with brunette wearing white jersey gown at photo studio with white drapes and shadow pattern on wall
Morning sunlight streams in to create a beautiful pattern for this modern maternity session. This beautiful mom-to-be is wearing our most versatile studio dress. The long fabric can be wrapped or draped for a variety of looks.

Can I wear my own clothes for maternity photos?

Simple yet beautiful light and airy portrait of woman who is 6 months pregnant; she has long blonde hair and is wearing her own clothes for maternity photo session.
Want more advice on how to dress during pregnancy? Check out this post from fashion blogger, Carolyn Lozano.

Yes, of course, you can wear your own clothes for your maternity photo session! In fact, I often recommend that you come dressed in an outfit you would like to be photographed in and bring several options that we can review at the studio, prior to your session. Here are some simple tips to help you shop your own closet:

  • Form-fitting is best: Often, ‘in real life,’ we feel more comfortable hiding under layers. However, when we are in front of the camera, the extra layers just add bulk. In photos, bulk translates to big and is usually not flattering. I can pose you and light you in ways that accentuate your curves and I also do tasteful retouching to make you look your best. This is much harder to do if you are hiding under a baggy top and scarf.
  • Honor your personal style: Your photo session should be an expression of you and your personal style. If you typically dress in a classic style, it won’t make sense to suddenly switch to boho-style for your photos. Bring at least one outfit that you feel really good in. I have some clients who love to go glamorous and others who feel like their best selves in a sports bra and jeans. Feel free to bring options and I can help you decide what will photograph best once you get to the studio.
  • Undergarments: It’s best to start with a good base. Wear undergarments that are in good condition. Ideally, I’d like you to bring a nude strapless bra in case we decide to use some of the studio gowns. However, most women don’t have a strapless maternity bra so it’s completely fine to just tuck the straps out of sight.
  • Accessories: I also like to have a variety of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets to play with so bring some options. As for shoes, I love a flesh-toned pair of heels or strappy sandals but we can always photograph you with bare feet. Not all of the photos will be full-length so don’t stress too much about footwear. I also recommend bringing a pair of flat slip-ons that you can wear those while we are walking in between locations.

Do you have dresses I can borrow for my maternity session?

Yes! We have several gowns at the studio that you can choose from. All of the women in the gallery below are wearing gowns you are welcome to borrow for your own maternity session. I’m continuing to add to the collection and even have some that are not pictured here including the following:

  • red long-sleeved jersey knit gown
  • white lace mermaid-style gown with flowing chiffon sleeves
  • Coming soon: boho-style off-the-shoulder pinkish lavender long-sleeved flowy dress

Can you create something custom for my photo session?

Absolutely! Creating a one-of-a-kind look for your photo session is one of my favorite things to do. We have several different fabrics and accessories we can use to just that.

What about fine art nudes or boudoir-style maternity photos?

One of the great things about coming to the studio for your maternity photo session is the privacy we have. Sky 9 Studio is a 1,900 square foot private space with several different shooting areas that can provide a unique look for your shoot behind a closed door for 100% privacy. Depending on the time of day, we can also use both natural light and studio lights and create something stunning and unique for your photo session.

What about my husband or partner?

Every couple is different. Some prefer to shoot the entire session as a couple or a family and others prefer to focus on the woman and only include Dad or other children in a few shots…or none at all! It’s completely up to you and your comfort level. I love capturing intimate moments between a couple and encourage couples to trust me to capture their loving connection through my lens.

When it comes to what men should wear, I suggest that he follows the woman’s lead. Let her find the perfect outfit and he can find something to coordinate without being overly matchy. Button-down shirts, T-shirts or henleys work well. Solid colors or patterns that are not overly loud work best. The biggest thing to AVOID is shirts with words or large logos. Jackets can be nice, but be mindful that they fit well and do not add unnecessary bulk.


This month, I’m participating in a blog circle with photographers around the country and around the world. Take a trip across the globe and check out this session from Annika Bloch, Family Photographer in West London.

Session Inspo & Tips




What to Wear: Your Maternity Photo Session Clothing Guide

  1. These are beautiful images! I love how light and dreamy they are.

  2. Such great advice on what to wear for Maternity Sessions!

  3. Annika says:

    These are really beautiful and tasteful maternity images. And your advice is so useful!

  4. Nikki says:

    Your advice is wonderful, love the dreamy photos too!

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