How to capture your newborn in the first 48 hours
It is likely you have heard all the hype about “Fresh 48” sessions. If not, the session consists of hiring a professional photographer and having them document your baby in the hospital within 48 hours. As a professional photographer, there is no session I love more. Not everyone will be a fan of having a possible stranger come join them postpartum so there are ways you can do it yourself to ensure the time is perfectly captured. What is greater than that new skin, those tiny fingers and their eager little mouths? Not much. I promise you won’t regret capturing all the pretty and chaotic. Those details are fleeting and while you tell yourself you will never forget…you do.
Here are 8 ways to document that fresh babe.
That is right. One of the first things a newborn does is cry when they enter this world. A newborn cry is so distinct and I will find yourself likely pouting with them. Capture the cry face.
2. The umbilical cord.
The actual lifeline between you and your babe. It is astonishing when you look at it. It will amaze you that this was the thing that connected you and this whole new life. Some aren’t thrilled with the way it looks but guess what? They don’t stick around long and you will find it falling off within the next few week.
I am a big fan of Mom getting in the frame. I know first hand how much Mom does not want that photo taken postpartum. However, you should know when your baby is grown and looking through photos they will cherish the sight of you holding them. Get creative if you must and do some creative crops or just get your hand in the photo to show your presence.
3. Dad and siblings.
If this is not your first baby then your heart will pitter patter at the sight of older siblings laying eyes on your new one for the first time. Document the reaction when they come to see baby for the first time. Don’t forget Dads too! If you see Dad hushing baby or changing a diaper whip out that cell phone for remembrance.
I cannot be the only person on the planet who loves the fresh piggies. I mean, they are so tiny and sweet. The fresh toe nails, and wrinkly bottoms get me every time. I like to make sure I grab a shot of the bottom footprints as well as those soft toenails. Newborns love to stick those feet out and this is generally a really effortless shot to get.
5. Baby in the hospital crib.
This is a really good way to remember their size and how they filled out that space. Plus, their new name card is usually pasted here and you can capture them swaddled in that classic hospital blanket. I love to wheel that cart over to the closest window and let the light fall on them.
6. That head of hair.
That baby fine hair or no hair at all deserves a snap too! The fun thing about newborns is they can be really fuzzy. Peach fuzz will likely grace their shoulders and even their back. The sad part is it will be gone soon so don’t miss out of grabbing those photos right away.
7. Skin to skin.
Newborns love to eat and lay on Mom as much as possible. It is likely you will not want to put them down anytime soon. Try documenting those first few days breastfeeding and them just snuggling on your chest. You’ll remember how soft they felt laying against you and all the times you couldn’t resist smelling their head.
8. Avoid too much touchup!
If you are taking photos and know your way around Photoshop or hired a pro please do not edit your newborn too much! In order to truly document how new and precious they then there are some things that shouldn’t be altered. Flakey skin, stork bites, swollen eyes and bruises come with the territory of birth. They will be gone in a blink of an eye and you’ll be sad if you altered too much in Photoshop.
These times with your new baby will be magical and trying. Capturing even the difficulties of the first diaper, first feeding, and many cries will be so nostalgic to look back on soon enough. Not only will you treasure the documentary style of a session like a Fresh 48 but so will many generations to come.
Guest blog written by Mary from Evie & Jr. Photography
Mary is a professional photographer based in Michigan. Her world revolves around with her husband, Peter of 12 years, 7 years old twins; Oliver & Eleanor, and the newest baby Otis.