Some of the most common questions I get from women are regarding outfit choices for an upcoming family or maternity session. It’s a valid question, and really important to me because I want nothing more than to help each client feel their absolute best and completely confident.
Confidence leads to better smiles and greater satisfaction with the resulting photographs, which naturally serves me well in regards to the success of my business, but it’s still so important to me that women find confidence in their own natural beauty, and part of that is knowing how to dress well.
I find that neutral dresses are almost always the best bet for the women I photograph. Choosing a dress to wear elevates the look of the photography and makes the subject feel more elegant. Everyone wants to feel like a princess! And wearing neutral colors allows the subject to become the focus of the image. Your eyes aren’t drawn to a flashy floral pattern or a bright pair of shoes — you’re instead immediately drawn to her joyful aura and lovely features. Keeping the clothing neutral allows me as a photographer the chance to play up the relationships pictured between mamas and their littles or between a loving couple.
I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite neutral dresses, in a variety of shades to suit various skin tones and a variety of price points to suit different budgets, that would be perfect for a maternity session or for family portraits.
A full-length dress like this cream beauty adds movement to the photo, and the extra length is an added measure of modesty for those who want it. While it’s simple, it’s not plain, with a ruched belt-style detail high up to accentuate the smaller part of your waist.
I love photographing velvet! It looks so creamy and luscious in the printed images which adds a lot of visual interest to your photos. Finding a dress with flutter-y sleeves like this also captures the eye when photographed because it displays movement. The sleeves are also a great option for women who aren’t comfortable with displaying too much of their arms — they’re playful and feminine.
This neutral champagne-colored maxi dress is a beautiful option if you’re looking for something in a neutral tone but that still carries a bit of embellishment. The pattern on the bodice of this dress is lovely, but the fuller skirt also draws the eye and provides balance so the chest is not the constant focus.
Even though this dress is simple and neutral, the lace adds a ton of visual interest and texture, ensuring this dress will be lovely and unique in photographs. The waistline for this dress also makes it a great option for a maternity shoot! Dresses like this are always flattering as mama’s body changes through pregnancy, so choosing a dress you can wear in all seasons of motherhood makes for a great investment.
This is another beautiful lace number that offers a different sleeve and neckline for those looking for a bit more coverage. Ruffle sleeves and full skirts like this photograph beautifully and allow for a greater focus on the mama and her babe or on her connection with other children participating in the shoot.
You don’t have to choose a full-length dress for your shoot, and this knee-length, long-sleeve number shows another one of my favorite things to look for in a neutral dresses — loose sleeves. Avoiding tight-fitting sleeves makes for a more comfortable session where you’re free to move with your kids and wrap your arms around them, your husband, your baby bump, etc.
I would love to discuss dress choices and decisions in more depth with you before your upcoming session! Don’t hesitate to reach out via my contact form or my email. Can’t wait to chat with you!
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