There is nothing as exciting as getting that message saying ‘we are on our way to have a baby!’. I look forward to them SO much. And it’s been a minute (or two) since I have received one. Understandably so, photographers are no longer permitted to go to hospital rooms and birthing centers which leave a lot of parents in limbo for their hospital fresh 48 newborn photos. If you are one of the brave and expecting mama’s out there and about to deliver, not having a photographer as an option may sound like a daunting task to you.
Today on the blog, I want to share my tips and tricks on how you can capture a beautiful Fresh 48 hospital session during COVID-19 using your own camera or phone camera.
*Pro tip* on how to capture this image above! While mom is standing in front of the hospital window, simply place baby on mamas chest and have dad or significant other come in close – forehead to forehead. Baby’s feet can be on mom’s chest (as shown above) or simply laying on mom’s chest with their face towards the camera. If a nurse is available ask if she can snap a quick photo OR prop your camera (or phone) up on a table opposite the window and set the timer.
Document all of the in between moments. This message is for all of the significant others out there. Pick up your camera (or phone if that’s all you have) and start capturing every small detail in that room. Capture mom holding and feeding, her hand size as she holds baby, the water cup sitting on her end table, how she takes her time swaddling baby. And for all of the moms out there, as you are sitting in bed, document your SO holding baby, changing his/her diaper, putting the baby’s hat or outfit on, sitting on those vinyl uncomfortable chairs in the room. Do not let a detail go unnoticed. They are ALL important.
Below you will find my tips and tricks on how to achieve the BEST Fresh 48 hospital sessions during this COVID-19 crisis.
Tips on how to photograph your own Fresh 48 hospital session
While one parent is swaddling the baby, have the other parent snap a couple of photos as they carefully swaddle the baby. This is always a sweet moment I capture with parents during a Fresh 48 session. Swaddling the baby will help keep them sleepy and calm while you are photographing them too!
Open all of the blinds as far as they will open in the room and turn off all of the fluorescent overhead lights. Don’t forget the bathroom light. The best time to photograph the baby will be during the morning and afternoon hours. If you are there for a couple of days check the weather forecast and aim for the sunniest day.
Clear the shelves, tables, and corners of clutter and paperwork. It’s easy to accumulate a lot in that small room and it’s a great idea to clear some of that out before you start shooting. If you are looking to document this time in more of a lifestyle way, leave the room as is.
You have a few location options to place the baby in the small hospital room. You can place the baby on a white sheet on your bed, in the bassinet provided to you from the nursery, or in mom or dad’s arms. Explore all three options to add variety to your gallery.
Place the bassinet as close to the window as possible and lay the swaddled baby directly in the middle of the bassinet. Hold your camera or phone directly overhead and photograph shooting downwards. Next, move to the side of the bassinet and capture a side profile of the baby in front of the big hospital window. I recommend having mom and/or dad stand at the baby’s feet and play with baby’s toes or lean into the bassinet for a snuggle.
Don’t forget to capture all of the details on the baby. Eyelashes, toes, feet, hands, ears, double chin, lips, umbilical cords, etc. Explore all of your angles.
Here are some clothing ideas! Dad wear a neutral shirt (light gray, white, tan) and avoid logos. Mom, you can wear the hospital gown, bring a simple dress or outfit you feel comfortable in, or a pretty robe. All look beautiful in photos. Lighter colors and neutrals are recommended to achieve a cohesive look to the gallery. I LOVE capturing newborns in the white hospital shirt and a diaper. I also love to use the traditional hospital blanket provided. There is something so perfect about this look. I also love capturing baby’s ‘take home outfit’ or special ‘lovey stuffed animal’.
If you are using your iPhone, you can edit them using the edit button OR download the VSCO app. It’s a handy little editing tool that is very user friendly and a great way to covert to black and white or spruce up an image.
Don’t stress. Feed the baby before you start so he/she has a full belly. Relax and just start photographing your beautiful new baby.
Use your iPhone or camera self timer or as a nurse to take a family photo. I promise you, even if you (mom) aren’t feeling up to it, it will end up being one of your favorite photos of all time. Simply hold baby, step in front of the window and snap.
Tips on how to photograph your newborn
As I’m writing this blog post, I’m realizing that I have so much more to say about how to photograph your newborn at home! Stay tuned for a newborn blog post coming soon!
Safety Precautions Going Forward
While my Homer Glen studio will remained closed until further notice, I just wanted to share my studio safety and precautions during Covid-19 and cleanliness standards moving forward when it’s time to open up again! I am missing ALL of the families I work with and can not WAIT to see your beautiful smiles again. Take a peek at a recent blog post in regards to studio safety going forward!
I am still reserving sessions at this time. Sessions will be scheduled as soon as non essential businesses are safety allowed to go back to work. If you are interested in purchasing a gift certificate or reserving your session simply CONTACT me today to start the process!