birth photography faq

Congrats!! Welcoming a child is a beautiful blessing and miracle. Deciding whether to hire a birth photographer is an important question. Your upcoming birth and labor are unpredictable (unfortunately) and can be tricky to capture.  Lighting may be dim and planning what’s going to happen can be difficult.  You should be able to depend on your birth partner to be there for YOU and your needs, not to be taking those once in a lifetime shots. Most partners grab for an iPhone or your throw your camera to a nurse, don't, document this moment for your story. For your journey as a family. I wish I did. Laboring moms should be able to depend on their birth partner to be there for her needs, If a birth partner is taking photos or video, they can’t be present in the moment and they can’t be a good support. More importantly, they can’t be in the pictures!There are so many emotions in the birth room and I will do my best to capture all of them! Please check out Parenting magazines top article on why to hire a birth photographer! 

What exactly do you photograph?
– Each birth is uniquely different. I have a checklist of images I’d like to capture, I am essentially there to document (not pose) what is actually happening. I am there so your partner can focus on you. I photograph the connection between you and your birth partner, the emotion during the later stages of labor, and the first Earth breaths your child takes.   We can discuss more in detail in an initial meeting what you would like to include. This is your story.

Why can’t my partner just take the photos?
– Your partner can! But by hiring me to take the photographs for you, it completely frees your partner up to focus on your other (more important) needs. Your partner can be fully present in the day instead of worrying about whether they got the shot.  I have professional lens, cameras, as well as, experience with low-light situations which all help capture your birth story in any situation. 

I’ve hired a doula and she says she can be our photographer. Why would I pay a separate fee to a photographer when my doula can do it?
– At my own birth, the doula is there to provide support to the mother, two hands, all her focus and emotions. Their skills and expertise are to assist you during labor and delivery. By hiring me to take the photos of the entire scene (including your doula assisting you and your partner) it allows her to fully focus on you.

When my labor starts, when should I call you?
– Immediately! You can call or text me to give me a heads up. This allows me to make sure I can get childcare to my home for my children and tie up anything I am in the middle of. It is never too early to call me, even in the middle of the night.

Once I’m in labor, when will you come to begin photographing?
– I try to get there when you are between 6-8 centimeters dilated (if you allow exams in labor) to allow sufficient time to capture you in labor and for me to be there and prepared for the baby’s arrival. Again, each mom/birth is unique and we will discuss all of the details in our initial meeting.

What if I go into labor in the middle of the night?
– Call me! Even if the contractions are mild, by giving me the notice it helps to ensure I will make it in sufficient time. Do not worry about false alarms, continue to keep me updated.

 How long are you on call?
– I am on call beginning 2 weeks before your due date and will remain on call until the baby is born! You will get three phone numbers to get in touch with me, my cell, my home and my husband’s cell and my neighbors.  Heck, I'll give you my kids number. 

What if I go into labor before you are officially on call?
– Call me! I will do everything I can to get there. I work with a backup photographer and all working details with her are in my birth contract.

What if you don’t make it to the birth?
– Please see my birth photography contract for more details. If I am notified once you start labor and am updated throughout early labor and I do not make it at no fault of yours, you will receive a full refund of any monies paid to that date. However, if you do not notify me that your labor has started and do not call until it is too late for me to arrive in time to capture the birth, the birth session fee is non-refundable. I will still come as soon as possible and begin photographing those first moments after baby has arrived and stay for an extended post-delivery session.

How long will you stay at the birth?
– Typically I will stay from the time I arrive until one hour past delivery. If relatives or siblings are coming to see the new baby, then I would love to stay longer and capture that first meeting.

What about c-sections?
– If your birth ends up in c-section, I will go into the OR with permission from your care provider and/or hospital. This issue is something we should answer with your provider before you are 36 weeks. If I am not allowed in the OR, I will continue photographing as soon as you and the baby come back to the room/nursery and continue the session as normal. If not allowed in the OR, I can add additional time to the post-delivery photography.
Do you use a flash?
– At this time, no. I try to make myself as inconspicuous as possible. Without the use of flash, sometimes the images may have a little grain in them due to the low light situations. I will not ask to turn a lamp on during the middle of your contraction.

Will my images be in black and white or color?
– Typically most of the birth images are edited and welcomed in black and white, however, if it suits the photograph, I will also process it in color. I would guess it’s around 25% that are returned color and black and white for your gallery.

How many proof images will I have?
– Since each birth session is uniquely different, the number can vary greatly from 150-400 photographs.
Do you require a deposit?
– A $100 deposit is required to book the month of your due date. You can then pay the balance as you wish (weekly, monthly, etc.) but the remaining fee must be paid in full by 4 weeks before your due date.