Newborn Photography Styling, Textures and Color Palettes [Complete Guide]

By Ramina Magid – Newborn Photography Studio in Los Angeles, CA

newborn photography styling

Newborn Photography Styling, Textures and Color Palettes [Complete Guide]

In the soft, natural light of a newborn photography studio, each prop and accessory is carefully chosen. From the cozy wraps that swaddle the baby to the soft colors that frame each photo, every detail helps to create a calm and loving atmosphere, perfect for newborn photographs. These sessions are designed not only to capture stunning images but also to ensure a comfortable experience for both the baby and the parents.

Whether you’re a proud parent wanting to capture the early weeks of your newborn’s life or a photographer looking to improve your skills, this guide is put together with you in mind. Newborn photography styling beautifully combines art and care, focusing on capturing new life through well-styled settings, calming color schemes, and soft textures. This articles dives into the details of styling, the importance of selecting the right textures, and the emotional impact colors have in creating memorable newborn photos.

The Basics of Newborn Photography

Best Time for Newborn Photoshoots

The ideal time to schedule a newborn photo session is when your baby is between 5 and 21 days old. During these first few weeks, newborns retain much of the natural curl from when they were in the womb, making it easier to gently pose them in various adorable positions. Plus, they tend to be sleepier and more pliable during this time, which helps in positioning them safely and comfortably for those dreamy, serene shots. Booking your session within this timeframe can really make a difference in the smoothness of the shoot and the quality of the images captured.

Importance of Safety and Sanitation

As a newborn photographer, the safety of the little ones who grace my studio is my top priority. Each session is conducted in a clean, sanitized environment where every prop and piece of equipment is disinfected before and after use. I’m trained in newborn safety and posing, ensuring that every pose is comfortable and safe for your baby. It’s crucial to maintain a warm but controlled environment, as newborns are sensitive to temperature and handling.

Preparing for a Session

I recommend booking your session during your second trimester to ensure availability around your due date. Once booked, I’ll mark your due date in my calendar. After your baby arrives, let me know within the first three days (the earlier, the better!) so we can schedule the actual newborn photography session date. This helps us ensure that we capture those precious early days perfectly.

What to Bring to a Session

When preparing for your newborn session, comfort is key. For parents, this means bringing along any essentials that will help keep your newborn comfortable and happy. Here’s a quick checklist:

Diapers and wipes: For any quick changes during the session.

Extra formula or breast milk: If you’re bottle-feeding, it’s good to have more than you think you’ll need.

A favorite blanket or swaddle: While I provide swaddles and wraps, bringing a personal item like a blanket can add a special touch to your photos.

Pacifier: If your baby uses one, it can be a soothing tool during the shoot.

Clothing for parents should be comfortable and neutral to complement the soft palette of the newborn shoot if they are joining in the photos. I often suggest soft, solid colors to keep the focus on your interactions with your baby rather than on bold clothing patterns.

Read my tips on setting up a newborn photo shoot here

Styling Newborn Photography

Creating a visually stunning newborn photography session is about crafting a scene that tells a story through the careful selection of props and accessories. As a professional, I’ve found joy in weaving these elements together to bring out the sweetness and innocence of every newborn I photograph.

The props and accessories you choose set the tone for each newborn session, adding layers of texture, color, and personality to the photographs.

Props Selection

When it comes to selecting props, the key is to use items that enhance the photo without stealing the spotlight from your subject—the newborn. Over the years, I’ve curated a collection of props that includes various wraps, bonnets, and flooring materials, each chosen for its texture, comfort, and aesthetic appeal.

Wraps: Soft, stretchy wraps are essential in any newborn shoot. They help keep the baby cozy and secure while adding a layer of texture and color to the image. I prefer using wraps made from natural fibers like cotton or bamboo, as they are gentle on the baby’s skin and come in a variety of subdued, neutral tones that photograph beautifully under natural light.

Bonnets: Hand-knit bonnets are not only adorable but also a great way to add a touch of vintage charm or rustic feel to your photos. Depending on the style of the shoot, I might choose a simple cream bonnet or one with delicate lace details.

