Violets of Saratoga

I had the pleasure of meeting Laura, the owner of Violets of Saratoga this past May…and immediately loved her!  I had been in her shop many times before and absolutely love everything…I’m totally obsessed with my pink Jack Rogers from there!  If you haven’t been,  get there pronto.  She has an amazing eye for fashion and her team is so awesome in helping you put together a style that fits you.

When I met Laura, she was about 6 months pregnant and always looked amazingly put together, which I was in awe of because well…you don’t really want to see how I dressed when I was pregnant with my girls.  Her trick?  Non-maternity clothes and dresses.  It’s amazing how great regular clothes can still look over that bump!  I just had to ask her if she and her team would do a little write up for my clients about how to dress for their sessions.  I do the best I can to help but lets face it, I’m truly a jeans, t-shirt and flip flop kinda girl to the core.  So here’s what they have to say!

Summer and fall are perfect seasons to have family portraits taken. It can feel like a daunting task to stage the perfect photo shoot. Finding outfits for the kids can be tedious, let alone an ensemble for yourself! If you’re a pregnant Mom-to-be, or you just had a baby, it can feel as if you have nothing in your closet to wear! Not to worry Moms! We have compiled a list of styling tips for all that will help you look and feel fabulous during your shoots!

  1. Add a Pop of color with the Kids – If you have more than one child, you want to coordinate their outfits first. Start with a patterned outfit for the youngest child. Choose something with a fresh or classic color; nothing too bold or outrageous. For the rest of the kids, make sure their outfits are complimentary to each other as opposed to dressing them all in the same clothing. You don’t want them to be too matchy-matchy.
  1. Don’t Wear Black – You don’t want to choose any outfits for you or your family members that are too dark.  The darkest you should go is Navy, which we are big fans of. But, you should try to incorporate white into at least one person’s outfit. Laura’s husband wore white linen pants in their portrait, which will definitely pop with the rest of her family’s clothing.
  1. Do Not Have Competing Prints – If little Suzy is wearing a polka dot pink dress, you don’t want to dress Charlie in paisley.  If everyone is in a different pattern, there would be too much going on in the photo. You want to have one point of focus. Large logos should also be avoided. They will make the photo dated, as well as create a significant distraction. Feel free to incorporate prints and patterns during the maternity photo but simple outfits work best for newborn sessions and help keep the mood soft with the focus on the baby.
  1. If You’re Pregnant, Wear A Dress – Maxi dresses are the perfect thing to wear for a family photo shoot, pre and post baby. They are flattering, comfortable and look feminine. Laura chose a couple of different looks (neither from the limited racks of a maternity store). Shop the boutiques and malls just like you would when you’re not pregnant, just look for empire waistlines that will sit above your belly and longer hemlines. Laura chose a free flowing maxi dress with a great price tag from Zara and also a Butter by Nadia wrap dress from Violet’s of Saratoga for her maternity looks. The wrap dress is on the more expensive side, but she’ll be able to wear it again after loosing the baby weight because it’s one size fits all, so it’s worth the investment. You can also wear it 12 different ways! Again, your dress should be in a solid color, or if patterned, only lightly so. Patterns may look great in person, but can tell a different story on camera. For one-on-one photos with your newborn, we recommend wearing white.This will create a soft and gentle look to the newborn portraits that make you look great but not a distraction from baby.
  1. Be Comfortable – There is nothing worse then being uncomfortable at your photo shoot! Your uneasiness will show in the photo and that is the last thing you need! We recommend wearing an outfit that you feel amazing in! Mom, you’re always putting everyone else before you. Don’t do that in your family photo! You need to let the fabulousness shine through! Since it’s summer, you don’t want to be too hot! Choose something that you won’t be sweating in. Dresses are always a great idea because they are easy and light weight. If you feel confident in jeans, then rock them with a simple top! Make sure your denim has a flattering fit. It might be time to invest in a new pair! We like soft and neutral tones (with a pop of color here or there) with classic shapes. These photos will be hanging on your walls and treasured for years to come. By choosing simple, classic clothes you will help give your images a timeless feel.
  1. No Leggings – Ladies, we know they are comfortable, but don’t do it! Leggings may be a new Mom’s best friend, but leave them at home for the photo shoot!
  1. Add Interest With Accessories – Fun accessories can take your photo to the next level. Scarves, hats, jewelry and bracelets can take a boring image and make it feel complete. With that said, don’t overwhelm the subject with too many accessories. Babies and toddlers don’t need much. But, putting flowers in your daughter’s hair, or a little bow tie on your son could add a nice touch to your portrait. We want the viewer to notice the personality first. The clothing and accessories should compliment each other and not take center stage.

We know it can seem overwhelming when considering what to wear for your photo shoot. Especially when the kids are out of school for the summer and you have little time to plan ahead. We hope these tips took some weight off your shoulders and have given you a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t in your summer time family portrait.


I am so thankful to Laura for these great tips!  Now because no blog is complete without some images…here are some from her maternity session.  :)

© Kidography by Dania |  Albany New York Family and Maternity Photographer