Pregnant woman

What to Wear for In-Home Maternity Portraits

two pregnant women in white dresses

Moms often ask me what to wear for in-home maternity photographs. You have found your dream maternity photographer and you decided you want to have portraits taken in your home. Now, what the heck are you are you going to wear? I totally understand it’s tricky. Since these portraits are taken in the comfort of your home (or in a private studio), they are often more intimate and it can be easy to over-do the styling. Often times momma’s are booking these maternity sessions a couple of months in advance and it’s hard to predict how their bodies will fit in particular outfits. After a few years of photographing in-home maternity portraits, I began to compile a list of tips and tricks on how to dress for these intimate sessions. Below are a few of my most helpful tips on how to plan what to wear for in-home maternity portraits. All of the outfits you see in this post are pieces I personally own and are a part of the LB wardrobe collection. That means if you love one of the outfits below you are able to borrow it for the purpose of our photoshoot, complementary.
Many of my clients purchase outfits that they can wear for both their baby shower and for maternity portraits.


1. THE FITMaternity portraits taken in san francisco by a professional photographer
My favorite slips for photoshoots have a soft stretchy material.

I quickly learned that while some outfits look adorable in everyday life, they don’t always photograph as well. I’ll admit, my favorite outfit consists of a loose fitting maxi shift dress, a pair of cute mules and a fun necklace. I can also freely admit that on occasion I try and hide my body behind bulky clothing for comfort. Unfortunately, nothing about this look is complementary to your body in photographs, especially not maternity portraits. Oversized T-shirt dresses that hang like a bag on your frame can make your body appear shapeless instead of accentuating your round baby bump that we are celebrating in portraits. Try branching out of your everyday look and try on something more fitted. in the above in-home maternity photographs the model is wearing a few different types of slips. The simplicity of this look really highlights her pregnancy without distractions.


2. BAGGY vs FLOWY; What is the difference?

Professional maternity photographs of a girl in a long white lacy dress
Bonus points for an off the shoulder flowy dress.

Okay, so I just outlined that you should avoid baggy clothing. Does that mean flowy dresses are out of the question? HECK NO! If you love the soft romantic look then a flowy dress may be the perfect choice for your maternity portraits. The difference in flowy vs baggy is in the tailoring and overall shape of the dress. Try and find a piece that has a seam-line above the belly/ under the breast and flows softly below the beltline. The seam line below your chest will accentuate your body shape and really draw attention to your baby bump. The soft flowy material under your belly will give a very soft feminine feel and can be fun to play around with photographing indoors. The above pieces can be layered over any slip or undergarment you choose and have an optional open front slit.



photographs of trendy floral kimono for womens maternity fashion
I love a good soft floral pattern.

You may begin to notice a color theme in many of these maternity photographs. Most of what I suggest to wear for in-home maternity portraits consist of soft neutral colors with an occasional slight color pop. Generally speaking, a soft neutral color pallet is best. When picking out color schemes I tell my clients to take a look around their home. What colors will you be competing with? What colors will be complementary? If your home is covered in heather gray and soft blues then a bold red dress probably wouldn’t suit your style and look out of place being hung in your home. Keep in mind home decor changes, but these photos will remain for a lifetime. Find something suitable to grow with you as your surroundings change and style/ fashion is ever changing. This rule can definitely be broken and you can add some fun color here and there, but there are a few things I tell my clients to avoid. Since my photographic style is bright and cheery, I tell clients to avoid solid black. This isn’t a rule for all photographers and very dependant on photographic style. Your eyes naturally focus on the darkest point in a photograph, so if your shirt is jet black it will likely be the darkest point in the photograph and become distracting. Bold contrasting patterns, thick horizontal stripes, and neon colors can also be extremely distracting and overwhelming in photographs.



Photographs that example what a woman should wear for maternity portraits
Consider purchasing a robe you can bring with you for delivery and use during nursing later.

One of my favorite looks for in-home maternity portraits is delicate layering with a robe, snuggly cardigan or kimono over something simple like a slip. This look is really great for creating that intimate in-home feeling and is also flattering on almost all body types. Don’t dig the kimono? How about a blanket! Yep! Just a cozy blanket over your shoulders or wrapped around your arms while you are curled up on the couch. This is a great start to a look you can recreate once your baby has arrived by reusing these pieces in your newborn shoot.



Maternity portraits of a woman with pregnant belly showing

Lacy nursing bralettes are perfect under any of these pieces or by themselves.

Dare to be bare and go a little outside your regular comfort zone. Since in-home maternity session are done in the comfort of your home, we have the ability to capture some more intimate moments. Don’t be afraid to show off your body and truly celebrate this journey. My hope is that one day you look back at these images and feel SO empowered recognizing the strength your body endured. There are many outfit options that you can opt for to show off your bare belly without being fully undressed.




Feel free to purchase something that will be versatile and wearable outside of maternity portraits.

Regardless if you choose to wear an item from this collection or something unique of your own, remember that wardrobe is important but that these portraits are more about a feeling. Focus less on what you wear for in-home maternity portraits and more on what you are currently celebrating in your life. Your photographer will be there to help guide you every step of the way. I put together style mood boards for each of my clients as well as schedule wardrobe video consultations before every session. I want you to feel confident and prepared for our photoshoot so you can truly celebrate this milestone in life without ever having to worry about “what to wear” or regretting what you did wear.

Urban home decor for minimalist maternity portraits

Head on over to my maternity page for more information on maternity portraits with LB.

Hey there mommas, I just wanted to let you know that some of the links in this post may be affiliates! Thanks so much for checking out my suggested purchases.