Updated: Apr 29
I am a Medway, Kent based newborn, children's and family photographer and offer a client closet which helps me to achieve that light & airy effect so many people love in photos. The light and bright look isn't just about editing and lighting (although editing style and lighting are both super important too!); it's also about having an eye for neutral, pastel and light backgrounds and clothes. The more of your image that is naturally light the easier it will be to achieve the desired effect.
Not only does having a client closet help me achieve that light & bright look; it also takes the stress, hassle and cost out of dress buying for my maternity clients who may only ever wear this type of dress once. I invest in styles that can be used for maternity but are also flattering for any mummy so that these can be used in both family and maternity sessions.
Anything stretchy is a bonus because they will tend to fit a broader range of sizes and will more easily adapt to fit a range of body types. I stick mainly to cream, white, blush, light blue and mint because I know that these are perfect shades for that light & bright look. In non maternity brands I look for high empire waists (especially those that make a bit of an upside-down 'v' under the bust).
Have you ever wondered where do photographer's buy maternity dresses? Are you tired of being duped by scam websites? Do you want to know where to find the best maternity photo shoot dresses? Well then, you've come to the right place!
Without further ado here are some of the best brands for maternity dresses I've found to suit every photographer's (or mum to be's) budget and style from flowy chiffon couture to beachy boho and from size 8 to plus size. But shh! Don't tell too many people!
Lulu's is a North American brand but they ship worldwide for FREE if your order is over $150 which I love! They are not a maternity brand but some of their dress styles will certainly accommodate a bump and they have loads of colours and sizes to choose from. Bonus - most of their dresses are offered in white or cream.
Having ordered my bridesmaids dresses from them I know the quality is lovely and they photograph well. And best of all? They are super budget friendly with many of their dresses falling below $100!
Helpful tip: Look to their client photos near the reviews to see how they fit on different body types and whether they are bump-friendly.
Pictured Above: Sweeten The Occasion Maxi Dress (this one is is definitely suitable for maternity!).
Lulu's Website: https://www.lulus.com/
Another North American brand that is not specifically for maternity but has loads of flowy maxi dresses perfect for a bump and lots of boho vibes. Their good ones sell out quick but thankfully they drop new dresses daily and weekly so keep checking back!
They have a variety of patterns, solids and styles and they are another budget-friendly company who ship worldwide!
Pictured Above: Seafoam Seasoned Pocketed Tiered Maxi Dress
Vici Website: https://www.vicicollection.com/
This is a brand based in Utah which has recently become very popular due to their presence on Pinterest. Some photographers have said they are being asked for these dresses specifically and it's not hard to see why! They have some gorgeous boho styles (I also love a Swiss dot!) for all body types and carry everything from XS to XXX Large (approximately a size 20 in UK sizes or a 16 in US sizes).
They have stretchy dresses, wrap dresses, off shoulder dresses and some beautiful lace designs many of which would accommodate a bump. I have 2 dresses sitting in my cart this minute that I am SO in love with but I know I need to reign myself in! Reviews at the outset were a bit mixed on this company but they have really come into their own and are now a favourite of photographers. Prices are reasonable with most falling in and around $100.
Pictured Above: Caroline Off White Lace Maxi
Baltic Born Website: https://balticborn.com/
Pink Blush Maternity
Another popular photographer favourite who are fairly budget-friendly are California-based Pink Blush Maternity. They have a variety of lacy dresses, wrap dresses and stretchy maxi dresses in a variety of colours. They have casual wear and evening wear ranging from $60-$100.
My personal favourite is the Lace Mesh Overlay Maxi which comes in 18 colours!
Pictured Above: Lace Mesh Overlay Maxi
Pink Blush Maternity Website: https://www.pinkblushmaternity.com/
This is a brand that I love as the quality is just unbeatable plus their garments are made in England - it's surprisingly hard to find anything made in England nowadays. They are a maternity brand specialising in bridal and evening wear and prices range from between £100 - £500.
Their Willow gown in white is on my wish list as I've tried it on in other colours and the weight and feel of it is so comfortable and luxurious you just know you are wearing a quality dress and the stretch means it will fit a size up or down from the size you buy. I'm also loving the delicate lace details of their Verona maternity wedding gown!
Pictured above: Verona Gown
Tiffany Rose website: https://www.tiffanyrose.com/
Similar to Tiffany Rose this is a UK-based brand with headquarters in London, UK and is specifically tailored for maternity wear. They have a range of casual and occasion dresses (including maternity wedding dresses) and loads of midi and maxi dresses to choose from.
They are a favourite brand of Duchess Kate Middleton so you know they are well made and stylish enough to suit a duchess's tastes! Pricewise they range from just £40 up to £349 for a top-end wedding dress.
