The Process: Common Questions About Newborn Photos

Your baby is only this small once and we know you’ll want to treasure every precious moment. The memories captured during these first few days will last a lifetime, so it’s worth leaving your baby’s first photoshoot to a trusted professional. We know the hospital stay can be busy, so we wrote this article to answer common questions about newborn photos to help you prepare before the baby comes.

The Bella Baby process

Bella Baby photographers work in hospitals throughout the United States to capture the natural beauty of your newborn in the convenience and privacy of your hospital room. Each family is offered a photo session during their hospital stay. This typically takes place during your first full day in the hospital but may take place later in your hospital stay if there is a medical reason for the delay. There is no sitting fee for your in-hospital session, but you will have the opportunity to purchase from your gallery after the photoshoot. Parents and siblings are encouraged to participate to create a beautiful family experience, but family participation is not required. We can focus all the attention on your newborn if you prefer!

Your photographer will process your images on the day of your session. The images along with a custom slideshow will be available to view on our website that same day (which means you don’t have to wait to share the cuteness!). Your password-protected gallery will be available for two weeks to allow you & your family time to order all your favorites. In-hospital purchasing is also available with your photographer at a discounted rate following your photo viewing. Read on for the answers to parents’ most common questions about newborn photos.

Common questions

1. How long does the newborn photoshoot take?
Your Bella Baby photographer will be in and out of your hospital room in about 30 minutes. Our in-hospital sessions aim to provide the ultimate convenience compared to in-home or studio sessions which can take upwards of 4 hours. Long sessions can be exhausting for both the parents and the newborn. A 30-minute window allows us time to set up the room and create a memorable newborn photo experience without disrupting the hospital routine or causing undue stress for mom and baby.

2. How much are the packages?
Package and pricing information is available online when you view your gallery. There is no fee for your hospital session, so we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and focus on the precious memories. If you choose to order from your gallery, we have packages and products for a wide range of budgets.

TIP: Some of our hospitals offer exclusive savings on packages purchased the same day as your session. Ask your photographer if there are any specials available to you during your hospital stay.

3. My partner/other children will not be here until later. Can we take the photos then?
We always encourage family members to be involved in the sessions if they are present at the time of your session, but we may not be at the hospital late in the day. We will try to accommodate you as much as our schedule permits.

4. What should we bring?
We recommend bringing a special blanket/swaddle and one outfit for your newborn photo session. You are also welcome to bring props such as a special stuffed animal or sign. Please note that we cannot use baskets or hanging props for the safety of your newborn.

For family photos, we recommend that family members bring a solid-colored shirt. Neutral colors are best since they look great in color and in black & white, but if you prefer to wear color we suggest coordinating colors for all members of the family for a unified look. Items with large logos or complicated prints may be distracting in your photos.

5. How can I prepare on the day of my session?
Feed and change your newborn approximately 15-30 minutes prior to your session. A baby that’s been fed recently is more likely to be cooperative for the duration of the photoshoot. You may also dress your baby at that time. Many newborns become fussy when they are dressed in an outfit. Dressing your baby beforehand will allow time for them to settle before your photographer arrives.

If possible, take a few minutes to tidy the room prior to your photographer’s arrival. Place bags and suitcases in the closet or to one side of the room if no closet is available. Throw any garbage in the trash, and tuck small items like shoes and purses into a corner or against the wall so they do not pose a tripping hazard. You may leave out any props or additional blankets that you would like your photographer to use.

Above all: Keep it simple! Your baby is the star of the session.

6. My baby is in the NICU. Can I still have a photoshoot?
Absolutely! Just let your NICU nurse know you are interested in Bella Baby Photography. The session will take place when the hospital staff lets us know that your baby is ready for pictures.

7. Which hospitals are you in?
We are currently contracted in many hospitals across the country. For the most up-to-date information about our contracted hospitals, contact our Customer Service team in your state. You can find the correct information for your area by visiting our website and entering your zip code in the box on the left-hand side of the page.

8. How long does Bella Baby keep newborn photos?
We are currently able to access photos from the past 9 years. You may contact us at any time to see if your photos are still available. If we are able to restore the gallery from your baby’s first photoshoot, you will receive an email when your images are accessible. This process typically takes 24-48 hours.

Are you expecting? We would love to capture those first precious moments with your newborn. Find a photographer near you and feel free to reach out to us with any additional questions.

Before your baby arrives, also check out 10 Ways to Make Birth Announcements Fun and Easy.