A gorgeous dress can elevate your maternity portrait to a breathtaking piece of art. Most of us girls love the opportunity to buy new clothes for special occasions. Except when it comes to when we are 7 months pregnant, right?!?
Over the last several years, I’ve seen and heard the struggles of expecting moms trying to find the perfect dress for her maternity portrait session. All the questions when deciding on which gown to purchase online:
Which color would look best (does the color on the screen even match the actual color of the dress?)?
How thick/think is the material and which undergarments should I wear underneath?
Will the dress I receive actually be the dress in the photos or is this a knock-off China that will make me look like a mad cow, LOL?
Which size will look best on me at my maternity session?
Where will this fit in my closet after I wear it this one time…
And then the wardrobe malfunctions when people arrive for their photoshoot:
Dresses that are too tight or too baggy in spots.
Knock-off maternity dresses that reflect light that the camera picks up as looking cheap.
Colors and/or textures that don’t match the accessories that were picked out beforehand.
A dress that was advertised as flowy, yet material that doesn’t allow it to flow well in pictures.
A maternity gown that looks gorgeous, yet ended up not matching the mom’s personal style so the artwork was never used in the home.
We have enough to think about these last few months of our pregnancy, all while carrying around a 30 pound weight 24/7, that worrying about what to wear for your maternity portraits shouldn’t be another thing to add to the list. So last year, I started investing in creating a client closet for moms to borrow for their maternity and newborn portraits, much like my boudoir closet for my boudoir photography clients. Most of my gowns have been made by luxury designers that make gowns specifically for maternity photography. I also have a variety of fabrics and dress pieces such as tutus and skirts to create a custom look that you won’t find anywhere else. Check out my favorite 5 minute pieced-together “dress” I created last year:
Not bad for a temporary dress, huh?
Below are some of the dresses I have available to borrow for your maternity or newborn session. Note that the color of some dresses are able to be changed easily in post production if you would like a color to match your home where your final artwork will be displayed. Also, if you are tiny like I was, don’t worry if a gown is too large initially. My past in the fashion industry has taught me all the tricks to make a larger gown fit beautifully
Blue Lace Gown: full length, see-through. Looks great with nude undergarments or our Nude Sienna dress shown further down this page. Sized for size 0-8 pre-pregnancy.
Dusty Rose Juliet – Made from soft fitted jersey, double lined in the chest, with bell sleeves and extended train. This train is meant to rest or have a subtle lift (not a flowy train due to the cut). Fits up to size 18 pre-pregnancy. Also works as a dress during your newborn session.
Black Bella – Made from a cotton/spandex blend, has a ruched neckline, long sleeves that are worn off shoulder. The chiffon skirt is split front to reveal a cute baby bump, or we can keep it closed as in the third picture below. Design includes extended train that is perfect for tossing. Fits 2-14 pre-pregnancy.
White Lace – Full length, see-through, split open front to show off bump. Great option for studio black and white portraits. Looks great with plain white undergarments. This dress cannot leave the studio. Sized for size 0-8 pre-pregnancy.
Red Adrianna – Jewel tone dress in thin jersey cotton with low stretch. Wear on or off shoulder, sweetheart neckline. Train can be at rest or have a small flowy effect. Fits pre-pregnancy 4-16. Also works as a dress during your newborn session.
Nude Sienna – Strapless and features a ruched sweetheart neckline. Also available with seperate long sleeves that are not attached to the gown. Made of cotton/spandex blend, makes it nice and stretchy, but also holds everything in the right place! Pairs perfectly as an undergown for the Blue Lace gown. Pre-pregnancy 2-14. Works great as a dress during your newborn session. (note: this image is from the dress designer and was not taken by me. I only have images of this dress used as a post-partum dress during the newborn session. The photographer is the amazing Felicia Saunders outside Las Vegas, NV).
While I don’t have images with this dress used for maternity yet, I think this would be a beautiful option with so many different ways to wear it! Material is super soft and delicate, but not too thin to be see through. This dress cannot leave the studio. Fits pre-pregnancy 0-10.
Mini-dress in black – For a more intimate portrait, this black sheer dress has a top in magenta.
Some of the looks we can create with the tons of fabric I have collected:
If we don’t have a fabric in your color, I can change it to your preference in post production for the perfect fit!
In studio, I love when expecting moms let me drape them in white fabric for stunning black and white portraits, or fine art maternity portraits.
Or, if you truly want artwork that focuses on the beauty of pregnancy, you can request a fine art nude portrait.
While I love these most of all, I want you to feel completely comfortable during your time with me so I would never push you to do something out of your comfort zone. During your consultation, we will go over everything from wardrobe, hair & makeup options, what to bring, what to do before the session, as well as how comfortable you are with your body.
Thanks for following along on our photographic journey! If you would like more info on our maternity and newborn photography, use the contact form at the top of this page to request more information. We also shoot senior portraits, weddings and business branding and would love the chance to work with you! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube to get updates on everything happening here at Swadley Studio!