When I began photographing newborns, I was all-about the Fresh48. Capturing baby in the first 48 precious hours of their lives at place of birth. Raw, real and beautiful! Documenting moments from the first couple of days in all their honest glory! And whilst I absolutely still live and breathe a Fresh 48 session, at times, the pandemic made these sessions impossible.
After the first long lockdown in 2020, when I was allowed to work again, I was only allowed into my customers homes and not back into hospital. There were lots of babies who had missed out on any kind of photography session when they were first born, so I began photographing a whole age-range of babies from 1 week, to 6 months old! Keeping my documentary style and drawing on my experience as a family photographer, the sessions with older babies, whilst still capturing real moments, (including the odd cry!) and retaining my documentary style, and were absolutely heaps of fun for their own reasons.
“As your baby slowly unfurls from the last few weeks of a somewhat cramped existence, and begins to realise his/her environment has changed. The basic needs kick in, and the cycle of feeding, sleeping and cuddles begins!”
Here are the advantages of the in-hospital Fresh48 photography session and the in-home, documentary photography session, to help you decide which session is best for you and your family.
Pros of In-Hospital - BellaFresh48 session
Capturing baby at the truly ‘fresh’ stage!
The first 48 hours after baby is born is an amazing time! Even if this is your second or third baby, you’re in a state of awe at this unbelievable miracle! As your baby slowly unfurls from the last few weeks of a somewhat cramped existence, and begins to realise his/her environment has changed. The basic needs kick in and the cycle of feeding, sleeping and cuddles begins! I often photograph baby before their first bath, so the layer of vernix can still be on baby’s skin, or in their hair. Or I can come on day 3 or 4 when baby’s had their bath… it’s entirely up to you which you’d prefer.
Memories of your time in your hospital room
I know women have very different experiences of birth, but the main surprise for me was how little I remember of my time with my baby & partner in my hospital room. My memory of that time was hazy to say the least! I do have some lovely memories of when my eldest son came in to meet our second baby, but that’s because I packed my camera for my second birth, those pictures helped me keep that memory alive!
Relaxed & super quick session
The session is super quick and unobtrusive, just 20 mins long. I do encourage mums to be in some photos cuddling their baby, because whether you’re feeling amazing, or not feeling quite yourself, looking back on those images with will bring back the memories of how you felt holding baby in the first few days. I also love to capture baby with your partner, and family shots too.
Pros of In-Home Newborn Photography session
Pick a date & time that suits you
Having your photography session at your home means you can schedule it in for a time that suits you, whether you want to wait until you’ve see your hairdresser, or until you feel like you’re getting into the swing of life with a newborn. I would recommend booking your session in before your partner has to go back into work though, (unless they work from home!) as I only do one weekend date per month, and these get booked up early.
The comfort of your own home
My in-home sessions are still very relaxed and documentary in style. I love capturing both parents (where applicable/possible) holding baby, and my absolute favourite shots are the moments in-between… The nappy change shots, the ‘pass me the baby’ shots, the “did you really just say that?” shots!
All family members can be there, even woof!
I love to capture baby with all family members, including their big sibling (if they have one). I’ll often go for both lying on a blanket together or sitting on a chair, with the help of a parent! Lots of my families have a dog that they like to bring in on the family shot too! Adorable!!
What’s the best age for a photography session?
This is such a personal preference. What age do you want to remember your time with your baby at? The first few days are so precious, it’s such an intimate, special time, but some people prefer their session once they’ve got home and settled in a little.
If we’re talking about what age is baby happiest in their session, the answer is obviously varied. We all know that a newborn can be calm and settled one day, and for no apparent reason, unsettled the next. I absolutely love a session in the first 2-3 days as everyone is in the love-bubble, in such awe and wonder at this miraculous being!! Saying that, the best age for the baby to be the most consistently settled seems to be the one week mark.
Anything can happen though, and that’s why if baby is unsettled, I encourage you to do whatever you need to, to settle your baby… Cuddles, movement, or giving baby a feed. If this session is in hospital, and baby isn’t feeling it, I’m often able to leave you for 20-30 mins, and come back when baby is hopefully feeling better.
I feel such honour at being able to document some of the first moments in your babies lives. Thank you to all of my customers past and future! If there’s anything you want clarification on, or just want to chat about the session, please feel free to give me a call 0467982607 or drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d love to chat!
Bella Jordan - BellaFresh48.com
Melbourne - 0467 982607