Newborn Studio Sessions

January 12, 2024

What to Wear for Your Newborn Photo Session

What to Wear for Your Newborn Photo Session

a range of dresses in different colors and textures

Comparing Outfits

When I look at my closet of clothes that I wear to go out for special occasions and compare it to the clothing I have in my client wardrobe, I notice a big difference. And that is why I am writing this post to point out what qualifiers I look for to determine the style of dress you may want to wear for newborn photos.

pale blue flowy dress and a pale blush pink flowy dress

Casual Clothing

I am definitely partial to comfortable, super soft fabrics for my everyday wear. Let’s be honest, I’m still in my pajamas this afternoon, writing this. I had a very productive work day, which is why I didn’t bother getting dressed yet. Ha! But for the most part, when I search for outfits to wear for photography, I might be looking for dresses with flowy fabrics and textures.

two blue flowy dresses with textures | what to wear for your newborn session

Soft Color Palette for Portraits

In my photography studio, and during my outdoor sessions as well, I recommend lighter colors. My editing style complements a softer color palette. So while I have an entire section of pretty black shirts and outfits hanging in my own personal closet, that I love to wear out and about, I don’t wear these for my style of portrait photography. It’s not that they don’t look good in photos, because they do, it’s just that the look and feel they give in a photo is different than the type of photos I deliver for my clients.

flowy textured cream color and white color dresses | what to wear for newborn sessions

So with that in mind, take note about why I recommend certain outfit choices for newborn sessions. Whether you recognize it or not, if you choose to hire me because you like the work in my portfolio, part of that might be based on the color palette. If you are drawn to soft, light portraits, then your outfit choices make all the difference. If you wear something different, the photos might not look like the work you see in my portfolio. I edit the same, but the result will be different.

sage dress and blush dress for what to wear for newborn sessions
two white gowns with texture for what to wear for newborn sessions
two neutral color women's gowns for what to wear for newborn sessions
Simple dusty blue dress and dusty blue gown for newborn photos
white and mint color dresses with floral appliques for newborn photos

Tips on What to Wear

Did you know that I have a client wardrobe available for studio sessions? The style and color of outfits affect the overall aesthetic of your photos. So if you want a dreamy and ethereal feel to your portraits, here are a few tips. 

  • Choose neutral colors such as white, cream, light gray or beige. Or wear muted color tones such as dusty blue, blush pink, or sage. 
  • The style of dress you might wear for photos can be totally different than what you would already have in your closet. Flowy dresses with texture often photograph well. That’s why I often select solid color dresses with textural details, rather than patterns. 
  • Patterns aren’t off limits, but choose a muted color palette, such as a soft blue small floral pattern on a white dress, rather than a multi color bold pattern.
  • Avoid bold stripes, logos, bright or neon colors. And most of time I say avoid plaid in studio newborn photos, especially if it’s “contrasty.” Our eyes go to bold colors, contrast, or strong patterns first. Let the viewer’s eye go to your faces and your baby, by wearing subtle colors and designs so there is no visual competition for the point of interest.

What about the rest of the family?

The same things listed above apply for all family members.

For dads, khaki pants or a light color chino is all you need paired with a simple solid, neutral color Henley tee or button down dress shirt. This will make it easier for coordinating the rest of the family’s outfits, including wraps for the baby. See some examples from family portraits in my portfolio HERE.

Womens dresses in cream and off white with lace and textures for what to wear for newborn sessions
ivory dress with details and white lace dress for what to wear for newborn sessions

What to Wear for Your Newborn Photo Session

My background is in Art Education, so I definitely know a thing or two about design elements and principles. As an oil painter, I do consider many factors when designing composition. For me, it is intuitive, because I’ve been interested in the visual arts my entire life. So as your photographer, I hope to help explain why I recommend the suggestions found in this post. What to wear for your newborn photo session is not too difficult to find if you are borrowing from the client closet or shopping at unique boutiques. Happy styling.

Having access to a client wardrobe is helpful for new moms, especially if you don’t have the time or interest to shop for outfits. That’s one reason why hiring a professional newborn photographer is a timesaver. Want to find out more about why you should hire a professional newborn photographer? Click here.

Want to see some suggestions for what to wear for an outdoor family session? See a different post here.