Fresh Sessions have an extra special place in my heart. There is something powerful about walking into a room where a family has just grown; a space where there is new life; a literal breath of fresh air. It's inexplicable - a warm, blurry, euphoric lovely thing. A rare, quiet, overwhelming sense of calm in the middle of this crazy world.
There is nothing like it and it floors me every. single. time. My heart longs to be capturing this fleeting moment for you and though I cannot be in the room, I want you to know that I understand what these images mean and I am here to make sure you still leave the hospital with tangible memories of these most magical hours.
Use Natural Light
Even if your room is quite dark and it's a cloudy day, turn off all the lights in the room. This will save you from wonky skin tones and unpleasant shadows. The window will be your best friend - use it. Bring the bassinet over and do most of your shooting here. If your room is bright and sunny then you'll have a bit more space to play with but I still suggest using the window as your go-to.
Shoot in Raw
Put simply, this allows us to edit your images while maintaining the highest quality final product possible. If you are using a DSLR camera, you'll find this in your settings. It is also possible to shoot raw on your phone! Before heading to the hospital, do some research on camera apps for your smartphone (I prefer VSCO). With it, you have the option to shoot in RAW and this could save some images that are too dark, too bright, etc. when you send them to me to edit.
Don't Worry About Posing
Trust me, you'll want to remember your new little love and these moments just as they were in those first hours. In my PDF for clients I will go more into detail on how to loosely pose yourselves and the best ways to hold baby to get a variety of great shots but, really, just do your best to capture the quiet moments, to embody the sense of happiness and calm. The best photographs are of real moments, not perfect ones. Strive to capture the bond that is already growing.
Use Hospital Items
They may not be the prettiest but, trust me, these images will hit you HARD in the feels even just days from now. This room and these things were a part of your birth story. This is the bed where you first snuggled, the bassinet where your baby laid, perhaps where you learned how to swaddle them. That bench is where your spouse stared down at this new little person in awe and, instead of sleeping, you stared at them both in awe. One item, bassinets in particular, can be very versatile and can provide a wide variety of creative and emotional images.
Shoot from Every Angle
Moving yourself is one of the easiest ways to get a lot of images without moving a sleeping babe. Get close, back wayyyy up, shoot from above, the side, the bottom. Often I get upwards of twenty final images without moving anyone or anything but myself. Every angle has different lighting possibilities too.
Every. Teeny. Perfect. Detail.
Hospital room numbers, round little toes, pouty lips and forehead wrinkles. Bassinets, hospital bracelets, name cards and fuzzy tufts of hair. These are the things you think you'll have time to capture but trust me when I say: tomorrow they will have changed. There is only one day when you get to measure your baby's age in hours - pretty soon it will be years.
Don't Forget Yourself + Your Partner
I know you are going to be sure to get all the individual photos of your new babe, as well as older siblings with the new arrival. Parents, you've played a pretty big role in this new life, and make sure you include yourselves in these memories. Mama, you may not feel "camera-ready" but this is a perfect time to let go of perfection. You've created a life. Pause. Reflect on that for a hot minute. Your body has just done what is was meant to do; what it was created to do. That's about the closest thing I've ever heard of to perfection. You are incredible and you are, in the future eyes of your child(ren), the most important part of their birth day. You are the center of their universe on this day, and for many to come. If not for yourself, be in the picture for them.
Fresh Sessions are my favourite to be invited to. Truly, it is an honour to be welcomed into your very open, joyous and vulnerable space; to be present with your family in some of the most memorable moments of your life. The amount of emotion and love in these rooms is so enormous it takes my breath away. There is a lot happening right now and I wish I could be there with you. I wish I could hug you, snuggle the perfect new human you've brought into this crazy, beautiful world and tell you how proud of I am of you. I hope I can be soon. In the meantime, let yourself be so overwhelmed by joy that you forget everything else.
After all, today was just another date on the calendar, until it became their birthday.