Your baby's birth is one of the most emotional and momentous occasions in your life! The more accurate question would be - Why wouldn't you hire a birth photographer?
Nothing can compare to that moment when you and your baby meet for the first time...when two become three..when a family is born.
They say that the memories of these first few moments fade so quickly. And, sadly it is true. I know I can't clearly recall what happened for the first few hours after my daughter was born. Adrenaline and excitement clouds your memory. Birth Photography helps capture and preserve these precious memories for you. Parents at that time are so focused on a million different things - the health of mom and baby, the pain! Who wants to think about taking pictures at a time like this?! That's where I come in.
I am there to capture your Birth Story. I am there to capture the excitement you felt when you thought "OMG, the baby is coming!", or the elation that you experienced when you released that final push knowing that "I did it!" When you meet your little miracle for the first time. When you hear their first cry, when you finally get to hold them in your arms after months of anticipation, or that look of pure love that your partner gives you both when your new baby lies on your chest?? THIS IS WHY!!
*What is BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY?
Birth Photography is not what most people think - particularly when you hear birth and photography in the same sentence.
Birth Photography focuses on documenting the journey that a couple experiences when they go from being a "couple" to being a "family" or to add another much loved child to their lives. It focuses on the relationships, the emotions, the connections and experience as parents progress through labor, the actual birth and hours immediately afterwards. And it does so in a sensitive, respectful and extremely discreet manner.
The actual birth itself is captured if parents wish and makes up a very small, yet important part of the whole journey (a bit like the wedding kiss is to the rest of the wedding day).
*When should we book?
As early as possible! We limit our bookings to only ONE or TWO full births a month and they book pretty quickly.
If you are keen to having someone at your birth, you can even contact me as soon as you know you are pregnant. Some moms put in inquiries but wait until they are past the 12 week mark to book. DON'T leave it to the last minute as chances are we may not have an availability for you.
*Will we meet before the birth?
Yes, one month prior to your due date. This meeting will be set up at a mutual agreed upon location, where we can discuss any questions or concerns you may have and sign any required forms. I also like to keep in touch via email, text or facebook up until the date of the birth.
*How long will you stay at the birth?
I arrive at your birth once active labor has started (about 5-6cm dilated) and stay until the baby is all clean and settled into your arms, usually a few hours after delivery.
*What if I go into labor in the middle of the night?
I ask that I am given as much notice as possible of impending labor (showing any signs at all) so that I can begin making arrangements for childcare, but I understand births happen at all hours of the day or night. Please call me at any time and I will be there as soon as possible, even if it is at 2am! Please do not text me, as I might not hear it and I would hate to miss it.
*I like the idea of BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY, but I'm concerned about keeping my body private.
I understand. If this is a big concern of yours, of course I am happy to respect your comfort level (which is of up most importance during labor). We can talk in person about this and your limitations. I will be as honest as possible and whether or not I will feel your limits may restrict the outcome of your birth session.
*What (IN DETAIL) do you photograph?
Emotions. Moments. The story. We will discuss in person what you are comfortable with me photographing. DON'T WORRY, I won't get that shot if you don't want me to (most hospitals don't allow us to photograph below the waist), but this is something we will nail down before you go into labor.
*What about scheduled C-sections? or unplanned C-sections?
It's your responsibility to ask your Doctor/OBGYN whether or not I will be allowed in the operating room during the procedure. It may need to be approved by your hospital as well. There are also plenty of great photo opportunities before and after a C-section.
There is a lot of activity surrounding a c-section that creates a story worth being told through photographs! I will come with you to the hospital and can catch all of the going on's as you prepare to enter the OR. If I am unable to join you in the OR, I will wait in the waiting room with friends and family. After the C-section procedure I can follow the baby and capture all those precious first moments while mom is in recovery, which could take hours.
*What if I give birth prematurely?
I will do my absolute best to be at your labor despite not being on-call. If I am able to come, I will of course be sensitive to the situation at hand and capture as much as I possibly can. If I were to miss your birth, it is possible to use your birth photography investment as a credit towards a newborn session or any other type of portrait session.
*Do you offer Maternity, Child, and Family portraits?
I do! You can view more details on the "Sessions" tab or by contacting me.
*When I go into labor, when should I call you?
Please call (anytime day or night) or text (day time only) me as soon as something begins to happen. This gives me a good heads up to prepare childcare for my children. Once you are in active labor, have your partner keep in touch with me and I will come right over as soon as I can.
