Birth Photography FAQ’s

Birth Photography

What is birth photography?

Birth photography is a way to document the story of your labor, birth and first precious moments with your new baby.

Why hire a photographer?

If you want to remember the excitement you felt as you realized “today is the day”, if you want the tender exchanges between you and your partner captured, if you want to look at that precious moment when you meet your baby for the first time over and over again, then you should have a photographer at your birth. Want to know how many times I realized, minutes too late, that in all the excitement and flurry of activity during labor nobody remembered to snap a picture of me or my brand new baby, let alone all the exciting moments following the birth? Having a birth photographer takes care of all that… you can sit back and focus on birthing and not worry about how your partner or doula is going to manage supporting and caring for you AND capturing that first cry, weight, measurements, footprints, snuggle, kiss and so on. It’s a moment that cannot be recreated; a moment that should be celebrated and remembered.

What if my husband is unsure of having a birth photographer?

I remember worrying about how my husband would feel bringing another person into the room with us when I hired a doula. What it came down to for him, was knowing that he could focus on comforting me and enjoying the birth of our child, without worrying about getting me this, that and the other thing, and without taking his mind off the incredible moment we were experiencing together. I think the same applies to birth photography; having a photographer relieves your husband of the extra duties and allows him to focus on YOU. I do, however offer a post-birth session package, called a First Glimpse session, which may be the compromise you need.

What is a First Glimpse Session?

The First Glimpse can be booked anytime within the first 2 days of baby’s birth. It needs to be scheduled during business hours, i.e., 9-5pm, and includes all the precious interaction between you, your partner, your family and baby… without the expense and pressure of having me there during the actual birth. Special moments such as baby’s birth weight and measurements, and foot prints can often be recaptured during this time as well.

I like the idea of birth photography, but I’m concerned with keeping certain things private.

Everyone has a different vision of what they want captured from their birth. For some – it is everything (and I mean everything!), for others it’s very limited. This will be discussed in full detail at our appointment, but please know that you get to decide how much or how little of the birth I will photograph and/or share. Between the support of your significant other during your labor, and those first precious moments after birth, there is plenty for me to capture, so I am happy to tailor things to suit your comfort level.

I don’t want naked photos of myself on the internet! You won’t do that, will you?

I am very careful about the angles I shoot from, and am skilled in hiding a lot of the graphic nature of birth, if you prefer. Sometimes I don’t have a choice in the matter, in order to capture that one magical moment and because it’s crowded or too chaotic to maneuver myself to different locations in the room. But I try to allow for cropping and other photoshop techniques should this happen. No matter what, you will get to decide what is shared on the internet and what is not.

What if I don’t want my photos on the blog?

I offer a 100% privacy add-on fee of $300. Please keep in mind that there is always something share worthy, even if it doesn’t include”that moment”. I am very respectful of keeping my shares modest and you have a final say in anything portrayed on my site, blog or business page.

Do you pose at all? Are you just capturing moments at the right time, or will you direct us in order to get the shot?

I don’t pose. I think I have a good eye for the small, subtle moments that you will appreciate having a record of. My job is to get natural photos of your birth, so unless I feel like I’ve missed some perfect split moment (like you and your spouse kissing), I will not be directing you in any way.

Do you interact at all or mainly stay quiet?

I tend to stay pretty quiet, but am open to interaction. I love talking birth and I am so happy you’ve asked me to be a part of your sacred experience, but I will be as involved or uninvolved as you want. I am happy to help if my help is wanted, and I am happy to just mind my own business and snap pictures.

Do you use a flash? What equipment do you have?

I will use a flash in a completely darkened room, with your permission. If you prefer I not use flash I ask that we have some source of light, if only from a lamp. I use a speed flash, and bounce it over my shoulder, so it isn’t as disturbing as it sounds. However, I do have a camera that works very well in low lighting conditions (Nikon D700), that just means grainier pictures with less clarity. Other equipment in my bag: 85mm 1.8 lens, 50 mm 1.4 lens, 70-200mm 2.8 zoom lens, and a 24-70mm 2.8 lens. I usually stick to the 50mm or 85mm lens.

How long will you stay at the birth?

I will stay as long as the birth is in progress. Some births are long, some are short. I don’t charge by the hour, regardless.

Will we meet before the birth?

Absolutely! I will want to meet you and your significant other to discuss your wants/needs as soon as possible.

When should I book you?

Plan on meeting with me and paying your $300 deposit by the start of your second trimester, if possible. My calendar fills quickly and many moms book early in their pregnancy! The remainder of your balance will be due by 36 weeks.

What if you are booked too close to my birth?

