Just Wear the Dress: The Best Way to Stand Out in Family Photos

If you're like most moms, you probably have a mental list of everything you need to do to get ready for your family photos—find a photographer, pick out the perfect outfits for your partner and kids, make sure everyone's hair is cooperating, etc. But have you given any thought to what *you're* going to wear? 

If you're stumped, I’ve got one word of advice for you: DRESS. That's right, a dress! Here's why wearing a dress is the best option for family photos. 

Mom holding her baby boy while swishing her dress at sunset

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, but only for products that I use and love (I seriously only included things I'm obsessed with!). If you buy through them, I'll earn some cash for coffee (or tea). But don't worry, I'll use that energy to create more helpful content for you!

Dresses are flattering

Okay, I hate using the word “flattering” but that’s just what a dress is. When you wear a dress, you can feel confident knowing that you look amazing. Dresses are very forgiving  — a dress will accentuate your best features and downplay any areas you might be self-conscious about. No matter your shape or size, there's a dress out there that will look great on you! (And you know I’m here to help you find the perfect one!)

Man and woman running up a hill together

Dresses are comfortable

Comfort is key when it comes to taking family photos. No one wants to be fidgeting with their clothes or feeling uncomfortable throughout the photo session. Dresses are the perfect solution - you can find ones made from lightweight fabrics that won't make you sweat if your session is in the summer, and they're easy to move around in. No more tugging at your clothes every time you sit down or stand up! Seriously, think about how many times you have to adjust your pants throughout the day. You don’t want to deal with that during family photos.

Collage of families at sunset where mom is wearing a dress

A dress makes life easy. 

When it comes to getting ready for family photos, the last thing you want is something that's going to add extra stress to your already full plate. Wearing a one-piece outfit eliminates the need to spend time searching for matching tops and bottoms—one less thing on your list! 

Family of three holding onto the reigns of three alpacas during family photos

A dress gives you something to do with your hands!

This is important, okay? Half the battle of family photos is knowing what to do with your hands. A super easy thing to do is just to swish around your skirt! It adds beautiful movement and looks amazing. So let’s say your family is all walking together, you’re holding one of your kid's hands but your other hand is just hanging there. And hanging arms aren’t good, FYI. What to do? Play with your skirt! Easy peasy. 

Dad holding newborn baby looking back at his wife and little girl

Wearing a dress in your photos will make everything look more epic and beautiful

If you look at my portfolio, you’ll notice that dresses are the main feature. That’s because it just looks better! A skirt blowing in the wind adds movement and romance and without that, the photos are just missing a little something. My goal is to create beautiful artwork for you, and just wearing jeans and a shirt doesn't have the same effect.

Family of four dancing in the columbia river gorge

What if I don't want to wear a dress?

If you are against wearing a dress or skirt, there are other ways to add some movement and style to your photos. Try out some flare pants (like these velvet pants I have in my client closet) paired with a 70s style shirt (or a band t-shirt) and a lace kimono or fun duster (like this one that I have) to add movement. Do you see where I'm going with this? Create a vibe. Whatever you decide, try to choose an outfit that has some style to help you stand out, and that has some movement.

So let's summarize why I recommend wearing a dress for family photos:

Wearing a dress is the best option for family photos because they are flattering, comfortable, and easy to wear. Plus, dresses provide an opportunity to add movement and romance to your photos.

Now that you know all the reasons why wearing a dress is the way to go for family photos, it's time to start planning! But before you head to the store (or the internet), keep this one tip in mind: avoid busy patterns. Stick with solid colors or simple and timeless prints - they'll photograph much better than anything else. With that in mind, have fun picking out the perfect dress for your family photos! Or schedule your family photos with me and I'll help you!

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  1. Such great tips! I almost went with something different this year but stuck with a dress and am so glad I did….it’s just so much more flattering on me!

  2. This is really helpful and I love your specific suggestions for dresses! All of them are gorgeous. I’m struggling right now with what to wear for family photos and this is helping me!


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