to date, i have two children and to date, my absolute favorite images of theirs are their fresh 48 sessions (you can peek at them here + here). i genuinely yearn for every new mother to have beautiful photos of their brand new bebe but i also know the the brief hospital stay can be chaotic and, let’s face it, not glamorous. with this in mind, i’ve put together four quick tips for taking your own photos at the hospital so that you can capture moments that will undoubtedly be treasured forever.
- use the hospital bassinet and delivery blankets as a prop. every hospital has a different bassinet design and delivery blankets that are specific to the hospital where you delivered your bebe. use these to your advantage. plus, your bebe will already be spending time in their bassinet (i mean, it’s the place they spent their first night, after all) so it’s an easy prop to use. you don’t even have to ‘pose’ or position your bebe in any specific way. just get creative with your angles. take a nice wide shot of the entire bassinet to remember just how tiny your bebe was in those first few days. then snap some close ups of your bebe’s face and the card in the bassinet with your baby’s information on it. all the while, your little one will be dreaming sweet dreams and you’ll be capturing the sweet memories.
- use one pose + different angles to maximize variety. brand new bebe’s can be persnickety and honestly, who can blame them? the trick is to simply lay your bebe on their back in the middle of the hospital bed + then move yourself around to capture a variety of angles. this will maximize your gallery variety while also allowing you to concentrate on different parts of your bebe. my suggestion is to grab a full length shot from above so that you can see your little one from head to toe. then move in closer to grab a nice portrait of their sweet face. next, move a little lower to grab a shot of their tummy + tiny toes. next, move to the side of the bed and grab a head to toe profile shot and then move in closer to snap a nice facial profile portrait. while you’re close up, move down and capture their tiny toes again. it’ll be from the side this time vs from above so you’ll have two different ‘tiny toes’ poses to choose from. to add further variety, experiment with crops. i’m partial to the ‘half face’ crop myself.
- details, details, details. as i mentioned, hospital stays are generally very brief and before long, some of the details might get a little fuzzy. by capturing them while you’re at the hospital, you’re doing yourself a huge favor in the long run. be sure to snap a photo of bebe’s hospital bracelets, all of their hospital ‘belongings’ such as their first hat, their pacifier, their blankets and their nasal bulb. perhaps you’ve received some balloons or a bouquet of flowers-snap photos of them too! and while you’re at it-take a nice, long look at your bebe. are there any tiny details that you want to make sure you never forget? both of my children were born with supple cheeks + lots of hair so i was sure to capture close up shots of their hair, their ears, their eyelashes, the wrinkles in their feet. and don’t be afraid to get too close-remember, you’ve already captured many of your portraits so don’t be afraid to get close and capture those details!
- give your camera to someone, anyone, and get in the frame. nothing breaks my heart more than a mama who doesn’t have a single photo with her brand new bebe. i know you don’t feel glamorous. i know you’ll feel like you want to put on makeup or curl your hair but if those things don’t happen, that doesn’t mean that the photo doesn’t need to happen. hand your husband the camera or ask the friend who’s come to visit. heck, even ask a nurse. you don’t need a whole gallery but you do need at least one. and if all else fails, turn your iPhone to selfie mode and take it yourself. a year from now, that photo will be priceless.
now, remember, you have just given birth to a bebe. and that is no small feat. if taking your own hospital photos isn’t working, don’t sweat it. many hospitals offer a photography service and many professional photographers offer fresh 48 sessions as well (even me!). but if you do take them on your own (and i believe in you, mama, i know you can!) then just be mindful of your body + and give yourself lots of time and grace. keep these four tips in mind and you’ll find that perhaps the hospital photos weren’t as scary as you thought 🙂