What should I wear for my newborn photo shoot?

March 21, 2024

So you’ve booked your newborn photo shoot – great! If you’ve booked with me, I’ll have already sent you a Parent Prep Guide that’ll tell you all about your session, including what to wear. 

If you haven’t booked yet, or you’re just starting to think about it, no worries! I’m here to answer any questions you have! And to persuade you that having a newborn photo shoot will be the most wonderful way to celebrate your precious new arrival!

First Question: Just a newborn photo shoot, or family photos too?

If you’re having a newborn photo shoot with me, I’ll try very hard to convince you that as well as baby photos, you should have family photos too.  I know, you’ll not be feeling your best.  You’ll be exhausted, fragile, and full of concerns about how you look.  And let’s face it, nobody ever really likes themselves in photographs do they?

But stop worrying, breathe in, and remember the big picture.  These will be the first pictures you get with your new baby, and trust me, you’ll want to have these to look back on.  You won’t care about the bags under your eyes. Or the extra rolls around your tummy. Or even the crazy hormonal hair! And I can take care of most of those things with editing anyway.  What you’ll be thinking about, when you look back on these pictures, is how those first few weeks flew by.  You’ll be looking at how tiny your baby is.  You’ll be marvelling at how their face has changed, and how they’ve grown. 

So please, please – have the family photos too.  It doesn’t cost you any extra, and you don’t have to choose them if you really don’t like them.  And if you do choose them, you don’t have to show them to anyone!  It’ll be enough that you have them, for your own memories.

So you’re having the family photos, great! What should you wear?

Firstly, almost all of my family photos are just head and shoulder shots, so it doesn’t matter what you wear on your bottom half.  By all means stay in those comfy stretchy maternity trousers! The only exception to this is if you’re bringing older children along too. For these I’ll have you all sitting on crates and I may do a full length shot for this.  If you’re wondering what to dress children in, there’s a whole section in my Prep Guide about this – but as a general rule, make sure their colours match or compliment yours (and follow the guidance below) and you’ll be good to go!

Now to the good stuff. I’ve put together a few pointers to help you get started on choosing your outfit:

  • Wear neutral, solid colours (ideally black or white, but pale colours are also fine) as this keeps the focus on your baby. As you’ll notice below, I always wrap babies in white/cream/ivory for your family photos.
newborn photoshoot
baby photo shoot

I also really love a mushroom/oatmeal colour as this works so well and is very popular nowadays!

newborn photo shoot
  • Avoid clothes with large logos, bright colours or patterns as these can be really distracting. Textures are fine, small details are fine, but keep it simple like this lovely family!:
newborn photo shoot
  • You don’t need to match each other perfectly, but make sure your clothes compliment each other and do not contrast too strongly. Here are a couple of great examples where mum and dad aren’t matching, but their outfits go perfectly together:
newborn photo shoot
newborn twin photo shoot

And finally, remember that the studio will be kept very warm to keep your baby comfortable, so wear layers or cool clothes. I do family photos towards the end of the session, after I’ve done your baby photos, so if you like you can come dressed in something comfy and just change into your photo outfits when it’s your turn!

What about accessories?

Mums, remember your hands will be visible in photos, so if you’re wearing nail varnish, remember to check that it isn’t chipped or a really bright distracting colour – this mum got it just right:

baby photoshoot

Dads, don’t be offended if I ask you to take off your watch.  It may be your pride and joy (second to your new baby, of course) but men’s watches are big and chunky and really distracting in photos. Imagine where your focus would be going here if dad had kept his watch on?

newborn baby with dad

Can I do topless/shirtless pictures in my newborn photo shoot?

Absolutely – but we don’t show any bits you don’t want on public display! If you’ve got some awesome tattoos to show off, or you want precious skin to skin photos, or a breastfeeding shot, I’ll happily do these for you.  They aren’t part of my normal workflow though, so be sure to tell me in advance and I’ll plan this into your session. 

dad and newborn tattoos

I hope that helps you with what to wear for your newborn photo shoot – if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!

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