Midshipman hat with fall colors

Not sure which uniform to choose for your Midshipman photography session at the U.S. Naval Academy with me, Kelly Eskelsen? I’ll tell you some benefits of choosing each uniform and give you some ways to help decide. Keep Reading!

Before every Midshipman photography session, I am asked which Navy dress uniform is best. In my opinion, there isn’t one blanket answer. So, below are some things to think about when making your choice. I’ll start with the pros of each uniform and then present you with some options you may not have been aware of! In the end, however, your session is about documenting this beautiful time and I promise we will make beautiful images no matter what. 

The Uniforms for Midshipman Photography Sessions

Navy Choker Whites in Midshipman Photography

The most notable thing about the choker whites is; They are iconic! This uniform sets sailors apart from the other armed services, whose dress uniforms all tend to be darker shades. This uniform is also what is worn at USNA commissioning, and some people like that their Midshipman photography portraits are in the same uniform as the day they graduate from the Naval Academy. For these reasons, choker whites are the most commonly chosen uniform for Midshipmen that are about to graduate. 

But let’s not snooze on those Service Dress blues! 

Navy Service Dress Blues in Midshipman Photography

This super sharp uniform commands respect and the way the gold embellishments pop off the dark fabric draws one’s eye into the meaningful nature of each uniform detail. It stands out beautifully in sunrise and sunset photos, which are my specialty! So if you are looking for a colorful backdrop, this is a great choice for Midshipman sessions. Past clients seeking fall colors on the yard have also noted that it feels wrong to be walking around in whites during fall Midshipman photography sessions at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. So if you are scheduled for Fall, this may be a factor! 

Still can’t decide? No worries. I have more thoughts and options for you. But first, Let me throw my marines for a loop! 

Marine Corp Uniforms in Midshipman Photography

Of course, you Devil Dogs want to be in your Marine Corps uniform for your session! Oorah! I support this wholeheartedly but also want to make a note that at times this uniform has not been available until mid-May, about a week before commissioning. So if mama wants to do graduation invitations, you may want to pick the Navy uniform and schedule your shoot by April! It will be nice to memorialize your time at the U.S. Naval Academy in this way! Keep reading and I will present you with ways to make sure you have documented both your Navy uniform and your Marine Corps Uniform.

How about this proud Marine? I had two sessions with him and even managed to get BOTH USMC uniforms! 

Okay so you’ve read this far and you still can’t decide. Here are some more options. 

More Options

Let the Navy Decide

Like all my best choices, the Navy made it for me! Maybe it would be easier to select your uniform based on the season in which you booked a Midshipman photography session! Maybe fall colors in Annapolis really speak to you and you want to book in November? Wear those SDB’s! Or perhaps the tulips on the yard fill you with joy every spring? Let’s get in those whites and get your photo with them! 

Book an Extra 30 Minutes

Is it just too hard to decide, or maybe you want a side-by-side frame in your home displaying both uniforms? No worries. Let’s add an extra 30 minutes to your Midshipman Photography session and you will have time to change before we move on to another awesome location. Just be sure to let me know at least 72 hours prior to our session. This will not yield a full gallery for each uniform. For that, you will need the next option! 

Book Two Sessions

Let’s do it all. Let’s get you in both uniforms, in the two most beautiful seasons, in at least 8 iconic locations on the yard (you can read more about these locations here). If you didn’t know, I offer discount packages for multiple sessions! Ask me about them by clicking here. 

The Best Uniform Is the One You Pick for Midshipman Photography

The most important thing to note is that no matter what you choose for your midshipman photography session, I will get you beautiful photos you will love for years to come. In the end, I think you will be happy with whatever uniform you choose for your Midshipman Photography session. This is your time. This is your moment. In 20 years, this photo will be hanging on your wall and you’ll be proud of what the “kid” in that picture has done. You won’t be so concerned with the uniform but rather transported to the time and memories. That is what photography is about. 

So prep whichever uniform you like for your Midshipman Photography session. But know that your photos will be beautiful, memorable, and special no matter what you choose.

Here are some Midshipman photography session photos in varied uniforms!

Naval Officer struts on Stribling walk in Navy choker white uniform.

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Kelly is a USNA Midshipman photography specialist in Annapolis, Maryland. She is also a Navy veteran, wife, and mom of 4. She talks way too much and loves to do anything outside! Find more out more about her on her website! Kelly Eskelsen Photography

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