Birth Photography FAQ’s

Birth Photography

What is birth photography?

Birth photography is a documentation of your labor, birth and post partum moments. After I photograph your birth, I compile your images into a complete story, which takes you through all the big and small moments that took place during your birth.

How far do you travel?

I am willing to travel for free if you are located within an hour of the greater Austin area. Further than that incurs a travel fee of .55 per mile, but due to the nature of being on call for births, I have to limit my travel to a 2-3 hour radius.

What if I want breastfeeding/chestfeeding portraits taken?

You can schedule breastfeeding sessions at any age, but I am happy to include breastfeeding photography with your lifestyle newborn session. 

What is a Herbal Bath Session?

An herbal bath session is only available to birth clients. Often homebirth clients receive an herbal bath mix with their birth kit. If that is the case and you are feeling up to it, I will photograph an herbal bath with you and baby soon after you give birth. If you wish to add an herbal bath session to your birth photography package (hospital/birth center clients), I will come back 2-4 days post partum and photograph it then (please note that a separate session incurs a separate fee.) If you do not have access to herbal mixes, I can order it online. I just need to know when you book that you will want to include the session.  

What kind of equipment do you have?

I always bring 2 cameras with me to a birth, in case one of them malfunctions. I shoot on a Nikon D4 and 850. I also bring a few lenses – 24-70mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.4. I use flash as needed, and a tripod if I am videographing.

Do you offer videography? Can I see examples?

Yes, I do offer birth videography. At this time, I mostly shoot video during post partum, and offer a “Preserve Happy” film of those first wonderful moments together as a couple and with your baby. I find my best work is done when I am either photographing or videographing, rather than trying to do them simultaneously. However, if you are interested in only having your birth exclusively videographed, please contact me.

Visit my YouTube channel for example of my birth videography.

How many images will we get?

I typically deliver 120 or so images.

What other types of photography do you offer?

At this time I offer newborn, birth and breast/chestfeeding photography and/or videography sessions. Please see pricing for details on what is included in each package.

Why hire a birth photographer?

Do you want to remember the excitement you felt as you realized “today is the day”? Do you want to remember the tender exchanges between you and your partner during labor? Do you want to look at that precious moment when you meet your baby for the first time over and over again? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you should hire a birth photographer. I cannot tell you how badly I wish that in all the excitement and flurry of activity during my labor that somebody had remembered to snap a picture of me and my brand new baby. Having a birth photographer takes that burden away, so you can focus on your birth 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. These are moments that cannot be recreated, and moments 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 some extra duties like taking photos and allows him to focus on YOU. More importantly, it shows him that he is a significant part of the story, too. Birth photography isn’t just for moms, it’s for the whole family. You, your partner, and your babies will continuously treasure these memories as the family grows.

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.

Your only concern in hiring me should be to preserve this moment in your lives. I document everything as it happens during your birth, but if the story is meant to be for your eyes only I completely respect that, and it does not impact how I will photograph the birth.  I have a 100% privacy option for birth clients who need that option in order to move forward.  

When is payment due?

All sessions require a 50% deposit upon signing your contract in order to secure your spot on my calendar. If you are a birth client, your balance is due at 36 weeks. All other balances are due at the conclusion of your session. 

What is your policy on sharing birth images?

My model release isn’t all-or-nothing. Once your birth story is complete, we will go through everything and discuss what you are comfortable with sharing and where (website, blog, social media). I always mention to my clients though, that they found me because my work is online. So I like to keep my portfolio updated as regularly as possible in order for future clients to see my most recent work. I do offer a 100% privacy add-on fee of $500 if you prefer. But keep in mind that there is something shareworthy from every birth I document, even if it doesn’t include the moment of birth. 

How long before we have our images in hand?

I always send a sneak peek with a couple days. But in general, birth images take 4-6 weeks, and newborn/breastfeeding 2-3 weeks.

Do you have any tips on what to wear?

For Lifestyle Newborn Sessions: I recommend a clean, natural look. Neutral colors generally blend in well with your surroundings at home.

For birth: if modesty is a concern/you plan on remaining clothed during labor, I suggest a dark bra and/or tank top. The dark hides any blood or fluids, and if you labor in the water at all, remains opaque once wet.

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. I believe strongly in respecting the birth space, and I know that the tone in the room is vulnerable to any unnecessary influences.

Do you use a flash?

I will use a flash in a dark 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 when necessary. 

Does it matter how long my birth lasts?

No. 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 or anything. If labor stalls, I may leave and come back. 

Will we meet before the birth?

Absolutely! I will want to meet you and your significant other to get to now you, discuss your birth plan, and answer any questions you may have about birth photography.

How many births do you take per month?

I take 2-3 birth clients per month. If I am already booked the month you are due, you can request a “stand-by” option, 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?

Nobody needs permission to have their birth photographed. It is a parental right. It is courteous, however, to let your provider know that you’ve hired a birth photographer, during your pregnancy. When you go into labor, you should remind them that a photographer is coming.

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 6cm, or by the time 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.

Do you pose at all?

Birth is entirely documentary, so there is no posing. Most families ask for one family photo at the end, and that is the only exception. I also prefer to let things happen naturally during my newborn sessions, but I will certainly guide you as needed. Particularly if you’re feeling anxious in front of the camera.

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?

When a client gives birth outside of the on-call window, I always make an effort to be there. If that doesn’t work out, your money will be applied towards a future session of your choosing. A NICU First Glimpse, or documentary “homecoming” session are both good options.

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

If I have been given ample notice (exception: 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 or photo products 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 any of the above, or a refund.

What about scheduled cesareans?

With permission from your OB and the anesthesiologist, I can most certainly photograph your cesarean birth. But this must be secured in advance. 

What if I have an emergency cesarean?

Emergency cesareans happen from time to time, but do not affect my ability to tell your birth story. If for some reason I am not given allowance into the OR, I will hand off a camera to dad or nurse.

Will my photos be in color or black and white?

I offer different pricing tiers based on your choice of black and white, or both color and black and white. See PRICING for more info.