As a new mom myself and a photographer, I can’t believe I didn’t think to create this post before now! Yesterday I mentioned how Covid has effected 2020 brides but today I’m thinking about how this pandemic has made expecting parents change their idea of how they plan to capture the birth and first few days of their new baby. Obviously those of you who had planned on having a photographer visit the hospital for a fresh 48 session can no longer make this happen. Most hospitals if not all of them are not allowing visitors and I’m expecting this to be the policy for the remainder of the year if not longer. Although this may have you disappointed, don’t fret… here are some tips and tricks for taking great hospital photos yourself!
- Move the baby’s basinet close to the window in your room and open the blinds. Turn off all of the lights in the room so you are only working with the natural lighting coming from your window. Natural light is always best especially when the alternative is hospital lighting.
- Plan photos after a feeding. Birthing a child is not only exhausting for the momma, but it is tiring for the baby too! So fill your little ones belly first, because we all know a fed baby is a happy one. (And usually leads to a nap, which is perfect for photos.)
- Less is more. Bring simple clothing/swaddles and try to keep the background of your image simple as well. You want the focus of your photos to be on baby, not on a loud or vibrant pattern or logo. Earth tones are always nice so try to bring neutral colored clothing so there’s nothing to distract us from your little pride and joy!
- Think about your angles. You don’t want to move your baby if you don’t have to, once they find themselves in a comfy position you want to keep them that way. So when you are taking photos, remember you should be the one moving to get different shots, not the baby. Make sure not to position your camera so that your angle is showing up the babies nose.
- Don’t forget about the details! They only stay little for a short while so make sure you document their hands, feet and features before you blink and they’ve grown up!
- Make sure to include yourself in some of the photos! I know as a new mom getting your photo taken is not something most of us want to do, but it’s important to include yourself in the frame. You had the leading role in creating this little life, you are a part of their story and your photos should depict that! We so often fill up our iPhones with photo after photo of our children, but remember when they look back on these pictures they are going to want to see you too!
- Make safety a priority. Babies have positions they like and others that they don’t, and this varies with each child. Pay attention to their body language so you can follow their lead. You may love all of the cute posing you see from newborn photographers but remember that these photographers have done safety training and are experts in that area. Keep in mind that many of these popular poses that you see online are composites of several photos taken while the photographer is supporting the baby with their hands, though they photoshop them out. Again, keep it simple and make the babies comfort & safety your priority.
There you go! Congrats to all the new parents & parents-to-be out there trying to navigate having a little one during a pandemic. Speaking from experience, I know it’s disappointing not being able to have your support system there with you in such a big moment in your life, but know that you are strong and capable and can do hard things! Even with your loved ones sending their love from afar. The most important thing is that you focus on the life that you created and capture their first moments both for yourself and for those loved ones that couldn’t be there with you. Pandemic or not, these are the moments to be cherished, documented and remembered forever.