what should you wear for newborn photos?

here is exactly what I tell my clients to wear:

When it comes to photo sessions, what you should wear for newborn photos is by far the most asked question. Dedicating time to plan your outfits helps to keep your session experience relaxed as well as allows your photographer time to give any necessary feedback. There are a few important things to keep in mind that you might not have thought of, including how to look cohesive without matching, which colours photograph best, who to dress first and what to avoid. As a professional family and newborn photographer, here is exactly what I tell my clients to do for the best results.

Start with the hardest person to dress

Usually, for newborn sessions, the postpartum parent is the hardest to dress. Your pre-pregnancy clothes might not fit yet and your maternity clothes might be too big now. Try to find something that fits and that you feel good in. I love it when my clients choose outfits that are a bit more casual, this suits the in-home feel and phase of life you are in right now.

The beautiful part of lifestyle photography is embracing your life as it is. Right now, you are postpartum, going through the newborn stage. A loose dress, comfortable pants, or even no clothes at all will be an accurate representation of this phase. I like to remind my clients that we can always do a more dressed-up photo session in the future, but we can never come back to these sweet newborn days.

Which colours to wear for newborn photos?

Once you have the first outfit, build the rest out from there. I love it when my clients mix and match pieces to create a cohesive look. You can achieve this by taking your original outfit and finding everyone else’s clothes that are within the same colour palette. Since my lifestyle newborn photo sessions are generally done at your home, I recommend choosing lighter colours such as white, beige, grey, yellow, etc.

Add textures and accessories for interest

Once you have your basic outfits, see if there are any accessories or textures that can be added. You can add a chunky sweater, a frilly shirt, a hat, a cozy blanket, or anything similar. Having one or two accessories adds interest and personality to your photos.

Lay it all out together

I like to lay everything on the bed to see how it looks together. Play around with mixing and matching different colours and pieces. Opt for clothing that is good quality fabric, timeless and will still look good years from now. Don’t be afraid to mix in a few soft patterns such as floral, checkers or stripes (careful about flannel, see below tip). Once you are happy with what you see, double-check to see if anything needs to be washed.

Ask your photographer What To Wear

My clients are encouraged to share a photos of their outfits with me. Sometimes it is helpful to go through the what to wear process together. I love helping my clients with these decisions.

Try to avoid text and graphic t-shirts

Little newborn outfits with sayings on them are so cute, but they are distracting. It has been proven that text and logos are the first thing that our eyes will be drawn to in a photo. For your newborn session, we definitely want the focus to be all about you and your baby! So while you decide what your newborn should wear for newborn photos, leave the graphic t’s for another occasion.

Also, trust me that in ten years when you are looking back on your newborn photos, the sayings will be outdated or won’t make sense.

Skip the neon colours

Neon and highlighter colours never photograph well because the colour is too saturated. Neon is so bright and reflective that it creates colour casts on the skin. Skip the neon colours and pick a newborn outfit that is more neutral or earth-toned.

Avoid Current Trendy-Trends

We all know that trends come and go very quickly. What’s cute one year will be outdated the next.

As I mentioned before, we want your newborn photos to be timeless and a true representation of who you are. Generally, when we look back on a fast trend, we can tell that we weren’t being true to ourselves.

Or, skip clothes entirely

This one is my personal favourite and is always something I offer to do at newborn photo sessions. It is so stinkin’ cute to ditch the outfits altogether for some beautiful skin-to-skin photos.

Your postpartum body is changing (again) and their newborn fuzzy skin and baby rolls don’t last forever. These are details that my clients know they will want to remember and that also make for incredible newborn photos.

bonus tip no. 1 – Wait until the photographer arrives to get dressed

You can spend all week deciding what to wear for your newborn photo session, but it doesn’t matter if it gets dirty right before the photographer arrives.

It’s Murphy’s Law that your baby will throw up or their diaper will explode on your favourite outfit that you wanted to use for photos. So, once you decide on that perfect newborn outfit or two that you want them to wear, put them in your bag to bring to your photo session. This way, if something happens along the way, the outfits you choose will stay clean!

Bonus Tip No. 2 — Pull out a few favourite items and keepsakes

While you are in the mindset of preparing for your newborn photography session, consider pulling out a few other things to add meaning and interest to your photos.

Some ideas to consider are a favourite blanket/swaddle, extra outfits, any gifts from the grandparents, your ultrasound picture, or favourite toys. Items such as these can add a special touch to your photos and will be really lovely to look back on.

These are just a few of the tips that I share with my newborn photography clients. You can also grab my free What To Wear Ultimate Guide for more in-depth information about what to wear for your photo sessions.
*Most images from this article were sourced from Pinterest, you can find them here

Hey, I’m Jena


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