Investing In Birth Photography
In the recent years birth photography has become increasingly popular, but If you are looking for one it can come at a price. Birth sessions is one of the best ways to document the birth of your child, you don’t have to worry about having your partner grab the camera, missing little moments and giving you support. When you start your search, you will find many photographers offer different pricing. If this is your first child you may find that some of the packages seem out of reach, but If you think about it there has to be a market for everyone. This doesn’t mean you should go with the cheapest and most affordable one.
When I said, “there has to be a market for everyone”, It means that there are two different tiers. The photographers that are ‘affordable’ and then photographers that are professionals. These two terms mean two different things. The word affordable means inexperienced, building their portfolio and uninsured. For the professionals its means experienced, licensed, ensured, and tax paying business.
If you plan on hiring a birth photographer, here are a few tips you can use when reaching out to them. Determine your budget. The value of these images are nearly priceless, it’s a life changing event that cannot be redone, but also know if you want great quality you have to make an investment. I understand not everyone can afford a $1,200 investment. But, that $1,200 is going to get you an insured and experienced person. Your investment is just not for the birth, it’s for everything that goes on that you don’t see. The editing time, sorting out the best images for you, and making sure you get the best customer experience. It’s the childcare provider that has to be ready 24/7. The insurance and taxes that need to be paid and also pay ourselves, after all it’s our career and source of income. We photographers also invested thousands of dollars in equipment and education to bring you the highest quality portraiture.
Next, talk to a few photographers. It’s important to build a relationship with them and will help you relieve any worry or stress you may have. This also gives your partner the chance to support you when you need it.
Bring your partner to meet your photographer too. I hear quite often, they don’t want to have a stranger in the room taking pictures. I completely understand where they are coming from and this is why I encourage the dads to come to the meetings. This gives them the opportunity to ask their own questions and express their concerns so they can feel comfortable themselves and learn why it’s so important in having a photographer present recording everything that unfolds.
When making your final decision as to who you want to be your photographer, talk to them about their contingency plan. What happens in the event you miss the deliver? What will be offered in exchanged for the miss birth? Will it affect the overall investment of the collection? These are some of the questions I answer when meeting with a potential client. Births are very unpredictable and anything can happen.
What To Expect
Now that you have chosen your birth photographer, here are some of things you can expect. Most will tell you they will be on call 24/7 between 35-38 weeks, but this doesn’t mean if you go into labor before then they won’t attend the delivery. It means that from 35 weeks on they will not schedule any sessions or have limited work scheduled in case you go into labor.
Communication is key. Both you and your partner will have two ways in getting a hold of your photographer, by email and phone. Also, emergency contacts are a necessity, in case the photographer is unable to reach you, they have another contact to call or text. This will help ensure we make it to your delivery on time. Limiting the chance of a missed delivery.
Your baby has arrived! Now is the time to relax and enjoy some of the first moments with your baby. Your photographer may stay with you for about 2 hours after delivery to capture some of the first quiet moments with you and your baby.
What if I Have a Cesarian?
If you are having a planned C-section or not. It’s best to talk to your OB about getting permission to have your photographer in the OR. If having twins, this may be difficult as they usually only allow two people and with twins there are more people in the room to attend the babies. In the event I am not able to enter the room, I will put my camera on auto and give it to your partner if they want to take pictures. NO VIDEO is allow of the c-section. If your photographer offers a highlight film, the delivery will not be in it, but other moments will be, like when they are being checked out by the nurses in the OR. In case of an emergency, both myself and your partner may not be permitted. No photos will be taken, but your photographer will be with you before and after delivery.
When To Call
Previously, I wrote about communication is key. We have both you and your partners contact information along with your emergency contact. Now, we are fast approaching your due date. Calling, texting and emailing will become more frequent as to where you are at in regard to your progression. You or your partner will give your photographer a call when you are on your way to the hospital if you think you may be in labor. This will notify the photographer to start the preparations for childcare and make any final arrangements. Once your doctor confirms you are in active labor We will ask that you or dad to give an updates every 30-45 minutes or when they check how far you are dilated. Most photographers will head your way when you are 5-6cm and stay with you until about 2 hours after delivery. If you know that you progress quickly, we will arrive earlier. This will be talked about in your consultation.
Having a Home birth is similar in some ways but also differs. Laboring at home brings a much calmer environment because you are in a familiar place. Having a midwife with you will guild you throughout your labor and can also tell you how far you have dilated. Some photographers will ask that you call when contractions are 3-5 minutes apart and consistent. The difference is that instead of arriving at the hospital we will head to your home. If having an unassisted birth, we would heavily rely on the frequency and intensity of your contractions.
It’s simple, Memories fade in time but the images that you have will remind you of one of the most important day of your life. Your partner can experience the birth with you instead of being behind the camera and having a photographer to capture all the ‘in between’ moments, giving you less to worry about. Last, one day you will be able to show your child their birth story and tell them of how special these images are to you. Investing in Birth Photography is capturing your child’s story in a very real, raw and beautiful way.