Newborn photography lets you capture your baby’s first moments in the world and preserve that tiny, wrinkled face forever—but do hospitals offer newborn photography? Some do, and some don’t.
Here’s everything you need to know about newborn photography at the hospital, including whether you can skip the professional photographer and snap your own pictures instead.
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Do Hospitals Offer Newborn Photography?
As a newborn photographer, I understand how important it is to document your child’s birth and first days.
A hospital can be a stressful place, but having a family portrait made there could provide many beautiful photos that will become some of your most treasured memories.
If you would like to take advantage of free newborn photography at your local hospital, ask them about their policies on free sessions for families who are new in town or have just had a baby.
How Soon After Birth Should We Start Photographing Our Baby?
Hospitals vary in how they offer newborn photography services. Most can arrange a photographer to meet you in your hospital room after you’ve had some time to rest and settle your baby into its new surroundings.
This can be a good idea, as babies may be sleepy or fussy after being born, making them less responsive during their first photo shoot.
If there are any concerns about sleeping or feeding right away, take some time to get comfortable with one another before snapping photos.
What To Dress Baby For Hospital Newborn Photography?
Choosing what to wear for newborn photography is no easy task, especially if you’re trying to stand out from others.
But don’t let it throw you—the most important thing is that you feel comfortable in your clothing. Just remember: If a photographer asks if he or she can take a photo of you, saying yes does not guarantee you a spot on his/her client list.
How To Arrange A Newborn Shoot In The Hospital?
Whether you’re bringing in a professional or arranging for an in-hospital newborn photography shoot, there are a few things to know about shooting a newborn baby.
First, plan on bringing more than one outfit for your newborn.
If you take advantage of an at-home photoshoot, use that as your opportunity to choose additional outfits that your child can wear during his or her hospital stay.
Second, be sure to ask if and when family members will be able to visit with your newborn.
Some hospitals offer special visiting hours specifically for newborn photography shoots, while others don’t allow visitors until after discharge.
Finally, ask if and when you can bring in props and other items that might make your newborn photos stand out from others—such as blankets or stuffed animals—and whether these items will need to be sanitized before they come into contact with your baby.
Tips For Capturing Those Precious First Moments With Your New Baby
When you’re bringing home a new baby, it’s easy to focus on everything else: scheduling checkups, soothing a colicky night, sorting through mountains of diapers.
The excitement of welcoming your new addition quickly fades as you adjust to your new life. But if you take some time before your bundle of joy arrives, hiring a professional newborn photographer can make all those sleepless nights worthwhile.
If you’re considering having your baby photographed during its first days, here are some things to keep in mind:
Newborn sessions should last no more than three hours; otherwise, they can be stressful for both parent and child.
Keep these important points in mind when booking a session: Set aside an entire day for your shoot. This way, you won’t feel rushed or pressured to get shots done in one sitting.
It also gives you plenty of time to go back and edit any photos that didn’t turn out quite right. Some photographers will even offer discounts if you book multiple shoots over several weeks or months.
Make sure your photographer has experience working with newborns—the posing techniques and lighting choices may be different from what he or she uses for older children or adults.