You've booked a maternity session and now it's time to figure out what to wear! It can be hard to choose outfits for any photo session, but when you're expecting, it can add another level of anxiety to the planning. You may not have anything that fits, you may not feel confident in what does fit, or you just don't want to buy another outfit that you won't wear for much longer, if at all. Anyone who has been pregnant has experienced some or all of these things, myself included, so I truly understand how difficult this can be! Don't worry, though, I'm here to help.
I'm going to advocate hard for a dress, here. I'm not really a dress person in my own day-to-day life, but as a photographer, TRUST ME, a long, flowy dress is absolutely stunning and universally flattering on pregnant women. There are so many options to choose from these days, and they hug your beautiful belly and flatter your shape in just the right way. Whether you choose long and flowy, or more form fitting, you can't go wrong. Dresses can also help to convey movement in photos, which is an element that will make your images even more gorgeous. Plus, they're naturally more "dressy" (haha!) or special than a pair of jeans and a shirt, and if you're having photos taken, you probably want to look a little extra nice for them.
Now that I've made my case for a dress, my next suggestion is to choose your outfit first and then dress your partner and/or the rest of your family from there. Pick something you love, feel good in and is comfortable. Once you have your outfit down, use the colors from your outfit to choose clothes for the rest of your family. If this is your first, and it's just going to be you and your partner, it should be fairly easy to choose their outfit to go with yours. If you get stuck, neutrals go with everything and photograph beautifully! I also have a Pinterest board specifically for maternity outfit ideas to help you get started. If you have a whole family to dress, after you've got your outfit chosen, move on to the hardest (or pickiest) person to dress in your family, and so on until you have everyone's outfit chosen. Lay everything out on the floor--shoes, belts, jewelry and any other accessories too--and see what you think. Play around with patterns and colors until you're happy, and voila! You're done. Try not to have too many big, bold patterns, and try not to have everyone in the same outfit. The first will ultimately clash and take the focus off of your beautiful faces, and the second will look cheesy and dated. Still unsure? Take a quick photo with your phone and send it to me! I'm happy to help!
Maternity sessions usually take place when you're between 30-34 weeks along, so I totally understand it if you just can't bring yourself to spend money on something you probably won't wear again. Depending on your style, you can sometimes make a non-maternity style dress that you already own work for you. Another option would be to ask your friends and family if they have anything that you could borrow for your session. People are generally so excited to help by loaning (or giving!) their maternity clothes to friends because they want someone to get more use out of them. Finally, there's Rent the Runway, an online service where you can rent a dress (and other clothes) for less money than it would cost to buy something. They have a ton of designers, styles and price points, and yes, they have a whole maternity section, so you can wear it once without the guilt!
This should hopefully help make the process a little easier, and as always, I'm here and happy to help if you need it!