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Wondering how to really knock the socks off the parents during a Fresh 48 session? Look no further! Check out our 14 tips and tricks to nailing your next session!
A Fresh 48 session can be daunting! You know you have a limited amount of time, and both mama and baby are just getting to know each other. Preparing for these sessions can really reduce the amount of stress for everyone, so it’s really essential that you plan and have your arsenal of tricks in your back pocket. So let’s get down to business! Here are our 14 top tricks for making sure you get the perfect photos that will make a lifetime of sweet memories!
1. Preparing for your session!
Have parents get in touch within 12 hours of baby’s birth or as soon as they’ve settled into their recovery room. Prepare a time for later that afternoon or the next morning and ask them about the light in their room–what wing are they on (east, west), does the room seem to be getting good natural light etc. Ask parents to think in the weeks leading up to delivery while packing their bags about the clothing they might want to wear that will be comfortable and flattering and on the more neutral side (that’s a stylistic preference so you can adjust as needed!)
Hospital rooms are not always but generally SMALL so think wide. I wouldn’t recommend shooting with anything over 50mm and having a couple of different options like a 35mm and a 24mm could definitely be useful for being able to pull back and capture a little of the scene. Make sure to be using something that opens up quite wide for nice airy shots of the baby.
3. Camera Settings
Speaking of opening up wide, I know you’re going to be prone to shooting wide open. The light in hospital rooms can be awesome by the window but not so great as you move into the room (toward the bed etc) as all the light is directional and coming from one spot/window.
Although opening up your aperture can help let in light, and is great for solo shots of baby and detail shots, be mindful of your focal planes. Because of the tight spaces, it’s often hard to get all family members on the same focal plane and you are likely going to need to close your aperture to 4+ for some shots of the whole family to make sure everyone is nice and sharp!
That’s okay! Don’t be afraid to bump your ISO, and remember– B&W is your friend…bonus, it exudes soooo much emotion! (Umm yeah…that’s why I used it, not the grain…)
Suggest to Mom and Dad before the session bringing along a special memento to be photographed with the baby like an embroidered hat with baby’s name, or a customized swaddle. If you really want to impress, bring one for them as a gift! (don’t forget to work it into your CODB–I got my daughter’s bow hospital hat with her name embroidered for less than $15 including shipping on Etsy. It will go MILES with your clients!)
5. What about siblings?
Make sure to time your session so that siblings arrive about halfway through. This will give you some dedicated time to work with new baby and parents without distraction and some time to capture the new siblings with the new baby. Having some treats for ornery toddlers not appreciating their new sibling is never a bad idea.
Make sure to specify in your welcome guide which hospitals you work at without additional travel fee and what the travel fee is for hospitals not in your area.
This is going to depend largely on your area/market but I do price my Fresh 48’s slightly more than my average 60 minute session just due to the “drop everything” nature of the scheduling (no where near as on call as birth sessions but still not super convenient as a toddler mom!) I also try to keep them lower than my Newborn sessions so that they can be a reasonable add-on and a more affordable option for those who can’t afford my full 3-4 hour in-home newborn session.
Here’s an example:
Average 60 min session: $275
Full In-Home Newborn: $500
Fresh 48 (without travel fee): $325
Fresh 48 as add-on to Newborn: $199
My Fresh 48 Sessions last approx. 60 Minutes start to finish.
9. Sneek Peaks
I do this for ALL of my sessions but even if you don’t make sure you do here! New parents are DYING to announce the birth of their new love to the world–help them do so WITH your gorgeous photos! Great place to use my organic reach approach too!
10. How to WOW!
I bring one flokati, wrap and headband along with me and take a few “posed” traditional newborn shots for Mom and Dad as a surprise bonus and it KNOCKS their socks off. In this photo, my flokati was just tucked into an armchair by the big window in their room. You could use the end of the bed if there’s no good big reclining chair. So easy and SO impactful especially for those families that didn’t book a newborn session.
11. Add video!
This is an AWESOME place to include some video work or a slideshow! You can check out a quick slideshow I did for this Fresh 48 as a free surprise for my clients on my page Sweetest Things Photography, MA. Great marketing tool and a nice surprise for your friends to share!
12. Include a mobile app!
Pixieset and Shootproof both now offer a free feature allowing you to send a custom app to your clients to install to their phone–what a great way for new parents especially to show off your photos to all those new visitors in the first weeks!
13. Give a free print (or two)!
Along the same lines as #12, consider sending a few FREE 4X6’s or 5X7’s to the new parents– they’ll LOVE you and you’re making it easy for them to show off your work to all those new visitors! Making sure to add value to your client’s experience is what is going to get you more clients!
14. Focus on emotion!
Remember the MOST important part of Fresh 48 sessions is capturing that raw joy and love of new parents!
Keeping all of these things in mind on your next Fresh 48 session will absolutely wow your clients! Delivering such raw and powerful images in such a seamless way will undoubtedly get them talking to friends and family (and who doesn’t love a few referrals here and there)! The best part about this job is capturing memories in a way that continues to bring joy and light into the lives of your clients for years to come. Do you have any questions?! Let us know in the comments!