A question I recently answered as a Scottsdale Newborn Photographer was “What is a Lifestyle Newborn Session?” so I thought it would be great to follow up and talk about what to wear for your lifestyle newborn session. I know this can be the most stressful part of planning your session, so I am here to help provide wardrobe & styling guidance for your entire family!
What to wear for your lifestyle newborn photoshoot plays a big role in how your photos turn out. Your clothing, paired with location, lighting, and emotion, largely sets the tone of an amazing portrait. It’s important for you to not only look good but also feel good in what you wear. I know that may sound nearly impossible after giving birth as those first few weeks of your baby’s life are beyond exhausting and you’re still adjusting to your postpartum body. I get it. It’s hard to feel beautiful being a freshly new mom. That’s why I offer this service as part of The JSP Experience. My goal is to help you feel beautiful during your baby’s first portraits. I promise you will be happier that you took to time to do so.
While this is a “lifestyle” portrait session, that’s not to be confused with ultra-casual. They do have a time and place, but not for your baby’s first professional portraits! Leave that for everyday photos on your iPhone. Think of a middle ground between dressy and casual. It’s better to be a little more dressy than too casual. You can never look “too good.” However, I don’t want you to feel stiff and uncomfortable. Choose clothing attire that gives you plenty of room to move and breathe. All clothing should be ironed/steamed and free of wrinkles.
Colors: For in-home newborn sessions, I recommend lighter-colored neutrals. White, creams, blush pink, sage green, light blue, etc. are all great base colors. My style is to use natural light and one of the best ways to achieve bright & airy photos is to have light-colored clothing. Muted colors, soft pastels, and light earthy tones give a romantic, airy look. Avoid being too “matchy” and having everyone in the same color. Having the same block of color for everyone causes the photo to look dull, washed-out, and boring. Using color palettes, that you can find on Pinterest, is highly recommended!
Texture & Patterns: Mixing in texture and patterns adds dimension and interest to a wardrobe. BUT, don’t overdo it! Consider having only one family member in a pattern that is not too overwhelming and another in a texture of a solid color. Keep it minimal enough to add interest. Each clothing piece should accentuate the group for a cohesive look amongst the entire family.
Professional hair and makeup is a wonderful last touch to looking your best for your photoshoot. Having professional hair & makeup will help your feel pampered and beautiful! Plus, it’s one less thing to add to your to-do list. I have a list of recommended hair and makeup artists and will help you coordinate your appointment with them before your newborn photoshoot. If you choose to do your own, a “soft glam” or natural look will be best. Err on the side of “less is more.”
Be sure your haircut and/or dyed hair is at your desired look 2 weeks prior to the session. This may be hard to accomplish for a newborn session, but just try to avoid trying new and bold hair colors right before your newborn photoshoot. Freshly colored/cut hair hasn’t had a chance to set into the look that you’re most likely going after and it will photograph harshly.
Nails should be fully polished or left completely natural. You won’t want to have chipped polish in your photos!
Coordinate your outfits with simple jewelry that will delicately accentuate you and what you’re wearing. Think dainty rings, bracelets, and thin roped necklaces. Having heavy, sharp, and bulky jewelry will take attention away from you and your family. A formal watch is okay, especially for men, but avoid wearing a watch such as your Apple watch or exercise watch.
I personally find it best to start with what Mom is wearing and build the rest of the wardrobe around that. A light flowy maxi dress is always popular with new moms. They are simple, elegant, and comfortable. While we’re not trying to hide your postpartum body, oftentimes moms can be insecure about their postpartum tummies. Maxi dresses help to accentuate the curves in the right places.
A button-down shirt, such as a “henley”, and sweaters are perfect! For pants, chinos, or dress slacks work really well.
I always suggest starting the session with a simple white onesie. From there, I like to swaddle in an all white wrap or dress baby in a knotted gown. A dainty bow for girls may be added to give a little more personality.
Keep in mind the same ideas for the littles as you would yourself. Let them be involved in the process to get them excited for your photoshoot! You can do so by allowing them to “pick out their own outfits,” that you actually chose for them. 😉
Lastly, of course, these are all merely suggestions! Remember to still be yourself! The last thing we want for your session is for you to be uncomfortable in the clothing you are wearing!
The JSP Client experience includes complimentary access to my client wardrobe & styling assistance for the entire family. In case you prefer to do some shopping of your own, here are a few shops that I recommend to achieve a cohesive look.
I hope that you enjoyed this journal entry and have a general understanding of what to wear for your lifestyle newborn session! I’m always available to help all of my clients through the toughest part of planning your newborn photoshoot.
Ps: Want to see what a gorgeous Regent’s Park Maternity Session, check out my dear friend Miriam’s blog Maternity Photographer London. Her well-dressed maternity couple showoffs a deep blue pallette that work wonderfully together in Queen Mary’s Rose Garden.