New Dad holding newborn baby

Tips for Taking Great Photos of Your Baby in the Hospital

By Lindsey Belle

Those first few days after your little one is born can feel like a blur. With the rush of emotions, learning to adjust to a new baby, and nurses in and out of your hospital room, you often forget those early moments. For many of us, it’s those first days we want to remember the most.

When packing your bag to prepare for your hospital stay, don’t forget to pack the camera. While most people plan on organizing their newborn photo session for when they get home from the hospital, they can also take some beautiful photographs in the hospital before heading home. These photographs will not only be memories of the first few days of your baby’s life, but also a way to record the start of a beautiful bond you have with your precious baby.

There are so many opportunities during your hospital stay to take some wonderful photographs. Having photographed hundreds of babies, including two of my own, here are four things to remember when you are taking pictures of your new baby in the hospital.

Take lots of pictures from the second the baby is born

The feeling of pure joy you get seeing your baby for the first time is unlike any other moment in life. Savor that moment. Take it in with your partner and be present with one another as you have just become parents to this new precious baby. Once you've had some time to see the baby, have your partner grab the camera. From mom’s first look at baby to her first time holding baby, she’ll want to remember that feeling forever. Here are some other first moments you’ll want to capture on camera:

  • Dad’s first time holding baby
  • Cutting the umbilical cord
  • Weighing the baby
  • Bathing the baby
  • Baby sleeping
  • Baby awake
  • Baby yawning and making faces
  • Baby swaddled

While you are taking these photographs of your baby, make sure to take a variety of angles. For instance, back up and take a picture of the whole room. Then come in closer and take a picture of baby in the bassinet all swaddled up. Even if baby is crying, take a picture. You will love looking back at those sweet newborn cries.

Take lots of detail shots

It’s all in the details. I remember looking back at photographs of my own kids and finding it hard to believe how tiny their little toes were. I’m so glad I have the pictures to remind me and put a smile on my face. Here is a list of things to remember to photograph:

  • Toes
  • Fingers
  • Umbilical cord
  • Diaper
  • Hair
  • Close-ups of their little faces (nose, eyes, mouth, ears)
  • Hospital bracelets
  • Bassinet sign
  • Balloons and flowers in the room

For your detail shots, don’t forget to move the baby in the bassinet closer to better light before you take pictures of their sweet little toes. When you are photographing things like the sign in their bassinet, move the bassinet to better light before you take the shot. Better light equals better pictures!

Take lots of pictures of mom and dad

Don’t forget to get in front of the camera yourself, especially during those quiet moments. These beautiful moments go by quickly and it’s so wonderful to have these memories recorded. Here are some photographs you and dad will want to take with your new little one.

  • Hugging baby
  • Kissing baby
  • Smiling at baby
  • Changing baby’s diaper
  • Getting baby dressed to go home

While you are taking these photographs, make sure to move close to the window so the light from the window illuminates your faces (but if it is direct sun, make sure to move out of the direct sun so you aren’t squinting). The camera (especially iPhones) do a better job in brighter light than in a dark hospital corner.

Take photos of the visitors who come and see baby

There are so many people who want to come and meet your baby, including siblings. If siblings are visiting, make sure to document their first meeting (and holding if it works!). Again, move to the best light and snap away! The more pictures the better. You can always delete later. When you have a toddler in the shots, they move fast, so keep snapping! When your visitors come to meet baby, position the chair in the room to be in good light and have them sit down with baby and take a quick picture. You want to remember all of your loved ones meeting baby for the first time.

While many of us only have a few days in the hospital after our baby is born, there is still a lot of time to take some photographs of those wonderful moments you experienced there. The most important thing when taking these photographs is to find the best light and then takes lots of images! You can always select your favorites later. The more images you take, the more memories you'll have to remember these special days forever.

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