Why should I hire a birth photographer?
There are only a handful of astounding, life-changing events in one person’s lifetime, and I’m sure weddings come to mind! We all set aside a part of our budgets to make sure that we hire someone who is capable, and will tell our story in a beautiful way so that we can remember the details for generations to come. A birth is another one of those absolutely amazing events – the arrival of a brand new life, to whom we will dedicate ourselves for the rest of our lives. What a gift to capture the story, including all the details that, during birth, mom is working too hard to remember, to enjoy and to retell, and one day to pass on to our children themselves.
Hiring a professional to do the job of taking your photos allows mom and dad to focus on the job at hand, knowing that they can relax and fully be in the moment., and knowing that you have someone who can do the job well, capturing this story where there is never an opportunity for a “do over” and telling the story in a tasteful and beautiful way.
How much does birth photography cost?
There are several options for the coverage you would like at your birth which you can choose (and customize) based on your needs (see them here) This fee is required to secure your spot on my calendar. Clients also choose if they would like prints and/or a book of images from the birth if they are not already included in the collection. Please contact me for complete pricing information.
What exactly does the session fee include?
The session fee includes:
- A pre-session consultation to talk about which pictures are most important to you to have captured, I answer any questions you have and we have a chance for us to know each other before the birth.
- Being on call 24/7 starting two weeks before your due date until the baby is born.
- Coverage during your labor (starting around active labor), the birth itself and about an hour or so post delivery.
- Editing your images, most of which will be black and white.
When is it best to book a birth photography session?
Since I only accept a limited number of birth clients a month, it is best to reserve your spot as soon as you know you would like me to be there. I have booked births as early as eight months in advance and as late as the day of the birth! If you are interested in having me at your birth contact me as soon as possible to see if I still have an opening!
How many births do you photograph per month?
I only accept a limited number of births per month based on their due dates. Sometimes I will take additional clients on “standby” status, meaning if I will only provide birth coverage if I am available.
Will we meet before the birth?
I highly recommend meeting in person before the birth, since that will give us the opportunity to make sure that we are a good fit for each other. If birthing at home, I can come to your home to meet you so we can get to know one another and I can see the space I will be working in at the birth.
If you are birthing at a hospital or birthing center, we can meet just about anywhere – your home, my newborn studio in Bridgewater, a coffee shop, or whereever is most convenient.
Is there a time limit or do we pay extra if things are taking longer than expected?
No. I try to time things so that there isn’t a lot of down time, however birthing is unpredictable. Once there, I usually stay until the baby is born. In cases of false labor, labor stalls or it is obvious birth is not imminent, I may leave and come back when things start moving along. You will not be charged extra if labor takes longer than expected or if I have to make more than one trip. The amount of time included for your birth photography depends on the package you choose.
How long will you stay after the birth?
I typically stay about an hour or so after the birth to capture the first moments of the baby with mom and dad and the newborn exam. Before I leave I will check in with you to find out if there is anything else you need. By this time, most families are ready to be uninterrupted and to start truly bonding with their little one.
What if I don’t want my photos on your blog or FaceBook?
With birth clients, I never post anything at all without running it by mom first. There are always plenty of beautiful photos of minutes and hours-old baby that families are proud to show off, however if they decide they don’t want the photos online, I always respect my clients wishes. My professional and personal reputation depend on my integrity and my honoring my clients wishes, and doing the most amazing job I possibly can for them :)
What about scheduled c-sections?
It is important to discuss with your provider and the hospital to see whether or not I will be admitted in the O.R. with you.
If I will not be permitted in the O.R., there is still a lot I can capture to document the day including who was there, prepping for surgery, first moments with the baby after the surgery (often mom misses some things because baby is taken to the nursery or back to the room while she is being sewn up), etc. I can go with baby and capture those moments so they are not missed. I also will equip your partner with a camera to capture photos in the O.R., editing them along side others I captured from the day.
What if I go into labor more than two weeks before my due date?
Contact me as soon as you know you are in labor. Though I am technically not on call yet, I should still be easy to track down. I will do my very best to be at your birth.
Do you have any sample galleries or slideshows to view before we make a decision?
Yes – I have several birth galleries and slideshows that clients have allowed me to share with potential clients. Included there two home births, and a hospital birth. . Please contact me for access to those.
Do you offer pregnancy or newborn sessions?
Yes, in fact I have a package that includes maternity, birth and newborn photography at a discount over booking each separately. Contact me for more details!
How do you handle it if I decide I don’t want you in the labor room with us for a period of time?
You simply ask me to leave. You never have to worry about hurting my feelings. This is your birth and you get to choose who is there. If you need some private time – you simply ask for it!
How graphic are your images?
I think people worry a lot about this when they hear “birth photography.” There is a good mix of photos that are real, and capture the story as it is, and plenty of photos that are appropriate to share with anyone you’d like to. I think about the angles as I am taking pictures to avoid nudity. In our first meeting we will discuss if there are specific pictures you would like or not like. We can also talk about strategies to make photos less graphic if this is a concern for you. For example, you might consider wearing a swimsuit top if you will be laboring in a tub.
That being said, I err of the side of taking too many photographs than too few. Unless you tell me specifically that you don’t want certain shots, I will take what I feel captures the story of the birth. You are welcome to delete any you don’t want.
How soon do I get my pictures?
I will have a sneak peek of a “G” rated picture(s) for you within 24 hours. If you would like that posted to Facebook to announce the birth of your child, I can do that as well. The disk with the rest will be mailed to you within 2-3 weeks of the birth.
What will you do if something goes wrong?
This is a hard question to give a blanket answer to, since every situation is completely unique. Most scary moments end up with a happy ending. As a documentary/journalistic photographer, I see everything as part of the story, and as a result, I tend to keep shooting unless I am asked to stop. I am always respectful of mom and dad’s wishes and attentive to medical personnel’s instructions. Safety first. In my experience, though, it has been healing for mom to be able to look through the photos after a difficult delivery, or a scary moment, and to see what she overcame, and to process details that she missed during the moment.
Do you use flash?
I have yet to use flash. Though a laboring mom would most likely not be bothered by it, those working around here might and therefore I make it a practice not to use it. Instead I have invested in high quality, professional grade equipment that allows me to shoot in extremely low light. However, if mama is open to my using flash, I am able to bounce it off of walls or ceilings and it *does not* disturb mama, the working professionals or the baby. Using flash can help to ensure that images are not blurry during the birth moment when there typically is a lot of fast movement.
What equipment do you use?
I shoot with a Nikon D600 and a variety of fast prime and zoom lenses. I have backup equipment to ensure that no moment is missed. My equipment has video capability and that is an option for clients who request it.