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How to take better newborn hospital photos

Anyone can pay for the hospital's photographer to take pictures of their child. But did you know that with a little practice and a decent camera and lens and good lighting, that you can take some amazing lifestyle and natural light photos yourself.

My Son was born this week (April 7) and after packing my hospital suitcase, I packed my camera. I packed my extra batteries, memories cards, my 35mm 1.4 lens and a 105mm macro lens (if you can't afford the 105mm macro, you can also get a 40mm macro on amazon for Nikon or a 60mm macro for a good price).

The ironic thing was during my surgery, I asked my husband to get the camera. And he didn't know to look for fresh memory cards- so the actual time of my son coming out- his first few moments of life- had to be recorded on a galaxy phone- so shameful! So always take extra batteries and memory cards with you!

Also, my hospital room at Chesapeake Regional was SOOO small. I could barely fit a visitor inside. The room was very dark with a huge fluorescent light above us. I knew that natural light was best for photos of a newborn. So I turned all the other lights off and get my subject near the window to take pictures.

Because I was only lighting the room with the window light, I had to lower my shutter speed to 1/100 and take my aperture down to f2. My ISO was at 400-600 (or higher sometimes). I was telling my husband all the settings while I was laying in bed, and sometimes he got them. But the most helpful thing I told him is to use the meter that comes with the camera to see how bright the photo will be before you take it. To learn more about shooting manual on your DSLR, you can read my blog post here about it.

How do you find that meter? When you put your camera on the "M" function. Either inside the camera, or on your screen you will see a little number line appear. Obviously if the little arrow or indicator is in the middle- that means that your photo is balanced. If the meter is all the way to the left in the negative- that means you are too dark. If you are so much in the positive- you are too bright. See my blog post hear for more details.

Also to tell a better story, try taking details shots along to bigger picture story shots. This is why I brought two lenses. But you can also do this with one lens and just back up. But I love my 105 macro. Also, remove clutter from around the room if you can, unless you are trying to tell the story of how messy your room was!

so hopefully the next time you are in the hospital, taking a picture of a baby, you remember to tell a good story by starting with good and interesting light.


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