Frequently Asked Questions
I’m considering hiring you. What are the first steps?
If you are considering hiring me, you should first inquire as to my availability. If you have any questions about the services that I provide, now is a great time to get clarification on anything you might be curious about. If you think you want to secure my services, $200 is required to secure your spot in my schedule. After your session is secured, I’ll send you a link with an online questionnaire that will help you think through your expectations and hopes. I’ll also send a link to my digital contract for you to sign. As you approach your 36th week, we’ll meet up for coffee or tea to discuss all of the details and answer any remaining questions you might have. The remainder of your session fee is due by your 36th week of pregnancy.
Do you provide labor support?
As an RN I am happy to help where needed when I am not taking photos. During the labor process there is time for me to help coach through contractions, assess the clients comfort level, discuss options available to ease the moment. However, I’m being paid to photograph the entire story so I may quickly flip back and forth between photographer and family supporter. At the time of delivery I am soley a photographer as I do not want to miss any anything!
Can’t my husband/doula/nurse just take pictures?
Parents often assume the role of ad hoc photographer at their child’s birth. But without the proper training and experience, the images often are over- or under- exposed, blurry, grainy and shot at less than flattering angles. Most importantly, everyone present at a birth already has a very vital roll: your partner will need to support you and will want to be included in the photographic memories of the birth journey, your doula should be focused 100% on supporting your birth but when a doula is behind a camera, she is no longer supporting you! And a nurse is often busy, ill-experienced and definitely juggling multiple patients so shouldn’t be relied on to create the photographic memories from your birth! For every one family who hires a birth photographer there are 50 more who tearfully relay that their one big regret was NOT hiring a birth photographer.
Do you use flash photography during birth?
I shoot with natural and available light. As a rule I do not use a flash for birth photography as the flash is harsh, interfering and disruptive to both a laboring Mom and her medical team as well as the newborn. I have found over time that a constant light source is often much less invasive and more tolerable.
How many images can I expect?
Typically at least 150 images are offered from your birth journey. This number is not a guarantee however. It may be less if your birth is very quick, very dark or you can’t tolerate my presence or the sound of the camera shutter as much. Often it’s more!
Do you edit every image?
Yes, every image is hand-edited!
Do you shoot in color or black and white?
Birth photography is typically shot in black and white. This portrays a more emotionally true experience and minimizes distracting elements such as blood, shiny or harsh medical equipment, etc. It softens the image and allows the central focus to be on the new family. I do include some color photos in your final proofs, at my discretion. These would typically be images of your newborn.
When should we call you?
You should call when it feels right to you, but no later than 4cm. Documenting your entire journey is important so it’s better to err on the side of early than late. The further a Mom is in her labor, the more she will want to rest, lay in darkness and labor uninterrupted so photography becomes difficult.
What if my birth is really really long?
Birth is unpredictable. I’m in it for the long haul! I may take lots of breaks or even go home to rest if the situation warrants it. But once I start documenting a birth journey, I continue documenting until the journey is complete! Beware any photographer with time constraints or hourly fees built into their birth session fee!
What if I require a Cesarean birth?
If you require an otherwise unplanned Cesarean birth, I strongly recommend that I follow you into the operating room to photograph those beautiful moments, if at all possible. Ultimately the decision on whether I am allowed to photograph your Cesarean birth is up to the Anesthesiologist and Obstetrician. I can advocate for my presence but no one can advocate better than you! Sometimes it is allowed in whole or part. Sometimes it isn’t. To date, I have always been allowed into the operating room. We will discuss this possibility during your pre-birth consultation.
What if I schedule a Cesarean birth?
I am happy to attend a scheduled Cesarean birth and highly recommend birth photography in these situations! It is typically easier to pre-arrange for my presence with your doctor and hospital with a scheduled Cesarean. I am happy to give tips on photography-friendly and mother-baby-friendly hospitals for Cesarean births upon request.