Floors: The choice of flooring in a photo can dramatically change the aesthetic of the image. From textured rugs that add depth to the picture to simple, soft blankets that create a clean, neutral background, each option offers a different vibe. For a more rustic look, I might use a reclaimed wood floor prop, which gives the illusion of a hardwood floor even though the baby is safely positioned on a soft surface. Choosing the right props is about understanding how each piece can contribute to the overall composition of your photo without overwhelming the main subject.

See my article on top 10 cutest newborn photoshoot ideas to try here

Accessorizing Your Session

While props form the base of your photo’s styling, accessories are the finishing touches that can elevate your images from beautiful to breathtaking.

Choosing Accessories: The rule of thumb is to keep it simple. Accessories should complement the baby, not compete for attention. A small, plush animal tucked next to the baby can add warmth to the shot, or a simple floral headband can introduce a soft splash of color. See my guide on how to pick props for your newborn photoshoot

Balance and Harmony: Always aim for balance in your accessories. If a bonnet is elaborately detailed, pair it with a simple wrap to avoid cluttering the visual space. Harmony in your accessories ensures that the baby remains the focal point of the shot.

Thematic Consistency: When selecting accessories, consider the overall theme of the shoot. For instance, if you’re aiming for a natural, earthy look, choose accessories that reflect this—think wooden beads, natural fibers, and soft, muted colors.

As a Los Angeles newborn photographer, I love to share that each session is a little adventure in creativity. By choosing the right props and carefully selecting accessories that enhance rather than dominate, you can create a serene and beautiful setting that highlights the newborn’s delicate features and captures the emotional essence of this special time in a family’s life. Remember, every little detail counts and contributes to the story you are telling through your lens.

Working with Textures

Textures add depth and interest to your photos. They can transform a simple shot into a tactile experience that invites viewers to feel as if they can reach out and touch the softness depicted. Each texture brings its own unique feel to the photo, and understanding how to harness these elements can elevate your work:

Soft Textures: Soft, plush fabrics are a mainstay in newborn photography because they echo the delicacy of a newborn’s skin. Materials like chenille, soft wool, or fleece not only keep the baby comfortable but also create a cozy, gentle backdrop. These fabrics work well in close-up shots where the focus is on capturing the softness of the scene.

Textured Textiles: Adding items like knit blankets or crocheted items introduces a touch of homeliness and can give your photos a handmade, personal feel. The visible patterns and weaves of these textiles add a layer of depth to your compositions, making them more engaging and visually appealing.

Reflective Surfaces: Reflective surfaces like a small mirror placed nearby can catch light and create interesting highlights and shadows in your photos. This can be especially striking in black and white photography, where the contrast between light and shadow is more pronounced.

Texture Combinations

Fur and Linen: Pairing a faux fur rug with a smooth linen swaddle creates an intriguing contrast. The fur adds a luxurious, soft look that complements the simpler, cleaner texture of linen. This combination can be particularly effective in creating a setting that feels rich yet understated.

Silk and Knit: Combining silk with knit fabrics strikes a beautiful balance between elegance and comfort. The silk adds a slight sheen and smoothness, contrasting beautifully with the cozy, textured appearance of knit. This pairing works well when you want to add a touch of sophistication to your images.

Wood and Cotton: Utilizing wooden elements, like a smooth wooden bowl or a textured wooden floor panel, alongside cotton wraps or outfits, brings an earthy, organic feel to the photos. The hardness of the wood juxtaposed with the softness of cotton work well together.

Color Palettes in Newborn Photography

Colors play an essential role in crafting the atmosphere and emotional depth of newborn photography. The right color palette can evoke feelings of warmth, tranquility, or freshness and enhance the overall visual impact of the photos. 

Understanding Color Theory

Color theory is a fundamental aspect of visual arts, and in photography, it helps us understand how different colors interact, contrast, and complement each other. It also explains why certain color combinations evoke specific emotions and effects:

Color Wheel: The color wheel is a valuable tool in selecting harmonious colors. Colors opposite each other on the wheel (complementary colors) create a vibrant look, while colors next to each other (analogous colors) provide a more harmonious and serene feel.

Warm vs. Cool Tones: Warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) evoke feelings of warmth and comfort, ideal for creating a snug, cozy vibe. Cool colors (blues, greens, purples), on the other hand, tend to evoke calmness and serenity, perfect for a tranquil, peaceful setting.

