What to Wear: How to Dress Newborns & Infants for a Portrait Session

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What to Wear: How to Dress Newborns & Infants for a Portrait Session


What to Wear {Part 1: Infant and Newborns}

As a photographer, it can help your customers when you direct them on what to wear. The next number of weeks, guest writer Kelsey Anderson will be providing information to help you coach your customers on what to wear.

When booking a portrait session I think it is almost always a given that the client is going to ask for suggestions on what to wear. I struggled with this question when I was first starting out. My clients would come dressed in matching outfits or in the same color head to toe. These clothing choices do not make for the most visually appealing image, right?

I knew that I had to change my clients way of thinking when it came to choosing outfits for their portraits. I personally believe that is part of my job to help style a session. This gives my clients another reason to hiring me over going to a chain portrait studio. I always tell them to choose items with good color, texture (ie, knits, ruffles, denim) and accessories. I tell them to think coordinating not matching. I even go as far as offering to come to their homes and dig through their closet with them or tell them to bring a trunk full of options and we can put together outfits on location.

Newborns are pretty easy to style as we typically photograph them in the nude. However you and I know there are some amazing hats and head bands out their for these precious newbies to wear for their first portraits. I also like to bring a lot of different wraps to swaddle baby. Hit up your local fabric store and get a yard or two. I ask the parents to bring me all their baby blankets and usually wrap baby in a few of those as well. To add a more personal element to the images I have even used some of mom’s colorful scarves.

newborn on a blanket

Infants are great to photograph nude as well. They are so chubby and not too mobile. If the parents are comfortable with baby being naked there are some amazingly cute diaper covers available and even ones with cute ruffles for little girls! Again accessories can be so much fun with babies. Headbands, scarves, hats, or string of pearls. I love placing babies on colorful quilts.

Here are a few items I love for newborn, and infant sessions!  I like to keep ideas of clothing choices fresh in my clients head and don’t want to have to have them dig through my blog to find them.

nude baby on a blanket

swaddled baby

cute diaper covers for infant photography

cute blankets for infant photographyHere are some great places I recommend shopping for clothing and accessories that newborns and infants can be photographed in:




Knit Wit Woolies

Pink Peppermint Design

Peachy and Pip

Puddleton Baby


Mini Boden

The Children’s Place

Janie and Jack

Ralph Lauren Baby

Dimples and Dandelions


My Baby Rocks

Cutie and Patootie

Tutti Bella

Kelsey Anderson is a natural light photographer in Las Vegas, Nevada. Specializing in maternity, newborn, baby, children, senior and family photography.

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  1. June 26, 2010 at 7:30 am —

    Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  2. May 25, 2010 at 11:31 am —

    Great article Kelsey!
    How do you put together the “What to Wear” collages?

  3. April 28, 2010 at 12:26 am —

    Used your ideas on my latest newborn shoot. Thanks.

  4. April 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm —

    I really enjoyed this article. Thanks for the great read!

  5. dalia
    April 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm —

    great post Kelsey!! thanks!

  6. April 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm —

    Love your guides Kelsey!

  7. April 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm —

    Great tips and really cute clothing suggestions 🙂 But where are the cute little skirts/diaper covers from that are in the picture in your post?

  8. April 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm —

    Great article and photos! Where did you buy those patchwork blankets? I have to get one!!!

  9. Denean Melcher
    April 27, 2010 at 12:18 pm —

    Thank you for the great article! And thanks for the links!!

  10. April 27, 2010 at 11:09 am —

    Great information! I think helping to style your clients before hand is crucial to getting a final image. I love all your tips! Can’t wait to hear more. 😀

  11. natasha klein
    April 27, 2010 at 10:43 am —

    hi I was wondering where those beautiful blankets are from?? thanks

  12. April 27, 2010 at 10:35 am —

    Thank you Kelsey! Great tips! Well done!

  13. Thanks everyone! Hope it is helpful!

    Heather the quilts are from Etsy and here is the link http://www.etsy.com/shop/onasmallscale

  14. April 27, 2010 at 10:17 am —

    Also, how do you make the “What to wear” blog collages? I love this helpful idea to provide to clients!

  15. April 27, 2010 at 10:07 am —

    Awesome and helpful!! Thank you so much for the words of wisdom. I just have to know though, where are those quilts from in the last images?

  16. April 27, 2010 at 9:58 am —

    Great post! Thanks, Kelsey!

  17. Julie
    April 27, 2010 at 9:52 am —

    Thanks for the ideas, they’re great!!

  18. April 27, 2010 at 9:46 am —

    Great post! Extremely helpful, I’m a portrait photographer, and *always* help in styling the shoots, but I’ve never done infants and will be expanding to infants soon, so these are fantastic tips!

  19. April 27, 2010 at 9:40 am —

    Nice job Kelsey! Thank you so much for all of the links!

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What to Wear: How to Dress Newborns & Infants for a Portrait Session