Tips for Dressing Baby for Family Photos

There are so many cute outfits available for babies, but they may not always be the best for family photos. Don’t get me wrong, I love how adorable matching baby sets are with the patterned puppy pants and a puppy shirt, but that may not have the timeless look you will be looking to display on your walls. See below for some tips for dressing baby for your next family session:

Tips for Dressing baby

Keep it simple.

First and foremost: keep it simple. Simple textures and patterns (ie. a quiet plaid, small polka dots, stripes) are a great thing to incorporate into the outfit without it being over powering. Avoid loud patterns (like unicorns and trucks) and opt for something neutral and simple in order to ensure your photos are timeless. Often the simple outfits photograph the best, and allow the viewer to focus on the baby and family connection. They also generally make for the most comfortable outfits – putting your newborn in jeans and a cardigan may look absolutely adorable (I can confirm it does!!), but it may not be the most comfortable option for the session. I suggest a modern neutral onesie or two-piece outfit that you can pair with blankets or headbands.

Avoid tutus and choose simple accessories

Being a boy mom, I LOVE when I see little ones in tutus. No one in my house has ever owned or wanted a tutu and when I see one, I melt. They are so fun and whimsical, however they are also itchy and don’t “sit” well. Especially on babies who are laying down or being held the majority of the time. They may have a place for a toddler during a family session, but consider them a fun addition, not the base of the outfit.

Accessories like headbands are so fun to incorporate into the session. Keeping the bows small and simple allow for a feminine touch without the viewer being distracted.

Tips for dressing baby for family session
Tips for Dressing baby for family session

Avoid bright colours

Bright colours are common in kids clothes, but they can cause reflections of that colour on baby’s skin, or onto the skin of those holding them. Keeping clothes neutral ensures that any reflection that does happen, doesn’t cause a colour cast. Side note, this is why I always wear white or gray to sessions 🙂

Tips for dressing baby for family session

Coordinate with mom & dad

One of my top tips for dressing baby for family photos is for mom to choose her outfit first. After having a baby, your clothing options may be limited, and you don’t want to go investing in an new outfit that you don’t need. Choose your outfit, then make sure everyone else’s compliments yours. During a newborn session, your baby is being held for the majority of the time, so making sure your outfits are cohesive is important.

Maternity and Newborn Bundle; Tips for Dressing Baby
Maternity and Newborn Bundle

Match the room/blankets

If you have just spent time and money decorating a nursery of course I will incorporate it into the session. Finding outfits that look good in that space is important. Be sure that whatever baby is wearing compliments those settings well. If you have patterned blankets, I suggest a solid neutral coloured outfit.

If you are shopping online for neutral and inexpensive outfits for the whole family, I recommend Zara, Old Navy or Shop 61 for a local (Blenheim) option! I love what Shop 61 has to offer for the little ones in your life and highly recommend them!

When you book a family session with me I always share my session prep guide which also outlines other tips for preparing for your session. Reach out today to book your session and we can start planning together!

Brittany VanRuymbeke is a Chatham-Kent and Sarnia area lifestyle newborn and family photographer specializing in at-home sessions with families with young children

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imagery by BRITTANY VANRUYMBEKE | site design by LUNAR & CO