Wondering what to wear to newborn photos?

August 22, 2022

Overwhelmed with all the newborn duties and trying to recover and the last thing you want to do is plan an outfit for your newborn photography session? I gotchu. Here are some suggestions – even links! – to some classic, simple options for your portion of the photoshoot. Let’s not complicate things, here are some basic rules and some samples of what to wear to newborn photos!

Think neutrals.

Cream, white, grey, beige, tan, and even soft pastels or muted colors work perfectly for these sessions. They compliment the baby’s skin tone, don’t overwhelm the image and keep a nice light, soft feel to those portraits.

neutrals to wear to newborn photo shoot
warm tan neutral palette to wear to newborn photo shoot

Embrace textures.

Lace, knits, flowy fabrics, ruffles, etc. are all wonderfully subtle ways to add visual interest to an otherwise muted palette. Avoid wearing shirts with words on them or large logos. The automatically draw attention away from the baby and other subjects and direct your eye right to the words. Here is an example of parents who went with classic whites for their newborn photos.

Avoid wrinkles and uncooperative clothing.

Fabrics that quickly show wrinkles should be avoided. They can be near impossible to remove in photoshop! Choose an outfit that naturally sits well and doesn’t need much adjusting. If you find your dress constantly requires your bra straps to be tucked away, or your shirt isn’t stretchy and feels restrictive, we can do better.

Samples for Mom

  1. Jennifer Deep V Maxi Dress by Baltic Born
  2. Off the Shoulder Maxi Dress from Amazon
  3. Neck Tie Lantern Sleeve Smock Dress from Shein

Samples for Dad

plain white tee for dad to wear to newborn photo session
tan linen button down short sleeved shirt for newborn photo session
wrinkle free white button down shirt for newborn photo session
  1. Mens Simple White Tee
  2. Button Down Short Sleeve Linen Shirt
  3. Wrinkle Free Button Down Shirt

Shoes, Nails and other easily forgotten items.

Typically, feet are not included in family portraits during a newborn session, so don’t worry about your shoes. Hands/fingernails are definitely visible, so this is your gentle reminder to not only make sure your nails look the way you’d like them to, but to also remove any hair ties, fit bits, or other items you don’t want in the photos.


Stay in the same color palette without matching exactly. Little girls look sweet in dresses or simple neutral tops, just be sure the fabric is comfortable and it helps if they’re excited about what they’re wearing. Little boys always look classic in white or neutral t shirts, or have them go shirtless! Keeping little girls hair pulled out of their face is best so we don’t have to fuss with it during the shoot. And the same fingernail rule applies to kids.

Final thoughts.

Choose clothing that fits your style and makes you feel good. You are always welcome to send over clothing ideas via text or email to get feedback. Sometimes it just helps to get advice about what to wear to your newborn photo session from the actual photographer! Above all, enjoy your newborn photo session!

Father, Mother and baby girl at newborn photo shoot


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a comment

photography + design by Jessica Johnston © Jessicajohnstonphotography 2023

follow along @jessicajohnstonphoto

photographing babies and families in Noblesville, Carmel, Westfield, Fishers and Indianapolis