Birth Q & A
Q: What is Birth Photography?
A: For me, Birth Photography starts with a personal relationship established between client and photographer. It’s important for me to get to know you, as well as I can, in the few hours we’ll spend together before your big day. The more I spend time with you - learning about you, your relationship with your partner, and your thoughts/fears/expectations/plans for your big day - the easier it will be for me to tell your story. I would hope that if you’re considering me as your Birth Photographer, there is something in my work that you are drawn to. Some clients put their full trust in me, and ask me to ‘do my thing’ capturing their story as it unfolds through my eyes. Other clients have very specific reasons for wanting their journey documented. Sometimes there is happiness, and sometimes there is sadness. We'll dig deep and figure out what it is you’ll want to remember looking through your photos in five, ten, and twenty years. Often times, it‘s your journey throughout labor and delivery that I am most drawn to. I see strength in a woman’s ability to show up, to be strong, and to deliver their little one(s) with love and grace. I see your partner’s ability to show you support, tenderness, and love. I see your care providers respecting your decisions, and providing a safe space for you to labor and deliver in. These elements together create the background and lead up to the ultimate climax, where you’ll deliver your baby and hold him/her in your arms. From there, I’ll spend some time photographing baby’s first moments: Their first cry, their weight, footprints, their first nurse, etc. I aim to tell a complete story that will allow you to remember what life was actually like for all involved on this incredibly special day.
Q: What happens if things don’t go as planned?
A: It’s okay! It is 100% okay. During our first meeting, we’ll discuss my role on your birth team, and what your desires are if things are not going as planned. In most cases, I will go with the flow – and follow you where you go, to continue to document. I believe that everyone’s story has value, even if you don’t have the birth you envisioned. My job is to see the beauty, capture it, and deliver it to you.
Q: Can’t my husband/partner or doula take photos at my birth?
A: Unfortunately, no. Your partner and any member of your birth team there to support you will be doing just that. It’s also very important to understand the technical aspects of photographing in low light, and to have professional equipment that handles the difficulties of shooting a birth. I find it equally important to have an understanding of the birth process so that I can be as unobtrusive as possible. I’m respectful of your space and bring calming energy throughout your experience.
Q: Why is Birth Photography so expensive?
A: This is a great question. Birth Photography is expensive because of the time commitment it takes to be a birth photographer. I am on call from week-38 on. Which means that I could potentially be on call for up to four weeks, during which time I do not travel more than one hour from my home – and usually my husband and I are driving separate vehicles during this time. When I am called to a birth, I do not put any time restrictions on my birthing mama. The most time I’ve spent at a birth is 26 hours. After the birth, I then have 10-20 hours of pure editing time ahead of me, not counting all the time I’m reveling in your birth experience, pondering and contemplating, and absorbing your story so that I can tell it through your imagery. I only offer all-inclusive packages, which means that you’ll be receiving a full set of archival quality prints of your session as well, which have tremendous value.
Q: Do you only deliver Black & White? Or color as well?
A: This depends on the lighting situation at your birth! If we have some nice light, I will always go through the extra effort to deliver a set of Black & White AND Color. It there is consitently low light throughout, I may pick and choose which photos I will deliver in color. Other times, I will deliver all Black & White. If you have a specific preference, we'll go through all available options to maximaze the light at your birth.
Q: What kind of gear do you use?
A: I use a Canon 5Diii body, and have two Canon 6D’s as back-ups. I’m a prime girl, and will bring my 24 mm f/1.4L ii, 35mm f/1.4L ii, 50mm f/1.2L, and 85mm f/1.2L lenses. I always shoot with a silent shutter. Your images are recorded onto two separate cards in my camera, and then immediately uploaded onto two hard drives after I arrive home.
Q: Do you use a flash?
A: No. I shoot all images in available light. I think that flash is obtrusive and unnecessary. Please steer clear of a photographer using flash during labor or after deliver, and inform all family and friends to turn off their flashes as well. Not only are studies indicating that flash can harm your new baby's eyesight, flash causes the exact opposite type of energy that I want to bring to your birth.
Q: Will you post my story on your website/social media?
A: This answer is different for every birth I shoot. I will not shoot a birth without a signed contract/model release; However, I always respect the privacy of my families. When I deliver your photos, I ask you to mark any that you prefer I didn’t share. When I create a blog post, I will share it with you first, and ask your permissions. Most clients are very proud of their birth story and want to share it with the world! However, I am not a big sharer myself; I understand and value privacy – both my clients and mine.
Q: Do you offer a military discount?
A: Yes! I offer a 15% military discount on all products and services.
Q: Do you offer a doula discount?
A: At this time, I do not offer a doula discount. I do value doulas with all of my heart and encourage all of my clients to explore the option.
Q: Do you offer any other discounts?
A: If you are paying for midwifery care out of pocket because your insurance plan does not cover it, please contact me to talk about a discount/payment plan option.
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