How to perfectly capture your child's birth

Remember that moment that you gave birth? Remember that single moment of simultaneous elation and near death coinciding to produce a miracle? I do. I don't think it's something any of us could ever forget; the moment I became a mother. It is the single most profound moment of our lives and one we always want to remember; to preserve not only in our mind's eye, but on hardcopy.

My daughters were born in 2005 and 2007. With my first birth, we took lots of photos and had some great captures but had no idea what we were doing. My poor husband, it was our first birth and I had him snapping photos and shooting video. He was so busy that he missed out on cutting the baby's umbilical cord. That should've never happened. Every parent should get to enjoy and bask in those first few moments of parenthood, without having to multitask.

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Here are a few tips for getting those perfect newborn photos

1. If you can afford it, hire a professional photographer to take the photos so that you and your partner can be present in the most important moment of your lives. Or ask a friend or family member to take the photos for you.

2. Capture the hospital; it is part of your story. It's where your life as a mother will begin.

3. Take one last photo of your baby bump. Once you give birth, that moment is gone forever.

4. If possible, avoid using a flash. Try to use as much natural light as possible.

5. Get a photo of you walking into the maternity ward, checking in. These are all photos to look back fondly on. Your life is about to change and chances are you are so swept up in the moment that you won't actually remember walking into the hospital.

6. Take photos of the contractions being registered. Take photos of the utensils set up for delivery. Have photos taken of you laboring.

7. Once delivery starts, take loads of photos. Just keep shooting, you never know which photos are going to capture that special moment. Try for the first breath, the moment the doctor holds your baby up for the first time and hands her to you. The moment you hold her.

8. Capture a photo of the clock at the exact moment your child was born.

9. Document all the firsts; first time you held you child, first time you saw your child, the doctor with your newborn, the first time your spouse saw your baby, first time with the grandparents, first time they smiled, suckled, opened their eyes and so on.

10. Capture photos of the APGAR test, all the new, tiny baby parts, tags and monitors and all those first moments of awe when you and your partner become parents.

11. Capture the room where you became a family.

Topics: birth  childbirth  newborn