How to prepare for a studio photo session

Pregnant mother at studio photo session in white dress beside a mirror, holding her bump

Let’s discuss how to prepare for a studio photo session! Studio sessions at Photography by Alyssum are such a “best of both worlds” approach to indoor sessions. I’ve designed these sessions to have a styled-life approach to motherhood, maternity, newborn, and baby photography. I want you to walk into my home studio and feel like I’ve taken the coziest pieces of lifestyle portraiture and stitched it with beautiful lighting, textures, and comfort. To help this dreamy aesthetic come together, I have a client closet filled with beautiful clothing for mamas, babies, and children, and yes even a few basics for dads!

A photo block of how to prepare for studio photo sessions
Clockwise from left: natural light lifestyle room with daybed and newborn beanbag, client wardrobe for children, client closet for mamas, and white studio light room.

How to Prepare for a Studio Photo Session with Wardrobe Styling

When you sign your studio contract with me, you’ll receive an access code to begin using my wardrobe styling service to prepare for your photo session in the studio. Please visit Style & Select and enter the access code I’ve provided for you. There will be a section with my “Client Closet” pieces that are available to borrow from me. For all other items that aren’t in my closet, you’ll receive links to personally purchase each piece, or you can just use it as a guide to shop stores (and your closet) on your own.

mother holding her baby's hands after preparing for a studio photo session

Think Earth tones, neutral whites and creams, and desaturated colors. Popular, modern accent colors are rust, brown, cream, and sage green. These compliment my warm style and don’t tend to cast unwanted colors on your family.


Newborn babies typically look best wrapped up in a blanket or wearing a well-fitting gown or set (Lou Lou & Company) or a plain white onesie (I keep H&M kimono-style onesies here).

Older Babies

I try to have you steer away from dressing babies in “adult” clothing like button-up collared shirts or stiff pants. These things hide their tiny features that we’re there to capture and remember! Babies look best in “baby clothes” and can come in a plain, well-fitting white onesie or romper. If you’re celebrating baby’s first birthday, I like to do two to three outfits if time permits. Typically we do a romper or dress, white pajamas, and bare chest and diaper cover or bloomers.

siblings in studio with pure white outfits


Whether you’re expecting, you’ve just had your baby, or it’s been years since you had your last, a beautifully textured dress can help make your photos feel extra special. My client closet features many beautiful gowns that are maternity and postpartum-friendly. Bringing along a cute bralette and nude undies will go with most of my options. Please remember to take hair elastics off your wrist!


Males look great in a pair of well-fitting khakis with a plain grey, tan, white, or oatmeal t-shirt or a button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up and untucked. I do have several henley tees here for dads as a backup. Generally, avoid wrist watches on both parents as they can distract from the final image. Please remember to take keys and phones out of your pockets.

dad kissing newborn baby son's forehead


I have a closet of options for young children up to about 6 years old, or please feel free to bring your own. Boys are easy with a simple tee and brown khaki bottoms or overalls and girls look great in a dress in white, cream, or earthy tones. Please avoid any clothing with logos, designs, or neon colors.

“Tiny hands touch this floor. Please leave your shoes at the door.”  When you arrive at my studio, please remove your footwear. You will be barefoot throughout the session, which helps reduce germs in the studio and also fits with the cozy vibe. I will wash my hands when you arrive. I clean the studio before and after every session, and it is professionally cleaned once a month or more. 

How to Prepare for a Studio Photo Session – Studio newborns

The amount of travel time you have to get to the studio can alter baby’s prep slightly. Our goal will really be to have your baby sleepy and content with eyes closed for most of the session. If you are thinking “baby has the sweetest eyes, I want those in the pictures so I’m okay if they don’t sleep through the session,” DON’T 😉 I mean this with a lot of love… babies’ eyes can be crazy! They don’t have control over them, they cross, one is open and the other closed. It’s not ideal. Truthfully, they’ll probably open their eyes at some point and we’ll get some open-eyed shots. But I promise you that you’ll be happier with your baby asleep as the goal.

At home, baby might be the sleepiest little one who you have to wake just to feed on schedule, but please don’t go into your session assuming it’ll be the same. You’ll be picking them up, putting them down, and passing them to your partner. While I am baby-led with my style, it’s not the same as undisrupted sleep. Generally, you’ll feed baby right before leaving your home and allow them to have some awake time in the car. When you arrive, mom can browse my dress collection while we get baby settled and ready to be photographed. If baby needs additional feeds, please feel comfortable doing so as needed. If baby is bottle-fed, please come prepared with extra bottles.

Sibling shots tend to work best at the start of the session while toddlers are most cooperative, but if they need more time to warm up to the new surroundings I can switch up the flow. The session is very long and boring for young children, so please bring some of their favorite activities.

The studio is kept warm to keep baby settled. Please come dressed for the tropical environment with a change of clothes if you’d like. My priority is your baby’s comfort and well-being, and I follow their lead throughout my session workflow. Baby might wake up or make a little noise because they are disturbed and would like to go back to sleep. I quickly settle them down and continue, however, if baby is showing that they do not like a particular position (and all babies are different and have different preferences) then I will skip that pose and move on. The beauty of my newborn sessions is that it is baby-led and family-centered.

After the studio session

Within a few days of your session, you’ll have the first preview of your gallery! Your proofs will arrive in your inbox and from there you get to choose which collection of digital images you want to purchase. Your retainer paid at booking will be deducted from the collection you choose. I will hand-edit each of your selections for skin retouching and artistic style. Once you receive your finished digital gallery, you will have a full month to select the print items you’d like to purchase with your print credit. If you need extra time, just let me know so I can extend the gallery. Your print credit can be used toward anything in the gallery store: albums, linen boxes, greeting cards, prints, ornaments, and more. 

pregnant woman holding bump after preparing for a studio photo session

Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions about how to prepare for a studio photo session with Photography by Alyssum. I can’t wait to capture this special time in your lives!

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