Is it just me or do women seem to exist in a perpetual state of trying to find a dress for some special occasion or event coming up? A work function, a cocktail party, a trip or vacation...any and every thing in between is fodder for tracking down the perfect dress to wear when you want to feel extra pretty.
We're most invested in finding the perfect piece when we're going in front of the camera. You know it and I know it. If there's gonna be photo evidence of you wearing something, you want to love it now and always. And it's gotta be flattering. And true to your style. And comfortable. And eye-catching.
After styling clients and myself for all types of photo sessions, I'm convinced that the perfect dress to wear for your next photo op is a romantic, airy maxi dress.
Here are the qualities I look for in a dress when shopping prior to engagement photos, family photos, or maternity photo sessions. (Keep scrolling if you want to shop my top picks for maxi dresses that fit all the below criteria!)
1 | A soft color. Pastels or muted colors look gorgeous and girly in just about any location. Think blush, mauve, lavender, sky blue, mint green, peach, yellow, and white. Of course, you want a little something extra going on (see #3)
2 | A classic feminine print. Prints show up really well on camera but you don't want to choose something too busy or bold that will distract the eye and fall out of fashion by next season. Pick something that's timeless, like a lovely floral or fun polka dot print.
3 | Details, details, details. A ruffled neck or hemline. A dramatic back. A flirty frill placed just so. These stylistic details stand out on film and add to the romantic atmosphere. They're what elevate your dress (helpful if you went with a solid pastel) to extra special status.
4 | A wrap silhouette. DVF didn't forge an empire on the back of wrap dresses for nothing. They're incredibly flattering as long as you get one that wraps well to the contours of your body. For photos, the split skirt is ideal for twirling, a pop of leg, or spreading out on the grass or bench. You may not think these are especially valuable qualities...until you start taking photos and you realize that interacting with your dress can show your personality and add visual interest at the same time.
5 | A leg slit. If a wrap dress isn't your thing or you can't find the right fit, choose a maxi with a slit in the front to be sure your dress has good movement (see the above notes on twirls and staged situations). You'll also be glad for the comfort it provides, especially on a hot day.
You'd be amazed what an impact a light breeze can have on a maxi dress in photos. Wearing something that moves with you lends an air of effortlessness that really conveys in photos. Nobody likes a photo that looks forced or unnatural. A breezy maxi dress will figure your flatter and interact with your environment in an organic way that makes for timeless photos.
If you're looking for a statement piece or you're the kind of gal who likes to go glam, a sequin or lace maxi dress packs a major punch. Maybe you're a bride getting married in the winter or you just love sequins and shine. Or perhaps you're a mom doing dressy holiday photos with your family. I suggest going on Rent The Runway to find your dream dress; you'll save lots of money and still get the look you want in your forever photos.
I pulled together these styles for you to shop that would be beautiful for your engagement, family, or maternity photos! Yes, mamas, there are some options for you, too!
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
Numbers 1, 2, 5, 10, and 12 come in different colors!
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
As a wardrobe and wedding stylist, I help dress brides, expectant mothers, and families for photo shoots capturing precious moments in their lives. It's definitely one of my favorite parts of my job! I'd be honored to help you find the perfect attire for your next photo session -- shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how we can work together!
Thanks for coming by! Have a blessed day! xo Brooke