Why Birth Photography?

Birth. It has to be the single most miraculous experience of all time. When I experienced it for the first time I was instantly addicted and I literally said in the hospital delivery room that I couldn’t wait to experience it again. It was challenging and pushed me to my limits, but I have never felt as accomplished as in that single moment, nor so completely fulfilled. So, I experienced it 3 more times- each time just as miraculous as the last but each birth unique- each story unique, just like my children. With my forth delivery I felt an immediate sense of sadness because I knew that it would be my last. Our family had met it’s capacity, but I didn’t want to be done with the birth experience.
I considered surrogacy, nursing school, doula training, but never birth photography. I didn’t even know there could be such a thing until I was invited to document the delivery for one of my dearest friends. It was during her birth that my dream was born and several years later it would become my reality.

As a birth photographer, I am given the unique opportunity to be present during other people’s miracles. I get to document the very first chapter in an incredible life story for my clients. I especially love when I get to capture the bigger picture- the preparation and anticipation during pregnancy and then the tiny details of the first newborn days, including the creation or expansion of a family. Sadly, these moments are fleeting because time refuses to stand still, but through photography, these memories and stories can last forever and can be passed down as a family legacy for generations to come.


The Birth Session Experience

I begin all my birth client relationships with an in-person consultation. I prefer to meet with both expecting parents because I feel that it is very important that we get to know each other before we embark on such an exciting and intimate journey together. You will have the opportunity to ask me any questions that you might have and during this time we will discuss all the details of your birth plan and what your preferences are for your birth session. We will go over my birth contract during this time as well.

I recommend that all clients choose to have a full maternity session with their spouse and other children or a mini session for just mom. This session is best between 28 and 34 weeks. It is best to schedule your newborn session within the first 10 days after delivery. These two sessions will allow for a full birth story to be told and makes a beautiful album and slideshow. Our Baby Bundle, including all three sessions, starts at $1300.

3At 38 weeks I officially go on call and will be available to you 24/7 from this point on until your baby is born. Both you and your partner will have all of my contact information and should keep me posted as soon as the first sign of labor begins. I will plan to meet you at the hospital, birth center, or your home when full labor has been confirmed.

Your birth session begins as soon as I am called to the birth location during active labor and will continue until after your baby enters the world. I will remain there to capture all of the first snuggles, the newborn exam, and any other moments you want captured, up to 2 hours post- delivery.

Within the first 48 hours you will receive several fully edited, sneak peek images or a custom announcement with birth stats, if you prefer, that you can share to announce your baby’s arrival. You will then receive all the images from your birth in a private online gallery within 4 weeks post-delivery. Your gallery will include both color and black and white processed images for you to download and keep, share, and print as you wish.

In addition to your online gallery, you will receive a personalized private or public slideshow hosted online for a year with a sampling of images set to music so that you can share your sweet birth story with others. This slideshow can also be downloaded for permanent keeping. Depending on your preferences, I will also compose a blog post of your birth story using images that you have approved for sharing.

I highly encourage my birthALBUM clients to add on a custom book or album to complete your experience. These birth stories are meant to be told and shared often and this is the perfect way to do so. I will do all the complex designing, and you can have input on the content you want included. You will be able to easily proof your album online before it is sent to print.


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FAQs

 

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER TO CAPTURE MY BIRTH?

Professional photography should not be for weddings alone. I can think of no other occasion that matches the significance of a life entering the world. You can certainly task your husband with the job, but trust me...you are going to want and need him by your side holding your hand, not a camera. You will look back on these images often, you will want them to be a quality that you can cherish for generations. You will also want to choose a photographer who is experienced in the birth environment for many reasons, including how to work cooperatively among other birth professionals and how to handle low light situations.

WHY DOES BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY SEEM SO EXPENSIVE?

Unlike wedding photography, when a scheduled time is given and number of hours committed, births are completely unpredictable. When I am on call, I put my life on hold and am available to you 24 hours a day from 38 weeks on until you deliver. Once I get the call that you are in active labor, I am with you for the duration of your labor and delivery and even several hours afterwards to capture all those special first moments, regardless of how long that may be. In addition, my birth sessions are the only time that I include all the fully edited digital files as part of a package.

HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN TO CALL YOU?

I want to know as soon as there are signs of labor so that I will be on alert. I will look for updates from you or your spouse. Once you have been examined by your health professional and it is confirmed that you are in active labor, then I will join you. This is usually around 5 to 6 cm, but we will adjust depending on how quickly things are progressing. I always like to err on the side of caution and prefer to arrive early.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A MODEST BIRTH SESSION?

Absolutely! It is my goal to capture a story that you want to share with others. Prior to our consultation, I will provide you with a Birth Preferences Checklist that we will use to discuss all of your desires in great detail. You can feel assured that your privacy will be guarded. Alternately, if you would like to have ALL the details captured, I will aim to do so as long as there are no limitations imposed by your birth location of choice.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I GO INTO LABOR EARLY or  YOU MISS THE BIRTH?

If you happen to go into labor before the on-call window, I will still do all I can to arrive as originally planned. If it happens that I do not make it for the birth in time, then your session can be converted to a Warm Welcome session and I will still come to the hospital to document your first moments as a family. A credit will be given towards an additional portrait session.

CAN I STILL HAVE MY BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHED IF I AM HAVING A C-SECTION (PLANNED OR UNPLANNED)?

Yes! A scheduled c-section can be treated as a full birth story, with coverage beginning upon your hospital arrival through the post-birth bonding time or it can be served with a Warm Welcome package with coverage beginning within the first 24 hours. For the full birth session, I will arrive with you at the hospital to capture the preparations and all the allowed details that I can. You will need to ask your provider if I will be allowed into the OR. If not, I will continue to capture the rest of your story as soon as you and the baby return to your room. It is a good idea to have the "what if" conversation with your provider, even if a c-section isn't part of your desired birth plan. If something changes during labor that necessitates a c-section then it will good for both of us to know whether or not I will be allowed to enter the OR or it I will have to continue capturing your story in recovery.

CAN I DECIDE THAT I NEED SOME PRIVACY DURING LABOR?

Again, absolutely! I am happy to come and go as you would like me to. If you feel the need to have some privacy I will remove myself to the waiting room until I hear from your or your spouse that you are ready for me to return. Just keep in mind that if things speed up and I am not called back in there is a chance that I could miss the delivery. There will be no refunds or credits in this case.

WHAT DO YOU DO DURING THE WHOLE LABOR AND DELIVERY? ARE YOU SHOOTING THE WHOLE TIME?

I like to think of myself as a fly on the wall during a birth session. I try to make myself as discreet as possible, so as not to interject myself in any way. I am solely there to capture what is happening in the room.

I will quietly capture moments that I think you will want to remember, as well as details around the room. I will be in tune to how you are feeling and handling your labor and if I sense that you are disturbed by me or the small noise of my camera, I will take a break and wait for more appropriate moments. I will use my phone during the quiet moments to write down some notes about times and details that I will then share with you and incorporate in your slideshow and/or album.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE EVENT OF COMPLICATIONS?

I will rely on my intuition to make a judgment call about what is needed in the event that something unplanned occurs. If there is an opportunity for us to communicate about your desires then we can do so, but if not then I will do my best to keep in mind what your desires would be given the circumstances.

WHEN WILL MY PICTURES BE READY?

You will receive some sneak peek images to share within 48 hours, with the fully edited gallery and slideshow following within 4 to 6 weeks of your birth day.

WHAT WILL YOU SHARE OF MY BIRTH SESSION PUBLICLY?

As part of the Birth Preferences Checklist, you will have the opportunity to communicate beforehand what your initial desires are about what is shared. Post-Birth I will still request specific permission to share anything before I do so. You will have the opportunity to approve any images before they go online.

WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU HAVE?

I shoot with professional level gear, namely a Canon 5D Mark III and L-series lenses. Typically during a birth I use my 35mm 1.4  mm because of it's incredible low light capabilities and wide angle in tight spaces. I also pack my external flash and video light, along with my backup camera body. It is my preference to flash, but in the event that you decide it is distracting I will use the natural light available instead. We will discuss your desires about flash during your consultation.