What is Birth Photography?
First it is not all about the crowning shot! There is much more to birth photography than the actual moment of birth. Birth photography is beautiful and it is visual documentation of your labor, delivery, and the birth of your baby. It is not only about the first breath, the first kiss, the first latch ~ but also the easily forgotten ones. What was the environment like, who was there to support you, the way your partner holds your hand, the way you breathed through a contraction, the face you, your husband, or a brand-new grandparent makes when meeting the baby, were your baby’s feet wrinkly. Birth photography captures as many of these moments as possible, for you to revisit for a lifetime, and tells the complete story of your birth journey.
WHY SHOULDN’T MY PARTNER TAKE THE PICTURES?
This is a great question and I have a great answer! Your partner deserves to be in the photo too. They should be able to experience it and take it all in without having the job of focusing on a camera or smart phone in their hand. Their job is to support mom and experience the birth of their child along with her.
WILL I HAVE TO GET APPROVAL FROM MY HOSPITAL?
To date, I have not had any problems with photographing births at any of our local hospitals. However, I would still highly recommend that you discuss your desire to have a photographer with your OB or midwife ahead of time, so there are no surprises. If he or she knows your wishes up front and what to expect, it's unlikely to cause any kind of friction when the time comes.
WHAT IF I HAVE A SHORT LABOR, WILL I GET ANY OF MY MONEY BACK?
Regardless of how long the labor is, each birth requires a similar amount of time and work. Most of your investment isn't to cover the hours I spend with you during labor and delivery, but for the time I am on call for you, and the post processing of your images. For this reason, I do not refund money for a shorter labor.
WHAT IF YOU MISS THE BIRTH?
Babies are unpredictable! Missed births happen, but they're rare. If I miss the birth because your labor was super-fast, I still come to your place of birth to document as much of your story as I can. If there are too many missed moments to build a full gallery, I am happy to offer a Fresh 48 or Documentary Family session for a day soon after baby arrives.
DO YOU TAKE PICTURES OF THE WHOLE LABOR AND BIRTH?
Absolutely, and afterwards too! The exception to this, of course, is if you don't feel comfortable with me shooting something, then I will always respect that boundary. Ultimately, these are your photos, and I want you to love them. Modest or very detailed images will be discussed when we meet. I want to get the images that makes you most comfortable and I am happy to keep certain photos separate for you to view privately.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY PHOTOGRAPHS?
Your session will include several sneak-peek images that I process and edit within 48 hours of birth. These images are specifically sized for the web so that you can easily and beautifully announce the birth of your baby on social media. The full gallery takes time, I try my best to deliver within 4 weeks, because I hand edit each and every image.
DO I GET A CD OF ALL MY IMAGES? WHAT IF I WANT PRINTS?
I deliver client images digitally, in a password-protected gallery. All of the files are available for download in high resolution (for printing: no watermark), and low resolution (for social media: with watermark). You can order high quality, professional prints directly from your gallery, or you may use the high-resolution files to print your own through the lab of your choosing. However, I work with a professional printer and I highly recommend that you consider purchasing prints through my site. You can buy cheaper prints, but most of my clients find that the quality is incredibly poor. Remember that these images will be in your family for years to come.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK YOU?
As early as possible! I only accept a limited number of births per year. I generally work with only one or two families per month, so I encourage you to contact me as soon as you know you're expecting.
WILL WE MEET BEFORE THE BIRTH?
Yes. I believe it is important for us to get to know each other ahead of time so you and your partner will be comfortable with me when it comes time to have your baby. Birth is a very intimate, personal experience, so whatever you need to feel comfortable with my presence I'm happy to do.
WHEN DO YOU SHOW UP?
My goal is to arrive when you are in active labor. Perfect timing is a few hours before your baby is born, for a total of 4-6 hours of photography. Birth is FAR from ideal though, so together we will gauge the right time for me to join you based on a variety of indicators. I suggest when you are at 6cm is the time to call me. Usually it's best to go by how close together your contractions are, if they are 3-4 minutes apart and you can’t talk or walk thru them, I should already be there
HOW LONG WILL YOU STAY? WHAT IF I HAVE A LONG LABOR?
This varies greatly. If you have a long labor, I'm in it until the end! Unpredictably long labors simply come with the territory.
WHAT IF I HAVE A C-SECTION?
We can make that work! Ideally, you should discuss this with your care provider during your pregnancy. Chat with your care provider ahead of time to see what their policy is in the event of a cesarean birth. Different hospitals have different guidelines and it is your responsibility to check ahead of time if a birth photographer is allowed to join you in the OR. Even if your doctor has a policy against allowing photographers into the OR, I can come to the hospital with you at check-in, document your pre-op, and photograph post-delivery moments as usual.
WILL YOU USE FLASH?
Many women like to give birth in a dark environment. My camera is equipped to handle low light situations. That being said, I do need SOME light to capture those incredible moments. If I feel like there isn’t enough light in your birth space, I may make some small adjustments. During birth, I will often bounce my flash off the ceiling so I can capture the quick and fleeting moments of birth. My external flash is very different from the flashes that most people are accustomed to. The flash will never be directed near or towards your face and most of my clients aren’t even aware that I’m using it.
HOW MANY PHOTOGRAPHS WILL I GET?
This will vary greatly from birth to birth. The gallery from a 24-hour labor will look much different from the gallery a 3-hour labor produces. Typically, your gallery will include around 100 images, if not more.
WILL THEY BE COLOR OR BLACK AND WHITE?
For most images, you will get both. Some images lend better to one or the other, in which case I will deliver only one version. A bright, colorful image with low contrast, for example, will generally look much better in color than in black and white, while a high contrast scene with various light sources will look best in black and white. If an image looks acceptable both ways, then you will get them both.
WHAT WILL YOU SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
I will only share images that you are comfortable with. Your gallery will include a tab entitled “Social Media Images” for you to view and approve. I love to show and share the beauty, strength, and magic of my client’s birth stories. I want women to feel strong, confident, and capable when they're about to meet their babies, and sharing helps to encourage that mentality.
DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS OR TAKE PAYMENTS?
I rarely offer discounts on my services. I love what I do more than any other work, but birth photography requires a great deal of responsibility, sacrifice, and commitment. I do offer payment plans so that I can make my services available for as many families as possible. A $300 retainer is due at the time of booking, and the remaining balance can be paid throughout your pregnancy in any way that's comfortable for you. The full investment is due by 36 weeks, before I go on call for your birth.
Click on the button below and fill out your information. Once I receive your inquiry I will give you a call to set up an in-person consultation. This will give us a chance to meet and see if we are a good fit. Once you hire me, I will send you a “Birth Guide” on what to expect, how to prepare and access to online payments and contracts.