Maternity Family Photo Planning

8 April 2021

This is my third pregnancy, but will be my first time doing any sort of official maternity photos! Instead of something more traditional, we’re taking the opportunity to squeeze in photos as a family of four… where I just happen to have a bump :) I’ll likely be between 28 and 31 weeks for our shoot. This is what I’m hoping for:

Left to right and top to bottom: Kelli Seeley, Courtney Leigh Photo, Julia Berolzheimer, Blue Barn Photography, Julia Berolzheimer, Kelli Seeley, Julia Berolzheimer, Briana Wilbur, Liz Adams, Briana Wilbur

I can pull photo inspiration all day, but choosing outfits for the family is always a challenge for me. I do find it’s helpful to start with one person’s outfit, and then build out from there. This time around, that person gets to be me :) I’ve scoured the internet (with the help of a few friends!) and rounded up a few options that might work. Note that only two are actually maternity dresses! Most of the maternity options I found are either too flowy and fancy for my taste, or cute but too casual for what I’m picturing. The non-maternity dresses I’m eyeing have bump-friendly features, like a higher waist, smocking, or a loose silhouette. Once I narrow it down (with your help!), I’m assuming I’ll need to order several options to try on at home to make sure they fit as I’m picturing!

Here’s what I’ve got…

1. Cornflower Lolita Dress | This one is lovely and looks quite bump-friendly, but won’t be back in stock until after we expect to take our photos.

2. Liberty Mini Floral Dress | With a high tie waist, I think this one will work nicely with a bump. The floral pattern would be fun to pull colors from for everyone else’s outfits!

3. Ellie Nap Dress | My dream Hill House dress is this pattern in blue and white, which seems to have disappeared from their website (argh!!). I have a gift card and would have loved to use it for this occasion but I think I’m going to hold out until my blue and white dreaminess comes back in stock – fingers crossed. [I ended up wearing this dress in another pattern and can confidently say the nap dresses are a DREAM for pregnant people!! I wear a small, and I typically wear a XS or S!]

4. Yellow Gold Mini Dress | I think this color is so fun! I’ve been crushing on yellow in family photos after my friend Katie wore it for hers. The fact that it is a mini dress concerns me a bit, since the bump will bring up the hemline, but might work if I size up a bit? [Tried on and updated to add: length was too short and didn’t love the sleeves on me!]

5. Rainbow Gingham Dress | This is such a happy dress (with smocking!), but I’m not sure if it’s “me” enough for the occasion?

6. Embroidered Sundress | One of the maternity options! It might be too casual for what I’m shooting for?

7. Ruffle Tiered Dress | I’m not convinced I’d love the fabric on this one, and though I love the pink color online, it’s billed as “neon,” which again, is not exactly what I’m looking for.

8. Navy Polka Dot Dress | I LOVE THIS DRESS! It’s maternity, and it probably would have been my pick without all this discussion, but it’s currently sold out in every size (argh!).

9. Ruffle Stripe Dress | I own this dress! It’s very sweet and comfy and I look forward to having it in the rotation for the next few months and beyond, but I don’t think the quality/fit is good enough for lasting family photos.

10. White Sleeveless Dress | This dress has been on my wishlist for months! I think the style is so chic and classic, and other family members could wear fun patterns or colors to complement it. Will probably order to see if the fit works. [Tried on and updated to add: I LOVE THIS DRESS!! I actually don’t think it’s great for maternity photos, since it doesn’t really show off the bump, but I’m going to keep it to wear both during and after pregnancy. A reader also pointed out that it’s very breastfeeding friendly, which I love!]

11. Green Floral Dress | Gah, this one is fun, too. I think the waist is high enough that it would be bump-friendly.

12. Chambray Dress | I have also loved this dress for a long time, but alas, it is currently sold out in every size.

Let’s vote! Which one do you think I should wear, or at least order to try on at home? If it helps, the setting will likely be some sort of grassy field.

