15 Birth & Photography Tips For New Parents

It goes without saying, that by the time you’re interviewing birth photographers, you’ve seen their portfolio and know who’s work you like best. Here are 5 other important things to cover in that initial consultation.

How much experience do you have?
How many births do you take per month?
Do you have backup gear?
Do you have a backup photographer?
What’s your policy on sharing?

I am often asked if there is anything a parent needs to do to “prepare” to have their birth photographed. Here are 5 key points to consider.

What to wear – water births – a dark bra is recommended because it isn’t see through when wet (N/A if modesty is not an issue for you), hospital births – there are lots of beautiful options besides hospital gowns (just search easy!), home birth (not water) – nightgowns & sundresses are great birth for comfort and for photos

Lighting – Make sure there’s a light source in your birth room, even if you prefer a darker/moodier environment. There HAS to be light coming from somewhere. Otherwise your photographer will need to bounce flash.

Inform – Your birth team needs to know ahead of time that you’ve hired a birth photographer, not for permission (it’s completely your choice to do so), but out of courtesy.

Exclusivity – Ask friends and family to leave their cameras at home, you will have a professional there for a reason!

Don’t forget dads – Prepare dad to get comfortable in front of the camera. They often think birth photography is for moms only, but they are part of the story and the photographer will want to include them as much as possible. So prepare them to not dodge the camera and just be in the moment with you.

As a bonus, I’ve included some items to include in your hospital bag that you might not have considered.

•Music – This is generally soothing during labor, but also a great distraction during intense contractions.
•Affirmations – Words of affirmation can help you through difficult transitions during labor.
•Comfortable post partum wear – Don’t forget a robe, slippers, nightgown or nursing tops/bras. It’s really nice to have your own clothes on after the birth!
•A plan – Birth plans aren’t for everyone, but it certainly helps to have decided ahead of time what’s negotiable and what is not; think in terms of both your body and your baby’s needs. If you DO want to make a birth plan, there’s a great free one here – http://freebirthplan.com/earth-mama-free-birth-plan/
•Your favorite snacks
*BONUS tip – a heating pad or reheatable sock filled with rice for sore muscles post-birth

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