Budget-Friendly Ways to Elevate Your Photos

March 9, 2019

maryland wedding photographer


Spring is just around the corner, and that means portrait season kicks off soon too! I absolutely love spring portrait sessions in Maryland and DC. The trees and gardens are in bloom, the air is warm but not sweltering, and it’s amazing to get outside after the long winter! I put together this guide to help my couples and families look and feel AMAZING when they step in front of the camera – without breaking the bank!

A note: above all, I am a people-based photographer. That means I care about YOU above anything else! These recommendations are based off of my years of experience dressing for the camera so that you are blown away when you see your gallery. It’s totally normal and expected that you don’t always dress this way in everyday life! It’s not every day that you have your portraits taken, either!

My universal advice is always to dress yourselves first, ladies, then style your guy and/or the rest of the family around you. If you’re happy and love the way you look, everyone else will too! Without further ado, let’s dig in!

The Amazon Skirt

If you haven’t heard of “the Amazon skirt” let me clue ya in! It’s a simple, floor-length tulle/chiffon skirt available on Amazon in a variety of colors. Photographers RAVE about this Amazon find, and for good reason! It ticks so many boxes when it comes to an ideal photo session outfit. The fabric is lightweight and moves beautifully, without being see-through. The elastic waistband allows for generous sizing. And finally, being floor-length means it’s universally flattering, keeping the focus on YOU while beautifully adding some extra “oomph” to your images!

Guys – this skirt costs just $45! Here’s a link to see all color options and purchase directly. I recommend a pastel neutral such as dusty blue or blush pink, and make sure to read reviews to choose the best size for you! Pair with this lace top for an effortless, elevated look!

maryland wedding photographer

Rent the Runway

If you’d prefer not to buy something you might just wear once, consider a rental service like Rent the Runway! I love RTR because they offer pieces from luxury designers that I’d never be able to justify purchasing outright. The rental windows are generous, and they even send two sizes just in case your first choice doesn’t fit quite right! Here’s a few RTR favorites that check all the boxes I’m looking for when styling my clients – for as low as $45 per rental!

Jill Jill Stuart Rose Pleated Gown

Jenny Yoo Slate Blue Gown

Badgley Mischka Water Lillies Maxi Dress

Yumi Kim Floral Maxi

Badgley Mischa Glitz Gown

Accessorize Affordably

Adding accessories is an easy way to instantly elevate your look. Consider adding a statement necklace like these ones from J Crew Factory – starting at $24! If it’s cooler outside, you could add a scarf or even a blazer to add layers and dimension. You don’t necessarily need to splurge on a mani/pedi, but make sure nails are free of chipped polish and are a neutral color, if painted! Having your hair and makeup professionally styled is a great way to feel your best, but it can cost $150+ depending on the experience level of the makeup artist. I have several recommendations if you need one, or consider heading to Sephora for a consultation! It’ll cost you some money in product, but they’ll show you how to apply it correctly.

Guys and Kids

Now that you’re taken care of, you can turn your attention to your significant other and/or kids! Here’s a few Pinterest mood boards to help you style the rest of your crew:

Engagement Inspiration

Maternity Inspiration

Family Inspiration

I hope you’re feeling excited for spring now! If you’re ready to schedule your session with me, click here to start planning today! Just a few dates remaining for spring!

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At home near the sea. Ever-focused on beauty and the thrilling art of creation; found in the moments that matter most.

Amanda is fueled by a desire to preserve the best humanity has to offer: our love for one another. She draws her inspiration from classic literature, sprawling wildflower fields, thoughtful design and architecture, and her travels across the world, particularly Europe. 

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Photos by Amanda Wose