Portrait Photographer Cloverdale BC


pin it

Choosing outfits for children’s portraits

Vintage inspired dress from Mia Joy Studio

What do I look for when choosing outfits

If you are looking for a special outfit for your children’s portrait or milestone session / cake smash. this post is for you. When I’m looking to choose outfits for photography whether it be for adults or children, I am looking for a few things.

Solid Colours

I like to stick to clothing that has a solid colour and does not have a loud pattern or a visible logo. I stay away from clothes with sayings or slogans. One exception to this would be if you are doing a personal branding session and the logo is part of your brand. An exception to patterns would be floral patterns or polka dots.


Another factor I look for is materials with texture. I love crinkle chiffon, raised dots, ruffles, sequins and beading, lace and crocheted elements. Knitted fabrics, real wool, velvet and tulle are all beautiful textures that add dimension to your images.

Size and Fit

Size and fit are not as important during a photography session as they are during everyday where. Since most images are shot from the front or the side your back is not showing. If an outfit is a little too big I simple use an elastic to tighten the fabric at the back. I very often use too large clothing and when photographed you cannot tell at all.

Small imperfections

Small imperfections are also not noticeable in a photograph they way they are in person. Because I pose and angle you for the photos and then I am able to retouch in photoshop, a small imperfection would not show. For example, you may own a vintage piece that has a few holes or an outfit with a small stain. These imperfections mean you probably don’t wear the outfits out but they would still be great for a photo session.

Client Closet

I have a variety of dresses for newborn, 3- 6 months, 6-12 months and up to age 5 available for you to use during your children’s portrait or milestone session. Please message me and I will send you a list of the dresses I have available. If you are looking to buy your own dress to keep and use for a special occasion as well as for your photos you are welcome to bring your own outfits from home.

Handmade or Chain Retail

There are pros and cons to shopping at either a chain or a one person handmade shop. The handmade dresses are special, full of detail and one of a kind. If you want something unique and specially made for photos you will find them in handmade. However, because they are handmade by one designer they are not always ready to ship. You may need to purchase and order slot and wait for the item to be made. This can take several weeks. They are also packaged by hand by one person so processing and shipping times are much longer. Handmade dresses also come with a higher price tag because the designers cannot profit off mass production. Each item costs time and talent and this is reflected in the higher price.

If you want last minute, fast and a lower price tag then you can pop into a retail store where you can walk out with your item that day. Ordering online from a chain will also be far faster. However, the items are mass produced without that handmade detail and are not one of a kind. Both options will give you beautiful photographs and the real star of the show is your little one, who will be adorable in any outfit you pick.

Where to shop

If you have a milestone session coming up and you’re looking for something special check out these sites. When I’m looking for clothes I look for solid colours and gorgeous textures. There are many local and online shops with beautiful options. These are some of my favourites!

Mia Joy Studio – Ontario Canada

Jocelyn Bijlsma of Mia joy studio creates gorgeous one of a kind vintage inspired outfits. They are the perfect fit for photography sessions and full of special details and textures. I have a few of their dresses and plan to add more pieces to my client closet. If you are looking for vintage inspired, frilly and feminine outfits please check them out. If you are ordering for an upcoming session be sure to give yourself several weeks to make sure your outfits arrive in time but they are so worth the wait. I love every dress on their site but I will link to a few of my favourites: Emma, Ivy, Rowena.

Emma Heirloom Dress & Bloomer set from Mia Joy

Fleur Margot Props – France

Fleur Margot offers a variety of frilly and girly frocks and some of the prettiest little dresses I’ve seen. You would be safe to buy any dress from this site as they are all beautiful! These are few of my personal favourites: Johanna, Jasmine, Diana, Anne.

Beautiful Jasmine dress from Fleur Margot in France.
Jasmine dress by Fleur Margot- Photo from Fleur Margot

Pretty Pink Ruffles Couture

Another cute shop full of frilly dresses and headbands is pretty pink ruffles. Be sure to shop RTS ready to ship, or you will be waiting on the production time + turnaround + shipping time. Here are a few of my favourites from pretty pink ruffles: Chanel, Butterfly Romper, Deluxe floral, Daysi.

Pretty Pink Ruffles dress shop
Pretty Pink Ruffles Dress with purple butterflies – Photo from Pretty pink ruffles couture

My Darling Emma

My Darling Emma has been a favourite shop for years. I love to just look at all the gorgeous details and feminine pieces in her shop. What I love most about her work is that everything has that hand crafted feel, attention to detail. These dresses feel fancy and special but also like something you would want to wear everyday. I love them all but here are a few that are on my wish list: Lolita, Sage beaded romper, Greenhouse set.

Sage beaded romper- photo by My Darling Emma

Olive & Elm – Indiana

Olive and Elm offer more gorgeous and vintage inspired outfits that are so beautiful. I love them all but here are a few of my favourites. Avonlea, Freya, Junie, Molly.

Olive & Elm Avonlea Frock

Cora and Violet

Another very popular dress maker is Cora and Violet. Her dresses are unique, hand crafted and a little over the top. She makes beautiful vibrant and playful outfits that are special enough for a cake smash or birthday session. Here are some of the dresses I love: Jolena, Hoppy, Primrose.

Bunny cake smash dress from Cora and Violet
Bunny photography dress from Cora and Violet

Dede Props

Dede props in an affordable and cute option for newborn and sitter outfits. They have many ready to ship items that ship and delivery fast. Here are some cute options: Truman boy, Sunday girl, Stevie girl.

Dede props sitter outfits – Photo from Dede props

Ooh la la baby- Vancouver

If you are looking to shop local to Vancouver then check out Ooh la la boutique. Use the code Elizabeth15 to receive a discount on your shopping. You can pick up of pay $15 for local shipping. They have a selection of dresses and rompers that are perfect for a milestone or cake smash session. Here are a few I like: Arden, Daffodil, Paisley, Haisley, Amara.

Ooh La La Baby- Romper- Photo from Ooh La La Baby

Dear Felicity

Dear felicity is another maker of cake smash and sitter outfits. The style is similar to some listed above but because many of these designers create dresses to order or list order slots their dresses often sell out. If you are looking for a particular colour or style you may need to search through a few sites to find the perfect dress. Here are a few cute dresses: This frilly and sparkly gold dress, This sheer tulle and sequin star dress.

H&M & Zara

H&M is one of my favourite places to find outfits for photo sessions. I love it because you can usually find one close by, there are great textures and fabrics which photograph beautifully. And the prices here are very reasonable. They have great options for boys, girls and outfits for mom. There are many great choices and if you go in person you can often find discounted items on the sales rack. Zara is another option that is easy and fast to access.


Portrait Photographer Cloverdale BC

lang_elizabeth@hotmail.com 604-315-1683

Hours 7am-10pm