Sadness and Joy
For many expectant mothers right now there is a mixed feeling of sadness and joy. Many of you have been waiting for this moment for as long as you can remember. Some of you spent years trying to conceive, suffering loss and infertility. I know how important this time is to you and I understand the sadness you might feel during a time that is meant to be full of joy.
We wish we could be there
We photographers wish we could be there with you. These moments are important to us too and we know how powerful these sessions are. We wish there was a way and perhaps there will be a solution in the coming months which would allow day passes into hospitals with special precautions. For now though, we can’t come with you as much as we wish we could.
You can still capture those memories
It’s not how you envisioned it and the whole world was blindsided by these unprecedented circumstances. You were planning to have a professional there to make sure nothing was left out but you can still capture this special time.
It doesn’t have to be perfect to be perfect
The photos you take don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need perfect lighting, high end equipment or designer bonnets to capture your perfect baby. Documenting this special time and all the newness of your sweet baby is what matters and you can do it!
If you have a digital SLR great! But you can use a point and shoot or cell phone to capture beautiful images. The most important factor is having enough light.
Start with light
The first step is to start with light. Take photos leading up to your delivery, during and just after if you want to. But save the fresh 48 session for the day time. Wait until the morning and set aside 30 – 60 minutes to capture this time. Push furniture aside and move things around. Find the brightest window and start there. Push baby’s bassinet up to the window and you should have enough light so turn off the lights in the room.
Keep it simple
You don’t need anything elaborate for fresh 48 sessions, keep it simple and let baby be the star. Wrap your sweet baby up in the hospital blanket the nurses have given you or one you brouhgt in and simply place your baby in their bassinet. You don’t need any props or special clothes. If you can use a simple white blanket to line the bassinet and to lay on the bed these will be perfect for simple and classic photos.
Try different angles
I like to try out different angles during a fresh 48 session. Stand up on a step stool, get far back and capture the whole room. Come in low or shoot from the other side of the crib. Just have fun and don’t be afraid to take a lot of photos. One trick is to start close and slowly back up while you take photos OR start far away and keep moving in closer and closer.
Details, details, details,
Newborns are all in the details. Capture all the tiny things that make your baby unique. Get images of those tiny hands and feet. Capture the silly faces and expressions. Unwrap your baby and show their curled up legs and belly button clamps. Get a shot of their hair or bald head whichever it may be.
Get in the photo!
This is hard but so important. I wrote a blog post about getting in the photo here. Get some of you holding your baby, even if you don’t feel great. Remember that you will want to have these moments on film for yourself and your babies. Your family is dying to see you and your new bundle so take these photos and share them proudly! Make sure you get some of your partner with your baby too.
Keep it short
Try to keep this session to 30 min – 60 min to avoid burning out. Your baby will be ready to eat again and you need to rest so keep it short and then just enjoy this special time with your sweet baby.
For all you moms to be out there who love a good list here are my basic shots to help you focus. Don’t worry about getting them all or sticking to the list. Just use this as a way to help you think of shots if you get stuck.
1- Mother and baby on the bed or by the window
2- Partner and baby snuggling
3- Wrapped baby in bassinet from above, from the side and from the ends
4- Close up of baby’s face and expressions
5- baby’s feet sticking out from wrap close up
6- baby’s hands and fists
7- baby’s tummy and chord
8- Stand back and capture the whole room
9- feeding your baby sitting by the window
10- photos of actions- wrapping baby, bathing baby, weighing baby and maybe skyping with extended family
11- family photo taken as a selfie or by a nurse if one is available
You can do it
I know you can do this! Take more photos then you think you will need using the best camera you have available to you and remember that any image of your perfect baby will be perfect to you.
I would love to help
After your special day and you are home, take some time to look through all of your images. Narrow down your images to your favourites and if you would like I would be happy to edit a few for you! Depending on the image resolution I may be able to do some corrections such as exposure, spot removal etc. I would also love to create a birth announcement for you to share online. This would be of no charge to you. Contact me here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org