Skip The Hospital Photos For Your Newborn
You’ve just gone through the grueling process of labor and managed to come out the other side a very smitten, and very exhausted, new parent. And one of the first things you get handed after this miracle of life?
Paperwork. And, included in this paperwork, there’s usually something about hospital photography for your newborn.
Those first few days of life with your new baby in the hospital are a whirlwind. You’re physically, mentally, and emotionally wrung out. Your body is battered and bleeding. You’re learning this new little human- who is also learning everything- how to eat, sleep, and even pee and poop. Doctors and nurses are constantly in and out of the room (and somehow always manage to pop in when you have finally managed to get to sleep in between feedings and general newborn scream sessions).
Now let’s have the hospital’s in-house photographer make a quick appearance. Just what you want in that moment.
Don’t get me wrong-being able to capture memories of those brand new first moments of your baby is wonderful! (I’m a big fan of Fresh 48 Sessions, in fact.) But there are a few reasons why you should skip the hospital photos.
Consider the quality
Generally speaking, you don’t know how professional of a photographer you’re going to be getting from the hospital. Sometimes they’re a hobbyist, sometimes they’re new, and sometimes they’re simply not up to date with the current technologies, equipment, and techniques. Regardless, you have no control and no notion of what sort of end results you’d be receiving.
It’s a fully UNcustomized experience
Hospital photographers usually come in, do a few of their basic setups and poses (think school photos: but babies), and get out. It is all mass-produced, one size fits all, and tells nothing of your family story. You’re simply a room number. The situation just isn’t conducive to being able to have an individualized experience.
Lack of Privacy
Your time postpartum in the hospital can be when you feel the most like you need some space to regroup and put yourself and the pieces of your new family together, and having a stranger intrude upon that can be difficult. Additionally, sometimes the photos taken by hospital photographers are automatically shared publicly or with other families and you may not have as much say about the privacy of your photos as you would like.
Hospitals are known for charging for every little thing and photography is not an exception. You frequently get charged extremely high prices for low-quality photography results and with no digital file options at all-and their print costs can add up.
So what should you do instead of using the hospital photographer?
Well, like I said before, I love a Fresh 48 session with a professional photographer that you’ve researched, love, and who knows your story and can tell it the way you want. You also can take as many photos as your heart desires in the hospital on the miracle we call a smartphone.
And, finally, I highly recommend hiring a professional newborn photographer after you’re home from the hospital and have had a bit of time to recover (I usually recommend 7-21 days post-birth). You can do a lifestyle session in the comfort of your home, usually primarily candids. Or you may choose a studio portrait experience, which will involve more precise lighting setups and prop options.
Here’s the beauty of what you get when you book a professional newborn photographer: it’s everything you don’t get with a hospital one.
First of all, you’ll be able to figure out the right photographer for you before you’ve given birth. You’ll be able to research, view portfolios, read reviews, and get to know the person that you’re hiring! A quality professional will be up to date on their education. We have the right equipment for the job, know the best ways to edit your photos, and-most importantly-how to safely capture all the photos you want of your sweet new addition.
Safety is so important, with newborns especially, and I always have a professional assistant there to help me make sure we are doing everything as carefully as possible. Baby whispering is our specialty and we know all the best ways to keep those little ones warm and cozy and snoozing. We also can think on our feet and shift to a different pose if what we were doing doesn’t work! That’s part of the benefit of experience and education.
Most of all, we are here to tell YOUR story! I always do a consultation with my clients and get a feel for your style, what your baby’s nursery will look like, what interests you may have or any ideas or requests you want to bring to your newborn session! We have the time to learn this about each other and then I can create a fully customized newborn portrait experience and make sure I have all the right colors, props, and setups represented to fulfill our joint vision.
I’m also always able to make sure to take plenty of family photos with those most important to you (such as any other children and even pets!) My studio has all the props and accessories you could possibly imagine. I have adorable hats (think: animal ears!) and bonnets, headbands, swaddles, small stuffed animals, tiny places to pose baby-the sky is the limit.
And I don’t forget about mom either! We have options for wardrobe for the adults and all my newborn sessions include hair and makeup. We create a relaxing, fully inclusive, experience so you don’t have to worry about anything but showing up and letting me capture the magic of your new family. There are snacks, coffee, comfortable places to sit or do a feeding, we even will help with diaper changes! A far cry from having a stranger come through your hospital room when you’ve just recently given birth.
And when it comes to price and ordering your photos? Different photographers have different options, and that can be a part of what you research beforehand to figure out what’s right for you! Most will offer some sort of digital package, and I know that I love to offer a personalized consultation to choose your fine art print and album options as well. Once again-it really comes down to superior quality and having the ability to find the right fit for you!
In my opinion, there’s really no comparison. Skip the hospital photos. Hire a professional! Don’t just take my word for it, though.
Here’s a testimonial from a client:
“Connected by a family member, Amanda has been one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. My first pregnancy happened after years of infertility struggles and during the height of the pandemic. Amanda took great care and consideration and safely made sure that my family wouldn’t be robbed of the celebration and created memories that mean more to me than anything.
“Because of this amazing experience, I was able to work with her again for my second pregnancy. She is not only BEYOND talented, but compassionate and hilarious and made the entire experience both times so much fun and so comfortable. Thank you again, so, so much for everything you’ve done for my family.”