Working with a couple-turned-family all the way from their maternity shoot to the baby’s newborn photos is an incredible experience. Being able to watch them transform into a family is incredible and honestly the most precious thing. I love that my couples trust me and have given me the experience and gift that is experiencing their first moments as parents!
Chloe and Andrew invited me to capture their whole journey from maternity, through birth, and the first year of their son (Jack.) They had their beautiful little boy at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York (we really only have two to choose from here but this one is definitely a mommy favorite.) I had the privilege of being the first person outside of the hospital staff to meet him and that meant the absolute world to me. I just love little babies so much! The moment I knew this was a special moment was when I saw Jack in his little cubby holder bed, it was the best thing. And wow… his tiny feet moving made it all feel so real. Like this is a real person that Chloe and Andrew created! Capturing these huge milestones is important and timeless, and I love that these newborn photos can be shared for generations to come.
Spending time in their hospital room was beautiful. I could tell that Chloe and Andrew were beyond happy and wanted to keep igniting that joyous flame. One of my favorite things to do when capturing newborn photos of families in the hospital is asking the parents questions that will make their eyes light up. For Chloe and Andrew, some of those questions I asked were: “Who is going to teach Jack baseball?” or “Who is going to teach Jack how to brush and floss?” These questions brought in so much light and love to these photos, and encouraged Chloe and Andrew to realize that yes, this IS real life! I just loved watching these two imagine how their lives with Jack would unfold, the limits are endless and they’re going to make the most of every second!
Moments of a newborn’s first 48 hours are precious. From their soft wrinkles to their wriggling toes, to their softness, warmth, and that newborn baby smell, it’s all so heartwarming! I love watching couples experiencing skin-to-skin contact for the first time, sharing laughter and joy, and dreaming of their future. I encouraged Chloe and Andrew to have their first dance with Jack right there in the hospital room. Watching them sway and snuggle made it all feel so complete, this was a family that was filled with love.
Capturing Chloe and Andrew’s first 48 hours with their new baby inspired me to share some tips with future parents on how they too can capture the perfect newborn session that feels natural and comfortable.
10 Tips For Natural Newborn Photos
HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER TO DOCUMENT THEIR FIRST HOURS
This probably goes without saying but time flies. Mixed within the excitement, exhaustion, and love that comes with a newborn baby you’ll find that time just disappears. Be proactive and find a way to capture your milestones in a special way that allows you to share this time with your little ones when they’re not so little anymore. Hiring a professional photographer to document your baby’s first few hours is a great way to do this. Do you remember the first time your parent brought out a box of photographs of you and your siblings? What about newborn photos? Probably not as many, right? Your child will love seeing what they looked like as a newborn and you will LOVE looking back on this time and comparing your child to what they once were. My mantra? Life is short… TAKE THE PHOTOS!
Music is familiar, calming, and fun! Ask your photographer to play music on a Bluetooth speaker, like calming piano music or other music that provides a comfortable soft environment. Play it low (you don’t want to hurt your baby’s fresh ears) and soak in the environment you’re in. Let this moment be something you look on and have a song to tie these memories to!
I totally get it, the day your baby arrives is a blur and it’s easy to forget things! So, in your hospital bag go ahead and pack some neutral, soft, and comfortable pieces to wear in your photos. Think, what is timeless? And, what am I going to want to be wearing after hours in the delivery room? For my future mothers, I recommend a simple dress with a neutral feel and soft textures. Think about what will make you feel the most beautiful and comfortable!
TAKE IN THE MOMENTS
Parents tell me all the time that their babies grow so fast, even within the first day of giving birth! And it’s true. The moments from the time you celebrate your pregnancy to the day you give birth are going to FLY by and you’ll be shocked. It’ll feel like you blinked and you are suddenly a parent to a brand new baby. Life is short but beautiful so make sure you capture each experience and milestone. I encourage families to capture everything from maternity and the first 48-hour newborn shots to 3-6-9-12-month milestone sessions. With these milestones captured, you’ll be able to reflect on this time and also show your children just how beautiful their growth has been. At the end of the year, you can print your favorite shots from each milestone and hang them on your walls, make them into an heirloom album, or just create a lifetime of memories!
SKIN TO SKIN
If you’re a future parent you’ve probably heard all about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact with your newborn baby. Studies show that this time improves your newborn’s overall health and happiness just as much as talking, singing, and quality time. Allow your baby to know your scent, your touch, and feel the comfort you bring to them. Soak in this time, it’s an emotional moment for sure!
TURN THE HEAT UP
Now, this may be a little silly but seriously it’s important to remember to turn up the heat! Literally. No baby wants to be cold. Let your baby cozy up with you and keep them warm with a sweet little hat and warm swaddle. Trust me, a warm baby = a happy baby.
PROTECT THE BABY’S FACE FROM THEIR OWN NAILS
This also sounds a bit obvious but keep in mind your baby is FRESH. Their skin is so incredibly soft and delicate that their nails could leave red marks and scars right before the session. I recommend baby mittens or socks – these keep your baby warm and prevent any scratches!
KNOW THE VISITOR POLICY
In the era of Covid the world shut down and hospitals set in place some strict guidelines. Make sure that you know your hospital’s visitor policy before hiring your photographer. At this particular hospital, the policy was 1 visitor per day (aside from hospital staff). But, go ahead and ask your hospital what their policy is. While newborn shots with just mom and dad are incredibly important there is also a beautiful aspect to bringing in your parents, siblings, or friends within the first few days of your baby being born. This time is important to everyone who you consider family.
PRINT THE PHOTOS
They’re on your phone… I know. But, print them out. I’m serious! You’ll want a physical copy of these photos so you can put them in frames, hang them on your walls, put them on your baby’s bookshelf, or hang them in your office when you return to work. These photographs will bring you so much joy when you see your baby’s sweet little face! Something I love doing for my couples is creating an album or individual albums for each milestone, so families can turn through the images together. This is a beautiful way to cherish your little one forever.
WOW. What a day, week, and YEAR you have had! You deserve your rest and your body will thank you. After giving birth you’ll have so much adrenaline but remember to take care of yourself. This will help your little one too! Take shifts with your partner and enjoy those Zzz’s!
Looking for more tips for natural newborn photos? Go ahead and send me a message and let’s start chatting!