Pictured Above: Melody Maxi
Seraphine Website: https://www.seraphine.com/en-gb/
This is an EU company based in the Netherlands who specialise in maternity dresses for photoshoots. With a huge array of colours and styles they have something for every kind of photog or mum to be at reasonable prices.
They have off-shoulder jersey stretch and chiffon gowns but also lace kimono type dresses and everything in between. The also have some beautiful, matching mummy and me gowns! I have just ordered the very classic Hyacinth maternity dress for my Kent, UK client closet but also have my eye on their broderie lace Canterbury maxi. Prices range from 100-400 Euros.
Pictured Above: Hyacinth Short Sleeve Maternity Dress
Mii-Estilo Website: https://www.mii-estilo.com/
This post wouldn't be complete without mentioning a very well-known American brand among photographers - Chicaboo. They specialise in dresses for maternity photography from figure-fitting mermaid style dresses to poufy tulle numbers.
Their dresses are super stretchy and come in a one-size-fits-most configuration which takes the guesswork out of ordering sizes. They also have mix-and-match crop tops and maxi skirts which adds to their versatility. I am dying to order their Zoe skirt and crop top but shipping to the UK is very expensive (plus the not-so-handy VAT and duties!). If you live in the US however the shipping is quite reasonable and there are discounts on dresses for photographers! Prices range from $90 - $250.
Pictured Above: Ariel Mermaid Maternity Skirt
Chicaboo Website: https://shopchicaboo.com/
Coven & Co
I allllmost kept this one a secret all to myself. I was so thrilled to discover Australia-based Coven & Co the other week and immediately had to order their Pirate Queen gown. This gown beloved by photographers and mums-to-be alike the world over just has the most amazing beachy boho feel and at a price a tenth of what similar gowns are selling for. They ship worldwide (except the UK at the moment due to Brexit but have assured me they will be reviewing the guidance and hope to resume UK shipping in the next few months).
So if your budget doesn't allow for a boho Reclamation or Studio Levana gown just yet, check out this Australian gem. They also have other fabulous flowy maxi styles that are very bump-friendly! Price range from: AUS 199 - 299.
Pictured Above: Pirate Queen Gown
Coven & Co Website: https://covenandco.com/
Doen is not a maternity-specific brand and is a little on the pricier side. Based in sunny California I would call their style high-fashion hippie boho. Many of their dresses feature high empire waists and every now and then they'll release a really unique piece that would work perfectly for a maternity photoshoot. Their dresses are sometimes solids but often feature paisley or floral patterns. Doen are definitely one to keep an eye on from time to time and it's unlikely others will have the same dresses in their client closet.
For a maxi dress they range from around $200 - $700.
Pictured Above: Doen Dress
Doen Website: https://shopdoen.com/
This UK mum hand makes all of her amazing Boho style wedding and occasion dresses exactly to your specifications. Similar in style to Reclamation but easier on the pocket-book her empire-waist broderie lace kaftan robes and dresses are beautiful and of excellent quality and can be tailored to suit your vision. Sizes are available from 6 - 20. A fantastic plus size option.
I also love that this is a small, independent UK business. Prices range from £195 - £700.
Pictured Above: Lucille Style
For a host of stunning crochet gowns suitable for maternity you can't not mention Reclamation. And they're a Vancouver, Canada based company (so being Canadian I of course had to include them!).
Their prices range from £200 - over £1000.
Pictured Above: Magic Makers Maternity Gown
This is a wedding dress brand based in Tel Aviv, Israel but is stocked all over the world. They cater to curvy and plus size figures and oh. my. goodness. They are gorgeous! Lots of empire waists, lace, broderie, crochet, beading, sparkle - you name it they have it!
My favourite are their intricate bohemian style gowns which are so flattering to every body type. If I had to choose just one (one day when my photography budget allows!) I would choose the romantic boho 'Grace' dress. They carry sizes from 16 - 30 (UK sizes).
To buy one of these dresses you'll need to have a quick google search for a bridal store which stocks the brand near you. Prices come in at $1500 - $3000.
Pictured Above: Grace Dress Studio Levana Website: https://studiolevana.com/
Of course keep an eye on your high street stores like John Lewis, Asos, New Look, French Connection, Zara, H&M, TK Maxx etc,. as you just never know when the perfect dress might pop up at a fabulous price and local bridal/prom dress shops and even charity shops can turn up some real gems!
Since posting I've had some amazing suggestions from fellow photographers! Some of their favourites include: Ana Brandt (Belly Baby Wear), Sew Trendy Accessories, Jaase and Flutter Dresses!
Have I missed any out? What are some of your favourite brands for maternity photo shoots? Share in the comments below! I won't tell anyone ;)