Saturation and Brightness: The saturation and brightness of colors affect the mood as well. Soft, muted colors (low saturation) are popular in newborn photography as they contribute to a gentle, delicate aesthetic, whereas brighter colors can energize the scene but need to be used sparingly to avoid overwhelming the gentle nature of the subject.

Choosing a Color Palette

When it comes to selecting a color palette for a newborn photography session, the aim is to choose colors that enhance the subject’s innocence and the softness of the moment without overwhelming the senses. Here are some guidelines and examples of choosing color schemes:

Neutral Palettes: Neutral colors like whites, greys, and soft beiges are classic and timeless. They create a soft background that allows the focus to remain on the baby. Neutrals are particularly effective in studio settings with natural light, as they reflect the light beautifully and maintain a light, airy feel in the photographs.

Pastel Palettes: Soft pastels such as baby pink, sky blue, and mint green are wonderful for adding a hint of color while keeping the overall look subtle and tender. These colors work well with natural light, enhancing the soft glow of the setting.

Earth Tones: Earthy colors like olive, rust, mustard, and soft browns can create a warm, organic look. These colors are excellent for fall-themed shoots or when you want to evoke a sense of warmth and connection to nature.

Implementing Color Palettes

Choosing the right color palette and knowing how to implement these colors effectively in your newborn sessions can elevate your photography to a professional level. It’s about understanding the emotional weight each color carries and how they can be harmonized to create a cohesive look that is both pleasing to the eye and emotionally engaging.

Popular Color Palettes

Soft Pastels: Pastel colors like soft pink, baby blue, mint green, and lavender are perennial favorites in newborn photography. They are soothing and create a serene, nurturing atmosphere. Soft pastels are often associated with innocence and gentleness, making them perfect for highlighting the newborn’s delicate features. 

Monochrome Neutrals: Using varying shades of a single color, especially neutrals like beige, taupe, and gray, can result in a sophisticated and timeless look. This palette is excellent for creating a focus purely on the form and features of the baby without the distraction of color. Neutrals are also versatile and can be used with any type of lighting, complementing natural light beautifully by reflecting it and creating a luminous effect.

Vibrant Contrasts: For those who want something a bit more dynamic, using a palette with a vibrant contrast like navy and cream or charcoal and ivory can add a dramatic flair to your photos. These colors bring a sense of sophistication and can be particularly striking when used sparingly, such as a pop of navy against a predominantly cream backdrop.

Customizing Color Schemes

Always start with a conversation. Learn about the client’s style, their home décor where the photos might be displayed, and any specific colors they are drawn to or wish to avoid. This information can help you design a session that feels personal and tailored to their tastes.

Consider the setting of the photo shoot—whether it’s in a studio with controlled lighting or a home with natural light—and choose colors that enhance the environment. For example, in a studio, you might opt for richer, deeper tones that can be controlled with lighting, while natural light benefits from lighter, airier colors.

Also, don’t be afraid to mix textures and colors! For instance, if a client loves the idea of earth tones, you might blend rust, olive, and mustard with soft cream or white to soften the overall look. Or, for a more adventurous palette, combine pastels with a touch of metallic like silver or gold for a subtle shimmer.

Avoid Choosing Colors That Clash

When snapping photos of newborns, it’s crucial to pick the right color palette. Choosing colors that clash can really take away from the natural beauty of the newborn, turning what should be a harmonious image into a visually jarring one. Here’s a tip: use the color wheel to find complementary shades that enhance each other without competing for the spotlight. Stay away from overly vibrant or clashing combinations—they can be too jarring for a newborn baby session.

The colors you choose should also match the mood you’re trying to set. Soft, muted colors usually work best because they evoke a sense of calmness and gentleness, which is perfect for newborn sessions. And don’t forget to consider the setting of your shoot. The colors of the props and backdrops should complement, not clash with, the environment. 

For more tips, see my masterclass notes on newborn photography in Los Angeles

Types of Newborn Photography

Newborn photography, much like other forms of artistic expression, can be divided into distinct styles, each type of photography offering a unique perspective on the early days of a newborn’s life. Understanding these styles not only helps in setting the right expectations with clients but also ensures that as a photographer, you’re equipped to deliver work that resonates deeply with the families you serve.

