What Should Baby Wear for Newborn Photos

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Baby girl dressed in teal showing example of what baby should wear for newborn photos during Seattle area portrait session

Have you walked through the baby section of a store lately? There are so many adorable outfits for every style and taste. I mean, really, you make anything tiny, tiny for a newborn and it’s adorable. But what should baby wear for newborn photos?

However, that does not mean that an outfit will work well for newborn photos.

Newborn photos are not about capturing an outfit.

Let me repeat that one for you. Newborn photos are not about the outfit.

Lifestyle newborn photography is about capturing your baby as they are, their sweet details, and your love and bond with baby as a family.

Of course what baby wears is important, but remembering that this isn’t the time for adorable outfits will help you as you select what to put your baby in.

So what should baby wear for newborn photos?

What to wear for newborn photos, how to dress baby for newborn photos, newborn baby in plain white onesie, Seattle Newborn photographer, Snoqualmie Baby Photographer

Dress baby in a plain, well-fitting onesie or gown.

Well-fitting is important. Anything too big will just look sloppy. Baby does not have the body to hold up an outfit. A well-fitting onesie or gown allows us to see baby’s details, for you to snuggle in close and to not worry about continuously pulling an outfit down.

This might mean buying the newborn or even premie size of plain white onesies. Another favorite is the baby gown, which can be tied at the bottom to fit baby, or untied to show off baby’s legs. Loulou and Company makes great gowns that fit newborns well.

Notice I also said a “plain” onesie. Just like in any type of family photos, sayings, animals, and big prints detract from baby. So ensure to select something that is plain.

But what color?

Newborn baby girl against mom's chest as dad holds baby's hand

Dress baby in neutrals as they photograph best with fresh baby’s skin.

Whites, creams, and grays work really well for baby. No matter your baby’s skin tone, these neutrals will allow baby to stand out.

Newborn skin can be a little red or yellow and other colors can only leave color casts (meaning, the light that bounces off the outfit reflects onto their skin leaving their skin looking the color of their outfit….think of pink or red or green skin, not ideal, right?!).

Neutrals also remain classic and timeless, helping your photos to age well, and again leaving the focus on baby and your family with baby.

Trust me, there will be a time and place for adorable outfits and more color when baby is older.

Again, neutrals are a great option. However, this is the place where you could get away with one colored or printed swaddle you adore. We can always wrap baby up, take a few photos and then move to a more neutral swaddle again for the rest of the session.

Seattle newborn photographer, Neyssa Lee Photography, swaddled baby for newborn photos

Have a few favorite swaddles available for your newborn photos.

Again, neutrals are a great option. However, this is the place where you could get away with one colored or printed swaddle you adore. We can always wrap baby up, take a few photos and then move to a more neutral swaddle again for the rest of the session.

Babies love to be swaddled in tightly, so having ones that will photograph well is a great idea.

For those newborn days, once again, I love Loulou and Company swaddles. They are large, stretchy, and oh so soft. (We’ve used them way past swaddling days for blankets, nursing covers, or blankets to sit baby on in the park).

Seattle newborn photography, Baby girl newborn photos, Baby wearing a tiny bow

Should baby wear hats or bows for newborn photos?

A hat or bow is okay for newborn photos (or for a few of your photos), however, keep my first two tips in mind. You want hat/bow to be well-fitting and neutral. Too big, and any movement pulls the hat off, or moves the hat into his or her face.

Bows should be soft and tiny and not too large or too tight. Large bows can look dated and tacky as they take over your daughter’s head. And remember, the point of newborn photos is NOT the outfit, right? That includes bows!

That’s it. Picking out your newborn’s outfit isn’t too challenging, right? Select something plain, well-fitting and neutral and you’ll ensure focus remains on that beautiful baby of yours.

For more inspiration on what should baby wear for newborn photos, head to my Portfolio.

Have you booked your newborn photo session yet? Click the button below to contact me and we will get your due date on the calendar.

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