What to wear for your newborn session

February 10, 2022

As a newborn photographer in Los Angeles, I know that deciding what to wear for your newborn photo session can feel overwhelming, especially when you are busy caring for a new baby.

I’m here with some good news: it’s not as hard as you think!

Here’s a helpful guide to choosing the perfect newborn session wardrobe for yourself and your family.

Baby: I provide everything we need for baby during your newborn session

Not to worry, I provide everything we need for your baby during your session. All the wraps and knits you see in my portfolio and on Instagram are available to you.

I generally do not photograph newborns in complete outfits. However, if you have a special item, such as a hat, knit blanket, or stuffed animal, I am happy to include it in the session.

newborn wrapped in knit blanket

Mama: Borrow something from the studio wardrobe collection

Finding clothing that you feel comfortable and beautiful in a week or two after giving birth can be tricky, and that’s precisely why I offer a studio wardrobe collection. My carefully curated collection includes gorgeous (and comfy) dresses from Rachel Pally, Ingrid & Isabel, Doen, Baltic Born, and more.

Have a look through the studio wardrobe catalog and let me know which dresses you are most interested in. I’ll have them clean and pressed and ready for you to try on!

what to wear for your newborn session

Mama: Tips for shopping on your own

Prefer to shop for yourself? Follow these tips for choosing the perfect outfit for your newborn session.

Choose Light Colors

The studio is light and airy with white walls, and your baby will be wrapped mostly in soft-colored neutrals. Your wardrobe should complement these tones, so lighter colors work best. I love seeing families in ivory, beige, grey, pale pink, and pale blue.

Wear Something Comfortable

You’ll feel more relaxed during your session if you are comfortable in your clothing. Stretchy, loose, and flowy fabrics work best. If you choose a dress for your session, I recommend a soft, stretchy material, such as jersey. These jersey dresses from Rachel Pally are my absolute favorite. I have quite a few of them in the studio collection and everyone who puts one on remarks on how comfortable they are. If you prefer pants and a top, keep in mind that we won’t be seeing much below mid-thigh. A long top over stretchy pants is perfect!

Solids and Subdued Patterns Work Best

I favor simple newborn portraits and part of that is choosing wardrobe that doesn’t overwhelm the image. Solid colors are always a safe bet, but delicate patterns work as well. If you’d like to add some interest without adding more colors, you can choose a dress or top with some texture to it. I especially love lace for newborn sessions.

mom in doen dress

Styling Your Partner

Keep it Simple

Your partner’s wardrobe should be simple and complement whatever you’ve chosen for yourself. For men, I recommend a pair of chinos or jeans and a solid top. A nice t-shirt, button-down or light sweater all work well. I love the slim-fit shirts and pants from JCrew.

Stay Neutral

Again, colors like ivory, light grey, beige, light pink, and light blue will work best for a studio newborn session.

Avoid Logos & Graphics

We want to keep focus on your baby. Shirts with words, graphics, or even a small logo, can be distracting.

family in neutral clothing

Siblings: Easy outfits

Keep It Casual

Kids tend to feel more comfortable in “regular clothes”. Soft, comfortable clothes are best. Especially since they’ll be cuddling baby.

Don’t Buy Big

Your kids’ clothing should fit snugly, not have room to grow. When clothing is a bit too big it tends to ride up… not a great look!

what to wear for your newborn session

Big Brothers

Little boys look look perfect in jeans or chinos and a simple t-shirt or henley. Again, Crewcuts has great options for simple, but nice looking shirts. Stick to light neutrals and avoid any logos or graphics.

Big Sisters

Little girls look great in leggings and a top or a simple dress. I have a small selection of girl’s dresses (size 2-6) available to borrow from the studio wardrobe collection. As always, light neutrals, solids or subtle patterns, and clothing without logos, words or graphics work best.

what to wear for your newborn session

Final Tips

Wear Clothes That Keep You Cool

The studio is kept warm (around 80 degrees) for baby’s comfort. Wearing lighter clothing, rather than warm sweaters or layers, will keep you more comfortable.

Forget the Shoes

We won’t see your shoes in any of the photographs and kids can go barefoot. Also, the studio is a shoe-free space. Feel free to bring some socks or slippers to wear when you aren’t being photographed.

Wear Soft Clothing

The whole family will be holding baby close during the session. Make sure that your clothing is nice and soft so that we won’t irritate your baby’s skin.

Ask for Help

I’m here to help you as much as you need with your wardrobe. Many of my clients lay out their options on a bed or couch and send me a photo. I can help you decide between options and coordinate your family’s look. I’m also happy to help you look online for any missing items.

newborn in dad's hands

big sister and newborn

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I photograph maternity, newborn, baby, and family sessions in and around Los Angeles. If you're interested in a session, please get in touch.

Ariel Cannon Photography | Los Angeles

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Baby girl portrait on bed

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