The Difference Between a Fresh 48 and a Newborn Photography Session

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

If you’re expecting, you are probably finding yourself faced with numerous decisions. Will you cloth diaper or use disposables, bottle feed, breastfeed, or a combination of both? Is co-sleeping for you? Will you offer a pacifier? My favorite decisions are, what will you name the baby and how will you decorate the nursery? Then there is the decision of how you will document this sweet baby’s arrival. Do you hire a birth photographer, have a fresh 48 session, do newborn photos in a studio, or have a lifestyle newborn photography session?

Photo of Newborn baby boy from above in dad's arms

It can feel great to know there are so many options and photographers out there for you, however, it can feel overwhelming, too. I want to help ease that burden by answering one of the most common questions I get.

 Photo of newborn baby with family during Fresh 48 session

What’s the difference between a fresh 48 and a newborn photography session?

In the simplest sense, a Fresh 48 happens within the first 48 hours after birth while you’re still in the hospital or birth center, whereas a newborn photography session takes place within the first 1-2 weeks (or up to a month, really) within your home.

Fresh 48 portrait of newborn baby boy

Both a Fresh 48 and a Newborn photo session document your love and your baby’s tiny details.

However, how they do this is different. A Fresh 48 focuses on the newness of it all. I capture those hospital details like the hospital blanket and bassinet, the hospital bands, those wrinkly toes, and the umbilical stump. We capture that glimmer in your eye as you ride on the adrenaline and joy of bringing new life into this world.

Newborn photo showing nursery

During your newborn session, we capture your baby’s tiny details, but in the setting of your home. I use the spaces where life happens and where your child will grow up, like “the big bed” or master bedroom, the living room and the nursery. I capture those special details you put into making the nursery special. We are also able to include your pets, too.

Photo of dad kissing newborn baby in hospital bassinet

A Fresh 48 session is shorter and more casual than a newborn session.

Of course, both sessions are laid back and relaxed as I let your baby guide the pace. However, during your Fresh 48 I try to be in and out as quickly as possible while getting the photographs you want. You just had a baby, and I want to let you get back to recovering and relaxing, so a session lasts around 30 minutes (depending on the number of nurse interruptions!). While you may change your clothes and freshen up a bit, your attire will still be casual and comfortable (looking for ideas, check out What to Pack for Your Fresh 48 Session).

A newborn session, on the other hand, lasts anywhere from 1-2 hours. It is a relaxed time with plenty of time for a cup of coffee, diaper changes, feedings, and gushing over your sweet new baby. You’re able to dress up a little more and take a shower, overall just feel a bit more put together. For your newborn session, you have had some time to settle in a little bit to life with a newborn.

Mother holding newborn baby boy during in-home newborn photography session in Seattle

Which portrait session do you book?

Now for the ultimate decision: which do you choose? As you can see, this family chose to book both a fresh 48 and a newborn photography session. They saw value in both sessions, and as you can see, baby boy changed so much in even a short two-week period.

Does this mean you need to book both sessions to “properly” have your baby captured? Of course not. It comes down to what is most important to you, and what fits your lifestyle and budget. I hope this helped you understand the similarities and differences as you consider each type of session for your upcoming arrival.

Still feeling unsure? Let’s chat. I’m happy to help you make the right decision for your family.

Want to document each month with a fun milestone photo? Grab my free photo tips guide just for parents like you.