a baby wrapped in a blanket smiles

Family Photography

How to Look Good for Newborn Family Photos

How to Look Good for Newborn Family Photos

One of my very favorite clients asked what she and her family should wear for her upcoming newborn family photos. When you are tired and exhausted and post-pregnant and celebrating a new baby, figuring out what to wear for a family photo shoot may not be something you want to do! Ugh! So I’ve created this blog post to help new mamas and families easily plan their newborn family photos outfits!

Keep scrolling for what to wear for newborn family photos.

Your Baby’s Outfit

Your baby is the star of the newborn photography session! When choosing an outfit for your new daughter or son, consider:

  • Fit! A lot of baby clothes are too big. Pick something that is the correct size for your little cutie. Try on outfits a couple of days before (if you have the energy!).
  • A back up outfit. Blow-outs and spit-up are just some of the reasons babies goes through outfits so quickly. If clothing is important to you, pick a back up for your babe.
  • Swaddles/blankets. I almost prefer to photograph baby swaddled or with a cute blanket. If you have a couple of favorites, have them ready for your photo session.

sleeping newborn baby girl

Mama Outfit

Mama, you are beautiful and amazing! Here are some wardrobe tips:

  • Neutral colors are great. I love color and funky patterns, so feel free to disregard this advice. But, as I mentioned earlier, your newborn baby is the star of the photography session! By wearing neutral colors, your outfit will not outshine your baby. And, some colors like neons and bright greens or reds can reflect onto your baby’s skin, causing funky color casts in the photos.
  • Avoid black and super dark colors. A lot of mama’s grativate towards dark colors since they can be flattering. But I have to say, they can be a harsh juxtaposition against new baby life. If it were me, I’d choose lighter colors. (And I am okay with white ladies!)
  • Consider your arms. A lot of new mamas wear a lot of tank tops. Some may have a little extra weight on their arms. If you’re confident and happy with your guns, tank top away. But if you are feeling self-conscious at all about your arms, I’d pick a top with short sleeves. (And I would most likely do this now–over four years after the birth of my last child!)
  • Flowy fabrics are nice. If you are choosing between a tailored or a flowy top and both represent you, I’d pick the flowy top. Something about a little baby clinging to mama’s skin…the flowy top just fits with that vision. However, if flowy isn’t who you are, don’t do it!
  • Maxi dresses. I am always a fan of maxi dresses if they are at all part of your style. You can lie down on beds without revealing too much during you photo session, cover up your post-partum tummy (if you are feeling self-conscious about it), and just look pretty cute.
  • Tunics and leggings. These are another great combo for a post-partum mama!
  • No need for shoes or socks. If you are worried about your feet, throw on some toenail polish.
  • If you can, take some time on your hair and make-up! I know this can be a challenge, but you will love your photos more!
maternity portrait of mama-to-be with Boulder Flatirons in the background

This maternity dress would also work for newborn family photos. Yes, the dress has patterns and is dark, but it is still a great option!

laughing family of 5 during an in home photography session

This mama has great arms, so this neutral tunic top works well on her!

What Everyone Else Should Wear

There is a fine line between dressing in neutral colors and looking identical! I love variety in photos–everyone in the same outfit is a little strange. And dated. So, keep that in mind when dressing spouses and siblings.

  • Neutrals, again. Yes, yes, yes, I love color and texture and patterns. But for your newborn baby to stand out, consider neutral colors for this photo session.
  • Lighter colors trump darker colors. I love me some navy blue and some black…but for newborn baby photos, I suggest a lighter color palette.
  • I’d put dads in a short-sleeve collared golf-type shirt. But that is me. And khaki pants or khaki shorts. If this isn’t their style at all, don’t do it. Jeans and neutral tee without large logos or text would work too.
  • Which, brings me to this point: make sure siblings aren’t in logo/text tops. As in no Paw Patrol, Thomas the Train, etc. tees. This will detract from baby boy or baby girl.
  • Think complimentary colors. Like light blues, pinks, oranges, whites…but as I type this, I am thinking you shouldn’t go so overboard that you look like a bunch of dyed Easter eggs. I’d stick to 2-4 different colors to avoid this.
  • Forget shoes, but feel free to put feet into socks.

I hope you enjoyed these newborn family photos tips! If you have any questions about newborn photography sessions, ask away in the comments! And know that I have a additional tips to make your newborn session a success–I send these out to my booked portrait clients. To view a couple newborn photography sessions: Erie Colorado newborn photography session Denver Colorado newborn portraits

How to Look Good for Newborn Family PhotosHow to Look Good for Newborn Family PhotosWhat to Wear for Newborn Family Photos


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I've been photographing families professionally since 2006. I am a wife, mama to 2 boys, companion to 2 cats who are named after members of the royal British family, a former preschool teacher. I love running, hiking 14ers, sparkly clothes, the band Phish, river float trips, St. John USVI, farm CSAs, and Colorado blue skies.