13 Gorgeously Raw Photos Documenting Babies' First Day of Life

by Mary Sauer
May 2, 2017 at 4:00 a.m. ET

Giving birth is a long, painful, drawn out process (they don't call it labor for nothing), but at the same time, it's also over in the blink of an eye. The moment a baby enters the world is truly a miracle, and somehow the moments can slip by.

Which is where good old fashioned photography comes in handy. Both family photogs and professionals managed to capture these beautiful moments during babies' first day on Earth.

Originally published January 2016. Updated May 2017.

1 /13: Hard work pays off

1/13 :Hard work pays off

There's no denying the look of pure joy on this mama's face. The camera was there to capture a special moment in time that will last forever.

2 /13: Mom and Dad see Baby for the first time

2/13 :Mom and Dad see Baby for the first time

Laura Fifield, a birth photographer living and working in Spokane, Washington, shared the moment she is always sure to capture on a baby's first day.

"My favorite photo to take is Mom and Dad's reaction the moment a baby is earthside. It is such a powerful and monumental moment! The joy and elation are astounding... It's THAT moment." 

3 /13: The little details, like Baby's feet

3/13 :The little details, like Baby's feet

"Once you've taken some great photos of your baby's sweet newborn face, my next favorite images to take are those little details," says long-time photographer Laura Eckert of New Creation Birth Photography. "Tiny toes ready for footprints, wrinkly fingers, fuzzy shoulders. All those things will change so soon, and you'll appreciate having them captured!"

4 /13: A shot of Baby's eyes wide open

4/13 :A shot of Baby's eyes wide open

Kelly, a wedding and birth photographer in North Carolina, feels it is important to take pictures of the moments mom will remember the most, like when baby opens his or her eyes wide for the very first time. 
"A favorite image for me to capture is when the baby's eyes are WIDE open... because for the first few weeks you will constantly stare into his eyes, play with his tiny hands, kiss his wrinkled forehead and wonder how on earth he was ever inside you."

5 /13: Grandparents meet their new grandchild

5/13 :Grandparents meet their new grandchild

Photographer and mom Aubree of Aubree G Photography shares why it is so important to capture that first moment when the grandparents meet their new grandchild for the very first time. 
"It is a moment full of emotions and extremely moving, an image that should always be remembered and cherished. As a new baby creates a mother and father, he or she also creates grandparents, a new mother holding her infant and a grandmother looking at her baby with such proud and emotional expressions. The family circle in these moments seems very peaceful and complete."

6 /13: New baby meets their sibling

6/13 :New baby meets their sibling

Family photographer Tiffany Snell shared just how important it is to capture the little moments in the first day of baby's life. 

"When I am in the hospital and photographing Baby, I love to focus on small details that will change, as babies will change rapidly within even just a few hours of birth. I love little noses, ears, fingers and toes. A great thing to focus on is if big brother or big sister is there to meet the new baby!"

She also shared a few tips for moms who want to be sure they are capturing the first 24 hours after giving birth.

"I strongly encourage parents to hire a professional birth photographer to capture these monumental moments in their life, not only because they will have these images to cherish for, well, forever, [but] it also allows anyone who is supporting Mom and Dad to solely focus on them and not fumbling to get the camera or phone to take photos. It allows those who are there to fully embrace the moment, to fully give all attention to where it needs to be and to soak in the love of bringing a baby into the world. However, if parents cannot hire a professional birth photographer, have someone specify be in 'charge' of taking photos. In high stress or high emotion situations, if one is not directed to do a task, others will assume someone else will do it and it won’t happen or there will be a lot missing."

7 /13: Baby and Daddy bonding

7/13 :Baby and Daddy bonding

Elaine, lifestyle and birth photographer at Lane B Photography, shared her favorite photograph of a brand-new dad bonding with his new baby.

"Photos showing these kinds of details are my favorite because it shows the bond between a parent and child and also captures the little details, like hair and skin, that change so quickly after the first few days."

8/13 :Fast asleep

Say what you will about the reasons behind the "never wake a sleeping baby" idiom, but maybe it's because they're so incredibly cute?

9 /13: The connection between Mom and Dad

9/13 :The connection between Mom and Dad

Birth doula and photographer Jackie Price of Bellies to Babies Photography shares just how special it is to witness and capture the strong connection between partners during and after labor, especially as they meet their child for the first time. 

"I love capturing partners and their connections during labor, witnessing the power and strength a woman has, the moment the mom lays eyes on her baby for the first time, the partner staring in amazement at what they just went through, the look of accomplishment and instant love in the parents' eyes," she says.

10 /13: The new baby's first moments with Mom

10/13 :The new baby's first moments with Mom

Nicole is a photographer who specializes in birth photography and newborn photography. She loves to observe quietly as Mom and Baby bond during Baby's first minutes earthside.

“Those first few moments of a baby entering the world are filled with some of the most raw and emotional moments a woman can experience in her entire lifetime. Having those moments captured is 100 percent at the top of my list of images every mom should have taken in those first, precious hours of life, to be remembered and cherished for herself, and the generations that will follow her as well.” 

11 /13: Daddy holding Baby for the first time

11/13 :Daddy holding Baby for the first time

Nichole Murphy, birth photographer, shares just how important it is to capture the moments that you can never get back.

"The one of Dad holding his baby is one of my favorites because it perfectly sums up parenthood. You love someone so much your heart explodes. You are so overcome with emotion that you can't help but cry. And laugh. And you won't stop smiling. Then you'll cry some more... They are the shots that can't ever be redone. You can't stage them. There are no do-overs. They're the real moments you can't get back, that you don't ever want to forget."

12 /13: Baby nurses for the first time

12/13 :Baby nurses for the first time

"I love the photos with Mom in them most," shared Aubrie of Hello Baby Photography, along with this beautiful shot of a newborn nursing for the first time. Breastfeeding creates a special bond between baby and Mom, and the first time you make that connection is not a moment you will want to forget."

13/13 :Get 'em all

From the sleepy baby to the sweet feet, every photo you should take on Baby's first day of life.