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How to Prepare for a Fresh 48 Session


Fresh 48 Sessions are all about capturing that raw newness of your sweet baby and growing family. They are different than other newborn sessions because of timing and location. Most Fresh 48 Sessions occur within the first day of a new baby's life, and more often than not, they take place while everyone is still in the hospital. They are some of my favorite sessions!



Finding a Fresh 48 Photographer

As you're researching photographers, make sure you connect with the photographer's editing style and approach. I recommend finding someone who's detail-oriented, laid-back, and can go with the flow of things in a hospital setting.


Communication Before Your Session

Save your photographer's contact info in your phone beforehand so you have easy access to it. Send her a text or quick email once you're admitted to the hospital (or things are getting moving at home). I know A LOT is going and nerves are at their highest heading into labor, but if you can, have your partner give your photographer a heads up. This gives her a little extra time to move things around and plan for your Fresh 48.


If baby arrives fast and furious and you weren't able to give your photographer a heads up, don't stress. In that case, get in touch with her as soon as you can after baby arrives to coordinate a time.



Before Your Photographer Arrives

Before your photographer arrives there are a few things that you could do that'd be helpful. But don't stress too much. These things won't make or break your photos, and a good photographer will move items that are distracting in a photo.


Tidy Up A Couple Areas

Tidy up by the window and the bassinet if you can. The session will be close to the window for the majority of the time. Don't stress too much though. Your photographer can always adjust things if needed when she arrives.


Turn Up the Heat

Turn up the heat if you can. Babies love to be nice and warm, so it helps to turn up the heat a few degrees about an hour before your session. This is important for the diaper only shots so baby isn't shaking with the chills!



Get Baby's Items Out

Get out any onesies, headbands, swaddles, and hats you'd like baby to wear and make sure you have everything. That way if you forgot sometime a family member can drop it off before your session.


Wait to Feed Baby

Wait to feed your baby if you can if you'd like some breastfeeding shots. And only do this if you feel is safe for baby. If you don't want nursing photos, go ahead and feed baby before your photographer arrives.


What to Wear for a Fresh 48 Session

The biggest thing to be mindful of is limiting distractions in what you're wearing (watches, hair ties on wrists, and lettering on shirts are big ones).


Keep It Simple

T-shirts, leggings, larger sweaters, and/or a robe is the way to go. A flowery robe can add just the right amount of glam to your hospital photos and isn't constricting.


When In Doubt

When in doubt, stick to neutrals. You can't go wrong with them. These colors will help the focus be only on your family and your new baby and all those amazing details.



Limit Accessories

If you have a watch on, I'll probably ask you to remove it. I'd also take off hair ties from wrists. Stick to earrings, simple necklaces, etc. that you might wear on an average day.


Avoid Logos

I recommend steering clear of large logos or text across t-shirts and sweatshirts. Same with overwhelming graphics. These items can be really distracting in a photo.


Avoid Matching

It might sound like a super cute idea to match baby's swaddle to your robe, but in a photo of you holding baby all you'll see is one big sea of pink. We want baby and her tiny features to stand out, not get lost in flowery fabric that matches yours. If you'd like to coordinate baby's swaddle, go with a single color from your robe or shirt.



What Should Baby Wear?

Baby doesn't need an outfit. But feel free to bring a white onesie, headbands, hats, and/or swaddles to use during the session.


Do What Feels Good

Go with what feels good. If those maternity leggings make you feel good, wear them. If a fancy robe makes you feel more beautiful, awesome. And consider bringing a couple options. It's hard to know what your fresh postpartum body will feel like and what will fit.


Fresh 48 FAQ


What Time Do Fresh 48 Sessions Occur?

Fresh 48 Sessions take place within the first two days of life. The best time for your session is in the morning or early afternoon to make the best use of light.


How Long Do Fresh 48 Sessions Last?

Sessions typically last 30-50 minutes. I'll follow your baby's lead throughout the session and will pause if needed if hospital staff steps in.



What about Older Siblings?

If older siblings will be meeting baby for the first time, I suggest having them come about 20-30 minutes after the session starts. This gives me time to get all those details and individual shots ofbaby without siblings having to wait around. Older siblings should wear solid neutral colors when possible. Avoid graphics on t-shirts.


What Types of Photos Will You Take?

I usually start with photos of baby in her bassinet. We'll take naked or diaper only shots of tiny fingers and toes, hair folds. If you'd like to document nursing, we'll do those photos next. Then we'll capture connections, like mom and dad holding baby, siblings meeting baby, and full family shots. I also like to capture things like your room number, the white board, and the newspaper if you have one.


What Happens if My Baby is in the NICU?

Depending on your hospital's policy on visitors in the NICU, we can do a NICU Fresh 48. Or if you'd prefer we can move to an in-home newborn session.


Do You Use Flash?

I typically don't use flash for a Fresh 48 Session because there's really no need. We'll be shooting during the day when there's a lot of good natural light. As long as we're close enough to a window, no flash needed. However, if there are dark spaces you'd like to have photographed (like near the tub you gave birth in at home or your hospital bed that's further away from the window), then I may want to bounce a flash off the wall or ceiling at a low setting.


What if I Have a C-Section and Can't Get Up?

That's okay! We can still get shots of baby closer to the window, and most hospital rooms these days have pretty good natural light. We can still capture sweet moments while making sure you're comfortable.


Get in Touch with a Fresh 48 Photographer in Minneapolis

I'm based in Elk River and photograph new babies in the Minneapolis area. I'm very laid-back and am comfortable in a hospital setting. The first thing I'll do when I enter your room is set my things down and wash my hands. I'm fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and will wear a mask. And I'll always ask your permission to touch your baby if I'd like to adjust something. Please reach out via the Contact page to get in touch!

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Located in Minneapolis, Kara Joy Photography is a lifestyle & documentary photographer who specializes in newborn & family photography. She's known for capturing raw emotion & authentic expressions through a laid-back approach. Her unforced images have a glaze that is natural yet polished. The cherry on top? A quick turnaround time.

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