What to Wear for Your Newborn Photography Session

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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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Hi, I'm Neyssa

You’re expecting a baby, congratulations! You’ve been putting together a registry, trying to decide on names, and figuring out a comfortable way to sleep with your ever growing belly. Now for the fun part! Planning what to wear for your newborn photography session!

Okay, maybe that’s just fun for me. Either way, I have a list of tips and guidelines that will help you decide what to wear that will photograph beautifully.

The focus of your session should be on your family, your sweet new baby, and your love, not on your outfits. Following these tips will help you do just that.

A little bonus tip right off the bat: It helps to plan before baby arrives. While you’re up in the middle of the night anyways, start planning so that you don’t have to worry about anything once baby is here.

(Of course, if baby is here and you’re just starting to think about it, that’s okay too!)

what to wear for newborn photography session, mother and father with newborn baby on master bed

Coordinate your outfits, not outright match for newborn photography sessions.

Long gone (thankfully) are the days of plain white t-shirts and jeans for the entire family. While I understand the simplicity of just grabbing a white t for everyone, in practice this photographs dated and lacking depth.

Instead aim to coordinate outfits by selecting a few colors (see below for more tips on this) and have everyone wear variations of that.

Neutrals photograph beautifully, but some color is okay too.

There is a reason that when you scour Pinterest for inspiration for what to wear for newborn photos you see lots of people wearing all whites, creams, and grey. They photograph beautifully, and most people have something in their closet that is neutral, making coordinating easier.

However, neutrals go beyond those three colors. Consider navy, black, dark grey, soft blue or soft pink, tan, and even some earth tones.

what to wear for newborn photography sessions, photo of family with dog in mountain themed nursery

Consider your home’s decor when selecting your colors for your newborn photography session.

Remember that we will be in your home during your session. So if you’re selecting a bit of color, make sure it will look good photographed in your home.

Select outfits for your newborn session that are casual and comfortable.

Lifestyle newborn photos are casual. They take place in your home. You’ll be snuggled up on the bed or couch. This isn’t the time for fancy, stiff outfits.

You just had a baby, your body will feel a bit foreign in this early postpartum stage. By selecting loose fitting tops is a great way to help you feel less self conscious about your mid-section while helping you remain comfortable during your session.

I often suggest moms wear a nice nursing tank top with an open sweater over top. Another great option is a flowy/loose fitting dress.

Dads photograph well in a nice t-shirt, button up, or polo shirt.

what to wear for baby photos, Snoqualmie newborn baby pictures

Dress baby in a well-fitted outfit. And have a backup outfit.

Newborns are tiny, they do not fill out or hold up outfits well. This is not the time for a big frilly dress or any kind of fancy outfit.

We want to be able to keep baby comfortable while showing off his tiny features. My top three picks for what baby should wear for newborn photos would be;

  1. A newborn gown – something that fits well up top but can be tied at the bottom.
  2. A well fitting, plain onesie – Always a classic favorite. The onesie will show off those arms and legs, fingers and toes, beautifully.
  3. A well fitting sleeper – Keep baby warm and snuggling with a nice sleeper.

Remember the other tips when selecting colors/prints for your baby’s outfit. Also know that baby will likely spit up, or have a blow out either just before I arrive or during the session. (It happens it’s okay!). Therefore, it is always a good idea to have a back up option. Just in case!

Don’t worry, we will also strip baby down to just a diaper for a few shots too. We want to make sure we capture that sweet belly too!

For more ideas on what to dress baby in, head over and read “Best outfits for newborns.” Find inspiration, ideas, and maybe a few favorite, easy, things to dress your baby in!

Snoqualmie newborn photography, in home newborn photos

Do the cell phone photo test before picture day.

When selecting outfits, I suggest you lay everything out on your bed with natural light and snap a photo with your phone. If you have several children, make sure you try different combinations of the outfits. (Think about what combinations will be photographed. Does dad’s outfit clash with your daughter’s top? Does baby blend into mom?)

Then look at your photos. Does something stand out too much, something blend in? How does it look with your bedding (as the master bedroom is often a place where newborn photos take place). This gives you a great idea of it you’re on the right track.

Still need help? I love when I get a peek at what my newborn photography families are wearing for their session. Send it over to me and I’m happy to help.

Looking for more tips to help you plan for your newborn session? Make sure you check out the rest of my Newborn Photo Session Resources below.

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photo of newborn baby on bed, newborn feet, snoqualmie newborn photography