Top 10 Newborn Hospital Photography Tips


San Diego Newborn Photographer

With limited visitors still being allowed after you have had your little one, what better way to help my mamas out than with giving you my top 10 newborn hospital photography tips?! Having a baby is all of the emotions rolled into one giant rollercoaster ride – excited, scared, anxious, frustrated, sad, and all of those in between emotions. And let’s not even start with the physical rollercoaster involved. The very last thing you should spend your time on is researching newborn hospital photography tips and scrolling through countless of webpages trying to understand what the heck you should try to capture during those first 24-48 hours.

Normally, I would be packing my gear up to meet you in your hospital room so you have one less memory to worry about capturing yourself, but these times are a bit unprecedented (and limited on visitors). I absolutely love photographing Fresh 48 sessions, but the pandemic has put a good halt on my involvement.

Since I cannot physically be there to capture these precious moments, my newborn hospital photography tips will have to do for now! Now, let’s get to the good stuff already, shall we?


Newborn Hospital Photography Tips: Baby’s Details

newborn baby photo of hair, detail photo of newborn baby

Those tiny toes, sweet facial features. Those are some of my favorite details to capture within those first few days. Position your newborn near a light source (moving the bassinet over by the window is the easiest and safest way), that way you can really focus on those sweet, sweet details.


Newborn Hospital Photography Tips: Room Details

Some details that may not be as obvious to definitely capture – the baby’s birth details that is typically on the side of the bassinet in the hospital. Sometimes they have little notes to the new parent and baby on a whiteboard – capture those, too! These small details will be easily forgotten without images to look back on. If you are having a home birth, any details written by the doulas as far as time of birth, weight, etc.


Newborn Hospital Photography Tips: Mom and Baby

This may be an obvious one, but most moms are either the one always taking the photos, or don’t want to be in the photos. Trust me on this. Even if you don’t want to be in that photo, GET IN THE PHOTOS. You don’t have to show anyone these photos, but one day these images will be a priceless possession.

You don’t have to have the fancy robes or makeup and hair done, but get a photo (or 100) of you and your little one. Get a few smiling at the camera, then don’t forget to grab a few of you staring at your newborn, cradling and bonding in those first few days. *If you are not feeling up to holding your newborn at that time, don’t worry. Having your baby in the bassinet next to your bed and you looking over at your baby is just as sweet.


Newborn Hospital Photography Tips: Siblings

If you have older siblings, capturing those first moments of meeting their baby sibling can be so precious! If they are really young, having them look at the baby while you hold them is super sweet, or them kissing their new sibling on the forehead. Older siblings and photos of them carefully and safely holding their youngest sibling is just precious. You know your child(ren) the best, so figure out what is the safest for everyone and capture that!

* If your oldest child is still pretty young, know that some are not ok with a new baby around and that is ok (and totally normal)! Now I know you totally know this, but for my sanity I have to say it – let’s not push older sibling into doing something they are not comfortable with (or don’t have the attention span for), mmkay? As much as those images may be picture perfect, your story is much more important than a Pinterest style image <3


Newborn Hospital Photography Tips: Just Baby

Obviously, getting images of your new family member is ridiculously important. Those big yawns, eyes open, and arms stretching out past the swaddle are always winners in my book. Your brand new baby will not stay this little for long, no matter how much we wish they would. Capturing this time in their life is so important.

Keep them near any nature light that is coming into the room (if you have any), that way you are starting with great light. Putting them at an angle with their head towards the light will add some beautiful shadows, too.

*Bonus Tip*

Sometimes for detail shots, you go for whatever angle you have. But for full images of baby, try not to photograph up the nostrils. It usually doesn’t produce a great photo if it’s all nostril.


Newborn Hospital Photography Tips: The Location

One of the most overlooked photos when you are in the hospital is just that – photos of the hospital. Now, I’m not saying take photos of the nurses stations, other rooms, etc., but the outside of the hospital and the room you are in are great images to have for baby books or looking back through memories. Our oldest child was born in a different country, so any images of the room and outside of the hospital are so precious to me and our son.


Newborn Hospital Photography Tips: The Spouse

While a lot of the attention will be on your brand new baby and mom, make sure you take a few of your baby with your spouse. Again, these images are a once-in-a-lifetime event, so get the images now while you can. If your partner is snuggling with your brand new babe while you enjoy a quick meal or nap, take the photo.


Newborn Hospital Photography Tips: The Grandparents

This one may not happen at the hospital right now given the current restrictions on visitors, but getting those first moments of the grandparents meeting their newest grand baby is AH-mazing. Just as cute, taking a photo of Facetiming with the grandparents if they will not be able to visit in person.


Newborn Hospital Photography Tips: The Entire Family

This one may be a bit more difficult given the current restrictions on visitors, but get a full family photo. You can set your phone or camera up with a timer (some DSLR cameras you can take control from your phone through an app and wifi), and get a full family photo. Not able to set up your camera or phone safely across the room? Ask if your amazing nurse will quickly snap a photo of all of you together. Enjoy the moment, and melt together. These fresh, first moments quickly fade with long nights and all of the moments that come with being a parent.


Newborn Hospital Photography Tips: The Firsts

Some of these may not be in the hospital, but still worth mentioning. Photographing the first outfit/going home outfit. Photographing the first bath. Photographing breastfeeding for the first time (this is something some may want documented, and some may not want or may not be breast-feeding – you do you and don’t feel pressured!). There will be so many firsts coming up that it can be difficult to remember them all. Document what you can!

Those first few days after bringing your brand new one into the world can be a blur of emotions on top of exhaustion and adrenaline that it can be difficult to remember it all later when the dust has settled. Making sure you document those first hours using my top 10 newborn hospital photography tips will ensure you don’t miss out on anything.

Once limitations on visitors have passed, I’m happy to photograph these fleeting moments for you and your family so you don’t have the stress of worrying about one more (huge) item on your list. Contact me to set up your consultation today! If you just want to see more cute babies and adorable families, come on over and follow me on instagram.

Ready for the quick rundown of my top 10 newborn hospital photography tips? here ya go!

  1. Baby’s Details
  2. Room Details
  3. Mom and Baby
  4. Siblings
  5. Just Baby
  6. The Location
  7. The Spouse
  8. The Grandparents
  9. The Entire Family
  10. The Firsts

Lauren V Photography is a San Diego newborn photographer, capturing all of your priceless memories for you, from motherhood and beyond. Our babies are only little once, don’t miss the opportunity to freeze time through your lasting images.