I do offer a stand-by birth option. If I am already booked within 2 weeks of your due date for another birth, I can be on “stand-by” for your birth, which means that there is no guarantee that I will make it, but if I do you wouldn’t pay me until then – no deposit to worry about losing and no concern about me missing your birth. The birth that is booked however, would take precedence should I get that call while I am with you. In that case you are welcome to defer to a First Glimpse session.

Do you need to get approval from the hospital staff to photograph my birth?

Actually, it is you who needs to get approval – from your birth center, midwife, OB, anesthesiologist, or anyone else involved in your birth. This must be done before we sign contracts and you pay your deposit.

How far do you travel?

I am available to travel within the city of Austin and the following surrounding areas: Cedar Park / Leander, Round Rock, and Georgetown. Please Contact Me for a specific location on where I will travel to.

When I go into labor, when should I call you?

Right away! I want to know when labor starts and then be updated during the progress of early labor. If you are receiving vaginal checks, I would like to be there when you reach about 5cm, or before transition or active labor begins. If you are not receiving vaginal checks, then you should plan on me being there before you are too uncomfortable. Keep in mind that I may need up to 2 hours to secure care for my children in order to be at your birth. I am available via text throughout your labor, if calling is a hassle. Just keep me informed and there shouldn’t be any problems! I always err on the side of caution and would much rather be there too early rather than too late.

What if I go into labor in the middle of the night?

I am on call for you 24/7. Do not hesitate to let me know when labor has begun, even if it is in the middle of the night. I need ample notice so it is imperative that you not be concerned with time of day.

How long do you stay after the birth?

I will stay up to 2 hours after your birth, in order to capture weight, measurement, footprints, breastfeeding, meeting the extended family and those quiet, peaceful moments following birth.

What will you do if something is wrong with my baby?

I will do whatever you want me to do. I know this can be a rather chaotic situation and I will do my best to read the emotions in the room and determine whether or not I should stay, but you ultimately have the say in whether or not I do. If you are interested in a NICU session down the line, that’s an option we can discuss too. contact me.

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 try to be sensitive to these circumstances and if I sense you need some time alone, I may even ask if you would like for me to step out. But you are certainly welcome to take a breather and get some alone time whenever you need to regroup. Just let me know.

What if I give birth prematurely?

In the event that unexpected medical circumstances prevent me from providing services, your money will be applied towards a future session of your choosing. In the past, a lifestyle “homecoming” (from the hospital) session has been a good option.

What if you can’t make the birth or miss it?

If I have been given ample notice (excepting any medical emergencies), this problem should not arise. Should any circumstance arise, however, that is not the fault of the client, that prevents me from making your birth, you have the option of applying your money towards a session of your choosing. Should any circumstance arise that is neither the fault of the client or myself (automobile accidents, extremely fast labor, emergency medical situation for either party), your money will be applied towards a future session of your choosing. If by my fault only, I miss your birth (i.e., you are unable to reach me at all) you are entitled to a full refund, no questions asked.

What about scheduled c-sections?

With permission from your OB and the anesthesiologist, I can most certainly photograph portions of your c-section. But this must be secured in advance. If I show up only to find that I do not have permission to photograph your c-section, you will not receive a refund.

What if I have an emergency c-section?

Emergencies certainly happen from time to time. We may get lucky and get last minute permission under such circumstances, we may not. If not, your money will be applied towards a First Glimpse session.

How soon do I get my pictures?

I will be sure to get a few images to you right away, because I know how anxious everyone is to see that baby! Expect those within a few days. Then around the 4-5 week mark I will create a file for you in dropbox of all final images from the birth. At that time you can decide if there are any you are uncomfortable with me including in your slideshow, which will be shared on my blog and/or facebook via You Tube. You will receive your disc/slideshow within a few days of finalizing what will be included.

Will my photos be in color or black and white?

You will receive all images in black and white. There are always photos that I think translate well in color, but given the graphic nature of some images, black and white looks cleaner and also lends a more photojournalistic feel.

What other types of photography do you offer?

I also specialize in lifestyle documentary newborn and maternity photography. A lifestyle newborn session serves the purpose of documenting those “hazy” early days of having a new baby in the family, since chances of you remembering them is slim to none. We will capture lots of snuggles, precious baby parts and as much delirious joy as possible during this session. Many moms also request some breastfeeding shots, as breastfeeding photography is near and dear to my heart. My lifestyle newborn session typically takes place in various spots in your home, including but not limited to the family bed and living area. The feel is casual and content. There is little posing by me, but rather a fly on the wall approach. The goal is to create a little peek into your babymoon period, which is so fleeting and so magical. Maternity sessions are designed to be 30 minutes or less. We will decide on an outdoor or indoor sesion, depending on your personality and style. But with my maternity sessions, you will feel radiant and beautiful no matter what you choose.