Client Guides

April 4, 2022

Client Closet Dresses for Portrait Sessions | Virginia Photographer

dusty blue dresses for family photos maternity photos newborn photos

Client Closet Dresses for Portrait Sessions | Virginia Photography Studio

There are three very important factors that affect your portraits: wardrobe, light, and your connection with your photographer. Today I’m going to talk a little more about wardrobe – and why I decided to create a client closet of dresses!

First, having a curated collection of dresses takes away quite a bit of stress while planning your wardrobe. I have an online gallery with all the options and sizes, so you can easily browse through and make a favorites list directly in the gallery. Then you can stop by the studio to try them on! At this styling appointment we also come up with outfit options for your whole family, so you don’t have to waste time trying to think of everything on your own. You can even bring options you already have so we can compare them next to the dresses! I’m all about taking the stress out of planning your wardrobe to make this step as easy as possible.

Second, I always recommend picking out mom’s outfit first and then coordinating everyone else’s outfits around that. If mom’s dress has a bold print, we often choose solids or a very subtle pattern for everyone else. The client closet helps you narrow down your choices, so you immediately get an idea of what you’re picturing in your photos.

The client closet currently reflects my recommendation for photos: soft colors that allow your connection to really shine through in the photos. It’s filled with dresses in the following tones: ivory, white, cream, gray, dusty blue, blushes, and peach. Some of my favorite shops for portrait session dresses are BHLDN, Nothing Fits But, Baltic Born, Rachel Pally, Anthropologie, and Free People.

I’m constantly adding new styles, sizes, and colors, so if you have a recommendation, please let me know! Here are just a handful of dress options below to give you an idea.

client closet neutral dresses for photo shootClient closet blush dresses for photo shoot

Scroll to see some of these gorgeous gowns in action at a portrait session!


This blue floral dress is picked over and over again! It’s a soft ivory color with a dusty floral print that’s beautiful. It also has ties at the sleeves. See more of this floral blue dress in family photos here!



This dress is perfect for those dreaming of a blush color palette when picking out your wardrobe for photos. It goes well with so many outfit combinations, and offers a flowy, relaxed fit. See more photos from this beautiful in-home newborn portrait session here!




This one is a personal favorite! Andrea first wore it for her garden maternity photos (pictured above), and I loved the photos so much I had to purchase my own dress for the client closet. This gown is beautiful for so many reasons! The dusty blue color looks stunning on film, the ruffled sleeve adds an elegant touch, and it’s great for family portrait sessions or expecting mamas. You can see more of this dress here in their Maryland maternity photo blog post.



The relaxed fit and soft linen tones make this a favorite at the studio or for an outdoor portrait session. The tie shoulders also allow you to give you a more custom fit, while adding a sweet detail to the final photos. It also is bump-friendly for expecting mamas! See more of this soft linen dress in family photos here.



This cream dress is a new addition to my client closet, and it is becoming a fast favorite for clients. The soft material is super comfortable, and it gives you a couple of options for wear! You can either pull the sleeves up on your shoulders (pictured here during Evelyn’s milestone photos), or you can keep the sleeves off your shoulders. Both are beautiful! It’s also super stretchy, which is ideal to fit multiple sizes.



This gown has a soft, gauzy feel with an embroidered top. It is a beautiful choice, especially if you’re leaning towards a neutral color palette! In the session above, Jessica paired this dress with an adorable beige sweater and onesie for little Noah. Adam wore gray pants and an ivory shirt. I loved their outfit choices, and they looked beautiful in the studio.



I have to give Andrea credit for this dress as well, as she first wore it at her maternity session! It’s a dress that works for family portraits or maternity photos. The lace trim on the sleeves, around the bodice, and down the sides, adds just a touch of elegance. Perfect for a stroll on the beach, in your home, or at the studio. See more of this lace-trim dress in maternity photos here!



This gown is in a soft ivory color, closer to a true white. It has gold buttons on the sleeves, and the wrap design gives you lots of flexibility for fit. It’s a favorite for newborn photos, along with maternity and family photos. See more of this ivory dress at a newborn session here!



This bump-friendly dress is an elegant choice for a portrait session. The design features textured fabric, ruffled sleeves, and touches of lace throughout. It was perfect for this beautiful maternity session in Old Town Alexandria! See more from this session here.



This dress is a favorite for obvious reasons – the lace adds an elegant touch to any portrait session! It’s also bump-friendly (but not just for maternity photos), and it photographs beautifully in the studio, at in-home sessions, or outdoor photos. See this lace gown at an outdoor maternity session in the mountains here! Or view more photos from this lace gown in the studio here.



This dress is labeled as “natural” for the color, but it photographs with a subtle blush finish. It’s soft, flowy, and has a wrap design so you can adjust the fit. Perfect for so many sessions, including this newborn session! See more photos of this blush gown during a newborn session here.




This gown is a soft peach / blush color, making it perfect for family photos or newborn photos. The embroidered detail is just so pretty up close! It pairs well with so many outfits, making choosing your wardrobe a breeze. See this Free People dress in this newborn session here!


That’s just a few options in the closet! Want to browse all of our options? Or do you have a dress that would be PERFECT for the client closet? Send me a note here!

(Also I want to note that my clients are not required to wear a dress from the closet! Many do use this complimentary service, but if you already have a dress or outfit you want to wear, that’s completely fine. I can also help you pick something else out if nothing hits the mark for you Your styling appointment covers all of these things so you don’t have to worry either way!)

Inquire about booking your own portrait session with Emily Alyssa Photography


  1. […] client closet includes a curated collection of gowns so you don’t have to worry about shopping! It can be so hard choosing what to wear for a […]

  2. […] Jennifer wanted to go for neutrals with soft shades of blue. She wore one of my favorite gowns in the client closet. It always looks so beautiful in the studio! When it comes to family sessions like this one, we […]

  3. […] blush dress from the client client. One of the perks of working with me is you get to use the dresses in my client closet! Adding beautiful pieces to the collection has been so much fun. (A little too much fun – […]

  4. […] wore one of the most popular dresses in our exclusive client closet – a collection of dresses you can borrow for your photos. The blue gown has a subtle floral print, long flowy sleeves, and the softest material. […]

  5. […] The blue floral dress can be found in our client closet and is available to borrow for all signature portrait sessions. […]

  6. […] Photographed on film and digital. Film scans processed by PhotoVision. Blue floral dress can be found in the client closet. […]

  7. […] a Northern Virginia newborn photographer, I provide a client closet of dresses for newborn photos. You can borrow a dress or two for your photos so you don’t have to worry […]

  8. […] of these maternity gowns can be found in the client closet, a perk included for all of my clients. The white gown adds an extra layer of elegance. The sheer, […]

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