Session highlights, client tips, and photographer resources. 
By Ellen Wagner Photo, an Auburn, Alabama, motherhood and family photographer. 

What To Wear for Spring Photos

Are you looking forward to longer, warmer days, beautiful blooms, and lots of family time outside?


Beautiful days are just around the corner, and I daresay I love outdoor family photography sessions in the spring almost as much as fall sessions!

Ready to book your spring photos? Here are a few tips to help you decide what to wear for a spring family photography session. This article contains affiliate links.

1. Go Nearly Neutral

A mother and son wearing soft tones displaying what to wear for spring photos.

When in doubt, I’m going to recommend neutral tones over bold and bright. My personal aesthetic tends toward a lighter, airy look, and neutral-toned clothing compliments that feel beautifully.

If you like the feel of my photos, part of that is due to the carefully curated color palette. There are many factors that affect the way your photos turn out, and my job is to make sure all the pieces of the puzzle line up to give you beautiful work that flows seamlessly with the rest of my portfolio.

Did you know that “neutral” does not mean “no color“?? I think I’m going to start recommending “nearly neutral” to my clients to help get the point across that neutral colors are still… COLORS! Yay!

Because nearly neutral colors have a very soft hint of color, they complement other colors well and allow the eye to focus on the subject of the photograph – your family, your connection, and your emotions.

You can read a bit more on neutrals, near neutrals, and their importance in design and art here.

Here are a few of my favorite nearly neutral tones:

a collage of nearly neutral colors in shades of green, blue, pink and brown.

2. Dress for [Elevated] Comfort

I believe family photos should reflect real life, and, I don’t know about you, but my real life is rarely (if ever) perfectly posed and still. We are wiggly, giggly, and FUN. Often, we are loud and full of energy.

I encourage playing and hugging each other during my sessions, so it is important to be comfortable in whatever you are wearing. For me, that means a flowing dress that doesn’t restrict movement and is long enough to sit on the ground without worry.

3. Sisters, not Twins

I don’t remember where I first heard the saying “Eyebrows are sisters, not twins”, but I use this saying ALL THE TIME. It is obviously appropriate to share a few photos of my girls as an example here. I definitely dress them in exact matching outfits from time to time, but I suggest focusing on coordination instead of matching for your spring photography session.

Pick a color palette and select options that flow well together. Consider adding different textures, tones, or even patterns to bring together a cohesive look.

Hot Tip: I often start with a brand’s seasonal lookbook, and look at how the creative team paired different pieces from the collection. This is a great place to start for a color palette or if you find a favorite outfit and want to find a coordinating piece for your other family members.

Favorite Dress for Spring Photos 2023

These three tips give you some direction to start your wardrobe planning! Ready to hit the (virtual) stores? Here are a few current favorites that I have my eye on for my client closet and would be perfect for your session!

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