What is birth photography?
When I tell people I am a birth photographer, I often get a look like I have lost my mind. I’m pretty sure the only thing they are imagining is up-close shots of lady bits. That is NOT what birth photography is. Birth photography is your partner holding your hand in support and the way he looks at you with so much overwhelming care and adoration as you summon strength you didn’t even know you had. It’s the first moment you lay eyes on the precious, new life you just created. It’s the glimpse you give your partner when you fall in love all over again. It is the look on your mother’s face when she becomes a grandma. It is the moment your “baby” becomes a big brother or big sister. It is the culmination of all the pain and all the joy of your accomplishment after several months or years of anticipation. It is also the fleeting moments you are likely too preoccupied to notice like the way the light from the window is hitting your hair or the way your belly glistens from sweat. Birth is one of the most amazing and incredible things you will ever do in your lifetime. Birth photography is the documentation of those most precious moments. Birth photography means those details will not be lost to a faded memory. I believe that birth photography is a gift and if only you open yourself up to the possibility, you will cherish this gift forever. Everyone has a story; birth photography captures where your child’s story begins.
What made you decide to specialize in birth photography?
Birth is special, one of the most special moments of your entire life. I think it should be commemorated and what better way to do so than by documenting it through photographs. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to have a birth photographer at my own daughter’s birth and it is something I regret to this day. I see birth photography as a gift and I want to share that gift with others. I previously worked in Obstetrics and Gynecology for 6 years where I learned a lot about pregnancy and birth. Then, when I was pregnant, my interest in the field piqued. I wanted to learn as much as possible and I became what I fondly refer to as a, “birth junkie.” I began attending birth network meetings and going to birth conferences. I’ve also been a fan of photography since I was a kid. I got my first DSLR in 2009 and since then, I have spent much of my time behind the lens. Combining two of my passions- the birth world and photography, just made sense.
What are your qualifications?
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Child and Family Development, and I have four years of experience working as a Social Worker. While not directly related to birth, I have found that much of my educational and professional background is applicable to birth. Also, prior to that, I worked in OBGYN for six years. I started my photography journey in 2009 and my passion has grown exponentially ever since.
Do you provide other birth services?
I am very comfortable in a supportive role, but at this time, my main goal is that of a photographer. I will defer educational and labor support roles to Childbirth Educators and Doulas. I have many relationships with professionals specializing in those areas and will be happy to make referrals upon request. I will NOT, under any circumstance, take on a medical role.
What other type of photography services do you offer?
I offer lifestyle portraits for maternity, newborns, adoptions and families. I also offer Fresh 48 sessions for those who want hospital photos without the labor and birth.
What areas do you serve?
I live in the Denton area and serve Denton, Dallas, Fort Worth and anywhere in between. Please contact me for specific birth locations if you are unsure if your location is in my service area. I will try to accommodate your location if it is feasible.
When should I book my birth with you?
You should book with me as soon as you know you want to hire me since I am limited to only 2-3 births per month. That said, I do encourage you to wait until after the pregnancy is confirmed, of course. Hehe!
Will we meet before the birth?
Yes, I schedule a FREE, no obligation consultation for all of my birth clients. This will be our opportunity to get to know each other before having me walk into your sacred birth space. We will discuss what can be expected when you hire me as your professional birth photographer and you can ask me any questions you may have. This is also the time we will review your birth plan, so I know what your expectations are.
Do you accept payment plans? What forms of payment do you accept?
Yes, I do offer a payment plan. At booking, I do require a non-refundable retainer of 50% of the package booked and the remaining balance is due 30 days before you due date. If necessary, we can discuss options for an extended payment plan. Please inquire for more information. I accept cash, credit card or PayPal.
When should we call you?
I encourage my clients to call me as soon as ANYTHING seems to be happening. It is best to keep me updated after each of your last weekly visits (36 weeks +) and also, let me know if there are any early warning signs such as dilation, irregular contractions, etc, anything to give me a heads up. Also, if applicable, let me know when you leave for your birth location and again upon being checked. I will head your way as soon as active labor is confirmed (usually 6cm). Please do not worry about calling during the night. This is my job. I would rather get a late night call for a false alarm than to miss it completely because you were unsure of if it was really “go time” or not.
What if you get sick or aren’t able to make it to my birth for any reason?
If I am unable to attend your birth due to illness or injury, I will do my best to obtain a back-up. I have joined a local network of birth photographers and we work very closely with one another and can fill-in when needed. I have a few go-to photographers who are very skilled and I trust that they would be able to handle the situation with ease. The images will still be edited by me, so that you get the final product you expect. If I am unable to obtain a back-up, you will have to option to transfer the funds to another type of session or get a refund. If I miss the birth for reasons outside my control (i.e. insufficient notification of labor, etc) or for “acts of God” (i.e. severe weather, etc), you will have to option to transfer the funds to another type of session, but will not be refunded.