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Abigail Gray
April 8, 2021 7:58 am

I am currently working on our outfits for engagement photos later this month and it is my first time planning outfits for photos and it is harder than expected! I can imagine it only becomes harder when there are more people in the mix :) I love number 2 and number 11 – I think having florals in the mix is beautiful and captures the spring season and hopefully allows for a few color options to choose from for the other family members! You may have seen already, but I know that blogger Carly Riordan, who is also pregnant, has been wearing dress #2 a lot! Good luck! :)

April 8, 2021 8:28 am

Family/maternity photos! How exciting!! Too bad #8 is sold out. That would have definitely been my first pick! But the floral ones are dreamy, too! I vote #2 or #11. No matter which one you pick, your photos will be dreamy and such a treasure!

April 8, 2021 8:40 am

The Hill House Ellie dress in the blue floral pattern is being restocked for their drop next Wednesday, April 14 at 12 pm EST! Hope you can snag one then!

Victoria B
April 9, 2021 8:00 am
Reply to  Kay

This sounds like the winner! If you love the dress, you will feel much more comfortable and feminine.

Zoe T
April 8, 2021 9:23 am

I am all about 11!

April 8, 2021 9:31 am

Oh goodness, I LOVE that green floral dress! Followed closely by the white sleeveless dress. It’s so handy that the current style (loose, smocked, longer, ruffles) is so maternity friendly!! And also, Tuckernuck can do no wrong! ;)

April 8, 2021 10:42 am

I think 2, 3, 9, 10, and 11 should be contenders!

April 8, 2021 10:53 am

All of these are lovely and would look marvelous on you. I have to say, hands down dress option 3 stood out to me as I scrolled through! It’s simple enough to work with other outfits, but has enough of a print to keep the visuals interesting.

April 8, 2021 12:15 pm

I loves numbers 2 and 11! I always love longer, flowier styles that create movement in the photos and look so feminine and pretty!

April 8, 2021 12:34 pm

Your last row of picks stand out to me! I love 10, 11, and 12. I’m drawn toward neutral/cooler colors though, so take that with a grain of salt :) I hope you’re happy with whatever you choose and that the family photos turn out well!

April 8, 2021 5:16 pm

I like #: 1, 3, and 11!

April 8, 2021 5:34 pm

I love 2, 9, and 11! You have such a lovely style and will look gorgeous in any of these.

Katie B
April 8, 2021 10:00 pm

I am due in 3 weeks and have been eying nearly all of these dresses for our newborn / family photos, so this was extra fun!! I LOVE #1 and would have ordered if in stock – I had it in my cart for several weeks :) I actually ended up ordering #7 in white last week and I’m waiting for it to come in. I’ve also seen #11 pop up on my IG and FB ads several times over the past few months and it’s caught my attention – love the pattern! One nice thing about the tuckernuck short white dress (#10) is that it would be great for breastfeeding because of the buttons! I’m bummed none of my picks are great for that. Excited to see which you choose!

April 9, 2021 1:21 pm

I’m SO glad you found some beautiful options for your photos, friend! Options 1, 3, and 9 are so lovely.

April 9, 2021 7:31 pm

LOVE 1, 3, 10, and 11! My fingers are crossed you can score your Nap Dress, but those Tuckernuck styles are absolutely lovely back-ups :)

April 10, 2021 12:02 pm

I have a tuckernuck dress in the same style as #10 (mine has sleeves though) that I wore while pregnant! It works afterwards too- I didn’t need to size up from my regular size. That’s my vote!

April 12, 2021 10:27 pm

Ooooo…how fun! I hope you can pull off the special photos you have envisioned! How about dress 2 or 11?There’s my two bits. :) I am SO happy for your family’s new arrival on the way! As a girl from a family with four kids, who believes children are a heritage from the Lord, this little one is indeed a precious, wonderful gift!

Lindy Johnston
April 13, 2021 6:39 am

You’ll be gorgeous in any of them! I’d pick something you’re really comfortable in because the magic of pictures is capturing the joy and love in a family and it’s easier to just relax into it if you’re not thinking about how things fit! As far as options go my faves are 3, 11, and 2!!!

April 14, 2021 10:51 am

1, 3, & 11 are my favourites! Hopefully 1 & 3 (in the right pattern) will come back in stock! I’m not sure the waist of the #7 dress is high enough for a flattering maternity dress fit.