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Past Maternity Fashion Trends and Tips for Styling Your Own Baby Bump Photoshoot

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Elegant Maternity Photoshoot Soul Mama Photography

Like all fashion trends of modern society, Maternity Fashion and Maternity photography has really evolved over the years. Circa 1900's saw baby bumps concealed under billowing stiff dresses and advertising or even writing about maternity 'fashion' was considered somewhat distasteful. Up until the 1930's the modern pregnant woman would conceal her growing belly with outfit choices that were designed to disguise rather than reveal their pregnancy journey.

It wasn't until the 1950 - 1980 that there was finally some progression towards maternity fashion. New looks and experimentation with fabrics saw the arise of two piece outfits and a willingness to show off the baby bump.

The 1990's was where maternity fashion photography and styles started to get really interesting. We all remember THAT issue of Vanity Fair - featuring Demi Moore naked with a huge pregnancy belly on the cover. It shocked some and delighted others,

Demi Moore on the Cover of Vanity Fair Magazine Maternity Photoshoot
Demi Moore - Vanity Fair via

But I believe It was this 1991 masterpiece photographed by Annie Leibovitz that paved a whole new genre of photography for new mums.

At first, these fashion styled maternity photoshoot sessions were reserved mainly for celebrity clientele. Like fashion that starts in the offices of Anna Wintour and slowly trends down to the masses, maternity photography became a thing for the everyday mama to enjoy.

Fast forward to 2021 - a quick Google Search of "Maternity Photographer near me" will bring up a plethora of photographers offering different styles of maternity photography to suit all vibes and budgets. The Ararat maternity photography scene has become almost a right of passage for women looking to document their pregnancy journey in a thoughtful way - A long stretch from the first photo illustrated above in 1900!

So, what are my professional tips in choosing an aesthetic for your own maternity photoshoot? Here are 3 to get you started.

What's the Purpose?

Always start with where you are going to display your pregnancy photographs. Framed on the wall? In a little private photo album for hubby? Plastered all across Instagram?

The WHERE will often trump anything as a starting point because what you might post on your social media might not be something you will print and put on your wall and vice versa.

Your home might be minimalist and enjoy clean lines, so putting a bright beach themed with flower garland pregnancy photo might not look very good with the rest of your home. You may like the style something a bit more like this:


An Ararat maternity photography session is an opportunity for you to step out of your comfort zone and enjoy something a bit more glamorous. You may be a activewear and sneakers kinda-girl normally, so perhaps this is a chance for you to try an elegant maternity look. Ask your photographer if they have outfits you can choose from. Not only will take a lot of stress of finding your own outfit away from the session, but will give you an opportunity to try something new.


In your pregnancy photoshoot, you would want to have at least a change of clothes. This will give you a chance to try a new style {as mentioned above} and maybe something that is a bit more more you. The end results in a photo gallery with a lot of great variety to choose from, like this - one studio maternity photography session, five different looks.

Photo 1 - for your hubby, Photo 2, 3 & 4 for Social Media & Photo 5 printed for your Grandma.


I had an amazing client who presented me with her own Mood Board for her Outdoor Maternity Photography session a few weeks ago. It was just awesome! It helped me get the vibe and feel for what she was looking for and I had a clear direction in how I was going to execute her preferences.

The 'Mood' or 'Vibe' of your session will feature mainly colour choice, styling and sometimes posing. For example, you may love the idea of a session where all the outfits and backdrops are in a similar colour palette. This also goes back to the "Where" you are planning to display your maternity photographs.

You might be thinking forward to your newborn photography session also, where you will match the colours and mood from both the sessions. For example, your home might be full of neutral tans, and you want a photo of your baby bump with a white dress and taupe backdrop newt to a photo of your baby in similar colours. Side by side on you living room wall, with a white matt and white frame. Boom. We have a mood / vibe for the sessions.

Soul Mama Photography Mood Board

Here is an example of one of my 5 Mood Boards I send to my clients once they book in. By having a clear idea of what you love, will mean you will love your maternity and newborn photos.

So there you have it! I must say I am very happy and grateful to be able to capture fashion styled maternity photography in the year 2021, rather than the uninspired vibe of yesteryear. What do you think?

Love, Sera x


Sera Williamson is a Gold Coast based family photographer that specialises in maternity and newborn photography for first time parents.

She has been working as a professional newborn and baby photographer for 9 years, in various studios and within her own business as an in-home baby photographer.

Recently, Soul Mama Photography has relocated taking the popular in-home newborn photography to the Gold Coast Region - settling in the beautiful area of Paradise Point!

Sera travels for mobile Newborn Photography and Outdoor Maternity Photography and & is serving the entire Gold Coast area and has been called the best Newborn Photographer in Australia!

To book or enquire about a Gold Coast maternity photoshoot or In-home newborn photoshoot enquire here!

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