What To Wear For Your Maternity Pictures | Maine Maternity Photographer

February 17, 2016

Connecticut Film Maternity Photography by Maine Maternity, Newborn, and Family Photographer Tiffany Farley, http://tiffanyfarley.com

As a Maternity photographer, I am always keeping an eye out for current outfit ideas and sources for my clients. Maybe someday the fashion industry will understand the need for actual stylish pregnancy outfits, and that just because a woman is expecting, doesn’t mean she wants to wrap herself in loud, bright floral patterns. Normal neutrals anyone? 

So I thought today I would share a few links to great dresses for maternity pictures . Of course, these are just my own style preferences. I’m not really about the bare belly, with the open skirts blowing in the wind whilst the expecting mother stands in some river with a floral crown. Ok let’s be honest, I am not into that at all! That’s why I always remind photographers that there is enough clients for everyone out there, because everyone photographs with a style that is unique to them. For me personally, and the clients that I choose to work with, I always want to photograph an expecting mother with timeless style and elegant grace, in the hopes of creating what becomes iconic heirloom in her family.

One of the most important tips I have for you in finding the perfect maternity session outfit is looking outside of the “maternity” brands and lines. Thankfully the maxi dress style stayed around a good while, a style that often provides a good amount of give for the expecting mother, and many of my clients got away with that last year! I also really love the loose fitting, but still flattering, more “flowy” dresses, over the skin tight options out there currently. When good posing is used during a session, the kind of dress with a more draping fabric can bring such a romantic feel to the images- which I am a huge fan of!

Every photographer approaches a session with a different and unique shooting style. It is ALWAYS best to ask your own maternity photographer what to wear, as they may have a style that requires a different color palette than the ones I have mentioned here. These tips are specific to what works for my own maternity clients, and that also work well with my personal photography style.

If you are looking for the perfect dress for your maternity portrait session, here are a few recent options representing some different styles that I have recently come across:

Short Dresses:

ASOS Maternity Shift Dress with Flared Sleeve In Ponte (Black)  Currently on Sale for $18! Since this is a solid black, I would add a wrap to provide texture. 

ASOS Maternity Nursing Woven Dress with Overlay (Beige) Currently $57. I love this dress for an in-home maternity session. I would recommend pairing it with a wrap or slouchy sweater for a cozy feel as well. 

ASOS Maternity Wedding Ruched Panelled Midi Dress (Nude) Currently $112. Asos is a great place to shop around for maternity dresses, including this one here! The chiffon and panelling gives the dress texture, which is always what I look for in a great dress that will photograph well. This light nude/soft pinkish color is fantastic as well! 

Pink Blush Maternity Ivory Chiffon Bell Sleeve Maternity Dress Currently on Sale for $49!  I love how this dress is shaped along the hem, as well as the sleeves. The Chiffon fabric gives it a flowy, romantic feel, even though it is still a shorter cut. I think this dress would make a chic alternative to the traditional long maxi dress style. I can envision this dress to use in a quiet in-home session with bare feet- or dressed up with ankle boots for a downtown, style forward session. 

Forever 21 Contemporary Chiffon Trapeze Dress  Currently $30. This is a great fit for an in-home maternity session, especially paired with a sweater or chunky cardigan. This dress used to be available in white, which I personally would prefer over the blue, but paired with a lighter knit wrap this color could work. You can see how my past client Lauren McBride styled this dress on here blog HERE.

Kennebunkport Maine Maternity and Newborn Photographer Tiffany Farley, http://tiffanyfarley.comLong Dresses:

ASOS Pleated Maxi Dress Currently $82. This is an example of a non-maternity specific dress that could totally work. I really love the texture that the pleats add to the skirt, and the rose color. 

ASOS Maxi Dress with Stich Shoulder Detail Currently on Sale for $42! This is a non-maternity specific dress but works well for maternity pictures, as you can see from this Pin showing the yellow color. For my style, I would stick to the softer pink. 

Free People “Always Dreamin’ Dress” Currently $88. This is another great example of how to look for a non-maternity specific dress. I love the Sea Foam color, especially for a coastal session! 

Free People “Fiona’s Maxi Dress” Currently $148. With a little adjusting, it looks to me like this maxi dress could work beautifully for a maternity session, especially if you were planning to have your pictures taken closer to the 6-7 month expectancy range. I would just slide the slit over and drape the skirt accordingly. Sometimes making the perfect dress work for a maternity session takes a little pinning and adjusting! I love all three colors available for this dress. 

Rent the Runway Badgley Mischka Glitz Gown Currently available for rent at $99. This is a popular dress, made well known by the talented photographer Jessica Lorren and this maternity session HERE. Rent The Runway is a great option for someone who wants a really great dress, but desires to keep their budget at a certain price point. There are many maxi dress options available! You just have to sift through all the really bright colors and loud patterns to find the good ones. 

9Seed Tulum Cover Up Dress (Sand) Currently $129. This semi sheer cover up dress was used in last Spring’s Fount Workshop for our maternity model, and we loved it! This is a great option for an intimate in-home maternity session. 

Jenny Yoo Serafina  Currently $260, and made to order. For the expecting mother who wants to go all out, I love that designer Jenny Yoo has recently released a maternity bridesmaid line, that could work beautifully for a maternity session! She has a shorter and longer option available, with a numerous variety of perfect color to choose from. I think Cashmere and Sterling Grey are my favorites!

Kennebunkport Maine Maternity Photographer Tiffany Farley, http://tiffanyfarley.com

My own additional tips that I personally tell my own expecting clients when planning the outfits for their maternity pictures:

  • Stay away from bright colors in the red & orange range, as they won’t translate into black and white very well. And I am ALL about the classic black and white portraits, as we well know! 
  • Look for fabrics that offer some sort of texture- whether it’s chiffon, linen, knit, or lace. Solid colors, especially solid black, or a solid fitting dark jersey material, can easily lose detail and look “blah” in the photographs.
  • A wrap can be your BEST friend. A textured wrap can add a feeling of coziness to the images, add posing variety, flatter your upper arm area if desired, provide a little extra outdoor warmth for the cooler months (which we have a lot of here in Maine!) AND give you something to do with your hands besides hug your belly. Posing tips for maternity will have to be a whole different blog post! 
  • When in doubt, ask yourself if you will want to see a framed black and white portrait in that outfit 20 or 50 years from now. Is it too trendy? Or does it speak of your timeless and elegant style?

Yarmouth Maine Maternity Photography by Maine Family Photographer Tiffany Farley, http://tiffanyfarley.com

I hope this post was helpful for you, whether you are an expecting mother who is planning her maternity portrait session, or if you are a maternity photographer yourself and looking for some recent findings to pass along to your clients.

A lot of these same tips for planning maternity session outfits is included in my printed guide that I provide all of my booked clients to help them plan their session in great detail. It is part of the custom experience of working with me! I have created a replica template for other portrait photographers to purchase and customize for their own clients, available in my resource shop, with much of my own written content even included. You can learn more about that HERE.

To learn more about booking your maternity portrait session with me, please inquire for details!

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