If you are an expecting mama out there, who loves photographs this one is for you!
When I first sat down to write this post, I thought to myself should I write this. Shouldn’t I tell you to book a photographer for any newborn session? Yes. However, I also believe that answer depends on what photographs you want and your expectations.
Last year, when I was pregnant for Trace we booked a maternity and an in-home newborn session for photographs. Those were my two “must-have” sessions for our first baby. I was on the fence for booking a fresh 48 session. I definitely wanted pictures in the hospital, but I was curious if I could photograph some images myself or if I should book another session. Last minute, I decided to photograph it myself. Here’s how I pulled it off:
1 | Must Have Gear
I photograph with two cameras for every session, and in my personal life I still love to photograph with two cameras. I love the ease of a digital camera and the ability to quickly view and post images (hello, wifi in cameras). I also love the timeless, classic look of film. So, I photographed one roll of black and white film and snapped the rest with my digital camera.
2 | Details
I am a fan of soft, neutral colors and photographs looking true to life when it comes to selecting outfits. I always advise clients to dress and look comfortable. If your every day clothing choices are dressier, then select an outfit you would normally wear. If you are more relaxed, then wear clothing that represents your style. The last thing you want is to feel unconformable in an outfit for a session.
For my hospital stay, I purchased these comfy pajamas here in blue. I initially planned on purchasing grey pajamas, but the color was sold out by the time I purchased. If you purchase a pair of pajamas, I would suggest sizing up at least one or two sizes depending on how much you have grown throughout pregnancy. Also, I packed a cream colored robe (similar version here) that I had purchased for our wedding a couple of years ago. Those were the two options I brought for myself for pictures.
For the baby, I purchased a soft blue swaddle here and a newborn hat here. I love the Copper Pearl brand for swaddles because of the fabric. It is soft, long, and stretches very easily. It works great for a hiding a belly and swaddling a brand new baby. For the hubs, he wore a classic, white long sleeve t-shirt with jeans, which was already in his closest.
3 | Shot List
For every session, I prep with a shot list. I write down every photograph I plan to take or an idea of what I want photographed. For our hospital stay, I kept the list short to give me time to rest and enjoy baby instead of being behind the camera.
Here’s my list from out hospital stay: Baby in bassinest, baby details, mom + baby, dad + baby, mom + dad + baby.
4 | Expectations
I went into this being very open minded. If I got one good shot of us that hospital, I was going to be happy. And, it turned out great!
I waited until mid-morning when we had just enough light coming through our windows to shoot. I began with baby in the bassinet first because he was originally sleeping there. Next, I photographed portraits of my husband with baby against a bare wall for simplicity. Then handed the camera to my husband who snapped a few photographs of me and baby. I finished with a group shot of us that I captured using a tripod and remote. Those are always funny!
Photographed With: Canon 1v, Ilford Delta 3200 Film (Black + White)
My favorite detail shot! When I aim to capture baby’s hair, this is my favorite pose. I love the detail of the “hair swirl” as I call it paired with the blurry smile of a father and the size of father’s hand. It is one of my favorite detail shots.
I love how comfortable my husband felt with our little guy at two days old with the one handed pose. That is where he initially went, and I loved that I was able to capture that detail. Also, I find that black and white film captures candid/non-looking photographs beautifully. It is my favorite ways to capture a timeless image.
I then moved him to the two handed pose because it is a favorite of mine. My heart melts with this one.
I remembered to step in front of the camera. Take note how the swaddle hides the belly – it is a great trick.
Photographed With: Canon 5d Mark IV, 50mm Lens, Tripod, and Remote
My husband’s favorite photograph. Trace loved moving his hands even when he was first born.
He was so tiny. Using hands are a great way to show that detail.
Fun Fact: In between shooting the bassinet photographs and the ones with us, Trace had his hearing checked. He still had the gel on his hair when we started again. As a photographer, I would have cleaned his hair better. As a mama on limited sleep, I let it go. Looking back, that detail makes me giggle.
Then Trace unswaddled himself.
Fun Fact: My husband won the swaddling contest at our baby prep class for the fastest swaddle, and he is still the best swaddler in our house. He is the only one who can swaddle Trace without his arms breaking free.
Then I stepped in front of the camera. I love the hospital bracelet detail. It represents where we were that day.
I will admit by the end, I was exhausted.
Our group shot. Thank goodness for a tripod and remote.
Verdict: I love them, and I am so happy I captured hospital images!
So, what do you think? Could you photograph a fresh 48 session?
XOXO – Ashley