What to wear- nothing! I usually photograph them in just a diaper, naked or wrapped in a blanket. If you have a cloth diaper cover that works even better. Clothing does not work so well for newborns as the clothing is usually too big for them and the shirts often get scrunched up around their necks. Its best also if the parents have black clothing that can also be used as a backdrop for close up shots of the baby. If you are having your photos taken in the hospital, please bring something black or dark/neutral in color so that we can use that as a backdrop for the baby.
Newborns hate getting their clothes taken off! Most newborns will get fussy when you take off their clothing. One thing that works really well to get the baby ready for pictures is to take off their clothes, wrap them up in a simple solid colored blanket (do avoid the hospital blankets as they are white and not as artistic) and then feed them if they are fussy and hungry. That way, when they are finished eating, they are calm and ready to be photographed. It also helps to wrap them in a warm blanket from the blanket warmer or a towel out of the dryer. If it is a home visit I ask that you turn up the thermostat to 75-80 degrees. Newborns are used to a very warm womb and get cold very easily. As long as they are fed and warm, I can usually capture great pictures.
Newborn pictures with Mom or Dad- I find that skin on skin pictures look the best. Dad can take off his shirt and Mom can wear a simple black spaghetti tank top.
When to schedule newborn photos: If you are wanting photos taken in the hospital, I recommend taking the pictures on baby’s first day of life. Typically they are very sleepy and we are able to pose them in many unique poses without even disturbing their slumber. If you are breast feeding your baby I usually recommend having the pictures taken on the very first day of life or after the breast milk comes in. It is more difficult to get calm pictures of baby on the 2nd and 3rd day of life when they are getting colostrum.