Why should I have birth photography done?
Most people don’t think twice about hiring a professional to take pictures at their wedding, but what about when it comes to the birth of a child? This is a major, transformative event for most women and their partners. And for your child, how much would it mean to them to see pictures from the day he or she was born? To see the excitement, the love, the tears, who was there to welcome them into the world. Why wouldn’t you want to capture this amazing milestone?
Having someone take pictures allows you and your partner to relax knowing the exciting events of the day will be preserved. Having that person be a professional like me gives you piece of mind that these important, never-can-be-recreated shots will not only be captured, but captured beautifully and tastefully.
How much does birth photography cost?
There are two costs involved. The first cost is the creative fee (sometimes called a session fee) that covers my time and talent prior to and at the birth. This $350 fee is required to secure your spot on my calendar. Clients then choose if they would like prints, digital files and/or a book of images from the birth. There are several collections to choose from with prices starting at $300. Please contact me for complete pricing information.
What does the creative fee include?
The creative fee includes:
- An in person or phone consultation where we 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 and continuing until the baby is born
- Coverage during your labor (starting when you are in active labor – around 5cm), the actual birth and then post-delivery.
- Editing of around 80 images – most of which will be black and white.
When is it best to book our birth photography “session”?
Since I only accept a certain 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 two weeks before the due date. 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?
Currently I accept two to three birth clients a month. 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?
Yes! If birthing at home, I would like to come to your house to meet you. This allows us to get to know one another while also letting me 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, a coffee shop, where ever 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.
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. Once that is complete, I will check in with you to see if there is anything else you need before I leave.
What if I don’t want my photos on your blog or facebook?
Though I always appreciate when I am allowed to post some images online, the images I capture at your birth are for you. If you decide not to have your photos made public, you simply decline the model release. It is as simple as that.
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. I have been admitted before and the pictures captured for the mom were priceless.
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 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 slideshows to view before we make a decision?
Yes – I have several birth slideshows that former clients have allowed me to share with potential clients. Included there two home births, a cesarean hospital birth and a vaginal hospital birth. You can view them HERE. If you can’t view flash slideshows, they can be viewed via You Tube HERE.
Do you offer maternity or newborn portraiture?
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.” The fact is the vast majority of the images I capture will have no nudity in them. 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 disc with the rest will be mailed to you within 2-3 weeks of the birth.
What will you do if something goes wrong?
I am not sure there is a good way to answer this before the fact other than to say it just depends on the moment. Know that I am an intuitive and sensitive person who will make a good choice about what is appropriate to do in the moment. I think initially I would stop taking pictures and when it seemed right, I would start again.
For example, I once had a mom go through a little bit of a rough patch during labor and there were thoughts she might need to be transferred. I captured one picture right at the beginning and then another when it was clear that things were improving so that she would have documentation. However during the tense time in between, I sat with her daughter and tried to keep her calm and out of the way so everyone else could focus on the best outcome for mom and baby. . .
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.
What equipment do you use?
I shoot with a Nikon D3s and a variety of fast prime lenses.