What to wear on a photography shoot

May 12, 2021

Mother sitting in wildflowers during surrey maternity photography shoot

Considering your wardrobe makes a phenomenal difference when you look back at your photographs. Deciding what to wear can instil panic for some but preparing well ahead of time and using complementary resources such as my client wardrobe means that you can choose outfits that photograph well and which you feel incredible in. 

Outfit choices are hugely important because they affect your confidence during the session and your view of your photographs afterward and for years to come. An outfit that looks lovely in a posed photograph on a night out can look different when photographed and can gather unflatteringly when you move.

If you haven’t worn something for a while I’d advise trying it on again and checking you still love it. It’s good to decide on your outfit a week in advance so you have time to reconsider if you feel uncomfortable in it. Shoes which blend in and which you can move freely in are great and if you’re feeling brave going barefoot adds to the artistry and feeling in your images.

Warm, earthy, and neutral tones photograph beautifully. I particularly love rust and white as they fit in with any natural landscape and complement my editing style. Floaty and natural fabrics work well as they reflect light. Synthetic fabrics can take on an unflattering hue or sheen. I would advise against logos and dark or overly bright colours as these can take away from the emotion of a moment and the timelessness of your photographs.

During maternity sessions, it is lovely to expose some skin, such as your shoulders or bump. This creates balance and adds to the emotion of these photographs. It is also something ideal to do if you are petite. I am 5ft 2 and found that maternity wear can slightly swamp you. By exposing your bump you can truly see your shape and feel confident.

Dresses that button-down allow you to expose the amount of skin you are comfortable with and also create movement if you leave some of the lower buttons undone to get a sweeping effect. A low-slung skirt and a cropped top work beautifully as does a lovely kimono. This allows you to expose your bump but cover up whenever you want to.

By having two outfits you get more variety in your images. I have three maxi dresses in my client wardrobe which are available to borrow for maternity sessions; a rust maxi dress, a white button-down maxi dress, and a warm terracotta kimono. I also have some elasticated low-slung skirts which work beautifully. I have a camel-coloured fedora hat and a chunky knit cardigan if you’d like to add texture to your photographs. You can choose to change your outfit during the session to add variety to your images. I can bring a changing ‘pod’ for privacy or we can find a location with facilities to change. 

For newborn sessions, neutrals with texture work well for babies. I have timeless soft knits which are laundered with baby-friendly washing powder and available as part of my client wardrobe. I also have some beautiful floaty dresses and cosy knits to make mums feel incredible in the postpartum period. For men, I recommend natural fabrics and warm coloured chinos. A t-shirt or jumper with texture adds to the warmth of a photograph.

For children – jumpsuits, dresses, floaty skirts, and bell-bottoms/culottes work beautifully as they create movement. Knitted jumpers create texture and warmth. I always recommend starting with mum’s outfit and building the family outfits around this. Complementary colour palettes work well. This avoids you being too ‘matchy matchy’ but also stops the photographs from becoming jarring because of different family members wearing bold colours side by side.

In preparation for your session I will share my style guide with you; this is a way to support you to choose colours that tone beautifully and to ensure that your images are truly timeless. I will also share a Pinterest board. You will likely have lots of pieces that will work beautifully in your wardrobe already but I promise the extra time considering how your outfits complement each other will be worth it when you see your gallery.  I am on hand to provide guidance and am happy to look at outfits in advance if this would be helpful.

If you feel comfortable in what you are wearing, it will shine through.

Pregnant woman sitting in the bluebells - Weybridge photographer
Weybridge photographer- child standing by the ducks with his mum.

Shops I love:

Newborns and children

Simple Folk Co – Gorgeous organic neutral boiler suits, dungarees, culottes and dresses. @thesimplefolkco

Zara @zara

Matalan traditional range @shopmatalan

H&M @hm_kids

JoJo Bebe Maman @jojomamanbebe

Next @nextofficial


Free People for beautiful dresses, jumpsuits and skirts which are also suitable for maternity wear @freepeopleuk

M&S @marksandspencer for floaty dresses and skirts.

Topshop @topshop

New Look  @newlook


H&M @hm

Next @nextofficial

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I would love to know what you thought of this blog post, why not leave a comment below… Alternatively, you could join my mailing list and be the first to hear the latest news from me.

Laura xo

1 Comment

  1. Vanessa Gomes

    These suggestions are great! I especially love that you mention what you advise for different sessions and your suggestions for the best shops to get the perfect outfit. 🙂


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