Newborn photography tips for dressing postpartum

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As a newborn photographer, I typically recommend photographing your brand new baby within the first 2 weeks of birth. There’s a lot of different reasons I recommend this. For a lot of moms though, that may feel overwhelming, especially because you’ve probably envisioned having gorgeous newborn photography images taken of you with your baby. How can you possibly look (and feel) confident in front of the camera so soon after giving birth?

I get it. In fact I’ve even been there. Pregnancy and the aftermath of giving birth takes an emotional toll on you, both physically and mentally. As a baby photographer, I often hear mommas say that they are nervous about getting in front of the camera. It’s a totally valid concern. The good news is that any seasoned newborn photographer will know how to highlight your best features and minimize areas of concern. Proper angles, lighting and even wardrobe all play a major factor. Since the angles and lighting is up to the photographer, I’m going to focus here on helping you with selecting an outfit for your session that make you look (and feel) like the gorgeous new momma you are!

Select the right fabric

Working with the right fabric can make all the difference in your newborn photos. Instead of tight material that clings to your body, instead, opt for soft and delicate fabrics that flow down over your hips and waist. Chiffon, silk, lace and even tulle are a few of my favorites.

Caucasian mom dressed in silk cream top holding her newborn baby girl

Use textures to highlight areas you want to feature

Textures not only add interest to an outfit (and the newborn photography itself), they also help soften lines and pull attention to areas you want to highlight. By selecting a shirt or dress with detail work on the neckline or sleeves, you’ll draw attention up towards your face and away from your belly, which for most postpartum mommas is the area a newborn photographer is trying to minimize.

Caucasian mom with blond hair dressed in textured white eyelet top holding her baby boy

Skip the accessories

Leave the chunky necklaces and dangling earrings at home as these draw the focus away from the star of your newborn photography session – baby. If you want to incorporate small, delicate jewelry, like initials necklace or bracelet, that is fine. Just make sure to skip anything bright, bold and flashy.

Black mom with dressed in simple white top holding her newborn baby girl

Pick a neutral color palette

Newborn photographers like to focus on the bond between brand new parents and their new little baby. We don’t want any one person to stand out more than the other. Opting for neutrals in everyone’s outfits allow a cohesive image where the focus remains on baby. As a bonus, it allows you more flexibility for displaying your beautiful newborn photography images in your home.

Persian family with dad dressed in white linen top and mom dressed in silk blush and pink flowing top holding baby girl

Invest in professional Hair and Make-up

This is not an area to skimp on. Trust me when I say that as a new mom and a newborn photographer, this is a must have for your session. A professional will take you from “mom on 4 hours of sleep” to “glowing and refreshed new mom” in no time. Plus, when you’re in the thick of the new baby stage, having a little bit of a break while being pampered can go a long way for your mental state!

Close up image from newborn photography session of black family with dad dressed in white button down top and mom dressed in all black holding their baby boy

Other helpful tips for dressing for your newborn photography session

  • Start selecting outfit options BEFORE baby arrives. Trust me, the last thing you will want to worry about with a brand new baby (and raging postpartum hormones) is finding an outfit you feel comfortable in.
  • Buy multiple options to choose from. You won’t be able to predict your exact size postpartum so have options to work with. Keep in mind that your chest size will most likely increase due to your milk supply coming in.
  • Ask if your photographer has a Studio wardrobe you can borrow. Many newborn photographers offer this and our Studio has a wide selection of both maternity and newborn outfits for our mommas.
  • Use your photographer as a reference. Don’t be afraid to ask advice, share options with them and get opinions. They are the experts and can help take some of the stress off your plate when it comes to preparing for your newborn photography session.

A newborn photographers favorite places to shop online for outfits:

  1. Morning Lavender
  2. Pink Blush
  3. Nordstroms
Caucasian mom wearing a blush halter chiffon dress lies on a cream background holding her newborn baby girl

One last thing to remember for your newborn photography

I personally can relate to the emotions you are experiencing as brand new mom. I know you don’t feel, or look like your usual self. I want to challenge you though to look at those extra pounds as badges of honor for this incredible journey you’ve been through. Adopting that attitude, along with a thoughtfully selected outfit and the right photographer behind the lens, will allow your beauty as a new mom to shine right through.

Taking newborn photos should be a special experience. The dreaded question of “what should I wear” is easily resolved with a little bit of planning before your session, trusting the guidance of your newborn photographer and focusing on your sweet baby instead of whether your lip gloss looks perfect. Using these tried and true tips will help you look and feel like the gorgeous momma you are!

Need more wardrobe guidance for your newborn photography session?

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