5 Hacks For Taking Your Own Hospital Newborn Photos

welcoming a new baby into the world is a sacred time for a couple and the moments shared are intimate and private.  for my husband and i, we asked that our time in the hospital be respected and did not allow visitors to meet our baby until after we arrived home.  we knew that we would never get those first moments with our baby back again and wanted to ensure that our time was just that, our time.  some people are fine having visitors, and that’s okay too.  it’s a personal choice of the parents.  because we decided to keep our first moments to just the three of us, but i still wanted to get photographs in the hospital, i was responsible for taking my own hospital photos.  if you aren’t interested in hiring a photographer to take photos for you and plan to take them yourself, here are some great tips for taking your own hospital newborn photos that really made it easy and successful for me, even after a c-section.  *note, c-section mamas, you must put your recovery first and listen to your restrictions.  you will do your baby no good if you hinder your recovery by getting brave as you take photos.  that being said, it’s still possible, just be mindful.

want to wait until you get home to take formal portraits?  here are 10 tips for photographing your own newborn.

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5 Hacks For Taking Your Own Hospital Newborn Photos

5 Hacks For Taking Your Own Hospital Newborn Photos | Bethadilly Photography

1. Pack The Right Gear

as you are packing your overnight bag for the hospital, be sure to pack the right gear to photograph your baby.  aside from your camera, i would recommend bringing a 50mm lens for portraits and a wide angle lens for small tight spaces.  hospital rooms can be small and having a wide angle lens will be your lifesaver.  as always, packing extra batteries and memory cards is recommended.  it’s easy to fill up a memory card taking first pictures of your little one, without realizing it.  while not mandatory, consider bringing a wireless remote to simplify taking the first family photo.

it’s a great idea to also pack a list of must-have photos you would like to take.  once your baby is born, your mind becomes a little distracted and it’s easy to be forgetful.  having a photo list handy will help you organize your thoughts and ensure you get all the photos you really want, with no regrets.

5 Hacks For Taking Your Own Hospital Newborn Photos | Bethadilly Photography

2.  Use The Hospital Bassinet For Baby Portraits

the hospital bassinet is a life saver when it comes to taking your baby’s first portraits for a few reasons.

  1. your baby is safe and secure in the bassinet, allowing you to focus on photographing them
  2. you can move the bassinet around the room to help place your baby in the best natural light
  3. most bassinets have clear sides, allowing you to photograph from a variety of angles to get detailed photos of fingers, ears, toes
  4. most have a white sheet in the bottom that acts as a natural reflector and is a neutral backdrop

5 Hacks For Taking Your Own Hospital Newborn Photos | Bethadilly Photography

3. Use The Hospital Sheets As A Neutral Backdrop

if you are looking for a nice white backdrop to photograph your baby on (and if the bassinet doesn’t have one), pull off the comforter on your hospital bed…there are bound to be bright white hospital sheets underneath!  with the help of your partner, lay your baby on the bed and take photos of him/her there.  because there are no sides on the bed, be sure to have your partner watch and spot the baby while you photograph.  safety should always be your first priority when taking your own hospital newborn photos.

while we are talking about safety, always wear a camera strap when photographing a newborn from above.

5 Hacks For Taking Your Own Hospital Newborn Photos | Bethadilly Photography

4.  Take Turn Taking Pictures

okay, so i took 99% of the hospital photos of our daughter, but there was one photo i really wanted of me and her that i asked my husband to help me with.  i really wanted a portrait of the two of us, showcasing her in my arms and my visible baby bump.  it was important for me to document what i looked like after giving birth.  for some moms, they don’t want to document this and feel self conscious but, to me, it’s beautiful.  please hand off your camera and allow your partner to take pictures as well, it’s important that you are in photos with your tiny baby too.  your baby will want to know what you looked like as a new mom, so taking pictures of your baby with each parent is a must.  have your partner take pictures of you breastfeeding, cuddling, doing skin to skin, and resting.

are you worried about the limited hospital light?  be sure to read photographing in hospitals : achieving good photos in any light.

5 Hacks For Taking Your Own Hospital Newborn Photos | Bethadilly Photography

5. Use The Meal Tray As A Tripod

hopefully your hospital has a meal tray that raises and lowers, they are amazing!  i did not bring a tripod with me to the hospital, but instead set my camera on the meal tray that was in our room for having meals in bed.  the meal tray is an excellent tripod because it has wheels on it, allowing you to move it around the room so you can position it anywhere.  if your tray is like mine, it can be raised higher and lower as well, which gives you full control like a tripod.  consider bringing a wireless remote with you as well, they are so affordable and will make taking a first family portrait so easy.

taking your own hospital newborn photos is so easy and the images you take will be cherished forever.  for those of you who have been successful with taking your own hospital newborn photos, please share your tips with us in the comment section below.  let’s help one another take the very best photos we can of our new babies.

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5 Hacks For Taking Your Own Hospital Newborn Photos | Bethadilly Photography

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