• Elizabeth Schwering

Fresh 48: Jackson Paul



This past weekend, I was lucky enough to capture my very first birth & Fresh 48 sessions. This is something I've wanted to get into FOREVER, and I'm so glad that the Weiss Family trusted me to capture the story of bringing their first baby boy into the world and documenting his little features. I've decided I want to take a bit more time perfecting Jackson's birth session before I blog it, so I've decided to share this precious Fresh 48 session first. A little out of order, but I'm just SO excited about sharing these.

I met Monica and Eric this past summer. They had booked me to shoot their wedding and decided they also wanted maternity and newborn photos since they were expecting Jackson a few months later. After scheduling their maternity session, we started talking about what it would look like to capture Jackson's birth and Fresh 48 session, too. For those of you who don't know, a Fresh 48 session is a session that takes place in the hospital before the baby goes home, and it's typically scheduled within the first 48 hours after birth. I think it's so special to go in and capture the extra details of the hospital environment before leaving. This was my first Fresh 48 session, and I can honestly say these sessions are going to be a favorite of mine from now on.

I'll be writing about Jackson's birth story in my next blog post, but I want to use this post to talk about why I think these Fresh 48 sessions are SO special. In my opinion, you shouldn't leave the hospital until you have one. You don't necessarily need to book me as your photographer, but you should ABSOLUTELY invest in at least someone. These aren't newborn photos and aren't the same as having a photographer come into your home or you taking your family into a studio. These capture so much more.

I'm not a parent, so I can't explain what these sessions are like from that perspective, but as a photographer, these sessions feel different. Entering into a hospital room isn't the same as entering into the studio or into someone's home. Walking into a hospital room where a family waits anxiously with their new addition is just so intimate. There is so much love and admiration for this brand new baby that has finally arrived. Parents are in absolute awe over the fact that they MADE this tiny human together, and that their tiny human came out absolutely perfect. Real life doesn't necessarily hit you yet, you're not overwhelmed by friends and family coming over, the thought about going back to work, making dinner, or cleaning the house yet. You feel safe in the hospital and know that, during that moment, you have everything you need. Capturing the love, closeness, and admiration of a new family is such a blessing. I literally feel like I have the very best job. Being able to come into a hospital room and meet a brand new baby, even before some friends and family members? Wow. I don't even know how to describe how awesome that feeling is.

When Monica and I first sat down to talk about the details of her birth plan and Fresh 48 session, she mentioned that, even though she was excited to meet Jackson, she was nervous that she wouldn't know everything about taking care of him right away. I, of course, agreed with her since I have zero experience taking care of a newborn (although I'm pretty good at taking photos of them! Haha!) But I was absolutely in AWE over how well she (and Eric!) were able to calm Jackson every second. They were both so gentle and delicate and were able to help calm him down and keep him so comfortable and happy the entire session. If he started to get fussy, they knew immediately what he needed.

Another part of Fresh 48 sessions that I just LOVE is the ability to capture such small details on a baby that will grow SO quickly. Little toes & a little nose. Tiny fingers, ears, and peach fuzz skin. Monica kept saying that she didn't really mind how the rest of the session turned out, as long as she was able to get her detail shots. Trust me, we got them. And they are SO precious.

Aside from the typical Fresh 48 photos, Monica and Eric had been collecting a few special items for Jackson and wanted them to be involved in the session, too. A few different blankets made by friends and family (especially the fire fighter blanket!) and the puppy stuffed animal Eric picked out. While we were waiting for Jackson to be born, Eric pulled out the puppy and said, "look what I got for my son! I couldn't imagine him getting his first stuffed animal from anyone else, so I picked this one out for him to have!" **insert me, my heart just melting**

If you're on the fence about booking one of these sessions, I say to absolutely do it. These photos tell a story. They capture such a special and life changing time. I am SO grateful that Monica and Eric invited me to to help tell the story for their baby boy's first few days. I'm so beyond thankful that I have a job that let's me do THIS for work. Like WHAT?? Snuggling babies? Watching new families bond? Delivering back photos that make moms cry (in the best way!) Yes! This is the very best job, and I'm so blessed that I have the best clients to work with.