What to Wear for a Lifestyle Newborn Photography Session

follow Neyssa Lee

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.

What to Wear
Photo Tips
more categories

Hi, I'm Neyssa

Figuring out what to wear for your lifestyle newborn photo session may feel overwhelming. However, it does not have to be.

As a mother of 6 and a Seattle area newborn photographer, I understand first hand how it is to plan outfits for shortly after giving birth.

Here are my top tips for what to wear for a lifestyle newborn photography session.

Lifestyle In-home newborn photo session of family of 5 cuddled on master bed together

When possible, plan your outfits before baby is born.

The first tip I give to expectant moms who book a lifestyle newborn photo session with me is to plan their outfits before baby is born. Once that little bundle of joy arrives, you won’t want to be running to the store, or digging in the closet for something to wear. And I’m sure you don’t want to be sending your husband out shopping for clothes either! By having some things planned in advance, you can focus on snuggling your sweet little baby.

However, if you’re baby is here and you haven’t planned anything, that is 100% okay!

Brother and sister holding newborn baby sister during Snoqualmie newborn photo session

Most of the regular family photo session rules to selecting outfits still apply.

Just because the session is in your home doesn’t mean you can’t use the usual rules for selecting outfits for family photos. Things like, select 2-3 colors for everyone to wear is still a great rule of thumb. And when mom feels beautiful it shows, really is important for newborn photos too.

To refresh on these rules I’m talking about head over and read What to Wear for Family Photos and then come back here to finish reading about more newborn session-specific details.

Lifestyle in-home newborn photo of mom, dad and newborn baby in a diaper

Next, keep the family outfits neutral, clean, classic and comfortable for your lifestyle newborn photo session.

A newborn session is about capturing your family with the focus on the newest addition.  You will be snuggled up on the couch and/or the master bed. Of course you want to look nice, however, you want to be comfortable. You just had a baby! This isn’t the time for fancy dresses, or bold colors.

Neutrals photograph beautifully and look timeless. But this does NOT mean everyone wears a plain white t-shirt. Consider grey, tan, charcoal, black, white, navy, or even soft blue or soft pink to add a hint of color.

Mom, get a grey, white, or black nursing tank and a sweater to go over top. The tank top allows for those beautiful and intimate skin to skin shots, while we can throw the cardigan over for a little more formal shot with the family. Jeans (maternity are still most comfortable) or leggings are perfect pairing. You can also wear a soft, casual dress if that’s more comfortable, too.

Dads and siblings should dress in neutral colors too. Again, this is the time for the focus to be on baby. Black, grey, white, cream, navy are all great for newborn sessions. Patterns are okay as long a they are simple and not distracting. 

Swaddled newborn baby during lifestyle photo session in Snoqualmie, Wa

Swaddle Baby in a diaper or a well-fitted onesie for a photo session.

Newborns, as adorable as they are, don’t do well in “outfits.” Now is not the time to put them in huge dresses or stiff outfits. They just can’t hold it up and often get lost in all that material. Newborns are beautiful just as they are, so I suggest stripping them down to just a diaper and swaddling them in a blanket. 

The last thing you want is to be spending your entire newborn photography session pulling material off your baby’s face.

If you really want to dress baby, a well fitting onesie or sleeper are ideal for photos. While I’m the mom that sizes up when I buy clothes for my kids, newborn photos is not the time for this. Since babies love to blow out diapers and spit up, having a couple of options allows for back ups, just in case! 

Head to Target and grab a pack of plain white, premie sized onesies. Or A few favorite brands for neutral newborn clothes are L’oved Baby and Loulou and Company.

Finally, gather any specialty items before your lifestyle newborn photo session.

While I do not use any props for my sessions, you may have a special item you want included in your newborn photography session. If you have a special christening gown or handmade blanket from grandma, by all means. Let’s include them in a few photos.

Families also often like to have something to use as a size marker for their photos, like a special stuffed animal or toy. Again, planning these things in advance means less to worry once that sweet baby arrives!

Father holding newborn baby girl with son nearby.

I’m here to help, just ask.

If you’re still unsure on what to wear for your newborn photography session, I’m available to help any of the families I photograph. 

Are you expecting and ready to book your newborn session? Contact me and let’s chat about your upcoming little arrival!

Would you love more tips on what to wear? Head to my What to Wear Blogs below for a plethora of resources.