What better way to celebrate this amazing time in your life than with photos capturing the incredible transformation your body is undergoing? Whether you want intimate images capturing the details of your bare belly or fabulously fancy images in an outdoor setting, I help narrow down your options of What To Wear For Maternity Photos.

1. Consider The Setting

We’ll want to think about the practicality of an outfit relative to the setting of your photos — for example, it might be fun to take a ballgown photo in your home, but realistically it might be tough to maneuver in smaller spaces with a big dress. Similarly, a big tulle gown might not be the best choice in a field of tall grass as tall grass will pull at the fabric.

Generally, for in home maternity photos I recommend “comfort” items that you would likely already wear in your home setting – underwear, robes, leggings, sports bras, etc.

For outdoor maternity photos, there’s a bit more flexibility, though you’ll want to consider whether an outfit makes “sense” in a space — typically big grassy fields look better with more “boho” style outfits, and formal garden settings look better with more formal outfits. If you want images in a specific outfit, let me know and we can make sure to choose a setting that works for your outfit.

2) Choose Seasonally Appropriate Fabrics

While many fabrics such as tulle, chiffon, and jersey, can be appropriate regardless of season, there are some fabrics that should be used only in specific seasons. For example, I recommend wearing velvet only in cooler months, and wearing linen only in warmer months.

3) Choose Seasonally Appropriate Silhouettes

This is basically a way of saying choose sheer or short sleeve styles in summer, and longer sleeves in winter.

You can also always add things like jackets and shawls if the outfit you love has shorter sleeves but it’s cold out. Not only will this help you feel more comfortable during your session, but it will also “make sense” in your photos.

4) Pick Colors Appropriate For Your Setting and Season

This can sometimes be a trickier one as the nuances of color can lead to fine lines between what will work and what won’t — which is why I’m happy to offer ongoing guidance with outfit selection!

I’ve included some “preferred” colors by season below, but this is by no means a definitive list. Many colors will work outside of the season I’ve recommended them for depending on the session location and style of outfit you’re planning.

Spring: Softer, muted tones

Dusty Rose

Faded Denim

Soft Copper


Muted Seafoam

Summer: Bolder, more saturated tones

Royal Blue

Pure White


Chinese Magnolia

Tiger Lilly

Fall: Darker, “muddier” colors to complement changing leaves




Slate Blue


Winter: Should contrast against snow, bare trees, or evergreens depending on your location

Winter White

Medium Grey




4) To Black or Not to Black?

One of the most frequent wardrobe questions I get is whether or not clients can wear black and the answer is – yes, but not for the whole session. The biggest reason is that it can be hard to see the shape of the belly in black, and so most of the poses will be sideways or on an angle. If you have a second outfit with some color, then this might be ok with you because we’ll capture straight-on images in the second outfit.

northern virginia maternity photographer

5) What are some other options besides ballgowns?

I’m so glad you asked! I love non-gown outfits! You might consider wearing something that is traditional to your culture, or something that is specific to a holiday around your due date (i.e. Halloween costumes.) Or just something that you’re comfortable in and feels like “you.”

northern virginia creative maternity photo with fall leaf garland

Still have questions about what to wear for maternity photos?

Please reach out! I’m always happy to chat about the pros and cons of various outfits, and like I said, so much depends on the location, season, and your own personal style. You can contact me here. If you’re ready to book, you can find session info here. You can also read what clients are saying about their maternity photos in my Google Reviews here, or check out more images below!