Do I need to get approval from my provider to have a birth photographer?
Yes, it is up to you to confirm the policies of both your care provider and your birthing location. Each provider and location is different, so it is recommended to make any negotiations for photography in advance. If you are planning a homebirth or birth center birth, check with your midwife and the back-up hospital just in case of a transfer.
What if I require an unplanned cesarean birth?
I have photographed a cesarean before and have no problem doing so again. However, it will be up to the hospital and staff as to whether I am permitted in the operating room or not. Even if I am not allowed in the operating room, I can still take photographs to help document your story by getting images before and after the procedure.
What if I have a scheduled cesarean birth?
This works in almost the exact same way as any other birth! I will still go on-call at 38 weeks just in case you go into labor early. Otherwise, I will show up at your scheduled arrival time. With scheduled cesareans, I still plan to be there for an extended period of time because there are still unknown variables. And, as stated above, it is always best to verify the policies in advance with both your provider and the hospital to make arrangements to have a photographer present.
What if I go into labor early?
My on-call time starts at 38 weeks, but if you go into labor prior to that time, I will do my best to attend. Please keep me as informed as possible about any warning signs that you may have to increase the likelihood of me being able to attend.
What if my birth is really long?
I do not have a time limit. If your labor and birth seem to be progressing slowly, I may step out to give you a break. If I take a break, I will not go far, usually just to the cafeteria for a meal and I will be available to return as soon as I am notified that progression is happening again.
What if something goes wrong with my baby or me?
I typically keep shooting because it is part of your birth story, but I will comply with any order to stop shooting by either you or your medical team.
Why can’t my partner, doula or nurse just take my pictures?
Of course they can, but their main purpose is not photography. They already have distinctive roles. If also asked to play photographer, the images will come second to their other roles, meaning important moments may be missed, and the person behind the camera will most certainly be missed. You also run the risk of the images being improperly exposed, blurry, grainy, unflattering, etc. I, myself, experienced this firsthand. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to hire a birth photographer to photograph my own birth, so instead, I decided to have my husband do it. I have very few images and most are ruined by bad lighting and blur. It is one of my biggest regrets as that is not time I will ever get back. Let your partner hold your hand and not the camera. Let your doula provide you with labor support. Let the nurse focus on the health of you and your baby. As your photographer, it will be my sole responsibility to capture those moments for you using my professional skills and equipment.
Will you use flash photography during the birth?
I do own an external flash; however, I prefer not to use it. My camera is capable of producing high-quality images even in low light situations. In some particularly low light situations, it may produce images that appear grainy. Some of that can be corrected for in post-production, but some of it may remain in the final product giving the image a film-like characteristic. Now, photography is light, so without some light source, a flash may be necessary or images will be sacrificed completely. Your preference will be discussed at your consultation and can be addressed again at any time. I will NOT use a flash without the permission of the laboring mother as some women find flash to be distracting and others don’t notice at all.
Will you interact with me during my labor?
I intend to be a fly on the wall for the most part, but I will interact if appropriate to the situation. I will follow your lead on that.
Will you do posed images?
Birth photography is photojournalistic, so I do not pose you at all during labor and birth. After the baby has arrived and everything has settled down, I may briefly pose you, your partner and any other family members for a group shot with the new babe, but that will be it.
Will you take “crowning” shots or other private shots?
That is entirely up to you! I will follow any and all requests to limit images taken.
How many images can I expect?
This depends on which package you choose, but it will be between 100-200 images.
Do you edit every image?
Yes, I individually hand edit every image that gets delivered to you. I do color and tonal corrections, sharpening, noise reduction, cropping, etc. I also hand edit each image in both color, and black and white. Additional retouching (i.e. cloning, etc.) is NOT include, but can be added on in certain situations and may require an additional fee.
Are you going to post my pictures on the Internet?
I grow my business by sharing my work. That said, I will NEVER share an image without your permission. I very much respect your privacy and I will honor any request to not share images. If you receive a discounted rate, I do expect to share some images in exchange for the discount, but I will consult with you for approval of the images chosen for sharing. If you prefer not to share at all, you may pass on the discount.
How soon will I get my images?
Since I hand edit each image individually, it generally takes 4-6 weeks to get your entire gallery ready, but as long as I have your permission, I will post a sneak peek of 1-5 images within 24-48 hours on my Facebook business page. Any products ordered may take longer as to allow time for design and production.
What other products do you offer?
I offer prints, albums, canvases and many other items. I have a product guide available to you upon request.
Any more questions?
Have a question I didn’t answer? Feel free to contact me HERE.