What to wear during the newborn photo session is probably the most burning question we get asked for these sessions. I wanted to create a little guide and talk about what clothing mums and dads could be wearing. This is definitely not must-needed clothing but should give a good idea on what I would be looking for.
Few things to bear in mind are about clothing. Try to pack it or do a little shopping early. Most likely some of these items you might not have in your wardrobe. During newborn photo sessions, the studio is very warm (and I mean very warm!). Newborn baby wouldn’t be wearing anything, so we need to ensure that the studio is the right temperature to make the little baby comfortable.
Watch the video talking about clothing options you shoudl consider or avoid.
I made a video where I show and talk about various types of clothing. Covering what to wear for parents, siblings and a little bit of clothing for newborns too. I must warn you it is a bit on the long side as I talk pretty detailed why these clothes could work and why you should possibly skip some of them.
Clothing recommendations for mums
Let’s start with mums, as they normally are more concerned.
If you are planning to achieve a more skin to skin look with newborn baby, then I would recommend you to get something like a bandeau. Ideally, this is a light colour or skin colour if we are doing light background photos. If we are creating dark background photos then you would be getting a dark one.
For same style photos, a sleeveless top or tank top could work too. I have included here a sleeveless dress too. Personally I think this would make really nice portrait with mum and baby.
You can also wear a long sleeve top or cardigan. Again light or dark would be your preference, it all depends on how are we planning your session and what type of newborn photos you are after. Normally I don’t mind if you are wearing jeans of leggings. I would be concentrating on photographing the upper part of the body. As long as you feel comfortable in your clothing, we should be ok.
Important notes for clothing choices
Whatever you’re wearing, make sure that it is ok if we end up with little accidents happening. Trust me, we will have them. Pretty much none of the sessions passes by without them. Either on mum or dad, but someone will get little wee wee or something more substantial on your top. Sometimes it is me who is getting all joys!
Feel bring an extra set of clothing in case we have more that one accident happening.
This is important for mums. If you are concerned about your arms, I would recommend you definitely to bring long sleeves items.
Colours of the clothing.
Keep it pretty neutral. Simple tones. Warm tones, beige works the best on the light backgrounds. White is ok, as it is easier to get it, but on the light background might be harder to photograph. Lighting subject correctly here will be a key. It all depends how far in advance you are preparing for the session. The more time you have, the more you can research.
Clothing recommendations for dads
With dads, it is pretty simple. The same rules of plain clothing would apply. Same as mums, you would both decide if you go for lighter or darker background images. I recommend bringing both sets anyway.
Very often I photograph dads with no tops on. Of course, it is up to each of you if you want to do that. Sometimes dads want to show their tattoos, and I would either then photograph dad with no top on or maybe something like tank top/sleeveless top on.
If you wish your photos to look more formal, you can bring a few shirts too. Dark and light, and avoid lines in clothing. I would try maybe to steer away from long sleeves tops, but if you don’t have anything else, you can certainly bring that.
What to wear during newborn photo sessions for siblings.
More and more, I get to photograph siblings with their little baby brothers and sisters. To source out nice plain children’s clothing might be a bit tricky, especially for boys. Boys’ clothing lines pretty much always have some sort of logo, images, or other types of distracting elements.
Very often, boys, I would be photographing with no shirt on, especially if those are close up cuddly images. For family photos and full body shots, most likely we would wear one theme of similar clothing as per the image below.
For girls, it is a bit easier, although sometimes this means too much choice! I recommend to bring a couple of outfits in a dark tone (pretty much impossible to find) or just bring light-toned outfits and I would photograph on the lighter background too. For girls, I would avoid wearing very fluffy dresses or tutus. If photographed together with newborn, it might take too much attention away of a little baby.
What do newborns wear during the session?
Normally newborn babies are not wearing anything. The room is very warm, and I tend to concentrate more on simple photos that just show off the features of the baby. In saying that, however, we do photograph quite a lot of wide-awake newborns too, and we do have great selection of various clothing pieces for them to wear. I like to wrap them up too, as it makes very pretty images. See the gallery below to see some examples.
One more thing I forgot to say. Don’t worry about bringing light-toned clothes. Sometimes parents think if they wear white, then they will disappear in the light background and it might result in a floating heads situation. Don’t worry! I light portraits in such a way that background becomes more off white and closer to a light grey tone, so you will be fine with light tone clothing.
For a few more ideas, you can have a look on my clothing Pinterest board too. It is more general clothing for shoots but could be a few ideas for you there.
I think this should be all for the clothing side, but if you have any recommendations, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.