Classic Portraiture

Classic portraiture in newborn photography focuses on simplicity and elegance, capturing the purity and delicate nature of a newborn. This style typically involves posed shots of the baby, often using minimal props and soft, neutral color palettes to keep the focus on the infant’s features.

Texture and Styling: In classic portraiture, the textures are usually soft and subtle. Think fine knits, smooth velvets, and plush materials that complement the newborn’s skin without overpowering it. These textures help in creating a gentle and serene setting that emphasizes the baby’s delicate features.

Colors: Neutral and pastel tones are predominant in this style. Shades like soft gray, creamy white, and pastel pink help maintain the focus on the baby. These colors reflect natural light beautifully, enhancing the baby’s natural skin tones and creating a timeless feel.

Styling Newborn Photography Tips: Keep it minimal. A simple bonnet or a light swaddle can be used to add a touch of elegance without overwhelming the scene. The key is to enhance the baby’s natural beauty, using subtle textures and colors to create a classic and elegant portrait.

Lifestyle Photography

Lifestyle newborn photography is more about capturing the baby within the context of the family, often in their own home. This style is less about posed shots and more about natural interactions and everyday moments.

Texture and Styling: In lifestyle photography, the textures will often reflect the home environment. Whether it’s a cozy blanket on the couch or a soft rug in the nursery, these elements should feel authentic and welcoming. 

Colors: Since lifestyle newborn sessions often take place in the client’s home, the color palette should complement the existing décor. Encourage clients to consider soft, harmonious colors in their attire to blend beautifully with their surroundings.

Styling Newborn Photography Tips: Encourage interaction. Capturing parents softly swaddling their baby or siblings gently holding the new baby can add a dynamic layer to the photos. 

Each style of newborn photography offers unique opportunities to explore different textures, colors, and compositions. Whether it’s the refined simplicity of classic portraiture or the authentic warmth of lifestyle photography, understanding and implementing these styles can greatly enhance the depth and beauty of your newborn sessions.

Ramina Magid - Newborn Photographer Los Angeles

If you’re ready to preserve the irreplaceable first moments of your newborn’s life, don’t hesitate to book your studio session today. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, Ramina Magid Photography is perfectly equipped to capture those classic posed newborn photographs in a controlled, serene environment. Our expertise in newborn photography ensures we can adapt to the unique needs of your family and newborn because let’s be honest, the first few weeks fly by, and securing these memories in beautiful photographs is something you will never regret! Don’t worry about the details—leave those to us. We love to capture the beauty of your new little one in every yawn, stretch, and sleepy smile. 

See my reviews here and contact me today, and let’s plan a session that’s just right for your new family. My Los Angeles photography studio is located in Beverly Hills at 1010 S Robertson Blvd Suite E, Los Angeles, CA 90035.

Conclusion

The magic of a newborn photoshoot session lies not just in the photographs themselves but in the careful consideration of styling, colors, and textures that enhance every shot. As photographers, it is our privilege to document these early moments of a newborn’s life, crafting images that families will treasure forever. 

To those who are new to this style of photography or are looking to improve their skills, remember that success in newborn photography involves more than just technical know-how. It requires an understanding of how to create a soothing environment for the baby, how to select soft textures that comfort and invite touch, and how to choose colors that complement and enhance the newborn’s own tones.

Whether you are preparing for a session in a client’s home or setting up in your studio, each element—from the plush softness of a swaddle blanket to the gentle hues of the backdrop—plays a critical role in the overall aesthetic and feel of the newborn pictures. By focusing on these details, you ensure that your newborn photography image not only capture the likeness but also the soft, fleeting essence of newborn life.

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ramina magid newborn photography los angeles

Studio Address

1010 S Robertson Blvd Suite E, Los Angeles, CA 90035, United States

HOURS

Monday – Friday
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Saturday & Sunday – Closed

Ramina Magid Photography is a family, maternity, and newborn photography studio located in Los Angeles, CA, minutes away from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West LA. Ramina is a Los Angeles newborn photographer, baby photographer, and family photographer. Serving Los Angeles and surrounding cities including Burbank, Brentwood, Pasadena, La Canada, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Pacific Palisades, Santa Clarita, Van Nuys, West Hollywood, San Marino, Calabasas, San Bernardino, Malibu, Altadena, Covina, Alhambra, Granada Hills, Marina Del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, and all other communities in Southern California.