9 Ways to Photograph Your Baby's Birth
With the help of a photographer (Hello! You're welcoming a baby!), here's how to capture the unforgettable moments of your baby's birth
Start with the storytelling details leading up to a birth—the diaper bag packed by the door, the empty car seat buckled in the back seat, the favors stacked and ready for guests, the first diaper your baby will wear all set aside on the warming bed. Photograph it all!
The Money Shot
For each of my baby’s births, if there was no other moment captured but one, without question it would be the very first moment I met my child. The tears, the elation, the love—truly these are the pictures “worth a thousand words.”
Nothing says new baby like tiny inky feet. After those first footprints on the birth certificate, snap a photo of baby’s blackened feet. This makes a great photo to include next to the birth certificate in the baby book.
It’s easy to have our cameras focused on the new baby, but don’t forget to include the faces and expressions of all the visitors who welcome that new child. Aiming up from a low perspective is a great way to capture those expressions.
A Toast With Friends
A toast with friends is a memorable way to welcome baby and celebrate, and it makes a great moment to photograph as well. We’ve even used hospital Dixie cups to toast births. I love the raw expression visible on people’s faces during a toast, and I cherish those photos of my babies’ births.
Make sure someone has camera duty (and not Mom or Dad—you need to be part of the moment) when siblings come to visit the new baby. Of the top ten photos you’ll be happy you saved years from now, that first sibling bonding moment is definitely one of them.
One of my favorite nostalgic moments from the hospital is holding my baby while I was pushed through the hallway in a wheelchair. It’s a hospital birth rite of passage and a photo worth capturing. How many of us have photos of this moment captured with our own mom years ago?
An Unforgettable Day
Your baby’s birth could quite possibly be the most memorable occasion for photographs, and yet photography might not be the first thing on parents’ minds (Hello! You’re welcoming a baby!). If you’re comfortable, invite a photographer (or friend with a camera) in the birth room to capture these unforgettable moments.
Capture the memory of naming your baby in the hospital, whether it’s a photo of you signing it for the first time on the birth certificate or thumbing through baby name books with your husband. I love this shot of my best friend who spent two full days writing various names on her iPad before finally settling on her daughter’s name.
Don't Forget The Hospital Room
Easy to be forgotten in the list of important birth day photos, the hospital room where you enjoyed those first days with your child is a memory you’ll want to remember. I call my girls’ birth rooms “sacred ground,” and I’m so glad my dad thought to get a full room shot before we packed up and went home.
Use Natural Light
Medical facilities don’t exactly have photography in mind when designing their lighting. Use natural light when possible and move things around to access good light for important photos. I angled the love seat in our room to capture a bit of window light for one of my favorite photos of my daughter loving on her little sister.
Photo Credit: Kelle Hampton
Kelle Hampton is a mom, photographer, blogger, and author who lives in sunny Florida. To learn more about her, visit Enjoying the Small Things.
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