What to Wear to A Newborn Photo Shoot

5 tips on selecting mom's outfit for your newborn portraits


Hey, there, Mama! This blog post is all about choosing an outfit for YOU to wear for your baby's newborn portraits! I am so excited to share these 5 tips with you! So many blogs out there share what your baby can wear to a session--there are not too many on how to select the right outfit for mama. Choosing an outfit to wear for photos right after you gave birth can be a challenge. Your body has done amazing things and you may not have even realized in what way your body changed until you wind up in the dressing room of a local store...only to see that you are no longer a size medium, that your bust is a bit...well--bustier than it used to be. You spend hours searching for THE perfect dress you feel amazing in, but you are exhausted and not at all sure how well your selection will be come picture day! No worries, Mama, I've got you covered! Let's go over a few tips before you head out the door to try on another dress!

What to Wear to a Newborn Session Tip #1 - Pick Something You Love

Mama, this goes without saying--but--it really matters that you choose an outfit you really love. Something special, something that makes your heart flutter. It really makes SUCH a difference in the way you view your family portraits after the session. When you see them, if you chose a dress that you were absolutely in love with, you will absolutely love your images!

The way you see the final result of your images will be positive if you were able to pick an outfit you felt great in! If you "settled" for a dress just because you didn't see anything better, it does have an impact on the overall result in your portraits after the fact. You will always remember that you didn't quite "love" that dress, or didn't feel as attractive as you wanted to feel. I don't want that for you, Mama! If you need ideas on really beautiful dress options, search Pinterest, ask your photographer, ask local boutiques! Don't be afraid to ask for suggestions.

A mom outdoors happily holding her baby high in her arms

At Sarah Finicle Photography, I know how stressful this process is of choosing a dress, Mama. So, to help alleviate that stress for you and save your precious time, I offer a beautiful client wardrobe for my Mamas to pull from for their newborn and maternity sessions! I am always thrilled to add new pieces often to the closet. I have carefully chosen dresses that are chic, high end, beautiful yet timeless for my clients to choose from. I also carefully select pieces that will photograph well for a light and airy style and have all sorts of sizes! If you are interested in seeing the client closet, send me a message here

Tip #2 - What kind of style does your photographer have?

This is a SUPER important thing to consider! It is by far one of THE most important factors to put into action. What style does your photographer have? Does her work reflect a dark and moody look? A true to life color scheme? Do you have a light and airy photographer? (I am a light and airy photographer 100%). The style is important because not all outfits are created equal--some colors, fabrics, designs look better with a certain style versus another. If you want magazine worthy, stunning images to keep forever in your home, your choice of outfit matters greatly! Click here for 4 shops that carry magazine worthy dresses for your portrait session. Not to mention the work involved for the photographer during the editing process. I won't go into detail about dark and moody photography styles. I will give some tips on how to best choose an outfit that will look stunning with a light and airy style!

tip #3 - Color Choices

First, let's talk about color options! Color is super important when selecting your outfit. In order to achieve that light, airy, elegant, magazine look, aim for pastel colors or neutrals. Pale blues, greens, lilacs, light grey, white, ivory, pastel florals. These are all great options. What you DO NOT want to go with is anything with a bold pattern, dark color, black, hot pink, medium pink, red, lime green, etc. Always go with a dainty, light color to ensure your images will come out the best for a light and airy photograph.

woman posing with her baby, nose to nose, a blog titled What to Wear to a Newborn Photoshoot


Moving onto style and fabric choices! For fabrics, go with natural linens, flowy fibers, something that can move easily and flows, such as an a-line dress. No body suits here! The more flow-ier your dress, the more airy, soft, and ethereal your portrait will turn out to be. Choose styles that are flowy, delicate, soft, and romantic. Dresses are best for this style. Some skirts and tops may work as well. A note on floral dresses; small floral prints do best with this style. If you choose a large floral, and especially if it is not quite as pastel as you'd like it to be, this can make your portraits unbecoming for the light and airy style. Look for smaller, all over florals, in very light colors. If you'd like examples of these styles, send me a message and I will sign you up for my email newsletter--you will receive a link to a special style guide that my clients get when they book with me!


So, Mama, you've found a beautiful, pastel blue floral dress that graces the floor. You are so excited for your portrait session, but wondering how to dress your baby? What about the rest of your family? Assuming you have gone with a light and airy photographer, and you have your light blue dress. Let's talk about dressing the baby! For a girl, a beautiful white dress would look stunning against Mama's blue dress. These are easy to find! Lace, frills, or just a plain outfit would look so amazing against Mamas blue dress. See the image below of an example of what one client's baby wore for her session - such a beautiful outfit, and it was so easy to find! Baby girl looked stunning in it!

Basically, if Mama has a colored or floral dress, say a blue, lilac or green or even pink, we do not want baby to wear the exact same. We aren't wanting to be "matchy matchy" here. Although that can be super fun and adorable, (I love doing this with my daughter at times) if you desire your portraits to be very professional and wall worthy, do not try to match! Coordination is key here--not exactly matching. If Mama chose a neutral colored dress, let's say an all over ivory lace dress, baby could wear pretty much any color, or even another neutral shade. For dad, he will pretty much look great with everyone else's outfits if he wears an all white button up and light khaki pants (or shorts). White and khakis are the best for men and boys to wear to light and airy sessions. If you are a bit more adventurous and want to try your hand at coordinating even more, find a color palette that is suitable to light and airy photography (you can easily find color pallets on Pinterest) to pull inspiration from. Choose everyone's outfits based on this color palette. Just make sure your colors are still light, pastel, and airy!

baby in a creamy lace dress, taken by New Orleans Newborn Photographer, Sarah Finicle


I hope this blog helped give you some ideas on what to wear to a newborn photoshoot! Remember, Mama, you are beautiful, and have fun during your session! If you live in the New Orleans area and haven't found a photographer yet, send me a message and I'd be happy to provide you a consultation zoom call so we can plan your dream newborn session together! I love helping new moms plan their newborn sessions--down to the last detail--so you don't have to worry about it. Let's dream together, Mama. I can't wait to start planning!

Thank you, New Orleans Mom, for featuring me on your guide to the best family photographers in New Orleans! Read the guide here.


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Guide to the Best Family Photographers in New Orleans