Will we meet before the birth?
Yes! Meet and greets are so important to me as an artist for documenting this special day. I am happy to meet with you before signing your contract, as well as meeting again once you have developed your birth plans. At meet and greets before your birth, we will review your birth plans together for me to envision how best capture your personalities and any special details you have planned.
When should I hire a birth photographer?
It’s never too early or too late to hire a birth photographer but I do only take 2-3 per month. It is best to book early during your second trimester but to make sure that your baby’s birthday is covered please inquire as soon as you can. When contract and deposit is in, then you are officially booked and your estimated due date is on my calendar!
When do you arrive to start documenting a birth?
I typically arrive when active labor begins which is about 5-6cm or when contractions are steadily coming about 8 to 5 minutes apart, lasting one minute long, and have been that way for an hour. When I should come will also depend on your birth plan, my travel time, and previous pregnancies or pregnancy complications as this can change when I should arrive. Based on the information we talk about during your meet and greet, we figure out what might sound like an appropriate time for my arrival.
What if my labor is really long?
Once I arrive at a birth, I typically do not leave unless your labor allows for it. I may take breaks and give some alone time, but I am there to show the story of your birth and labor process. Breaks are only taken at an appropriate time of course. Essentially, I’m in it for the long haul. It’s part of being a birth worker.
Will you post my photos or video on your Facebook Page or Website or otherwise?
We will go over in your meet and greet what you are and are not comfortable with being released. I do not share any revealing content without permission and signed release. You will get to see footage first and approve before sharing unless you say otherwise. When it comes protecting identity, I stick to using “Mom and Dad”, and changing baby’s name to protect identity is also an option.
Sharing birth images is how others learn about my services and become inspired reach out to have their birth experience documented too. All birth stories are an amazing journey and hope that you would like to share some of the beauty and uniqueness of yours. Showing what real birth and parenthood is about and its hidden beauty certainly helps normalize birth. Please let me know if you have any specific concerns or requests.
Exactly how much do you “show” of the birth?
When it comes to displaying my work on my website, advertising, marketing pieces, or video, I typically display only modest photographs and video clips. Footage and images that may seem “immodest” have all been shared with consent of the parents. How I document your birth completely depends on you and we will discuss this in your meet and greet. I generally try and shoot very modestly but this is birth and sometimes this is inevitable in order to get the shot. I will be very sensitive and try to document the birth to whatever extent you are comfortable with and would like to see.
How does the process work?
Once you decide you would like me to attend your birth, please contact me and let me know the package that meets your needs. Once you are ready to book, I will send a contract over that stipulates our agreements. I will be on call from 37 weeks until the birth of your baby. Once all services are complete and final payment is received I will start the editing process. It will take me about 2-4 weeks for me to complete the editing for your photos and 3-8 weeks for video. Videos are approved for editing purposes prior to being burned on DVD, then they will be sent to you.
Do you interact with us at all?
I generally act as a “fly on the wall”, but if I’m asked a question I will converse and chat. I go with the vibe of the room. I very much respect a parent’s birth space and choose my actions wisely to not disturb the birth process. We will have a good bit of time to get to know each other so you do not feel like you have a complete stranger with you in the delivery room.
What happens in cases of a cesarean or a scheduled cesarean?
All birth, no matter what form it takes, is beautiful and deserves to be documented. It is ultimately your decision if you would like me in the OR with you to document the arrival. Sometimes photographers are not allowed in the OR depending on the Doctor, Charge Nurse, or Anesthesiologist. No one can advocate for my presence in the OR better than you and your spouse. The hospital rules are generally set by the charge nurse or anesthesiologist, which you will not know who this will be until the day of your birth. If I am not allowed in, I can send my camera in with Dad, or a willing nurse, on auto and document as much as they can. We will set up a plan during the meet and greet should this be the case.
Do you photograph only births?
Birth is my specialty, but I do offer other sessions when appropriate for my schedule or an off call period. About once or twice a year I might offer family mini sessions around fall or spring. Sometimes I like to do a random shoot of anything every now and then just to give my creativity some exercise. Documenting birth is my passion and takes utmost priority in my schedule over all other session inquires.
Why hire a Professional Birth Photographer? Why shouldn’t Dad be the photographer?
You not only get the benefit of having awesome images from an experienced photographer, but your partner can focus on you and be in photographs too. No one has to be worried about taking out the camera and making sure settings are correct. Professional birth photographers not only have the proper equipment, but know how to work in harsh lighting conditions, capture the quick moments, and respect the birth process in its entirety. Dads and doulas best perform their roles when they can solely focus on helping Mom and Baby, and not worrying about fumbling around with a camera.