Is a client closet right for you?


Having a Client Wardrobe is all the rage right now for motherhood and family photographers. And I am here for it! If it aligns with the type of business and life you want to build. But this isn’t one of those black and white business decisions. So I’m going to help walk you through some of the things I’ve learned since starting my client closet and how to decide if it’s right for you!

What is a client closet?

If you’ve never heard of a client wardrobe or client closet, the premise is this- photographers will buy beautiful and flattering dresses that photograph really well. In doing so, the clients save time by not having to find a dress to coordinate with their whole family, save money on buying it and save space because they no longer have to store something they may never wear again. Sounds like a win win for clients, right!?

From a photographer’s standpoint, it’s fantastic to go into a session knowing what color palette you’re working with and that your clients’ outfits will photograph beautifully.

But from a business owner’s standpoint, you want to make sure that whatever you’re investing time and money into is worth the outcome.

So, is a client wardrobe for you? 

Let’s talk about a few things to consider when deciding if a client closet is for you.

  1. Storage space 

Do you have a clear, climate-controlled space to store all the dresses? Think guest room, spare closet, or open area of an office where you could store a clothing rack. 

Even more budget-friendly dresses add up to a significant investment and are worth taking care of. So if you don’t have a space in mind to store them, it might be more of a burden than a blessing. If you’re only option to is a garage or attic then your dresses are subject to yellowing and wear from temperature changes, dirt, dust and critters. 

Instead think about providing a simple, seasonal guide for your clients with links to your most recommended dresses!

2. Cost

I have found some fabulous dresses, like this one, on Amazon for under $40, but most dresses will range from $50-$150+. You also want to be able to serve all different sizes of clients. This means you’ll need sizes from extra small up to extra-large. So if all of your dresses are closer to the $50 range, whether from buying lower cost items or higher end thrifts, you’re still looking at a few hundred dollars up front investment. Additional items you may need are a steamer, hangers, and garment bags to care for the dresses. 

Final note about cost- There is a wise way to start building a Client Wardrobe using budget-friendly dresses but if long-term you aren’t looking at buying some high-quality pieces then it might not be worth doing. A client wardrobe will elevate your portfolio if carefully selected and curated so think twice before buying anything trendy or just because it’s on sale.

The main question to ask yourself when it comes to cost is this- 

How long will it take you to recoup your investment? Will spending $500-$1000 on dresses, materials, and storage bring that much to your bottom line through new bookings in a season? A year? Use this to decide if it’s a worthy investment. 

3. Time 

Once your client has booked a session, an extra step in the preparation process is to confirm with them on their dress selection. Most of this can be automated with a CRM like Honeybook (save 25% here!) but it is something to note. The week of your session gather your client’s selections as well as a couple of back ups and make sure they’re steamed and clean. Allow 15 minutes of your session for your client to try it on and make their final selection. After the session take the dresses home and either wash them or have them dry cleaned and get them back in place and ready for the next client. 

So often I see business owners making decisions out of obligation or just because they see other people doing it. A great business serves its clients well, but it also has to serve you and your family well.

Three questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about a client closet

  1. Do you have a physical space to store it?
  2. With your current pricing structure, do you have the additional income to devote to buying and caring for the dresses? Or would that income better be served elsewhere? (Like in your pocket!)
  3. Are you prepared for the extra time it takes to care for the dresses with each and every client that books?

I think Client Wardrobes can be a fabulous thing, especially if the answer is yes to all of the above questions. But most of the time, providing a wardrobe is not a make or break offer. Sure it elevates the experience but that alone is not a deciding factor in whether someone wants to work with you or not. Your personality, brand and artwork are why someone wants to book with you! So if you’re playing around with the idea but not sure it would be a good fit for your lifestyle and personal goals then here’s your permission slip to not offer one!

Remember, you are the only one who can decide what success looks like. If you’re interested in learning more about how to build a business from a place of peace and confidence, then check out my 1:1 mentoring options and educational resources here.

Grace Paul is a homemaker, mother, photographer, and educator in Franklin, TN. She believes everyone has the power to live a beautiful life and wants to encourage and equip you to live out your calling at work and home. Head here to inquire about educational opportunities and photo sessions or email her at

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but will never share anything I don’t personally use or stand behind!

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