FRESH48 Photography: In-Hospital Newborn Sessions & What You Need to Know
Updated: May 4
If birth photography isn't for you, but you still want to document the birth of your child, then Fresh48 photography is for you!
Fresh48s are On-call, Lifestyle, in-hospital (or birthplace)
Newborn Sessions, 24-48 hrs after a baby is born.
These sessions allow parents & baby to be more rested and refreshed. Typically, there is less medical interventions and movement going on (as opposed to birth story sessions), and lighting/set up a little more predictable.
Families that rather hold birth just as a memory, or that find birth photography to be just outside their budget limits, use Fresh48 sessions to document authentic details of their child's birth experience, and capture their love as they savor the timeless pace following such a milestone in their lives. You can expect lots of gazing, finger and toe counting, kisses and lots of snuggles captured. These sessions are also the perfect opportunity to capture reactions & sweet emotions of siblings, or family meeting the baby for the first time.
Below are some recent images from a beautiful Fresh48 session in Broward county, and one of my favorites!
How are Fresh48 sessions scheduled and why are they more costly than Newborn Sessions?
You want to book your Fresh48 as soon as possible, as photographer calendars fill up quickly, but don't be discouraged if you find one last minute. In four years, I have never turned a family away- we always make it work. ( Let's chat if you have a birth coming up soon!)
Once baby is earth-side and mom/dad/baby have settled in, your photographer is contacted, and the clock starts ticking. If neither mom or baby have medical needs that warrant waiting, a day/time is then agreed upon.
Fresh48 Photos are On-Call sessions. This means your photographer has reserved the days/weeks around your due date to be available for you. Being on-call means being ready for an early delivery, not traveling outside your birthing area, or taking any other jobs that may compromise the availability. Rain or shine, Fresh48 sessions happen within that time-frame to protect the timing of your stay & preserve the fleeting moments in your newborn's life.
By contrast, regular newborn sessions are not on-call sessions. They are scheduled at your convenience and availability of the photographer and may, from time to time, be rescheduled due to an on-call session happening, inclement weather, or illness. There is an element of convenience, flexibility, and usually take place at your home or studio, within the first 2-3 weeks of baby's life, and take about 2-3 hrs (this varies w/style and photographer).
Can I just hire any photographer to document a Fresh48?
You can, but I wouldn't recommend it. When you hire an experienced, professional, Birth Photographer to capture your Fresh48 session you get their expertise in low light, professional gear, knowledge and experience in the hospital/birthing setting. In addition, most professionals work with a reliable back-up photographer(s), and are licensed and insured.
Besides anticipating any delays due to medical interventions, baby feedings, diaper changes or your lactation consultant coming in for a check-up, Fresh48 photographers know how to leverage and maximize time. Sessions can be as short as 1.5 hrs and up to 3.5+ hrs if the circumstances demand it.
What should you wear for a Fresh48 session?
Whatever you want...... My advice is to keep things comfortable!
Keep in mind these sessions are intended to be an authentic encapsulation of the birthing experience and environment. So while a family heirloom, special gown or significant piece of clothing for baby is encouraged, this is not your posed type of session with props or fancy clothing.
If your birth was a gender surprise, and you hire me, no worries though. I gotcha! I always bring some discrete, newborn-gentle bows and/or blankets in colors or neutrals you can borrow (of course all freshly washed without chemicals).
Don't Hospitals take photos for you?
While hospitals do offer photography services with packages you can purchase; you need to know they are offered on a schedule. These services are typically rendered by a vendor who comes on certain days and makes rounds according to their contract and availability, so there is a chance you may miss them. Sadly, you don't get to choose who to hire, and while these vendors have experience in the hospital setting, their sessions tend be more scripted with less room for creativity or ability to customize to your style or needs as they serve as many families as they can while on rotation.
Click here for more details about Birth Hour Photography's Fresh48 sessions.