newborn sessions…what to wear

It took me a long time to get in a groove with newborn sessions. My newborn sessions used to be a combination of forced poses, crying babies, and a lot of frustration on my part. I almost wanted to give up when I had a “light bulb moment.” I realized that my niche is not posing babies perfectly. My niche is capturing the baby naturally, along with the relationships and interaction with family members.  So, I started shooting how I loved to shoot and newborns became one of my favorite types of sessions.


With the exit of solid backdrops and formal poses, solid white or black shirts and jeans on family members no longer worked with my lifestyle look. I wanted a soft and natural feel with the focus on Baby, but with Mom and Dad being an important part of the image.

So what should Mom and Dad wear to look natural, and still compliment the baby and image?

What about siblings?

And what about Baby?

Let’s start with Mom and Dad, since they are the most important “props” baby may have. First and foremost, we want Mom to feel beautiful and flattered…as she did JUST have a baby (and we all know how we feel right after we had a baby). I suggest short or long sleeves to flatter, or perhaps a cover up (like a cardigan sweater). Light colored, solid tops are soft and still flattering to Mom. I LOVE when Mom opts for a long dress…preferable solid, or with just a light pattern. It adds such a softness and whimsy to the images with a newborn baby. Dad can wear a solid shirt complimentary to mom’s color of shirt. A subtle pattern on dad’s shirt is also cute, and adds interest…like a striped button down shirt.

If siblings will be in the images, it is best to go with siblings in solid, neutral colors (ex: oatmeal, white, grey), so that the focus can still be on the baby.

And for Baby? I prefer the baby to be naked for at least some of the session. It is one time in his/her life that it is ok to be nude, and it is just SO. DANG. CUTE. It is also fun to get a variety of images by using scarves (or other wraps), thin blankets, or diaper covers on the baby. By dressing family members in solid, neutral colors, you can put the focus on Baby by swaddling him/her in a colorful wrap, or maybe a cute, lightly patterned blanket. I educate parents NOT to use newborn outfits, as they are usually too big and tend to drown the baby and cover their face when holding or posing him/her. However, if the baby has a special outfit from Grandma, friend, or someone else special, then by all means, take a few shots! If parents want an outfit for the baby, then solid and snug fitting outfits look best on newborns.

Oh, and bare feet are the BEST 🙂

Newborn sessions can be simple, or they can be fashionable. Both are beautiful. It just depends on the style and look the parents are going for. Just remember…simple, solid, and neutral work best for newborn sessions and help keep the mood soft with the focus on the baby.
Mom: Dress (Old Navy $25), Cardigan (Target $24.99)
Dad: Shirt (Old Navy $22.50), Pants (Old Navy $29.50)
Boy: Shirt (Old Navy $16.94), Shorts (Old Navy $19.94)
Baby: Hat and Diaper Cover (J Crochet Shop on Etsy $24.99)
Girl: Dress (Old Navy $19.94)

I am thrilled to be posting this for Wardrobe Wednesday…a fabulous site dedicated to helping photographers and clients choose clothing that will look amazing in photos. You can find more ideas and inspiration from them every Wednesday HERE.



  1. Love this post! I love the way you described the evolvement of your own newborn images and the thought process behind it. I love that you found your own style, and I love that you have shared how you accomplished this journey. Oh yeah, and I love the images. So perfect, and so you! Nothing is better than that!

  2. Melissa Jean says:

    Great post! I feel the same as you. I prefer the natural images of life with baby, more than the posed, composite images of baby being cute and curled up. Both have their place, but I feel the life with baby photos are too often overlooked and yet SO important. You have amazing images here of newborn lifestyle

  3. Love this post. It’s rather fitting that I happened upon it today… as I am feeling like you were back then. I’m realizing that my “style” for newborns will probably never be the “baby hanging in a basket/bag” …. 😉 Lukliy I”m confidnet enough NOW that I know just which direction I need to be going. 🙂

  4. Courtney says:

    LOVE these! Plus it’s hard for moms to be in any real “clothes” so soon after birth sometimes! Our pics with jeans and white always work out!

  5. Totally gorgeous! Beautiful pattern, beautiful colour – I am very jealous!

  6. Maki says:

    Beautiful, beautiful photos. Great post.

  7. buy baby says:

    Thank you for this wonderful blog!

  8. Joy says:

    Love this!! I have been slowly switching over to more lifestyle type newborn shoots as well, and I agree with everything you said about colors and outfits! Perfect!

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