Wilmette photographer captures family posing for their annual portrait along Lake Michigan's beach.

Spring Family Photo Tips | From Your Local Wilmette Photographer

Family of four pose on Lake Michigan while their Wilmette Photographer captures their image

I’m a local Wilmette photographer here to help you choose attire for your Spring family photos.

Spring is by far my favorite time of the year to photograph families and children’s portraits. Between the lush greens and bounty of flowers and blooms, there are endless opportunities to create beautiful portraits here in Wilmette.

Let Your Wilmette Photographer Help Choose a Location

The first think you should do is choose your location. Talk to your photographer about location options. Do you want a casual beach look, something more formal in the city, or perhaps a field of flowers sounds enticing. Your location matters a lot when selecting an outfit.

You should absolutely give some consideration to your wardrobe. You’ll want your attire to reflect the season and complement the environment of your photo location. Choosing the right attire will give your images a timeless look that will last generations. 

Dress it Up!

Have you had your eye on a gorgeous dress but haven’t found the right occasion to wear it?

This is your chance! There really isn’t a thing as ‘too dressed up’ when it comes to your xxxx photography session. Many clients will even rent an outfit from rent the runway or the like. This is also a great opportunity to update  few pieces to your wardrobe. 

Dresses and skirts are the most flattering for the camera. I recommend choosing a long (or midi) length dress that flows. Nothing too tight that restricts movement. Think of a dress that has a ’twirl’ to it. The extra fabric brings a sense of refinement and romance. I typically advisee my female clients to avoid pants and shorts. Opt for a dress (or skirt).

Some of my top go-to vendors for dresses that photograph beautifully are:

Needle & Thread, Filly-boo (especially for maternity), Free People, & Baltic born. 


Keep the location of your session in mind when deciding on footwear. If your session is taking place at the beach, wear dressy flat sandals. If your session is taking place in the woods, the same rule applies. Think dressy sandals. Aim for something that compliments your outfit that is comfortable. 

Color Palette

I always recommend lighter pastel or neutrals. It ensures your wardrobe is not competing with its background. Think lighter neutral tones and muted shades (tan, taupe, blush, ivory). You can add a pop of color to an accessory. Bright, bold, or neon colors take the focus off of the subject. For a spring session, consider the environment you will be photographed. If it’s outdoors here in Wilmette or Chicago’s anywhere along its north shore. You’ll want to avoid wearing sage, and green.

Mixing Solids and Patterns

Mixing solids and patterns adds visual interest and depth to your images. Only one outfit should have a strong pattern. Perhaps mom’s dress. Everyone else should wear a solid that compliments the tones of the dress. When picking an outfit that has a pattern, pick a pattern that is medium in size rather too small or something that is too busy.

Options for Dad

In much the same way a dress flatters a woman’s figure, a blazer or sport jacket has the same flattering effect on men. I always reccomend long sleeves and a button down shirt. For a more casual look, you can roll up the sleeves.


I always suggest girls wear their hair down and loose. It brings movements into the photos and lends a natural authentic to the images. If you are worried about a windy day, bring a hair tie or clip to keep hair out of eyes.

Where to Shop:

There are countless places to shop. If you are in a hurry, I share join my email list where I send additional suggestions. 


Janie and Jack

Little English


Women’s dresses:


Needle and Thread

Rent the Runway


Baltic Born

Have you booked your family session yet with a Wilmette photographer? Contact me to get on the schedule today!

Looking for more tips? Check out this blog about how to prepare for your family photos.

About the author: Katie is a fine art newborn and family photographer based out of Lake Bluff serving Chicago and its North Shore. Click here to read more about her.

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