I did not document much of my first pregnancy and wasn’t really interested in doing maternity pictures. However, this time around my photographer was running a promotion when you book a newborn session you can get a mini maternity photo shoot so I figured why not?
The most overwhelming part of the process is figuring out what to wear. Here are my tips for picking out the perfect dress for your maternity photoshoot.
Once I booked my maternity photoshoot I realized I had to find an outfit. I thought about whether I wanted to do casual everyday photos or something a little more special. I ultimately decided to find a gown for my photos because I figured if I am going to invest in professional photos I want them to be different.
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Once I decided to go the gown direction I had to figure out where to get one. It can be difficult to find maternity clothes in stores these days and buying dress online while pregnant is definitely scary! Plus, I am not a very dressy person so I don’t want to invest in something I will only wear once.
I decided to try Rent the Runway. I can get a designer dress at a reasonable cost and I can return it. I considered doing a normal four-day rental but decided to take advantage of the deal to try Rent the Runway Update. Basically with Rent the Runway update you can rent four pieces for a month for a set price. The ability to select four potential dresses was a huge help. Plus, due to a snowstorm, my outdoor maternity photoshoot was canceled and because I had the dresses for a month I was not worried about rescheduling.
Although Rent the Runway has maternity pieces I opted to use the filter to show dresses that could work for a third-trimester bump. This filtered through all the dresses (not just maternity). The reviews and stylist notes were really helpful to see what might work for a bump. If a dress caught my eye I looked through the pictures to see if I could spot a pregnant mama. Most of the time I could! You can also filter reviews based on height and weight which I found really helpful.
This is what I was looking for in my maternity photoshoot dress:
- Stretchy fabric especially throughout the mid-section and hips
- How do people find it runs? If they said big I stuck with my normal size if they said it’s true to size or small I sized up.
- High waistline — you want something that will hit above the bump
- Something classic — I wanted something simple with a classic silhouette. I think that’s better, generally, for photoshoots. I wanted a tighter fitting dress and a flowy dress just to make sure my bump looked good.
- Solid colors — I really wanted something in a dark red or purple because those colors generally look good on me and will pop in an outdoor setting.
- Long sleeves — I really wanted long sleeves but the options were limited.
I ended up with a variety of dress styles and sizes including one that was one size fits all 😆 I am very happy to say that out of the four I ordered, two fit great, one could work (the back didn’t zip all the way, but it looked OK from the front) and only one was not super flattering. I could have sent one back within 48-hours to exchange but since I had a few that worked, I decided to keep them all.
I went with the following dresses for my maternity photoshoot:
Two Birds Sapphire Classic Convertible Gown — I loved this one because it is one size fits all and has lots of options for the straps.
JS Collections Eggplant Ottoman Gown — This was my favorite of the dresses. It had the perfect amount of stretch and I loved the neckline and color. It’s great for showing off a second-trimester bump.
Badgley Mischka Red Velvet Lace Sheath — I loved the idea of this dress, but it wasn’t my favorite of the dresses I had available. My main issue was that I had to size up so the sleeves were a bit big. I do love the lace sleeves and color though. Plus, the velvet for winter is perfect!
My biggest recommendation if you decide to rent your dress is to give yourself time. It takes several days for the dresses to arrive and many of the dresses I wanted weren’t in stock at the time I was ordering.
I narrowed my choices to two and took them outside for some test shots. I sent my test shots to my photographer to get her thoughts on how they would photograph. Thankfully, she agreed with my top choice!
Finding the perfect dress for your maternity photoshoot wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be and Rent the Runway really made it easier. If you would like to try Rent the Runway you can use this referral link for 20% off your first rental.
PS: Loving these tips on how to dress for your maternity photoshoot? Click here now for all the info on my favorite pregnancy snacks!