When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, it can be hard to imagine what it is going to be like to have a baby, let alone prepare for a newborn photo shoot in the hospital! The first day or two in the hospital are intense, but a little preparation will help make sure the photos from that special and unique time are ones you will enjoy for years to come.
Decide who you want to be in the shoot
Although there will be individual portraits, newborn photos don’t just have to be of your baby.
We highly recommend planning on photos of the whole newly expanded family at this special time. And yes, that includes you! Your inclination may be to avoid being in the photos, but we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to be photographed with your baby, even though you may not be feeling at your best. In years to come, you and your child will be glad to have these early photos, and you’ll want to include your spouse or partner, too.
Discuss the shoot with your spouse
Get your spouse or partner on board and excited about your hospital newborn shoot. Find out about any hopes, expectations or concerns he may have and how much or how little he wants to be involved in planning. You may be surprised as to what is and isn’t important to him, and you should let him know about what is important to you also. If a friend or family member will be present at the shoot, make sure to get her or his input.
Include siblings in the shoot
Your hospital newborn photos can include siblings as well. They will be pleased to be included in the shoot and your newborn will be excited to see how little his or her older siblings were back at the time of the birth
Pick the baby’s outfit
If you have a special outfit in mind for your baby’s first photo shoot, pick it and pack it in your hospital bag now! You might want to bring a couple of options in case one doesn’t fit well. Focus on outfits with special meaning, but if you don’t have anything in mind, don’t worry. Your baby will look great without clothes or wrapped in a blanket.
If you have a special blanket, toy or family heirloom, pack them, too. Maybe you have a silver rattle or other keepsake from when you were a baby, or a hand-knit blanket from a special relative (knits are my favorite!) Plain but textured blankets work great in photos, either in muted or bright colors, but avoid busy patterns if you can.
Choose your own outfit
Don’t forget about yourself! You don’t have to get all dressed up. A simple white shirt or black T-shirt will work great along with your favorite pair of maternity jeans (bring a belly band if you’re worried about post-baby fit). A beautiful necklace and some simple earrings can add a special touch.
Pack make-up and hair products you might need
Don’t feel you have to wear make-up, but if a little make-up will go a long way to making you feel confident in front of the camera, put some in your hospital bag now! At minimum, some eye liner and/or mascara, blush and your favorite lipstick will help make you look good on camera. Hair products such as gel or mousse can also help keep stray hairs to a minimum and save on retouching.