You’ve probably come across the “what’s in your hospital bag” list before. And yes! All of those items are great to have and can help a girl out during the couple day stay in the hospital after your delivery. But, what a lot of them skip over is what you should have to document those first couple days of your newborn baby’s life.
Maybe it’s just me because I’m a photographer who is OBSESSED with the first 48 hours in hospital photo sessions. A Fresh 48 session is the newest must-have newborn photo shoot to welcome your new baby into your family.
Fresh 48 sessions the day after delivery at the hospital capture all the little details that every parent wants to remember forever. Tiny little hands and feet, sleepy little curled up babies, and the awesome siblings first meeting.
Over the last few years of being a New Jersey Fresh 48 photographer I’ve photographed at many of the best hospitals in the area:
While all of these hospitals offer quick on-site photography options, they are not the same, or even close to the quality of a personalized fresh 48 session tailored to you and your family
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR FRESH 48 SESSION
To help you prepare for your session, I’ve put together a list of helpful tips and products.
When you are packing your hospital bag, be sure to include outfits for the entire family to wear for your session.
For your partner, jeans and a simple solid colored tee shirt will do just fine.
For you, keep it comfortable. A cute robe or pajama set would be perfect. Keep in mind that you may have some discomfort and pre-pregnancy clothes probably won’t fit. Maternity pants, leggings are great options. Avoiding bright colors or big patterns.
I love robes by:
For siblings, keep them simple as well. A solid colored sundress, or jeans and a tee shirt are just fine.
Do keep everyone along the same style and coordinated color family for the most cohesive and pleasing look.
For baby, you can choose to use the hospital provided onesie and swaddles for that classic look. Or, bring your own solid colored or white onesie in a newborn size with a soft stretch swaddle to match.
STAY IN TOUCH
It’s important to book your Fresh 48 photographer about 3 months in advance or more. This way you can be one the same page and prepared if baby decides to come earlier than expected. Once you are in labor or have a scheduled induction date, let the photographer know so there is enough time to schedule your session. This is a great task to assign to your partner ahead of time.
Plan to ask your visitors to leave or step out for some coffee in the cafe before our session starts. Too many people in the room can be distracting to you and your family. It can also create the feeling of having an audience. My goal is to have you all comfortable with just your family unit in the room. If you’d like a photo with a grandparent or relative, we can do that as we finish up your session.
PREPARING THE ROOM
I will arrive and prep your room to allow for the best photos. To do this I open up all of the shades to let the most light in. Turn off all the lights to get rid of any odd coloring or yellowing. I will also move any bags, blankets, food trays, etc that would be distracting or not add to the photos.
I know that having a newborn can be confusing and tricky as you try to figure out a schedule. If possible, it is best to have baby either fully fed, or feeding when I arrive. The reason for this is that a baby with a full tummy is a happy, sleepy, content baby especially during those first days. If you are still feeding when I arrive that is perfectly fine! I will take some time to get situated, set the room, and chat a bit before we start anyway.
Do have baby dressed in a clean plain white onesie or other solid colored onesie. I suggest only one outfit for a fresh 48 session to not be dressing and undressing which disturbs brand new babies who can’t regulate their own body temperatures. Limiting outfits will help us to keep baby warm and content.
Neutral clothing, and avoiding props will help to keep a classic look in your photos with nothing distracting from your baby’s tiny features. I do however encourage a simple headband, hat, or a favorite swaddle. Some of my favorite companies for swaddles and newborn outfits are:
What I love most about Fresh 48 sessions is that they are super relaxed and casual. Don’t stress if things are going wrong, or not going to plan. It’s ok if baby cries and we need to stop to soothe. It’s ok if a big sibling isn’t that into meeting their baby, it can be hard on them to adjust and I will simply be patient and wait for them. I understand that you and your partner are tired. I know that having a new baby can be nerve wracking and you’re just trying to figure it out. IT’S OK!! I am in no hurry, there is no clock counting down.
My clients often tell me that out of all the sessions they have done the Fresh 48 is their most treasured. Their baby changes so much, and so quickly, from that time in the hospital. I promise, you will never regret having a session like this!
Are you local to the Northern New Jersey and NYC area? Contact me for more information if you haven’t booked a fresh 48 hospital session and would like to know more.
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