Why birth photography?
The day(s) you labor and birth your child into the world are miraculous, and worthy of documenting just like other major events in your life such as weddings. A mother and her partner go through a lot of hard work unlike anything they’ve ever done, and the work culminates in a tiny new human being in the world. It is amazing and incredible, and sometimes the details get forgotten due to the craziness of the first weeks, as well as the hormones that help us forget the hardest parts (making it more likely we’ll have children in the future). With birth photography, or videography, the story of all your teamwork, patience, frustration, and elation is captured forever. Even if you decide to never share the photos outside of your immediate family, you’ll have them and be able to look back and remember the incredible day your little one joined your family. You’ll also be able to share them with your babe when he or she asks you about the day they were born.
Why is it so expensive?
Due to the unscheduled, unscripted nature of birth I only take a maximum of 3 clients per month. This, along with the always-on-call aspect of birth photography, is one of the main reasons it costs what it does. A birth may be 2 hours or it may be 20+ hours. It may be one visit, it may be multiple. I have to be able to arrange last minute childcare and leave scheduled photo shoots, holiday gatherings, birthday parties, date nights, etc. at a moments notice. Any travel I do must be arranged about 9 months in advance in many cases. I sleep with my cell phone right by my bed for middle-of-the-night birth calls. And, the ultra-low-light nature of most births requires that I have (rather expensive) equipment to get good results. Not to mention the computer hardware, software, education, and taxes.
Can’t I just have my partner/mother/support person take photos?
Yes, you absolutely can. And sometimes, due to the cost of this kind of photography, that is your best option. Ideally though, your support people would be supporting you, not fumbling with the camera to try to get a shot or two between contractions. And there is certainly a quality difference in the photos. Birth situations are often VERY low light and require the right equipment and expertise to get really good results.
Will you be using a flash during my labor and birth?
If I’m photographing a daytime birth that is well-lit I will usually not use a flash. However most births tend to be dark, so I will use a diffused flash, unless the mother has requested that I not. In ANY case, if anything I’m doing is bothering or hindering the progress of the mother, I will change what I’m doing and/or leave the area. I am there to serve the family, and bringing the baby earthside safely is the most important thing.
If I’m filming your birth instead of photographing, I generally work with available light. If it is really dark I will sometimes turn on a hallway or bathroom light, or unobtrusively add a couple of small lights that are dimmable to parts of the room. There will not be a bright glaring light on my camera pointed at you.
More FAQs to come!