client tips, newborns

What to wear for your home newborn photos

I'm Leah!

I’m obsessed with stories of family, creativity, and simple joys.  A nostalgia nerd, educator, wife, and mom of 3, I believe life’s most fun when you’re dreaming big and having kitchen dance parties. 

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Deciding what to wear for your home newborn photos when you’re newly postpartum can be… troubling. Confusing. Frustrating. The last thing on your list?? Probably all of the above.

Then there’s deciding what everyone else should wear. Whew.

Here’s to hoping this blog post sets your mind at ease and helps make that “what to wear” question just a little bit easier!

ideas for what to wear for an in-home newborn session

A go-to formula for moms

Most of my moms choose to go for a loose fitting dress or a pair of leggings or jeans (lean into those maternity pants, no pressure) and a textured top.

For cooler months, a chunky knit sweater is a great simple staple. If it’s spring or summer, lean towards dresses or a light blouse.

Also, PAJAMAS – yes please, this is totally an option! I love this pair from Target and if I were doing a home newborn shoot, I’d personally commit hard to the lounge look.

And what about dad?

Dads have a tendency to feel like they need to dress up for photos, but especially for home sessions, it’s out of place to wear belted khakis and a button-up shirt, right?

Instead, consider denim and a henley or a solid, quality t-shirt.

For cooler months, layering a flannel on top is a great option for dads, and for the cooler months, consider lighter textures like linen or breathable cotton.

How about that cute baby?

Is there anything better than soft baby skin? When deciding what to wear for your home newborn photos, consider letting baby skip the clothes all together! Set aside a muslin swaddle in a solid, neutral color or understated pattern to loosly wrap her in and you’re all set!

If you want to embrace some of those cute baby clothes, fit is the most important thing when deciding how to dress baby for the newborn shoot. We don’t want them getting swallowed in their onesies.

One simple or understated outfit is plenty, and if you want to photograph those sweet little toes, steer away from footie pajamas and into an outfit where we can grab onto those rolling thighs. Stick to soft fabrics and simple designs – baby is the focus here after all!

siblings sitting in crib with baby brother, charlottesville newborn photos at home

What do the big kids wear?

The same advice applies, really – think texture, simple designs, and colors that coordinate with the other members of the family.

It doesn’t have to be the same color and while it is undoubtedly adorable to put new siblings in matching outfits, I recommend saving that for another time. In photos, you’ll all be snuggling up close and those outfits will run together.

Instead, pick a color palette (a collection of colors that look good together) – like earth tones, pastels, neutrals, etc.

newborn photos at home in Crozet with siblings

Want more concrete advice about what to wear for your newborn shoot?

All my newborn session families get my newborn client prep guide when they book. It includes recommendations for favorite places to shop, color palette suggestions, and tips for a smooth session overall (because it’s about more than the clothes!).

I also love being on call for outfit advice and many of my clients will lay out some outfits and take photos to text me for a second opinion about what will work best.

Want tips on new motherhood from local Charlottesville moms?

Let’s make photos together

Interested in heartwarming maternity or newborn photos with me? Newborn photos don’t have to be within the first two weeks and they can be as simple as capturing bath time and backyard play. Reach out here to tell me about your vision for the dreamiest photos that will live on and on, amen 🙂

what to wear for a fall home newborn session with charlottesville photographer

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A cozy newborn session at home in Charlottesville

Relaxed newborn photos at home in Crozet

The perfect newborn photo book

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Home is the key to removing some of the biggest stressors that most people say they hate about family photos - like getting everybody dressed and out the door on time. Here's how. 


This post is meant to be a super helpful gathering of Charlottesville pregnancy and newborn resources from aaaaaall their words, advice, experience, wins, and fails.

Client tips

A morning person, nostalgia- obsessed, book-loving dreamer + doer

Hi, I'm Leah.
Family photographer and educator.

I am endlessly curious. I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself and love a good kitchen dance party. My kids inspire and delight me daily. My superpower is seeing magic in the mundane and thinking way too deeply about it. I’ll talk your ear off about business, purpose, and the ways art can fuel both. I believe the best way to care for people is to really see them. Every man in my life taught me that strength starts with black coffee and every woman showed me that you can be both sweet and spicy. 

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