Leah O'Connell

client tips, families

5 casual dresses for spring family photos

I'm Leah!

I’m obsessed with stories of family, creativity, and simple joys.  A nostalgia nerd, educator, wife, and mom of 3, I believe life’s most fun when you’re dreaming big and having kitchen dance parties. 

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Choosing what to wear for your session can feel daunting, so I’ve narrowed down these 5 casual dresses for spring family photos that a versatile, flowy, and flattering for different body types. Regardless of what you choose, my #1 tip is to choose something you feel great in. These casual dresses are a great upgrade from standard weekend ware, but still comfortable and fun that you can easily rotate them into your regular spring wardrobe.

Your clothing for your family photos should be casual (bare feet encouraged!) and allow for lots of movement like tossing kids in the air, spinning in circles, and mega-hugging.

That means plunging necklines, super ruffle-y or “fashion-forward” styles, above-the-knee cuts, or tight-fitting fabrics are not always the best choices (*waves to date night, not family photo day at 8am). There are always exceptions, but for the most part, keeping it simple and flowing is always a win.

These 5 dresses for spring family photos check all the boxes:

  • versatile
  • flattering
  • under $100
  • responsibly produced 
  • something you’ll want to wear again outside of your session day (no thanks, super long trains and layers upon layers of fabric)
  • easy to coordinate with other family members’ outfits!

You’re welcome. I love you.

dress for spring family photos at home in Charlottesville

5 fun & simple dresses for your spring family photos

The solid wrap dress – Roolee

This comes in several really beautiful colors -goldenrod, dark blue, and bisque are my faves! Super flattering with a built-in belt, below-the-knee length, and modest neckline – it’s like your favorite tee dressed up.

The earthy + flowy knit dress- Love Olive Co

Obsessed with this one. A delicate embroidery detail and ankle-length makes this playful without leaning on beachy.

flowy dress for mom in spring family photos

The boho patterned dress – Lucky

This would be so cute paired with a neutral sweater/cardigan or denim jacket. Love the pattern that adds some interest without being overwhelming or blending in at an outdoor location.

what to wear for spring family photos

The cotten everyday dress – Madewell

This one has an air of sweetness to it – I love the fabric and button details that are so feminine and playful!

simple dresses to wear for spring family photos

The beachy neutral dress- Carly Jean LA

If you’re a neutral fan, this is your jam. I’d love to see it accented with some fun jewelry and maybe a cardigan or jacket accent, but it’s a great basic piece for outdoor locations. I can just see an adventurous mom holding the bottom up in her hands, splashing along a river with a crew of barefoot kids!

neutral maxi dress for mom in family photos

I hope this helps narrow the field for your wardrobe search! As always, my number 1 rule when planning what to wear for family photos is that mom goes first!

And hey, if dresses aren’t your thing, that’s totally fine, too!

Just take a look through my portfolio to see what other Firefly moms have rocked in their sessions and you’ll find lots of great ideas + confidence to wear whatever feels most like you.

Ready to book your fun, natural family photos with me this spring?

Reach out here & we’ll get started!

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The magic of playful sessions at home

Family photo location ideas in Charlottesville

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Hi, I'm Leah.
Family photographer, writer, educator.

I’m  one of the first to meet your newborn baby, the one who won't judge your clothes baskets and unmade beds, and the one who can capture the way your husband looks at you with a twinkle in his eye after 12 years of marriage. I believe in honoring people and telling stories.

I believe art has the power to light up the world in dark places, starting at home.