Medical FAQ

What babies will the organization photograph?

Our guideline for dispatching a volunteer photographer for a Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep session is that the baby be at least 22 weeks gestation. This is a baseline from which medical professionals may deviate based upon their experience. It is possible that babies younger or older than 22 weeks would be either advisable or inadvisable.

Do you photograph older children?

NILMDTS mission involves photographing babies who will never have the opportunity to have professional photography. Therefore, we provide remembrance photography to those babies who were stillborn, have died in the early days after birth, have never left the hospital, or who are sent home on hospice.

How can I request this service for a family?

If you need to request our services for a family go to Find a Photographer.  The more notice we have about a family’s possible need, the greater the chance a NILMDTS Affiliated Photographer will be available to provide services. Please see if a photographer is available BEFORE you offer the services to the family.  We often receive calls directly from families. However, they are enduring the worst moment of their life and it is often best if a hospital employee facilitate the call on behalf of the family. As this is a volunteer service, we can never guarantee the availability of a photographer.

How quickly can a photographer be here for a NILMDTS session?

For most cases, expect that it could take at minimum 2 hours before a photographer is able to be at the hospital and upwards to 10-12 hours. Advance notice, when possible, is greatly appreciated.

How are the photographers allowed into our hospital considering HIPAA laws?

We are not subject to HIPAA privacy laws because we are invited into the hospital as a guest of the family. This has been verified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights, which oversees HIPAA law. NILMDTS has corresponded with the General Counsel’s office HIPAA lawyers to verify our services and HIPAA laws.  We do ask all of our photographers to keep all sessions private and to not discuss details with anyone.

Despite the fact NILMDTS is not a HIPAA covered entity, wouldn’t we be violating HIPAA by providing the photographer with information about the patient and the situation as we make calls to NILMDTS volunteers in search of an available photographer?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that each hospital have a one-sheet consent form with HIPAA related language that the patient should sign acknowledging that in an effort for the hospital to assist in the process of locating a volunteer photographer, some personal information about the mother/baby will be divulged to NILMDTS. The Hospital Release form is available in our Forms and Documents page.

Does the family have to sign a consent form once the photographer arrives?

Yes. Our photographers are not allowed to provide services unless the family has signed an NILMDTS Parent Consent Form. Each photographer brings these along to the session, and after greeting the family and offering condolences, this is the first step before portraits are taken. The form not only releases NILMDTS of any liability issues, it also provides family a clear explanation of the gift they will receive, and the family’s contact information so that the volunteer may have a mailing address and email to send the final set of digital images to the parents once the images have been retouched and completed processing. The Parent Consent form is available in our Forms and Documents page.

Does NILMDTS carry insurance and what “Terms of Service” do Photographers abide?

Yes. We carry General Liability, Directors & Officers, and Worker’s Compensation policies. Each Photographer active in the program must sign a “Volunteer Services Agreement” which outlines expectations for their duties, code of conduct, and policies they must adhere to as a representative of NILMDTS.

What does each photographer provide to the families after they leave the hospital?

This service is completely free of charge to the families and is donated by the volunteer photographer. Each family will receive a digital set of images with a license for usage, which allows them to have the photographs printed by a photo lab at their own cost.  Normal turnaround time for the patients to receive their images is 6-8 weeks. At the family request, most photographers are able to e-mail an image to the family within a few days time for a memorial service or funeral.

Should NILMDTS be listed as a VENDOR at our hospital?

No, we are not doing business with the hospital nor charging for our services. We are simply providing a free service to the patient as a guest of the family. We do not and will not sign vendor contracts. We will, however, recommend to our volunteers that if a hospital requires our volunteers to complete a hospital orientation, that they do so but not as a volunteer of the hospital. Rather, this training is often beneficial for safety and procedural matters and we certainly respect that request!

How can I support NILMDTS?

Donations are accepted though our website or by mail. Also, we certainly appreciate your delicate attempt to educate families that this is a volunteer service and the professional photographers perform above and beyond their normal workload. We can provide a high resolution image to families of our logo should they want to mention in a funeral program – for instance – that “in lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of our child to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.”