When I tell people that I'm specializing in Birth Photography, I get a few strange looks and nose scrunches. "Why would anyone want that?" they ask. Well it's simple really. Other than your wedding day, or the day you came to know Jesus, what day is truly more life altering than the day of your child's birth?
It's the day when you show a strength and resolve that you've never had to muster before. It's the day your support person fearlessly coaches you through the fight of your life. It's a day that turns women and men into mommies and daddies. And it's a day that you'll never get back.
*Keep reading for Birth Photography Frequently Asked Questions
WHY BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY?
We all vow to cherish every moment and remember every detail of our baby's story. But let me tell you something you probably already know; having a baby is hard work. When that game face goes on, nothing else in the world matters but having a healthy baby. This tunnel vision often causes mamas to miss many details of their own baby's birth.
It's heart warming to be able to look back at your birth images and see that while you were enamored by the wonder of your new child, your partner was glowing with pride as he gazed lovingly at his baby's mother.
Birth is unpredictable and usually doesn't go quite how we expect. Having birth images to look back on is also extremely healing. Especially in cases where Mama wasn't able to be as involved in the birth process as she had hoped.
Hiring a birth photographer is also the best way to insure that you'll remember all the beautiful and unique details of your little one's story. And it frees up your partner to do what they're really there for; to be your support person.
Why hire a professional photographer?
Hiring a professional photographer gives you the peace of mind knowing you have someone on your team who can produce quality images while dealing with extreme and difficult lighting situations. If you want someone who knows how to skillfully capture your story using professional equipment, and deliver art work that highlights the beauty of your unique birth, then you need to hire someone who has taking the time to learn the craft. Also, having grown up with an OR Tech for a dad, I spent my fair share of time around hospitals. Because of this, I am familiar with the environment and know how to handle myself in intense and high stress situations.
Can’t my husband or doula just take photos for me?
I’m sure your husband could certainly snap a few pics for you. But from my own personal experience, thats not always the most flattering route (insert: “really blurry” and “horrifying angles”..thanks babe). Hiring a professional photographer also frees up your husband to do what he’s really there for, to support you. I am aware that photography is a luxury expense that not everyone can afford. If you find you can’t afford it, or photography just isn’t a high priority for you, having a nurse or your husband take a few pictures might be the best solution for you. I will certainly cross my fingers (and toes) in hopes that your husband does better than mine!
How many births do you book per month?
Because of the extensive on-call nature of Birth Photography, I try to only book about 2 births per month. I want to give you my full attention and provide you with a high end, boutique experience. And I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was shooting 10 births per month.
When should I call you if I think that I’m in labor?
I request two calls. Please call me as soon as you have decided that it’s time to head to the hospital. And call me immediately when you reach a 6cm dilation. If labor seems to be progressing quickly please feel free to call me before you are a 6cm. I would rather be a little early than to miss it completely.
When do you arrive for the birth and how long will you stay?
I will arrive for the birth shortly after you let me know that you are dilated to a 6cm and I will stay for the entirety of the labor and birth. I will also stay an additional 1-2 hours after birth to capture baby meeting the family. I don’t want you to have to worry about cost per hour, so my birth packages contain Unlimited Coverage.
Do you take pictures of the whole labor and birth?
My intention is to take photographs of the entire birth story. I want to capture the tiny details that make this your unique birth and I want to document the new relationships that are born from the birth of a child. I will document your labor from 6cm until the baby is born and up to 2 hours afterwards.
Will you be interacting with us at all during labor?
This is entirely up to you. From our initial consultation, I’ll already have a general idea of your birth plan. So I’ll know if you prefer the room completely quite or if you’d like to chit chat to stay distracted. My intention is to help you remain as calm and focused as possible and if that means not speaking, that is completely fine. You will have the freedom to communicate with me and let me know your desires throughout the process. This is your show mama.
When should I inform my doctor about you?
I encourage you to speak with your care provider as soon as you’ve made your decision to have brith photography. We wouldn’t want any last minute surprises.
Will I have to get approval from my hospital?
Yes, most of the time hospitals are fairly used to having photographers around but some hospitals do not allow birth photography at all. So this is certainly something that you will need to double check with your hospital. Often times your care provider will know the answer.
What if I require a Cesarean birth?
It is your responsibility to communicate with your care provider and to request to have me in the operating room. If your Cesarean is an emergency situation, and I am not allowed in the OR I will resume taking footage as soon as baby has been stabilized and with dad.
What if I schedule a Cesarean?
From homebirth to scheduled c-section, all birth is beautiful and I would love nothing more than to be able to document your birth. But, again, it is your responsibility to communicate with your care provider and to make sure it is okay for me to be in the operating room. I must emphasis how important it is that YOU and YOUR PARTNER are the ones to request my presence. I will not be able to sneak in unnoticed. It is ultimately your doctor & the anesthesiologist who make the decision of whether I can be present, and your request weighs much heavier than mine.
