WHAT IS BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY?
Birth photography is an art. What I photograph is a documentary visual narrative of one of the most important days in your life. Unlike other family photos, your birth images will be 100% candid and photographed in a documentary style. Nothing is propped or set-up. It is journalistic, raw and real. Years later, you will look through the images and know that the moment captured was exactly the way is was without posing or photo manipulation.
As a visual journalist, skilled in creating visual narratives for magazines and newspapers, I know how to tell a story through images. In the case of your birth, the story starts well before the baby is born, and continues hours afterward. Once you are home, and life begins to settle into a routine, the memories of the birth day begin to fade.
With professionally photographed images of your labour and delivery, you will have a lasting document that will bring back the big moments, the emotions and the details of the day. Many of the pictures will come as a surprise, leaving you to say, “I never noticed that!”. Being focused on giving birth, mom and partner can forget about recording the day and concentrate on each other. As a professional I fade into the background and record all the important details for a lifetime of memories without becoming part of the story.
WHY SHOULD I HIRE A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER?
Why would you not? There are very few times in your life that are so beautiful and life-altering. Hiring a birth photographer gives you the time to focus on each other, your delivery and your baby without being distracted with trying to take photographs at the same time.
On average, the investment in a wedding photographer in Canada is approximately $2,500 - $8,000. If you compare that investment with my fee as a birth photographer, the answer is clear! Not long after you return home, the delivery, the sights, the sounds and experience begin to fade from memory. Having professionally photographed images of your birth and all the other details gives you a lasting document of your special day.
GREAT! WE LIKE WHAT WE HEAR! HOW MUCH DO YOU COST?
The investment in your birth photography is $1,250. This covers the time when I arrive at the hospital when you begin labour and ends one hour after your delivery. A $300 deposit is required and payable by e-transfer or when we meet to sign the photography contract.
DO YOU MEET WITH THE EXPECTING PARENTS FIRST?
Always! I will meet approximately one months prior to your delivery. We will discuss style of photography, your expectations, and your wishes.
HOW MUCH OF THE LABOUR AND DELIVERY WILL YOU PHOTOGRAPH?
This is completely your choice and will be discussed at our prenatal meeting. How much you wish to have photographed is your personal choice.
At the prenatal meeting, we will also discuss how your comfort level in so far as how much you wish to have shown in the final images. Some mothers will be more modest, some will wish a more photojournalistic approach. You will always have control over your final images. What you choose to share with family, friends and social media is your decision.
WHEN DO YOU ARRIVE FOR THE SHOOT, AND HOW LONG DO YOU STAY?
As every birth is different, this is a difficult question to answer. I will typically stay with you for 12 hours. Generally, I will arrive as you enter into the beginnings of labour. Your partner will have my phone number and will call me 24/7. When told, “It’s time”, I will drop everything and leave anywhere I happen to be and head directly to you. After the birth, I will stay for one hour to capture the first moments with your baby with family and the friends who are there to support you.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK YOU FOR OUR BIRTH?
Once you decide to have your birth photographed, you need to book me right away! I will take only a small number of bookings per month, so it is best to book early.
WHAT IF I GO INTO LABOUR BEFORE 38 WEEKS?
If you should go into labour before 38 weeks, I will make every effort to be there. My cell phone is always with me, my camera equipment is always charged and I am on call for you day and night.
WHAT IF YOU MISS MY BIRTH?
By staying in touch, almost daily toward your delivery date, we will hopefully not let this happen. But if for some reason if I am not able to make your birth, I will be there to shoot a two hour “Fresh Baby” session at your birth location or home at no cost. Your deposit will also be refunded in whole.
WHEN DO WE PAY A DEPOSIT AND WHEN DO WE PAY THE BALANCE?
When we have our prenatal meeting, a $300 deposit is required. The balance is due on baby’s delivery date. Mom’s: please arrange for your partner or another family member to carry a cheque for the balance of payment or credit card.
WHAT IF MY LABOUR IS SHORT? WHAT IF MY LABOUR IS VERY LONG?
My birth photography fee is a fixed rate. The birth photography session includes my business expenses, insurance, travel time, consulting, editing/retouching and being on-call. Whether it is a short labour or long, the fee is the same.
WHAT IF I HAVE A C-SECTION?
If you are planning to have a c-section, or a c-section is unplanned, it is your responsibility to ask your doctor if I am allowed into the operating room for the procedure. If this is not possible, there are many wonderful moments to photograph before and after a c-section. I will follow the baby and capture wonderful moments while mom is in recovery which can last many hours.
WILL OUR IMAGES BE COLOUR OR BLACK AND WHITE?
Prior to delivery, images will typically be edited as colour photographs. Coverage of the actual delivery and more graphic images will be edited as black and white. We will discuss your preferences at our prenatal meeting.
DO YOU USE FLASH? WHAT IF THE DELIVERY IS IN A DARK ROOM?
I do not use flash or strobes for birth photography so as not to disturb peaceful moments or startle the baby. I am used to shooting with available light and in low-light situations. However, if I feel the lighting is too dim and may result in poor images, I will use soft continuous white light.
HOW MUCH EQUIPMENT DO YOU BRING?
As a documentary photographer, my work is best captured when I am not burdened with studio lighting or a trolly full of gear. It is all about staying nimble, always watching for precious and fleeting moments. If I were to bring a lot of equipment, I would miss moments that will never happen again.
WILL I NEED PERMISSION FROM THE HOSPITAL OF BIRTH CENTRE?
Hospitals and birth centres will have their own particular rules and regulations which must be adhered to. Having said that, they are all very accommodating as long as I am invited as your guest.
WHAT WILL WE GET AFTER THE SHOOT? AND HOW LONG UNTIL WE SEE IMAGES?
I go though a first-pass edit, a second and a third. In the end you will have between 80-150 beautifully edited images to treasure and share.
I will set up a password-protected gallery for you to access the final images. You will be able to share access with your friends and family.
Within 24 hours I will send several edited sneak-peek images sized appropriately for emailing to send out as an announcement. The balance of the images will be edited and sent as hi-resolution JPG files within 1-2 weeks.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU OFFER?
If you wish, I can create a beautiful linen or leather bound lay-flat album. I also offer fine art prints. These options are discussed during our prenatal meeting.
WHAT IF YOU HAVE ANOTHER BIRTH AT THE SAME TIME AS MINE?
I try my best to stagger the births I photograph to avoid this scenario. But life happens! In the event of two births at the same time, I will call another photographer to photograph take the second birth. If I am unable to secure another photographer, then a full refund is given and a complimentary two-hour, Fresh Baby session is arranged within 48 hours.
DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS?
All prices are firm, there are no discounts for sessions. However, a $100 credit is available if you order an album at the time of booking me as your birth photographer.
DO YOU OFFER PAYMENT PLANS?
No payment plans are offered.
WILL YOU POST OUR PHOTOS ON THE INTERNET?
This is discussed at the prenatal meeting. I will never post anything for which I do not have permission.
HOW DO MEDICAL STAFF REACT TO YOU BEING THERE TO PHOTOGRAPH?
Hospital and other medical professionals are used to having photographers document births. As a professional, and invited by you, I am considered family, therefore I am allowed to be with you. I am an expert at fading into the background and staying out of the way. My job is to stay out of the spotlight and out of the way of staff.