*How do you handle it if I decide I don't want you in the labor room with us for a period of time?
I will step out of the room but will remain in the waiting room until the baby has been born. After you are settled, I will ask if I can come back in to photograph you and the baby together. There will be no refunds or photo credits if I am asked to leave during labor.
*I don't want naked photos of myself on the internet! You won't do that, will you?
NO WAY! Birth is beautiful and intimate, but there are plenty of images I can use online to display the beauty of birth without showing nudity of any kind. Any images displayed on my website will be sent to you for approval first. But If you decide you do not want any of your images shared publicly, I will absolutely respect your wishes for privacy.
*When are you on call?
Two weeks before your due date and two weeks after your due date.
*How long do you stay after my baby is born?
Typically it's about 2 hours or so after the baby is born. This allows me to get all the detail shots of the baby getting cleaned, foot prints and first moments with baby. If your session includes a Fresh 48 session then I will capture those photos once the baby is all clean and snuggled with you.
*How soon do I get my pictures?
Your images will be ready approximately 30 days after your baby's delivery. I will however provide "sneak peaks" to you as soon as possible. These photos are also posted on my Facebook page (with your permission). This usually happens within 24 hours.
*What will you do if something is wrong with my baby?
I will assess the situation and make a decision in the moment. Most likely I will stick around for some time either until the situation has passed or until someone is able to update me. Then, I can use my experience to judge what my next step should be.
*Do you use flash? What equipment do you use?
I use all professional-grade equipment from the Nikon line. I do have an external flash and I bring it with me to births, but I hate using it and have never had the need. I love to capture the true atmosphere of births to help tell an accurate picture story of your experience.
*What if I decide Birth Photography is not for me? Would you recommend an in-home or hospital newborn session, instead?
Birth Photography is not for everyone and I understand that. However, I would absolutely recommend booking some sort of baby photo session to capture these fleeting moments. A hospital session after your baby is born is a great substitute for birth photography. Also known as the Fresh 48. If you prefer no pictures in the hospital then a newborn session would be perfect. Both sessions types have their own benefits, but if I had to choose, I would pick a hospital session, hands down. Those are memories that can never be recaptured and you cannot book a hospital session on a whim after you deliver. An in-home newborn session is typically done within the first 7-10 days after your baby is born. You can sometimes book these sessions after you are released from the hospital and can be similar. However, capturing the short season of your hospital stay and those first hours (literally) of your baby's life is a priceless investment you won't regret choosing.
BIRTH..."Birth is powerful...let it empower you"
The first happiest day of your life is (probably) your wedding, but the second happiest day of your life is the birth of your firstborn child...or your second or your third. So why are people hesitant to hire a professional photographer for the occasion? I often hear that they don't want an extra person in the birth room, they don't want the occasion captured on film or if they do then the feel confident in their husbands ability to handle the camera... So, to those people that are still hesitant, here are 5 reasons why you need a professional birth photographer.
1. You Forget. I honestly have no idea what happened in the last 2 hours before my daughter came. Things were a definite blur, and even more of a blur for the next 2 hours after his birth. I love looking through my photos to jog my memories. I have coffee table albums of all my children's birth's so I frequently look back at them, and when family come to visit that where not able to be a part of that day - they can relive it with me through the albums.
2. Babies change so quickly. They can come out of the womb and look incredibly different an hour later (Birth is a whirl wind, by the time the dad has a chance to pick up the camera their head shape has already changed, feet have stretched out, that crooked nose has already slightly straightened etc.).
3. Fathers should be in the photos not taking the photos. Birth can be an emotional roller coaster (for the dad too!) and he shouldn't have to worry about handling a camera during labor and delivery and the first couple hours of life. Let him support you, enjoy holding his baby, and greeting family visitors!
4. The emotion and expressions experienced during a birth is priceless! How amazing to be able to look back at the expression you had when you met your child for the first time, and their expression when they met you. Birth is full of real emotions that you will likely never have the chance to get in other photo sessions. The smiles are real. The tears are real. The exhaustion is real. The love is real.
5. Quality Crisp Images. If you tried to take photos in a darkened birth room, you would likely need to use a flash with your camera., but birth photographers have proper equipment and lenses to be able to take crisp photos in low light without a flash, and that's important when dealing with a newborn's sensitive eyes.