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How to Dress Your Baby for a Newborn Photo Shoot

10 min read | 10 July 2023

As a new parent, you’re probably eager to capture all those gorgeous moments of your baby’s first weeks of life. One way to do that is to schedule a photoshoot with a professional photographer, who will be able to capture beautiful, high-quality photos of your new arrival.

When should I do a newborn photo shoot?

Typically, newborn photo shoots take place within the first 14 days of birth. At this age babies are sleepy most of the time and are also less likely to be bothered by the flash and sound of the camera, making it easier for the photographer to capture those beautiful posed shots of your little curled up in the foetal position. After two weeks, babies start to spend longer periods of time awake and can start to become a little bit more fussy, which can mean that getting those perfectly posed newborn shots is just that little bit more difficult!

There are, however, several reasons why it might not be possible to do a newborn photo shoot within the first two weeks. Firstly, you may have had an extended hospital stay if you or your little one needed extra care and attention after the birth. Or you (or your photographer) may have had to postpone the shoot due to illness or other circumstances. It’s also very possible that you might not have had the chance to organise the photo shoot before your little one arrived, and your preferred photographer might now be fully booked. Or, like many parents, you just might not be feeling up to doing a photo shoot with your baby in those early days.

There are plenty of other options for capturing special moments with your new arrival once they are a little bit older. Many newborn photographers are happy to work with older babies and can capture more photos of them awake and looking at the camera as opposed to the ‘sleeping soundly’ shots. An alternative option is to book a lifestyle newborn photo shoot, which is a more natural and candid approach and may suit some families better. In a lifestyle shoot, you and your little one are able to go about your day as usually would, while the photographer captures natural and candid moments.

Another great option is to wait until your baby is a little bit older. By three to four months most (but not all!) babies are more settled, can hold their head steady and are starting to smile and giggle, which can make for adorable photos. You could also wait until your baby is seven to nine months old, when they are sitting up on their own, but not yet walking. At this age they are very alert and curious, and can sit in the one spot, which will give the photographer lots of opportunities to snap them. Once they’re crawling and walking around, it becomes much tricker to keep them still, and therefore photograph them!

How should I dress my little one for a newborn photo shoot?

A newborn photoshoot calls for a special little outfit that’s cosy and comfortable, or a beautiful wrap or baby blanket that can act as a swaddle, an extra layer, or cover the surface that your baby is lying on.

Here are some of our tips for dressing your newborn for a photo shoot:

1. Keep it simple

When it comes to newborn photoshoots, less is often more – you want the focus to be on your baby and their delicate features, not on what they’re wearing, so it’s best to stick to simple, solid colours or soft subtle prints. A gorgeous growsuit is perfect for a newborn, while older babies might be more comfortable in a cute matching set. If you’re planning to get lots of gorgeous ‘swaddled’ shots, select a cocoon wrap or printed muslin swaddle in neutral tones. You might like to get photos of your little one without clothes, so opt for something that’s nice and easy to remove during the shoot.

2. Comfort is key

Your baby’s skin is delicate and sensitive, so it’s important to choose clothes made from soft, breathable fabrics like organic cotton or bamboo. If you’re doing your newborn photo shoot in the cooler months, make sure your little one is nice and cosy so they’re more likely to fall asleep.

3. Select the right size

While we would usually recommend sizing up when choosing clothes for your little one to get the most wear out of things, when it comes to a newborn photo shoot, it’s best to pick something that’s just the right size. Clothes that are too large can look baggy and awkward in photos, while clothes that are too small and tight can be uncomfortable for your little one.

4. Layer up

Start with a simple onesie or top and leggings outfit as a base, then add a soft blanket or cardigan for some added warmth and texture. Look for pieces with subtle details like lace or embroidery to add a special touch.

5. Bring a change of clothes

Babies are unpredictable and accidents can happen at any time! If your photo shoot isn’t at home, be sure to pack a couple of extra outfits, blankets and nappies in case you need to make a quick change. Also, be sure to have a burp cloth or two on hand to clean up any messes.

What colours should I dress my little one in for a newborn photo shoot?

For newborn photo shoots we love subtle colours and shades that are timeless and won’t distract from your baby’s beautiful features. Neutral shades like white, beige, tan and grey are timeless, while soft pastel colours and prints add a touch of brightness and fun without overwhelming your little one.

How do I create a cohesive look for my photo shoot with the rest of the family?

Your newborn photo shoot is the perfect time to capture some special photos of your whole family. By planning what to wear for your family photo shoot ahead of time, your photos will look cohesive and timeless.

For a family photo shoot, everyone’s outfit should complement each other, rather than be too ‘matchy-matchy’. You could do this by selecting two to three colours that everyone could incorporate into their outfits where they can. Alternatively, you could select your own outfit first, and then match your partner’s and children’s outfits to certain elements of your outfit. Or you might decide to have everyone dressed in shades of the same colour or colour ‘family’ (for example, all cool tones or all warm tones).

When it comes to formality, a good rule of thumb is to have everyone dress as though they are going to Sunday lunch. This ensures everyone looks relaxed, without being too formal or too casual.

What should I avoid when dressing my newborn for their photo shoot?

There are few things to steer clear of when planning what your little one will wear at their newborn photo shoot:

  • Large logos and busy patterns

    , which can be distracting and often aren’t as timeless as smaller, more subtle prints

  • Neon colours

    , which can overpower your little one’s delicate features and may cast a colour on to their skin

  • Shiny fabrics

    , which often don’t photograph well and can sometimes reflect the light in a not-so-flattering way

  • Clothes made from synthetic materials or rough fabrics

    , which can irritate your baby’s delicate skin.

Remember the most important thing is to keep your baby comfortable and happy during their photo shoot. Don’t worry too much about getting the perfect shot – your photographer will be able to capture plenty of beautiful moments regardless of what your baby is wearing. Just relax, have fun and enjoy this special time with your little one. Shop our range of baby clothing at Purebaby now.

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