The first smile. The first cuddle time. The first bath.
These are just some of the firsts that you will experience with your newborn child. If you don’t want to forget these first precious moments, then you should definitely schedule a new life photography session.
Capture the charming firsts
The first 24 to 48 hours after giving birth are full of priceless firsts. This is the time when you and your family will meet your new bundle of joy. This is when the baby’s first cries are heard, the first time when your baby will suckle, or even the first diaper change happens.
There is a trend these days that make sure these once-in-a-lifetime moments are recorded on camera. Popularly known as Fresh 48, this pictorial session is held within 24 to 48 hours of birth. Without taking shots of the actual birthing itself, a professional photographer is called in to take snapshots of the baby within the first two days of life.
Regardless of whether it is a hospital or home birth, this new life photography can be taken wherever you wish it to be. As long as you have made arrangements before giving birth, then you can certainly have your first precious moments with your child documented by a professional photographer.
To help you prepare for this special session, here are some of the top tips on how to prepare for a new life photography session:
1. Choose a professional photographer
The first thing that you and your partner need to do is look for a professional photographer.
You can scour the Internet for ones that will address your needs and wants in terms of budget, photography style, and attitude. You can also ask for recommendations from trusted family and friends. You can also read reviews from previous clients. Lastly, you can also look around for the best photographer that can fulfill your new life photography wishes.
The important thing is to make sure that you get a master at the lens. This will ensure that your first precious moments with your baby will be properly captured with a professional camera taken by an expert.
You will surely appreciate the difference between photos taken by an amateur with a phone camera and ones that are taken by a professional photographer.
Remember that you will want to look at these photos from birth, through the time when you’re choosing the best nursery schools for your child, through grade school, high school, and college, and up to your child’s adult years. It is best that these photos are expertly taken for them to perfectly capture special, awe-inspiring moments in your child’s first two days of life.
2. Meet and discuss
Make a shortlist of the strongest candidates and meet with them.
It is ideal that you and your partner take time to personally meet with your photographer so you can get a feel of how he or she works. Chemistry is important as you will be asking that photographer to be part of such intimate moments in your first few days with your newborn. Having good rapport will bode well for both parties, as this will make the photo session more easygoing and relaxed.
Choose from the shortlist which one suits your preferences the best. Make sure that you outline what you want to happen. Also, ask for the photographer’s suggestions as to how to best capture certain moments, so you can do your part.
Some of the usual shots are close-ups or detail shots of the baby like the tiny toes and fingers, the cherubic face, or the sleeping eyelids. Other shots include the mom breastfeeding, the dad holding the baby, the first meeting with siblings or other members of the family.
Most importantly, you have to be aligned with the projected date of delivery. While the photographer is not expected to be on call 24/7, it is best that he or she also knows when you are expecting to give birth. This way, the photographer can also efficiently manage his or her schedule. Should there be any changes in your delivery date, birthing venue, or other such matters, you should inform your photographer right away.
3. Prepare for the shoot
Meeting with the photographer will also clue you in on how to better prepare for the shoot. Based on the concept or photography style that you want, you can see if there are any specific items that you’ll need on that day. Perhaps you want the baby cot to be present, a special embroidered blankie or an heirloom item to be around.
Normally, new life photography does not require elaborate lighting, sets, or props as it wants to capture the raw moments of the baby within the first 48 hours of life. However, if you want to prepare a bigger hospital room, one with a large window (to let in natural light), or better yet, one with a view or facilities that are conducive for a newborn, then you can start to make arrangements. Don’t forget to assign someone to call the photographer once you’re in labor.
Some moms don’t mind being shot in their hospital gowns. However, there are those who prefer to be shot in a maternity dress or clothes of their own choosing. You have the freedom to choose what you want to wear for the pictorial. Just remember to discuss this with your photographer so time can also be efficiently managed.
Cherish the moments
Going through labor and giving birth are among the most challenging experiences a mom can go through. It is ideal that moms take all the rest and sleep that they need, more so when you’ve scheduled a new life photography session.
This will give you enough energy for the pictorial. Also, make sure that you have breaks in between so as not to tax you or your baby too much. While the shots are mostly candid, it is undeniable that you also want to look your best in the photos.
Most of all, just savor the moments and let the master photographer do what he or she does best — capture the first few precious moments that you and your family will cherish for the rest of your lives.
About the Author
Stefanie Descheemaecker is the Studio Manager at Stu Williamson Photography at The Palm Jumeirah – Fairmont Hotel in Dubai. She has been with the company for almost 3 years and is the driving force behind the success of the business. A keen amateur photographer, Stef combines her natural creative eye with strong business acumen to help Stu Williamson Photography become the most trusted and successful photography business in the UAE.