What if something goes “wrong” during the birth?
Unless otherwise specified, and if the situation allows, I will continue shooting. If something traumatic happens, I will put those photos into a separate folder in your gallery, in case you are not quite ready to see them. The reason I will continue shooting if permitted, is that, while hard to see, these photos may prove to be very helpful during the healing process after a traumatic birth experience.
What if my birth takes a really long time?
Long birth, short birth, I’m here for you! I don’t want you to have to worry about cost per hour, so my birth packages contain Unlimited Coverage.
What if I have a short labor, will I get a partial refund?
I do not offer refunds for short labors. The amount of time, energy and preparation that go into being on call and hand editing your images does not change base on the length of your birth story. It is also important to remember that you are paying for a beautifully documented full Birth Story, which I will provide to you no mater the length of your labor.
What if you don’t make it in time for the birth?
- If I do not make it in time for the birth because of the unpredictable circumstances of birth, your deposit shall be applied to other services at my discretion.
- In the event the I miss the actual birth but provide coverage on the day of delivery, no refund shall be made. (ex. Say I'm documenting a birth where everything is going smoothly which suddenly turns into an emergency C-section for which I am not allowed to attend.)
- If I am unable to perform this service due to illness, emergency, fire, casualty, strike, act of God, or causes beyond my control, I shall return your payments and shall have no further liability.
- If I am not notified in adequate time to attend the birth, no refund will be made but, deposit shall be applied to other services at my discretion.
What if you get sick?
I believe that the delivery area should be kept as germ free as possible. I will not come to your birth if I have symptoms that would be contagious. If I happen to be recovering from a cold at the time of your birth, I will voluntarily wear a mask. I will have a back up photographer to stand in for me in the event that I am ill during your labor and delivery.
How does it work if a backup photographer has to attend my birth?
If a backup has to shoot your birth, they will hand the unedited images over to me for editing, and I will handle the rest from there. There is no refund for a back up photographer shooting your birth.
Do you use flash?
Flash is not usually necessary. But in the instances where light is extremely dim I may bounce a flash off the side wall or ceiling, never directly into your face. During active labor it is common for mom not to be phased by the flash at all. But, if you find that you are distracted by the flash I will stop immidialaty and find an alternative.
How far will you travel to photograph a birth?
I am currently serving the Poplar Bluff area at the Poplar Bluff Regional Medial Center. Travel for a home birth is determined on a case by case bases. I will also travel to Cape Girardeau on a case by case basis.
How “graphic” will my images be? Will I be able to show these pictures to my friends and relatives?
During the consultation period we will discuss your modesty requests. Giving birth is a beautiful process and I am ready to document every bit of it. But my intention is to find angles that would allow for a shot that documents the moment without getting “all up in your business.” At the time of crowning, this is often from the head of the bed. Let me reassure you that the majority of your images will not be graphic at all.
Will you post the photos on the internet?
The reason I require a Model Release Form is because it allows me to demonstrate to future clients the standard of work I create. No image containing genitalia will be released publicly (facebook/ website etc) without your consent (and even then, typically cropped to obscure the face so that you’re not identifiable).
Will I receive all the images you take and will I get the digital images?
You will receive the images that I think are a good representation of your birth story. I do not sell RAW format images. You will receive all of your digital images in high resolution jpeg format.
How many images can I expect to get?
This ultimately depends on the length of your labor. You may receive anywhere between 75-200 images.
How long will it take to get my images?
You will get one image within 24 hours to share on social media. The turn around on your birth gallery is typically about 2 weeks.
Will they be in color or black and white?
Many of your images will be in black and white due to its softness and timelessness. But it really depends on the lighting of your particular birth. Some births lend themselves to photograph nicely in color while others tend to look better in black and white.
How much does birth photography cost and what is included?
Prices change with time. Please click the SEND ME ALL THE DETAILS button below for current pricing.
Your investment includes a pre-session consultation where we will discuss everything and make sure that you are completely comfortable. I'll be on-call 24/7 from 38 weeks gestation through the birth of your child. You will receive photography coverage of your birth and up to 2 hours after birth. And a private online gallery of 75-200 hand retouched high resolution digital image files, and a print release allowing you to print images at whichever lab you choose.
When is payment due?
A $300 non-refundable deposit is due upon booking to secure your due date on my calendar. I take a limited number of births per month (usually only 2) so it is important to take care of this quickly. The remainder of your payment is due by 36 weeks gestation. Payment plans are available upon request.
Do you offer payment plans?
When should I book with you?
As a boutique birth photographer, I aim to provide each client with my fullest attention. Birth photography is a luxury experience and in order to provide you with the best service, I only accept a small number of Birth Stories per year. I advise you to contact me as early in your pregnancy as possible to insure that I have availability during your birth month. If you want to book your birth story before you have officially released the news, don't worry, my lips are sealed.