When your baby’s due date is rapidly approaching, you’ve surely got a ton of things on your mind. Is my hospital bag packed? Is the baby’s bag packed? Did I forget anything? Are the pets/other kids squared away for the time we’ll be in the hospital? What else am I forgetting? The last thing on your mind at this point is probably anything to do with what happens AFTER your son or daughter is born; for instance, the baby photo shoot they offer at the hospital. Here are some tips to help ensure you get some great photos, no matter if you plan to take them yourself or take advantage of the professional photographers at the hospital.
Professional baby photos are something you should seriously consider, even if you are on a bit of a budget. Remember that you only get one shot at having your newborn’s pictures taken professionally while you are in the hospital. You can certainly set something up after the fact at your home, but there is something special about getting your baby’s pictures when they are only days old. You don’t want to look back later in life and wish you had at least gotten them taken. Usually you can have the photo shoot done with no obligation to buy and no sitting fee. Of course, if you feel strongly against having a professional new baby photo shoot, you can take your own photos that you will still cherish for a lifetime.
Here are some tips to help you either way, whether you opt for a professional baby photo shoot at the hospital or if you set up your own baby photo shoot with your personal camera.
- Bring some of your favorite new baby items from home when you head to the hospital – a handmade blanket, cute booties, a favorite bib, toy, or other personal item.
- Ensure the baby is fed and changed before the photo shoot. You can get much better photos with a happy, full, satisfied baby than you can with a hungry, cranky baby.
- If you do choose to have a professional photo shoot, ask the photographer about buying a CD of all the images with rights. You can also ask that they throw the extra shots on the disk, not just the top 10 or 20. We paid $135 and got 99 photos on disk with full rights to reproduce the photos and use them however we’d like. We don’t have to buy our prints and portraits through the photo studio now, and we can share photos with friends and family – so totally worth it!
- Try to get photos of mom and baby, dad and baby, all three together, and cute shots that focus on dad’s hands, baby’s hands, baby’s feet, etc.
- Get a little creative with your shots – don’t feel you need to smile at the camera every time. Kiss the baby’s head, let her hold onto your finger, close your eyes and nuzzle up close. Gaze lovingly at your spouse while he or she holds the baby and looks at the baby.
- If you opt to take your own photos, try to plan your photo session for a time when one of your visitors – a friend or family member – can spend a few moments snapping away.
- If possible, plan your photo shoot toward the end of your hospital stay; not necessarily on discharge day, but definitely give yourselves some time to unwind and recover from the craziness of just having a baby. If your stay is too short to coordinate a later shoot, just plan it according to the schedule you’ve got.
These tips should help you prepare even just a little bit to get some special photos of your newborn. You will cherish these photos for a lifetime, so be sure you snap a bunch on your camera too, even if you do plan to have the professional baby photos done. If you have any other helpful tips to share related to new baby photo shoots, please feel free to share them in our comments below.