This is for all you mamas that are unable to have a photographer capture your little ones fresh 48 (hello baby in my packages). I wanted to make a list of helpful tips so that you can document your little bundle on your phone of with your own camera.
#1 Your best friend for photos is natural light! Try to take your photos when it's nice and bright out, and use that big hospital window to your advantage! Make sure you turn off the over head hospital lights, and use natural light only.
#2 You want to position baby so that they are faced toward the light, and I'm going to get a little bit more complicated here. Think of how we see our kids and family, the sun is above us, glowing down onto our faces, so that is what appeals to us most! We see that every day, even in our homes, with lights above. So try to position baby so that the light hits where it also angles down on their face. We call the opposite up-lighting in photograph as "ghoul" lighting, so that's where the light shines up peoples nose, and isn't as flattering.
#3 Goes along with light position, don't shoot up babies nose! Try to shoot from an angle to where you're shooting down the nose, even slightly. From above or the side of babe. Just be careful not to block your light.
#4 Outfits! I usually do a few of baby swaddled up, add a cute little hat/bonnet, tiny outfit. Then a couple of them just in diaper. If you're afraid to swaddle/don't know how, nurses are amazing at it, and usually great teachers! Don't be afraid to ask them for help/pointers. I usually suggest a lighter/thinner blanket for swaddling as the thick ones tend to overwhelm baby in photos.
#5 Don't forget those sweet little details! Their little fingers, or toes. Get a photo of that tiny little belly button, whatever you want to document, get up close and get those little details. I usually do this in the diaper stage!
#6 Heirlooms/props, some of my families bring a few heirlooms, like a blanket grandma made, or stuffie passed down. Set the stage for the photo, but make sure baby is still the main focus, don't overwhelm with too many props.
#7 Don't forget mom and dad! Get some photos of dad and baby, and make sure he does the same for you. You can do some cute smiling ones, and just naturally hold/interact with baby and capture those fleeting moments. Biggest tips, is make sure the area is cleared and clutter free and window curtains open, use that window light! Take photos from an above angle, if even slightly as it's much more flattering.
EDITING TIP: If you're worried about editing, download the lightroom app on your phone, you can tweak the photos to your liking! There are also presets out there you can check out and buy. I don't have any links for those as I use my own presets I made on my computer, but I know you can find some beautiful ones!
I'm going to share some photos I took at my daughter Eloise's birth. It was almost 4 years ago, and really before I knew photography like I do now, so you can see I didn't have or follow all of these tips. I just wanted to show you some of my own, some are blurry out of focus photos. Just to show they don't have to be absolutely perfect. I think you can create great photos using a smartphone, or nice camera to share with family and friends!