Can My Baby Wear Clothes In The Newborn Photo Shoot?

Clothes newborn photo shoot

From time to time I’m asked by parents whether they can bring some clothes for their baby to wear during the newborn photo shoot.

Typically, babies are undressed during their newborn session and are either wrapped or completely naked. This complements my natural style of photography. But style is a personal thing and I understand that not everyone wants their baby to be naked in their newborn portraits.

Similarly some families like the idea of their baby wearing an outfit for a few of the photographs, but would like most of the photographs to be in my signature style where their baby is wrapped or not wearing anything.

So from time to time some families do bring an outfit for their new baby to wear during the photo shoot. In this article I’ll explain which kind of outfits work best, the style of outfits you should avoid, and why it’s a good idea to send me some pictures of the outfit before your session.

How Does Dressing My Baby Change The Style Of The Photos?

How your baby’s clothes changes the style of the photographs really depends on the kind of clothing you bring. Knowing how different styles of clothes can change the look and feel of your photographs may be helpful as you consider what you would like your baby to wear.

A simple, neutral outfit – such as a plain white vest – will result in a very natural feel and photographs similar to the ones in my portfolio. The vest is also natural and so gives a similar feel to the natural style.

If you have an outfit that has more detail on it, is patterned, has frills or is in a bright colour it will change the style of the photograph. The outfit will become more of a focal point within the photograph, and will draw more of the viewer’s attention.

Baby wearing white vest in newborn photo shoot

How Many Outfits Should I Bring?

During the session we can use a maximum of two different outfits, although many families choose to use just one.

As I’m photographing your baby I’ll work through a series of poses in order making small changes each time so that I don’t over-stimulate them. There’s a natural break in the middle of these poses where we could change your baby’s outfit if you would like to. So they could wear one item of clothing for the first part of the shoot and another for the second. 

Where a family just wants a few photographs of their baby wearing clothes, we’ll discuss this before the session and I’ll plan the best time for us to make the change during the flow of poses.

What Style Of Clothes Work Best?

If you would like your baby to be clothed during some or all of the photographs, the three things to look for are clothes that are:

  • Simple
  • Well fitting
  • Ideally have some stretch

Something like a plain, well fitting vest or sleepsuit is ideal. The simplicity of the outfit means that the focus of the photographs is still your baby, not their clothes. It’s important for the outfit to be well fitting, as the camera can amplify the appearance of excess fabric, resulting in your baby looking ‘lost’ inside the clothes. The stretch also helps to make sure that the clothes fit your baby well, and the fabric doesn’t get bunched up around them as I change their position.

clothes for newborn photo shoot

Why Is It Helpful To Show You The Clothes Beforehand?

Before your session we’ll always have a chat on the phone so that I can understand which colour background you’d like me to use, and we can run through the final details of your shoot. 

This conversation is really important as it means that I’m well prepared to start the shoot when you arrive at the studio, and we can make the most of the time when your baby is relaxed and settled. Rather than using this time to plan the shoot.

If you’re choosing to bring an outfit for your baby to wear, it’s helpful for me to see a picture of it at this stage so that I can suggest which colour background will complement it best, and we can talk about which parts of the shoot your baby will be dressed for.

Over To You

I hope that this guide has given you a good overview of how your session would work if you decided to bring an outfit for your baby to wear in the photographs, the kind of outfits that work best and why it’s important for us to plan the shoot around the outfit beforehand.

If you have any other questions about bringing clothes for your baby to wear at a newborn session please do get in touch. I’d love to hear from you and would be delighted to discuss your session with you. You can send me a message using this form.

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Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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