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FAMILY PREP GUIDE: FRESH 48 | HOSPITAL SESSION

Hey Baby! 

Nothing is more magical than welcoming a new baby into your family. The tiny, delicate fingers and toes; the precious, soft skin; the certainty that this is a love unlike any you have known. You are certain that your life will never be the same. These moments pass so quickly. It is a privilege for us to preserve this special milestone for you and your family to remember forever.

Everyone who has been a parent knows that those early days go by in the blink of an eye. The things you treasure so much – the smell of a baby’s skin, the feel of his or her little body cuddled against yours – become distant but cherished memories as your children quickly change and grow. I'm so honored to be there at the beginning of your little one’s journey to capture this time of beauty and innocence in professional photographs that you and your loved ones will treasure.

xoxo Ashley

 
 
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The Experience

Once your little one makes his big entrance, let me know the news, and we will coordinate together to choose a day for the photo session. Fresh 48 pictures are done in the hospital or birthing center that your baby is born in within the first two days of life.

Siblings

If you have other children and you would like them to be present, preparing them for our session as much as possible. Please make sure kids know that this is FUN! My goal isn’t to get a picture of your child “being good” or just “smiling” but having fun and interacting. Some kids who have been coached to smile for the photographer get so nervous that they are fighting laughing and relaxing because they are so worried about having their picture taken or making their parents happy!

If you would rather focus on just your new baby, that is perfectly fine too. This can be their chance to shine, or it can be a whole family affair. 

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Dads

Moms, I’m speaking to you. Is your husband feeling less than thrilled about your upcoming photo shoot? A little bribery seems to work well here (though maybe something better than ice cream!) as well! But seriously, let your husband know that the shoot will be relatively painless and to try to focus on having an hour to snuggle your new baby and just spend time together. 

 

 
 

Mom & Dad

During the shoot, if you are not in the picture, please just relax and enjoy someone else holding baby, unless I ask for help.

Mom and dad, as you focus on your baby, don’t forget about yourself! Keep your posture good as well as ensuring your chin doesn’t pull in. These allow for the most flattering images. Something else to keep in mind is to be watchful of your own expression as you’re trying to snuggle your newborn. Remember you are in the photos as well!

Rest assured I’ll be watching all of you and will definitely let you know if I see something out of place or looking off.

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General Tips

A Fresh 48 is different from a “posed” newborn session with props. I like to look for natural light and capture the newness of baby: Sweet wrinkly feet, tender kisses, hospital blankets/hats....and all that encompasses that first day experience. These sessions are typically done in all black and white and feature lots of snuggles and swaddles. You can expect the session to last between 30-60 minutes depending on the hospital schedule and of course your baby. Many of your photos will be in black and white, but it depends on the lighting situation at the hospital. 

To prepare for our hospital session, you won't have to do much- just be yourself. Some parents chose to be in the photos while others do not. It is completely up to you and we can decide when I arrive if you like. 

I will arrive to photograph when you guys feel ready for visitors, but before or after family comes to visit. It's easier to capture your new baby with just your immediate family present (mommy, daddy, siblings) so I will ask that extended family wait elsewhere while we work.

Please make sure baby has been well fed prior to the agreed upon arrival time.

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Props & Heirloom Items

Fresh 48 Sessions do not use many props- instead I focus on the hospital experience. Tiny arm bands, blue/pink striped blankets and teeny hats. It's all about your experience after birth. If you have an heirloom item or special outfit you wish to be included, that will be just fine. We will not do any outfit changes, but instead focus on keeping baby wrapped and warm while we work.

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Session Checklist

  • blankets that are special to you (made by grandma, embroidered with baby name, etc.)
  • hats or booties you love
  • going home outfit
  • plain onesie

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Wardrobe Tips

Ah, the age old question always associated with photo shoots. Styling is one thing I try not to have too much of a hand in, since I want you guys to still be you. But here is my 2 cents:

Think neutral, simple, layers and comfortable. Some parents don't even get in the photos at the hospital- it's totally your decision. You can go casual with a nice robe or night gown, or if you're feeling good, get dressed and style yourselves. 

Coordinate. As you think about your color palette, imagine your family being one complete piece of artwork. Each person/outfit will bring together a feeling of formality and coordination. Instead of everyone wearing the same shade of blue - think about what accent colors might look nice with said blue. Perhaps blue plaid shorts for your son with a t-shirt, vest and hat. Pull some of the colors of his plaid shorts to find a great skirt or dress for your little girl. Dad can wear some jeans and a shirt that coordinates with the plaid shorts and skirt on your daughter, and finish it off with an awesome jacket and fedora. Mom will round the entire family out with some great boots, leggings and darling dress that (again) coordinates with the family color story.

When in doubt, remember, I am here to help! We can design a visual board on Pinterest, I'm available via text or the phone to look at and discuss your ideas. Please do not hesitate to ask for help on your outfit choices.

Maternity Clothing:Mama Bump RentalsFillyBoo MaternityPink Blush Maternity

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The Day Of

On the day of the photo session, I will meet you at the hospital (or birthing center) about midday and the creative fun will begin. Plan for your session to last around an hour (and to be interrupted a lot by nurses and doctors and feedings- totally normal!).
It’s important for you and your family to be yourselves so your photographs can communicate who you really are. A fun and relaxing photo session results in great portraits you can treasure.

2-3 Weeks After

After the photographs have been taken and each image has been professionally retouched, you will experience the moment you have been eagerly awaiting. Sneak peek images may be posted to Facebook and/or the blog for your family and friends to view. The end result will be heirlooms that you will cherish forever.

4-6 Weeks After Printing

Your printed products and artwork are ready to be picked up!


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Final Thoughts

Each baby is different. I may rock, or sway with your baby, rub his eyebrows, use a white noise machine, etc. I want to make sure the energy in the room is always relaxed and calm, with lots of trust. They will occasionally cry- please know that this is never a bother for me. I will use a variety of soothing techniques to make your baby feel safe, secure and warm. Think of me as your baby sitter. Baby will never be placed in an unsafe position and newborn safety is my top priority.

I have a very hands on approach to newborns and I am very comfortable handling them. I have three young children myself and have taken safety courses on newborn photography/workshops. I am fully vaccinated. One last thing....No matter what your baby does, please know that I am always relaxed. I do this all the time and have seen everything. This session is supposed to be a special experience for you and I don't want you stressed if the baby starts to cry. The baby can sense stress and it usually makes them cry more. We have plenty of time allowed for your session. If we need to take a break to feed, walk, rock, etc. we can do that. I want you to enjoy the experience of your session and this special bonding moment for your family.


And so the adventure begins...

Whew! I know that is a lot of info!! Don't hesitate to ask questions of visit this page to re-read it. 
I can't wait to spend time with your family! Each family I get the honor of working with is etched on my heart forever. Please know this process is very important to me and I value the true heartbeat of your family.

Have a question or need some help? I'm here and ready to help make your session come to life!

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