5 Tips on what to wear for Maternity Photos – Toronto Photographer

July 1, 2022

There are a lot of options for what to wear for your maternity photos, but what I want is for you to look and feel amazing. What you would wear in normal day-to-day life may not necessarily look the best for photos so keep reading for my recommendations.  Here are my tips on how to dress for your maternity photo session as well as links to my favourite dresses and stores to shop at.

Oakville maternity photographer

Choose a Flattering Silhouette for Your Maternity Photos

I’m adding this first because it’s the most important. If you stop reading after this tip, at least you will see this one! You want to wear a dress that will give you the most flattering silhouette for your maternity photos. So here is what to look for:

  • A dress/top that is tight up top, meaning that it is tight to just above the belly.
  • A dress or skirt that flares out starting just above the belly. You don’t want it to be tight underneath the belly. I know there are a lot of dresses like that, and maybe this is a personal preference, but I love a flowy skirt that allows lots of movement. I think it looks more flattering and it also gives you something to play with/swish around.
  • Length should be to the floor. Not too much longer than that because you don’t want to trip on it (unless you plan an epic, long dress for just a small portion of the session). And it’s okay if it’s midi-length if you want to show off your shoes. But typically a floor length dress looks more romantic and flowy.

And when I say these recommendations, I’m talking about your main dress. You can definitely bring another outfit that is completely different, but for the main part of the session, this is what I love best.

family maternity photographer
best Mississauga maternity photographer
Mother and child maternity session

What Colour Should You Wear?

The reason you’re booking this maternity photo session is to show off that beautiful bump, so make sure to wear colours that will show it off. Meaning do not wear black or navy or any other super dark colour. It hides the bump and makes it hard to see, and that’s not what you’re going for. But at the same time, you don’t want to wear bright neon colours, either. Light to medium colours will look best.

in-studio maternity photo shoot
Mint Room studio maternity photographer

What fabric should you wear for maternity photos?

This is something that I think gets overlooked when moms are planning for their maternity photos. Fabric makes a huge difference!!

First, let’s talk about fabrics to avoid. Don’t wear stiff cotton because it doesn’t flow nicely and it can be super wrinkly. It’s just not my favourite. The second fabric I would avoid is that super stretchy fabric. You may think it will be good, and there are tons of maternity dresses made from this, but it’s a mistake. It shows every little bump, so if you have a bra on, you can see all the bumps on your back and side. It also can cling awkwardly to your legs while you walk. Here is an example of a dress using this fabric and you should definitely not get it!

Now onto fabrics that I would recommend! I love texture so gauze or crepe fabrics are amazing like this one from Jen’s Pirate Booty. I also love the texture in this soft cotton Free People dress and the swiss dot fabric looks awesome(pictured below). Polyester has a great flow. Rayon also photographs really well like this Free People dress. And I love chiffon material over a lined dress like this one from Baltic Born. Basically, anything that has a nice flow when you swish it! I also love lace.

Mississauga maternity photography
Mint Room maternity photographer
best Toronto family photographer

Be Careful With Patterns

You can’t go wrong with solid colours, and dresses with some texture (like maybe some lace or crepe fabrics). But patterns can be great, too! You just want to select the right one. If you select a pattern that is too tiny, it can be too busy and really distracting, especially if there are two contrasting colours. But you can also select patterns that are too big, which isn’t all that flattering. Medium-sized patterns are what you’re going to shoot for here. You also want to make sure that the contrast between the colours in the pattern and colour of the dress aren’t too much. For example, a navy pattern on a white dress would be too much contrast. But a cream-coloured pattern against a dusty rose-colored dress would be subtle and beautiful.

studio maternity photographer
Toronto photo studio

Dress for the Season

Make sure to think about the weather when deciding what to wear for your maternity photos. If it’s going to be hot out, pick a more breathable fabric. If it’s going to be cold, look for a long-sleeved dress, or bring a chunky knit cardigan to go over the top. Chunky knits are great because you can wear them off your shoulders and it looks amazing, and then between shots, you can cuddle up and get warm.

Maternity Photoshoot in a Field

Maternity Photoshoot
GTA maternity photographer
Anchor Studio: Newborn, Family & Cake Smash Photography

Where to Shop for Maternity Dresses

Although I do have a client closet with dresses you can borrow, you may want to get your own dress. These shops below is where I shop from for my client closet.

Baltic Born

Free People

Jen’s Pirate Booty

Wren & Ivory

Piper and Scoot

Pink Blush

Another great place to get maternity dresses is at small boutique online shops. Sometimes a dress that isn’t meant for maternity can be amazing, and bonus: you can probably wear it again after you have the baby! You want to look for stretchy fabric, dresses with elastic at the waist, and a higher waistline. You also want to pay attention to if it is lined or not, because some dresses are lined, but only partway down, and it’s too short to fit a bump. In particular, I love Joyfolie dresses.

Looking for a maternity photographer?

And if you’re looking for a maternity photographer, I’m available for sessions anywhere but I’m based out of Toronto, Ontario and often take photos in and around the GTA. Please contact me for local or travel sessions and we will work together to create gorgeous images for you that show off your beautiful bump and some amazing scenery.

GTA Toronto family photographer

I’d like to think that choosing us here at Anchor Studio Photography makes you feel that you’ll have such a great time with me and that we’ll get to capture the memories of your family as they grow in the years to come. If you want to find out more about our sessionspackages and pricing, just click here to visit our website.

Here are more blog posts in different locations in Toronto both outdoors and in-studio showing you different locations and themes for what your maternity session could look like.

Maternity photo shoot at Scarborough Bluffs Beach

Maternity photos at Scottsdale Farm

Maternity session at Mint Room Studios in The White Loft

Maternity photo shoot in The Solarium Studio

Maternity photos at The Evergreen Brickworks

Maternity Session at High Park


There are a few ways you can book. You can book right online using this tab which leads you to my online booking calendar. However, not all available dates are on that calendar so if you need a different date, send me an email! You can reach me at hello@anchorstudio.ca

Anchor Studio Photography specializes providing a full service experience that starts with booking your session and ends with getting beautiful tangible heirloom products being displayed in your home. My style of soft, candid and timeless photos can be seen in all my maternitynewbornchild and family portraits in Greater Toronto Area, including Oakville, Mississauga, North York and Richmond Hill. If you are interested in booking a portrait session for your family, you can click here to book your session. I am now booking sessions for summer 2022, so don’t hesitate to get in touch soon!

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