5 Tips for Taking Newborn Photos in the Hospital

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Just because you cannot have any extra visitors during this time, does not mean you cannot have beautiful photos of your new baby. All moms deserve beautiful photographs of their babies, which is why I have put together these 5 tips for taking your own newborn photos in the hospital

Fresh 48, Newborn Photos in the Hospital, Photo tips

When taking newborn photos in the hospital, use window light. Turn off all other lights in the room.

This is always my number one tip for any indoor photography situation. Turn off those lights in the room, they are unflattering and can give harsh shadows. Instead, open the blinds and use only natural light.

If the sun is coming through the blinds harshly, use the blinds to filter the light as you also want to avoid “hot spots” or super bright spots in your photo.

newborn photos in hospital, fresh 48 session, Seattle newborn photography

Set your camera to Aperture Priority Mode; or set your smartphone to Portrait Mode to take newborn photos.

If you’re not comfortable shooting in manual mode on your DSLR, using the Aperture Priority Mode is much like the portrait mode of your smart phone. It allows you to pick the aperture, or in other words, it allows you to control how much of your image is in focus. You will want to select the lowest number your lens allows, which is typically 3.5 for most lenses that come with your basic DSLR. (I suggest you Google your camera’s model to see exactly how to put your camera into Aperture Priority Mode. For Canon users this will be the Av setting, or A on Nikons.).

If you’re using a smartphone instead, the Portrait Mode gives you a similar effect (all while allowing you to easily share those photos right away!).

Photos at Swedish Hospital, Fresh 48, newborn in hospital photos, newborn feet

When taking newborn photos in the hospital don’t forget to photograph the details.

The thing that makes a Fresh 48 session so special is how brand new baby is. Document all of those little details that tell the story of your baby’s first hours – from tiny fingers and toes, hospital bands, the umbilical stump, to the blankets and bassinet.

Seattle fresh 48 photography, newborn photos, baby in moms arms

Moms get in the frame with your baby, too.

You may not feel photo ready after giving birth, however, I promise you will not regret getting in the frame with your new baby. Set the settings and hand your camera (or phone) off to your spouse (or a nurse) to take a few photos of you and baby.

Bonus Tip: Have your husband take the photo from slightly above you and baby. This angle is more flattering than shooting from below. You can also show him the photos below for a little inspiration.

Newborn baby in hospital, fresh 48 photos

Play around with angles when taking newborn photos in the hospital.

The beauty of digital photography is that you do not have a roll of 24 photos to work with. With digital you can take as many photos as you need to get it right. So I encourage you to try different angles.

One tip here is to avoid shooting up baby’s nose. Again, I have provided photos in this article to hopefully inspire you.

Bonus Tip: Remove Distractions from the frame.

Okay, I had to add just one final tip, remove distractions from your newborn photos in the hospital. Just because you are in a hospital room, does not mean it has to look like one. Of course, a few photos with the hospital bed, monitors and cords are okay, but the last thing you want is a beautiful photo of mom and baby with a bright pink phone case sticking out in the background.

Whenever I start a Fresh 48, I’m looking for those things I don’t want standing out in the background of my photo, whether that’s a brightly colored water bottle, the food tray, or even your own bags with your clothing and things.

If you’re unsure what might be a distraction, just check your photos here and there and see if anything stands out to you besides baby.

Now relax, enjoy these last days or weeks of pregnancy the best you can. You can even use this time to practice these tips so you are extra prepared.

Of course, we all wish our photographers could come to the hospital to document this special time. (Trust me, I’m missing my freshie baby fix!) However, with the above tips you can still make the most of the situation.

In the Greater Seattle area and looking for newborn photographer? Contact me to schedule your newborn photo session. You can capture those first moments in the hospital, and I will help you beautifully document this newborn stage in your home.