How to Pick Out a Maternity Dress for Your Photo Shoot


Feb 7, 2024

How to pick the best maternity dress

Maternity photography captures a uniquely special time in a woman’s life, and the right dress can significantly enhance the beauty and sentimentality of these moments. While some of my clients opt for renting gowns or investing in a specific maternity dress, it’s not always a viable option for everyone.

Katie Gilbert Photography How to pick the best maternity dress

Many prefer purchasing a maternity dress that can gracefully transition through various stages of pregnancy and postpartum. If you’re in this camp, here are three key factors to consider when selecting your maternity dress for a photo shoot.

As a photographer, I’ve always been drawn to soft, neutral colors. They create a timeless aesthetic that remains elegant and sophisticated through the years. Remember the mint and coral craze of the 2010s? While trendy at the time, such colors can quickly date your photos. My advice? Stick to classics that won’t feel outdated in a few years.

Katie Gilbert Photography How to pick the best maternity dress

When it comes to patterns, subtlety is your friend. Chevron, for instance, was once a dominant trend, but now serves as a reminder of how specific patterns can tie an image to a particular era. Opt for gentle and understated patterns to ensure your maternity photos remain classic and enduring.

In maternity photography, dress length plays a crucial role in the overall visual impact. I typically advise against short dresses for maternity shoots. Knee-length can work, but maxi dresses (or even longer) are ideal. They not only create a beautiful, elongated silhouette but also add a sense of grace and movement to your photos. The flow of a longer dress can be used creatively to craft stunning, dynamic images.

Katie Gilbert Photography How to pick the best maternity dress

Maternity dress styles generally fall into two categories: fitted or flowy. Both have their charms and can be incredibly flattering. While my portfolio might showcase more flowy gowns, a well-fitted dress that accentuates your baby bump can be equally stunning. This choice boils down to personal comfort and style preference. Remember, the dress should reflect your personality and make you feel confident and beautiful.

Wondering where to shop for these versatile, elegant dresses? I recommend checking out Baltic Born, ASOS, and Morning Lavender. These brands offer an array of choices, both in maternity and non-maternity lines, with many styles accommodating a growing bump beautifully.

It’s important to note that not all dresses labeled as ‘maternity’ are the only options available. Many regular dresses are incredibly bump-friendly, providing both comfort and style. The examples in my gallery, though not all maternity-specific, are illustrative of the types of dresses that work wonderfully for maternity shoots.

Selecting the right dress for your maternity photo shoot is about finding a balance between comfort, style, and timelessness. Whether you opt for a neutral palette, a flowing maxi, or a bump-highlighting fitted number, the key is to choose a dress that makes you feel beautiful and confident. With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to capturing memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime!

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