How To Take Newborn Hospital Photos

As I get closer to my due date in June I realized that now with all the new Covid rules we won’t be able to have a photographer at the birth. So I wanted to offer up some tips on how to take your own hospital photos for labor/delivery and newborn photos.

The Lullaby Collection for Newborn Photos

I also am now offering ALP Lovely Presets and the Lullaby collections even has a Fresh editing Lightroom preset that I made just for hospital photos and other photos in difficult lighting. These presets can be used on the free mobile Lightroom app or the desktop version. Shop my Lightroom Presets here.

A Professional Approach to Newborn Hospital Photos

Though birth photography isn’t something I offer, I have photographed many close friend’s and family member’s births, so I have a bit of experience in taking photos inside a hospital. I’ve learned how overhead lighting, natural light from windows, and backdrops can really transform the image.

Tips for Newborn Hospital Photos

These tips are great for in-hospital photos and even once you return home and can have more visitors.

  • During the day, turn off overhead fluorescent lighting or any lights in your hospital room, then use only window lighting when possible. Don’t use a flash. Flash can cause harsh shadows and baby shouldn’t be around a ton of flashing lights anyway.
  • Try not to take backlit photos. Or photos of people standing in front of the window. My Morning Light preset can help with these photos, but usually, backlit phone photos aren’t the best.
  • I like to turn labor and delivery photos into black and white images. This gives a more photojournalist look to them. It helps with the many different types of lighting used in a traditional delivery. Did you know different types of lighting have different color tends to them? So this helps even all those lighting colors out. It also helps the photos not feel too “graphic” when turned to black and white. I have several black and white and even a “warm” black and white preset editing option.
  • Don’t forget detailed shots of little hands, feet, hair, ears, etc.

  • Try to capture candid moments, like the nurse stamping the footprints, measuring and weighing the baby. Family and friends visiting and holding baby. Especially, mom and dad holding baby. Maybe even take a generation photo.
  • If you’re having a c-section like I did, then ask a nurse if they wouldn’t mind taking some photos (they actually offered to take photos for me), so dad doesn’t have to be taken out of the moment. You could even ask a nurse in a traditional delivery if there are extra nurses present. It never hurts to ask!

    For photos of just baby try to get them as close to the window as possible when there’s daylight. But make sure the sun isn’t shining directly on baby. If sunlight is shining straight into the room, move baby so there are no sunspots hitting directly on baby.
  • Snag the pacifier, very slowly, so you are sure to see all of your sweet little one’s face. Also, don’t worry about posing baby. It’s best to get photos when they are swaddled or asleep.
  • Try different angles. Typically with newborns, shooting from above is best.
  • When taking photos of mom, dad, or relatives holding baby, make sure to eliminate any distracting things in the background. Take photos pg them in front of a blank wall when possible. Move distracting things like food trays, clothing, cellphones etc. Make the focus just the people in the photo.

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