Do you remember those first few days after your baby was born?
Neither do I…
It all quickly became a blur as the long hours with a newborn turned into remarkably short weeks, and all of a sudden I no longer had a newborn … and then an infant … and then a toddler. It is hard to remember now what they looked like when they were so small and fresh, when all the socks we owned slipped off his tiny feet and his little hands grasped everything. Those first 48 hours after the birth are particularly fuzzy for me. In the hospital, I remember a struggle to breastfeed, constant checks on my health, and limping around a cold room when I needed something. I do remember small flashes of quiet cuddles, but I know I promised myself that I would remember so much more. And I would give anything to go back and get more and better pictures of those irreplaceable moments instead of the underexposed snapshots that I ended up with thanks to my friend and family picking up the camera every once in awhile.
If only I had known then what I know now … I would have booked a hospital newborn photography session.Now, I know what you’re thinking. “I’m already paying for a newborn photo session and she wants me to shell out for more pictures?” I have two answers to that — no, three! First, I would most likely book a hospital session instead of a regular newborn session if I could only choose one. Why? Because I am a lover of and believer in the moment as the linchpin of what makes a great photograph, and there is really nothing that can compare to the first, newest moments in a baby’s and mama’s life. So while I would have pictures of every day of my baby’s first year if I could, those hospital moments would win out for me if I had to choose a newborn highlight. Staged pictures are beautiful, but capturing memories are what photography is about. Second, I have to refer back to the speedy nature of time and the permanence of a photograph. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever regret having more beautiful images of your baby to enjoy. It is far more likely that you’ll regret the photographs that were not taken. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at what kind of images come from a hospital newborn session.
But the heart and soul of the hospital newborn shoot is baby and his mom and dad. These are the pictures that you will be so glad to have when your baby is not a baby anymore. The bond between parent and child is reflected so beautifully in these hospital images. You can just feel the love.
So let’s talk details — how does this whole hospital newborn photography session work anyway?
Here are a couple of important things to know:
1. You need to book your session before your little one arrives. Because there is so little leeway in getting these sessions completed after the birth, I take a limited number of them each month and am generally unable to take them if I am contacted after the baby is born. There just isn’t enough time. So book well before your due date so that I am ready!
2. Once your baby arrives, you send me a text as soon as you are able (after getting settled in your room) and, depending on what time of day it is, I will make arrangements to come during visiting hours either the next day or the day after. (E.g. if you have your baby at 10 p.m. I’m not going to bust up in your room at 7 a.m. the next day expecting you to be ready to have your picture taken!) We will work with what makes you comfortable.
3. Siblings and grandparents are welcome and encouraged to participate! What usually works best is for siblings to come about an hour into the session. That way we can get shots of them meeting their new baby brother or sister for the first time (or the second … shhhhh…nobody has to know it’s not really the first time!). Sessions can last as long as needed to make sure each picture you’d like is accounted for.
4. You will get a DVD with two sets of images, the full set of raw images (minimum of 30) and a full set of edits. Along with this, you will receive a waiver to print every photo. I will take notes of baby’s stats and add them to a few of the images. Prior to the hospital, I will make notes of your editing preferences and try to follow trends you like. If you have specific pictures you would like to try to attain, we can shoot for those as well, although remember some of the sweetest moments cannot be staged or planned. After they have been edited (average of 2 weeks) I will mail the images to you, or meet you to drop them off.
5. Lastly, and the most important question… how much does it cost? For you- just the rights to use your images in my portfolio and the cost of my travel… (well maybe a good word to future customers if you are happy?). I am working on building a business and just want the photos and your words of happiness at the end of the session. I remember how hard it was to pick up my own camera after my son was born and this was what I was stuck with paying for…
Are you expecting and want to preserve these memories of your baby’s first days? Contact me to schedule your hospital newborn session! Because really, how can you live without pictures like these?
Do you know someone who is expecting who might be interested in a hospital newborn session? Share this post with them and contact me for more information!