Top Tips for Incredible Maternity Photos: Outfits, Locations, & More

My Top 6 Tips for an Amazing Maternity Session

1. Get a mix of solo & partner shots

There are so many ways you can get creative with your maternity session, one of those ways is to shoot a good mix of both photos on your own as well as photos with your partner! Half of your session can be focused around solo shots of just you! Where you can bring out your most killer outfits and feel like your absolute best self in front of the camera. Then, we’ll bring your partner into the picture (literally) and get them in a stellar outfit so you can show up as the power couple you are! This is a journey you’re on together, so it’s super meaningful capturing photos of the two of you during this special season of your lives. 

2. Rent a dress if you don’t want to buy one

If you don’t want to invest in a dress to keep after your maternity shoot, you can just rent one instead! I have a small collection of maternity gowns available to rent and beyond that, I’ve got a whole bunch of connections with dress rental companies that rent out the most INCREDIBLE gowns for weddings, couples shoots, & maternity sessions alike.

So don’t worry if you don’t want to spend money on a dress that you might not wear after the shoot, or after you’ve had your baby. Renting one is just as great of an option, and will save you some money in the end. This way you can also rent multiple outfits, if you want, for much cheaper than actually buying one or multiple high-end outfits. Variety in outfits is always awesome if you can make it happen.

3. Consider a studio for winter maternity photos

Living in the Pacific Northwest obviously means it gets pretty cold in the winter. Unfortunately, not all maternity sessions can happen in the spring & summer when the sun is out. If your maternity session is going to fall in the wintertime, late fall or early spring consider having your shoot in a studio instead.

There are tons and tons of gorgeous indoor studios in the Seattle area since we deal with so much rain & cold temperatures every year. You’ll definitely have plenty to choose from! Whether you want a rad modern-industrial studio with exposed brick and white pillars, or an epic bohemian space filled with pampas grass and neutral tones, Seattle has it all. Even just Pioneer Square has lots of options to make your session work year round. I’m happy to help us find a studio that fits your vision for your maternity session so we can stay warm & not be worried about weather on the day of your shoot!

4. Include your children

If you’ve already got little ones, bring them along and include them in the shoot! Who ever said maternity photos have to be just of the mom/parents?

It's so special to include your other kids in your maternity photos and capture the season before the new one arrives. If you're worried about how they'll behave during the shoot, don't worry too much! The beauty of taking family photos is capturing you & your kids in the most authentic way, and realistically that probably doesn't look like your kids behaving perfectly all the time. Bring their favorite toy or a snack, and just focus on having fun with them like you usually would!

5. Do a pregnancy announcement earlier on, too

If you’re wanting to do a fun, unique pregnancy announcement early on in your pregnancy, I highly recommend hiring a photographer for it & turning it into a full shoot! You can do this pregnancy announcement on its own and turn those into your maternity photos, or you can also have a dedicated maternity session later on in your term, closer to your baby’s due date. Pregnancy announcements are so much fun to create, and then you’ll have high-quality photos to send to all your loved ones & frame forever!

6. Highlight your unique style

Finally, one of the key parts to having an amazing maternity session is to really highlight your unique style. Your maternity photos revolve around you, so this should be a time for you to express yourself through your outfits & accessories, and feel like your absolute best self in this season of your life. Click here to skip down to the outfits & accessories portion of this blog post!

Choosing Your Maternity Session Location

Location plays a big role in how your maternity session turns out, and what the atmosphere is like. It’s up to you to decide what kind of location you want and the feel you’re going for, and luckily there are TONS of amazing options.

Whether you want to take your maternity photos in the mountains of Washington, on the beaches of Oregon, in the redwoods of California, or among the red rocks of Arizona, here are a few things to keep in mind when picking out your maternity session location:

Weather - temperatures, precipitation, wind

Make sure you have a backup plan if there’s any chance that extreme weather, like snow or wildfires, could affect the roads/trails you’ll be taking for your shoot.

Distance to location 

If you want to hike to get to a beautiful viewpoint for your maternity session, make sure to plan out how far you’ll be willing to walk/hike, and how difficult of a hike you want to take at that stage of your pregnancy.


Pay attention to what the terrain will be like at your location, especially if you want to wear heels or any shoes that require flat, easy ground.


It’s good to have a variety of location options wherever we do your maternity shoot, rather than just one spot to shoot at. This way, you have a good mix of landscapes in your maternity photos and we don’t have to stay at one location the whole time, with one background & one type of lighting.


Speaking of lighting, you’ll want to think about what time of day your maternity shoot will take place at, and what the lighting will be like at your location.

Locations surrounded by mountains and trees will likely provide more areas of shade we can shoot in, and the sun will set faster behind the mountain peaks. While wide-open areas out in a field somewhere will have harsher light, less shade, and a longer period of light while the sunsets.

For sunny locations, we will most likely want to shoot in the late afternoon/early evening to get some bright afternoon light, that soft golden hour glow, and darker blue hour light. If it may be cloudy out, we’ll plan to shoot earlier in the day to make sure we get enough light before it disappears for the night and maybe find a location that’s more wide-open to allow more light in.

There are a ton of factors that play into lighting, so it’s important to keep in mind when selecting your maternity session location!

How to Pick Maternity Photo Outfits & Accessories

Now that we’ve gone through general maternity session tips & advice for picking your location, it’s time to talk about one of the most important aspects of maternity photos: outfits and accessories! The outfits you choose to wear will really bring out your personality and help you shine in your maternity photos, so it’s important to choose the right outfits for the look you’re going for. Here are my best tips on putting together your maternity photo outfits - and if you’re also looking for outfit tips for your engagement session, give this blog post a read, too!

1. Pick your style

First up is to choose what kind of style(s) you’re going for with your maternity photos - and I always encourage my clients to wear multiple outfits, so you can go with more than one style, don’t worry!

Here are some maternity outfit ideas & real-life photo inspiration depending on the looks you want to achieve.

For a casual look:

For a dressier look:

For a business/business-casual look:

For a more eclectic look:

2. Bring out your personality

Don’t shy away from any outfit that brings out an element of your personality, whether you’re going for a more eclectic & colorful look, want to keep it classy & more business-like, or want to stay more cozy & casual. Wear what makes you feel your best and most confident, and avoid wearing any pieces you wouldn’t normally wear, since that’s an easy way to make your photos not really feel like you. 

3. Choose your colors + patterns wisely

There are a few different routes you can take when it comes to outfit colors:

Neutral tones

Neutral tones are tones such as beige, muted oranges, yellows & reds, and shades of gray. They’re tones that really go with any color and any background, and are easy to pair together.

Black & white

If you want to make it easy, stick with black & white! They always look good together and are also super easy to pair with other colors no matter the vibrancy or tone. Black and white also look great at any location with any kind of backdrop, and all-white or all-black looks can be super cool.

Earth tones

Earth tones are deeper or more muted colors that can be found in nature. Colors like deep greens & blues, mustard yellow, and shades of dark reds & oranges. They look super awesome with neutral tones like beige and go easily with most landscapes & shoot locations out in 

Pops of color

Be smart with patterns

4. Accessories are key

  • Jewelry (earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, hairpieces, watches)

  • Hats (beanies, fedoras, etc.)

  • Jackets (denim jackets, vests, faux fur, etc.)

  • Shoes

  • Belts

5. Pack lots of layers

Maternity & Family Photo Inspiration

For more maternity & family photo inspiration and resources, head to my blog - or check out some of my favorite blog posts below.

Fall Mountain Maternity Session

Golden Sunset Maternity Session

Washington Mountaintop Maternity Session

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