Fresh 48 Sessions and Birth Sessions are not possible right now with Corona still on the forefront. Who knows when things will go back to "normal", or if they ever will.
Dads, this means it is up to you to capture these moments for your growing family. Here are some tips and tricks for you to capture the best shots possible on your big day! These moments are important and you'll want to be able to look back and see the moment you became parents.
Ask what you're allowed to capture.
Ask your doctor/provider if you are allowed to photograph or video during the birth. Some hospitals won't allow video coverage due to liability concerns, some will allow it up to a certain point in the labor. If they won't allow the actual birth, still make sure you capture some moments leading up to the birth and during the labor.
Pick a Spot for yourself (and/or your camera)
There are 2-4 spots you can stand in during the pushing part of Labor. Once you pick a spot, you will find there won't be a lot of time/room for movement. Decide what's important for you to capture ahead of time and choose a spot that allows you to capture that. If you want an exit shot, make sure to position yourself closer to the bottom. Remember that doctors will be more likely to walk in front of you here, as there can sometimes be 3-5 people located here during the pushing phase. If you'd like to get a photo/video of dad cutting the cord, the best spot to be is going to be next to mom's shoulder. Positioning yourself (or your camera) next to mom's shoulder will allow you to keep things more PG rated, while capturing dad's expression and baby being passed up to mom. It will be a bit harder to see mom's face here though. Shoot with a wider angled lens to capture more of the scene. Ask the nurses where the best place for you to be during the labor will be to get the shots you want to achieve.
Baby's often like to make their grand entrances in the middle of the night. A hospital room will have the lights on and may not be the most flattering light. If you can, bring a video light or a flash for better directional light. Once it's show time, the doctors will turn a spotlight on for the grand entrance. Shoot in Automatic mode/Aperture or Shutter mode to be ready for this change. It comes fast, and if you don't know how to change your settings quickly all of your shots may be overexposed.
Use the window light!
Place baby up next to the window in his bassinet for that beautiful soft and natural light. If the lighting is to bright, wait until a little later in the day or move baby a bit further from the window. Photograph on the window side. Try to capture a shot of mom in the background to tell more of your story. If mom is up for it, sit mom in a chair next to the window. Grab a shot of mom looking at baby and mom holding baby next to the window. Play with the angles.
Don't stress. Take a deep breath, there is a lot of pressure on you both during the labor before even adding a camera. If you miss a shot it's ok. You may get to this moment and decide that it's too much. Don't allow yourself to get so stressed out that you miss actually being apart of the moment. Put the camera down and grab some shots after baby is here.
Detail Shots & Important Shots to grab:
Detail shots are some of the most important shots during a Birth/Labor and Fresh 48 session.
Here's an important shots list so you don't forget any! You can get some of these shots anytime, so don't stress about capturing them in this order.
Outside of Hospital
Baby's Heart Monitor
Mom & Baby's bracelets
Labor Shots (Try a few different angles, mom may not love the way she looks straight on so try to shoot above her when possible.)
First time Breastfeeding
Baby's weight and Measurements
Mom & Baby
Dad & Baby
Ask the nurses to grab a photo of you all together
Baby's first bath (if you opt to have one at the hospital)
Baby lips/ eyes / ears
Photo with a clock in it so you can remember what time you were there and in labor
Placenta Shot- It sounds gross, but it's cool to look at later.
Remember how I said that most babies seem to come in the middle of the night? With that being said you'll want to break out the big guns to ensure you can photograph in a darker setting. Bring the best camera you own. Consider renting gear from a Camera shop, or borrowing gear from a friend. Renting gear may get tricky as far as the timing goes. Usually you can rent it for a few day period. Babies come on their own timeline, it's hard to plan ahead.
A full frame camera in a RAW file format will deliver the best results, if you can get your hands on one. If not, make the most of what you have and don't stress about it! A lower quality photo may be better than no photo at all! Here are some Camera Gear Recommendations:
A wide lens such as a 35mm, 50 mm, or 24-70 (the 24-70 will allow the most variety, but isn't as good in the lower light)
A rotatable flash to bounce off the ceiling or wall
A video light (if you intend to do any video)
An 80" tripod
Combating Yellow/Orange Light:
The lighting inside the hospital may be VERY yellow. You can lower the yellows in camera in the Kelvin setting on some cameras. The lower the Kelvin number, the more blue you will make your images. Adding blue will even out the yellow.
Using a flash on your camera will also remove some of the yellow. If you have a flash that can rotate, rotate it up at the ceiling. This will remove the red eyes a flash can sometimes cause, and will also be a more flattering with less harsh light.
You can connect some cameras directly to your phone and push the button and control the settings on your phone. This would be a great option if the nurses aren't able to snap any family photos due to Corona. Set up your camera on a tripod, jump in the photo, set the timer for 10 seconds, push the button. :)
Best of luck to you in your most exciting adventure yet!