Did you guys know that you can have professional newborn photos taken at the hospital? I had no idea and found this by accident on one of my Facebook mom groups. At first I thought, why bother? I could just have my husband take the photos. Plus my parents had planned on being at the hospital, so I could also have my dad (who’s a professional photographer) take the photo. But then I realized that my family is part of the birth experience. They should be in front of the camera, not be behind it.
This is why I was so happy to find Bella Baby. They take the worry and hassle out of taking the photos on that very special day. Did I mention they’re also total swaddle experts / baby whisperers? Being a first time mom, who at the time was still trying to figure out how to calm Max when she’s upset, I can’t believe how well they do with babies. I guess it makes sense if that’s what you do on a day-to-day basis. Best part about Bella Baby is that you don’t need to make any commitments ahead of time. Bella Baby is on site at several hospitals throughout the US (I delivered at NYU). The actual photo session is complimentary and you don’t need to make the decision to purchase until you get the photo proofs.
So you’ve decided that you’re sold on having a professional take your newborn photos. But how would you prep for the shoot?
What to pack in your hospital bag for the shoot
For baby, I decided to go with swaddling blankets and matching turban. I think this is the safest way to go in terms of fit, since they are adjustable regardless of the size of your baby. Additionally, the photographers are able to style the blankets in multiple ways. I didn’t go this fancy, but might also want to consider bringing other props like blankets (to lay baby on), stuffed animals, announcement boards, and maybe even a moses basket. This would be way easier to do if you’re planning on coming to the hospital in a car so you can just leave it in the trunk. Hubby and I actually walked to the hospital (I got induced and live a short walking distance away) so carrying too many props was not practical. Safety pin is something that you might also want to have handy. Baby Max is so petite that the newborn turban I brought ended up being too small and I had to pin it to make it work.
For mom, dad and other family members, you’ll want to pack clothing that are solid/ neutral colored, preferably ones that contrast well with what the baby is wearing. I would avoid anything flashy in terms of pattern and jewelry that would take away from the shoot — the baby is the star of the show after all.
Think about what you’re going to use the photos for
Aside from the obvious baby announcement and photo album for grandparents, you might want to think about what else you’re going to use the photo for. For example, if you are having the baby close to the holidays and want to use the photos as your Christmas card, then you may want to bring appropriate props to take photos with.
Don’t forget make-up and hairbrush
Of course, you’re more than welcome to go full monty on the make up, but really a good BB cream and neutral colored lippie will suffice. I packed my contouring kit in my hospital bag, but realized I was way too exhausted to deal with that. The curling iron I packed also didn’t get used. Luckily my hair was still somewhat presentable, despite going through the sweat and tears of labor. It wouldn’t hurt to pack hair tie along with brush and dry shampoo just in case you need it.
Think about when you want to take the photos
Bella Baby suggest that you take the photos the first full day you’re in recovery. This can be a bit tricky depending on what time you got admitted to the hospital, especially if there are a lot of births happening the same time as yours. Max was born super early Thursday and I pushed to take the photos later that afternoon. But since most people spend at least two days in the hospital, you certainly can wait until the second day. However, Bella Baby doesn’t recommend that you wait until your discharge day to take the photos, since you typically will be busy with paperwork on that morning.
Excited about having your photoshoot? You can learn more about Bella Baby and what hospitals they service on their website. And now for your viewing pleasure, behold the cuteness of baby Max!