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Newborn photographer favorite color palettes

5/13/21

You’ve made that exciting and important decision to book a newborn photographer. Now comes the dreaded question or “what am I going to wear?!”  Lucky for you, I have you covered – pun intended!

For starters, I always recommend to my newborn photography clients to select a color palette to work from. This ensures that everyone’s outfits compliment each other and that their baby’s images are cohesive. But where do you even begin? I’ve got you momma. Just keep reading below for how to easily select a gorgeous color palette for your newborn photos that will look incredible in your home no matter what your style is.

Top things to consider when selecting colors

Where are the photos going?

Ultimately, the purpose for having professional newborn photos taken is to somehow be able to enjoy them, either on your wall or in an album.Talk to your newborn photographer ahead of your session about final display options. If you’re thinking something for the wall, keep your home’s aesthetics in mind when selecting a color palette for your newborn photography session. If you don’t know how you’ll display the images, or you’re someone who likes to switch up your wall color a lot, keep it neutral. This will give you more flexibility in displaying your photos in your home.

What is your skin tone?

If you have dark skin, brighter and cooler neutrals compliment your undertones without matching them. Avoid the browns and heavy blacks and try more greys, ivories and even pastel colors.

Black mom with dark hair and eyes wearing a cream sweater and holding her newborn baby 
swaddle in a cream wrap

For fair skin tones, lean towards warmer colors to avoid washing out your skin and bringing more color to the overall image. Think khaki, warm greys and even olive tones.

Ivory, Champagne, light grey and black tones compliment a caucasian family of 4 to round out a color palette for a newborn photography session

Olive skin tones are lucky and can handle either cool or warm neutrals, dark or light!

Asian family of 5 wearing a color palette of white, grey and pastel pink for newborn baby girl photo session

Are you having a boy or girl?

In truth, this honestly doesn’t matter much. If you are trying to pick your wardrobe to match the nursery, keep in mind that your baby will grow up and eventually change the color of their room. This is why sticking to neutrals can fair better in the long run. That being said, if you want to give a nod to your baby’s gender, here are some great examples of incorporating those hues in a subtle and timeless way.

Mixed race family holding their brand new baby girl. Dad is wearing a white Oxford button down and mom is wearing a bold pink off the shoulder top
Caucasian family of 4 wearing tones of blue for a newborn photography session

Picking a color palette for your newborn session

  1. Start with a neutral base that compliments your skin tone (i.e. white, cream, grey, black, brown, etc)
  2. Pick 1 or 2 accent colors you want to pull out. These may other shades of neutral or have a pop of color.
  3. Select varying shades and tones of these main colors, aiming for no more than 3-5 total.

Favorite Color Combinations for newborns

Warm Neutrals

Shades of ivory, creamy, champagne, peach, taupe, mauve and brown. Recommended for fair and olive skin tones.

Cool Neutrals

Shades of grey, blacks, pastels and blues. Recommended for dark and olive skin tones.

Bright and Bold

Pairs a neutral base with a bolder color tone. Make sure you know where your images will be displayed before going this route. Recommended for darker skin tones.

Dressing for your newborn photography session doesn’t have to be stressful if you keep these considerations in mind. Keep it simple. Start with a neutral base that compliments your skin tone. Mix in various shades of similar tones. Allow the focus of the session to be on brand new baby versus the clothing!

Need more help on what to wear for your newborn photography session?? READ ON to learn my top tips for dressing postpartum


Michelle Lindsay Photography is a Loudoun County newborn photographer, specializing in maternity, newborn, first year milestones and family sessions. She services the metro DC area, including Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Loudoun County and as far out as Purcellville and Middleburg. Her photography studio is located in Leesburg, Virginia.

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