What is the difference between a newborn session and a fresh 48 session? | St Louis Newborn and Fresh 48 Photographer

First of all, there are so many options for you to choose from when it comes to capturing your new baby and it can be overwhelming when trying to decide which session(s) you should choose. You can hire someone for a birth story, fresh a 48 session, a newborn session – which can either be lifestyle or posed, and don’t forget the maternity session! How do you decide what to book?

While I cannot tell you what is right for you, I can tell you the difference between a fresh 48 and newborn session. Then, maybe that will help you decide if you can do without or if you need to have alllll the sessions.

So, what is the difference and should you still book both sessions?

First, let’s talk about how they are different. You can probably guess the difference between a maternity session or even a birth story. So let’s talk about the difference between a newborn session and a fresh 48 hospital session. These two sessions can be confusing to some parents, because majority of the time these sessions are taking place within only a few weeks or even a few days from each other.

New mom with newborn baby girl sitting on hospital bed at mercy hospital st louis posing for a fresh 48 session


A fresh 48 session will take place while you and your baby are still at your birthing facility. It usually happens within the first 48 hours after your baby’s birth. Most will choose to have their session the next day or even the morning they are discharged. This will give mom and baby plenty of time to rest up and get photo ready.

Newborn baby girl in hospital bassinet with large pink bow posing for a fresh 48 session

A Fresh 48 will not take the place of birth photography, however it still captures those early moments during their first hours of life. I can tell you with 100% certainty that you will see changes in your baby even a few days after they are born. They will go through major growth spurts during that first week so this session will help you remember this stage of your baby’s new life and how tiny they were.

mom in hospital postpartum room at mercy hospital room st louis with newborn baby. Mom and baby wearing matching mommy and me winter hats during a fresh 48 session
A fresh 48 session at Mercy Hospital St Louis

A fresh 48 is capturing all of their firsts or even your firsts as a new parent. You might capture siblings meet each other for the first time, the first bath (if timed right), the first smiles, first yawns, the first feeding with dad, dad’s first diaper changes, etc. We also capture little details like baby feet, hands, tiny finger nails, belly buttons, baby snuggled up in the hospital bassinet, snuggles with mom and dad, or going home from the hospital.

Learn more about our fresh 48 hospital sessions here.


There are two options for newborn sessions, in-home lifestyle newborn sessions and in-studio posed newborn sessions. Both options offer beautiful images.

Mom and dad holding newborn in baby nursery window during a lifestyle photo session

In-Home Lifestyle Session

A lifestyle newborn session can be photographed anytime in the first several weeks. In these sessions, I have the opportunity to capture a newborn interacting within their very first environment, their home.  It is more relaxed and free flowing with a focus on simplicity, connection and storytelling! The images will capture baby’s nursery and give images that have more of a documentary feel to them. This session focuses on capturing your home and life as it was during those first few weeks after bringing your new baby home.

new dad bottle feeding newborn baby boy during an in-home lifestyle newborn session
beagle puppy with newborn baby boy sitting in a chair for an in-home lifestyle photo session

An In-home Lifestyle Newborn Session Might Be Right For You if you:

  • would like time to recover after giving birth
  • want to capture images of your baby’s nursery
  • truly want document what life was like when you bring baby home allowing you to capture the right now, forever.

dads hands holding newborn baby
mom and dad hold newborn girl wrapped in a white swaddle

Posed Newborn Sessions

Posed newborn sessions can take place anytime during the first two weeks. Your images will highlight those tiny baby details in an authentic way with baby led posing. We want the focus to be on baby and all of their unique and beautiful features. The family images in the session will have a more traditional posed studio to feel to them.

profile shot of newborn baby in a photography studio at a newborn session

A Posed Studio Newborn Session Might Be Right For You if:

  • You don’t want to worry about having your home and nursery photo ready.
  • You want more of a posed look to the images than a documentary feel.

Read more about our lifestyle and posed newborn sessions.

mom and newborn smiling at each other during a newborn session


Bottom line is, yes. You can choose to book one or the other because these sessions are typically done within a few weeks of each other.

However, these sessions have a very different goal in mind as far as how I approach capturing the session. A Fresh 48 sessions captures all of those firsts and shows how tiny your baby was when they were BRAND NEW, and all of those new emotions still floating around in the room after becoming a new parent. It also captures the hospital environment, which is a bonus for anyone who didn’t hire a birth photographer.

And a newborn session documents what life was like when you brought your sweet baby home. Choosing both sessions will help capture both moments and show how your baby is growing in the first few weeks.

I would suggest scheduling your lifestyle newborn session around 3-4 weeks old if you are thinking about booking both sessions. This will allow you to truly capture the changes you will inevitably see in your newborn during their first month.

If you would like more information about our fresh 48 sessions and newborn sessions, send us a message!


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A rating of 5 is not high enough for Kelly!! Kelly is an amazing photographer, was absolutely wonderful to work with, and was quick to reply to emails. Shes an upbeat and positive person, which made out photo sessions comfortable and fun!! Kelly is professional in more ways than one and I highly recommend her to anyone in the St. Louis area wanting some maternity and/or family photos taken!

Angela, Family session

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