Mother, father, and newborn baby in labor and delivery hospital room together. This is from a Fresh 48 Newborn Photography session that occurred at their home and at the hospital. This is taken by Oakland San Francisco Bay Area Photographer Kati Douglas with Xilo Photography. She is a distinguished photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area capturing all intimate moments for couples, weddings, families, newborns, and more.


Fresh 48 Photos – Everything You Need To Know: Bay Area Newborn Photography


October 13, 2022


Kati Douglas


What is a fresh 48 photo session?

Fresh 48 photos are sessions that take place in the first 48 hours after your newborn baby is born. These sessions are unique in the fact that you have approximately 48 hours to capture these special moments, when you, baby, and your family are adjusting to their arrival. Although, at times some photographers will do the session within the first week or so as well.

Fresh 48 photos are such unique opportunity after having your little one because you have an outside lens (and perspective) capturing some of the most intimate, delicate, and raw moments with a new baby. That precious first bath with baby, nursing and practicing getting the rhythm of breastfeeding and latching down, and diaper changes.

How is it different from a newborn session?

The biggest difference between fresh 48 and newborn sessions is the timeline. A newborn session can be scheduled at a variety of points throughout the newborn stage, but generally are not immediately following birth. They usually are scheduled in the first couple months after birth (up to around 4 months normally).

Newborn sessions can have a lot more variability when it comes to the location, like outdoors, indoors, at home, at a studio, at a park, their nursery, etc.

However, Fresh 48 photos usually are taken at the birthing facility, or in your home shortly after you and your baby are discharged from the hospital. Check out THIS Fresh 48 session in Oakland California as an example!

Why are Fresh 48 Sessions so special?

  • Capturing many of your first hours together, and your first “milestones”
  • There’s a short window to capture these very big moments
  • Your photographer gets a perspective of you as a (potentially first time) parent from their angle, an angle you may never have the opportunity to see quite the same otherwise

What should I look for in a fresh 48 or newborn photographer?

Choose a newborn photographer who:

  • Is skilled and experienced with these intimate sessions (experience with their camera, editing, different lighting, and also experience with newborns is so important)

  • Is passionate about documentary style photographer because they will know how to capture the dynamic light, the emotion, and transport you back to this moment in time when you look back on your newborn baby’s photos

  • You’re comfortable with and connect with as they will be in your hospital room or home shortly after one of your most humbling, beautiful, and transformative moments of your life. And sometimes may be over your shoulder or up close with you, your partner, and your little one

  • Understand that these sessions require a bit of last minute flexibility as births are not always right on schedule. While we can often plan a general time-frame, exact dates/times will be figured out as soon as your baby is born. Inquiring with your photographer should be seamless and they should have a process to make it easy for you two to connect after your baby is born.

Any last minute tips to set my fresh 48 session up for success?

  • Plan for skin to skin with your newborn baby during your session as well. It can be so impactful for you and baby and it’s one of my favorite moments to photograph because you sync up together, regulate temperature in unison, and the rhythm of your breathing may adjust as well. It’s quite magical to witness and I want to make sure you get to see that too.

  • Remember that these sessions are about YOU, your little one, your partner (if applicable), and your bonding together. These moments are not meant to be picture perfect, I much prefer the raw, authentic and imperfect look at motherhood, the fresh energy of life being brought into this world, and the first look at your new family dynamic.

If you’re in San Francisco, Oakland, or the Bay Area, check out more of my newborn photo sessions and fresh 48 photography at – I would love to share some more stories with you there, and even capture these delicate moments after your newborn baby’s arrival.
But wait, if you’re on Pinterest… I have a treat for you!

I have a collection of fresh 48 and newborn inspiration and planning put together for you to make the process simple and stress free! Come pin with me on Pinterest!

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