You (probably) have questions about how birth and maternity photo sessions work. I (hopefully) have answers!
A doula can be an amazing support if you don’t have someone who can fill this role. You’ll want them by your side, with their focus on meeting your immediate labor needs. A professional photographer is hired to observe and preserve the details and moments that happen during the labor and delivery. Some doula’s offer photography services as an add-on, however I do not personally believe you could focus on both of these roles to the BEST of your ability if you are trying to wear two hats at once. This is the same reason why I tell people not to rely on Dad for pictures. He will be busy supporting you. If having the support in the moment is most important, than go with your doula, but if having the memories to look back on is most important to you, than having it photographed professionally will be the best choice.
Whether this is your first birth or fifth, Birth is unpredictable. One of the biggest variables is time. My prices are not just based on my time spent capturing your birth story, but also the time leading up to your due date, as well as the many hours I spend creating the finished product. When I’m on call for a birth, I can’t leave town and must stay close to home, so restrictions are placed on me and my family. Even if your labor is only 2 hours long, I stay at the birth for 2 hours afterwards capturing baby’s first moments so you will have plenty of images to encapsulate your day. All births are beautiful, complete stories that have equal amounts of emotional value.
If your birth ends up in c-section, I will go into the OR with permission from your care provider and/or hospital. This issue is something we should answer with your provider before you are 36 weeks. Sometimes the Doctor will ask that photos be kept behind the curtain for liability concerns but it really just depends on the on-call Doctor performing the surgery. I always recommend that you speak up in this moment about the importance of me being present with you in the OR, should your birth move in this direction. You can discuss photography as part of your birth plan with your provider. If the answer is no, I can add additional time to the post-delivery photography.
I like to be kept in the loop when you think labor is beginning. This is just so I can have the heads up in case child care arrangements need to be made on my end. The latest you would want to call me is when you reach “Active labor”, so around 5 cm’s or when contractions are 5 minutes apart. I usually suggest letting me know when you’re on the way to the hospital, or when you have paged your midwife and then updates can be made from that point onward.
Birth is a very personal moment. I will never publish names or images without your consent. If you’d like to keep it private, please let me know.
Respecting how you want your birth story documented is really important for me. Leading up to the birth, I always make sure I meet with my clients face to face or over the phone to chat about any images you definitely wouldn’t want, things you would prefer to be cropped out, or any moments you wouldn’t want me to miss. I like capture a wide variety of modesty so your photos are shareable with loved ones if so you chooses.
The rules seem to differ from place to place, but some hospitals, for example, only allow 2 support people, me included. So this is important to keep in mind if you are hiring a doula and also want to have your husband or anyone else present. I always recommend that you discuss this ahead of time with your doctor or midwife so you know what the rules are going into the birth. Obviously, home births would not have any restrictions on the number of people but keep in mind that if space is limited, the more room I have to move around, the better.
As a personal preference, I do not use flash. Partly because I find it to be a bit distracting to mom as she is laboring, but also because I prefer to use existing light so the overall story is consistent across the board. There are situations, where extra light is needed, but I can get creative if need be. Without the use of flash, sometimes the images may have a little grain in them due to the low light situations, think of the look of film. We can discuss lighting when I arrive if you want, but I will never ask to turn a lamp on during the middle of your contraction. I can bring my flash if that's something you would like me to do. Most of the photos in my portfolio were taken in very low-light as an example of what you can expect.
Typically most of the birth images are edited and welcomed in black and white, however, if it suits the photograph, I will also process it in color. I would guess it’s around 25% that are returned color and black and white for your gallery. I can provide any image that is in black and white in color as well at your request.
A $100 deposit is required to book the month of your due date. You can then pay the balance as you wish (weekly, monthly, etc.) with the remaining fee paid in full 4 weeks before birth.
There's no time limit on our time together. I’ll stay with you for an unlimited number of hours. The last thing you need to worry about during labor is how many hours have passed.
I'll stay with you through 2 hours postpartum. From first look to first latch, remember all the sweet moments they day you first meet your baby.
On-call means I'm available 24/7, day or night, weekend or holiday. When you choose to hire a professional birth photographer, you get the peace of mind knowing I'm guaranteed to show up when it matters most. I'm on-call for you from 37 weeks until birth.
Your phone number is on a special list on my phone so you can ring my phone, even in the middle of the night.
I will also give you a secondary backup number to reach me. When you call me, I’m ready to jump in the car. My bag is packed and ready – even at 2:00AM!
In the unlikely event of an illness or emergency, I contract a talented & experienced backup birth photographer. You don’t pay anything for backup services.
When you hire a professional, you can rest assured, knowing your bases are covered.
In the off chance you have an extremely fast labor, I will get there as soon as physically possible and document the hours immediately following birth, plus a complimentary Lifestyle Newborn session in your home.
Tiffany & Eke
We had the pleasure of having Zoe take photos for this most important time in our lives. Her presence is one you absolutely want for all your special occasions. Your labor and birth will go by in a blur! Zoe will provide you with photos to remember it for the rest of your life. Please take my advice and hire her! You'll be happy you did.