BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY FAQ'S
Why should I hire a birth photographer?
The day you welcome your baby into the world is one of the most memorable and important days of your life next to your wedding day. Your baby's birth can often become a bit of a blur as you become exhausted or things move rather quickly in the labor process. Having an experienced birth photographer to document those moments helps you experience things that you might miss being in your hospital bed. It also allows your spouse or other family members to enjoy the moments with you and be present in supporting you, not worrying about getting the perfect photos.
What types of photos do you capture?
When many people think of birth photography they may think it seems a bit strange or uncomfortable to capture something so graphic and personal. As an experienced photographer I make sure to respect your level of modesty. The majority of your birth will be photographed from behind your head where I can see baby as he/she is lifted up. I also document the labor process, your support system, as well as baby and the first moments that happen in 2 hours following baby's birth. I aim to stay out of the way and be as least disruptive as possible. I do not use flash while shooting and will only use natural or ambient lighting. I may gently ask you if you are okay with the lights being turned up brighter or on if I feel its going to make a big difference but in general I use the light situation given. Your images will be edited in a mixture of black and white and color images.
What happens if you miss the birth?
Because births are so unpredictable and because I also photograph weddings, I simply cannot guarantee that I will make your birth but I do everything possible to be there. I do put myself "on call" for 2 weeks prior and 2 weeks following your due date. In the weeks and days leading up to your due date we communicate frequently on how your appointments go, your progress, and any changes that may occur such as scheduled c-sections or inductions.
If for some reason I do miss your birth you will only be charged the retainer amount of $400. I will arrive to the hospital as soon as possible to capture anything still happening as well photos of your baby and as a family.
When do you arrive and how long do you stay?
As I said before in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to your birth we will remain in frequent contact and I ask you to keep me updated on ANY changes that you notice them. This is a very important part of the process as it helps me decide when to leave. It always better for me to get there early and with plenty of time then to not make it. Due to living in the midwest things like inclement weather can be a factor on traveling to your location and the sooner I know the better. I also have a toddler that I may need to bring to arranged care before heading to you.
All of that being said, I typically aim to arrive once mom has dilated to around 5-7cm. This can also vary depending on my distance from your location as well. Once I arrive, I am there for the long haul, whether that is 2 hours or 20! Sometimes this may mean I am simply sleeping in the waiting room while you rest or running to grab a bite to eat but when it is go-time and things are happening I will be sure to be there.
Once baby has arrived I will stay for up to 2 hours as you are moved to your postpartum room and be there to document those first moments as a family.
What if I have to have a c-section?
If a c-section is scheduled in advance it is your responsibility to speak with your provider and advocate for me to be allowed in the operating room. In the event an emergency c-section is needed there likely will not be time to discuss this with your provider. Some providers are more lenient on this than others. If I am not allowed in the operated room, I will resume shooting as soon as the baby is stable and I am allowed by the staff. I can not stress enough that if it is important for you to have me present in the operating room you will need to push for this with your provider.
Do I need to talk to my provider about having a photographer?
Yes! This is very important to discuss with your provider beforehand. Some hospitals may have something you or I need to sign for me to be in the deliver or operating room. Some hospitals also limit the number of "support" people allowed in the room. Please be sure to verify your provider/hospitals policies well before your due date. These are things we may need to discuss in a consultation before your due date.
If your provider or hospital does not allow photographing during the delivery itself, you can advocate for me to capture the moments leading up to delivery and following the delivery as well.
it's also important to note that should anything unforeseen happen that require urgent medical attention or change of plan, there is a chance I will be forced to leave the delivery/operating room. I will still remain close by and will return to shooting as soon as the staff allows me to.
How early do I need to book?
I suggest booking as soon as possible to ensure my schedule is still open enough to be "on call" for your due date since I only take a limited number of births each year/month.
What does it cost?
The total cost for birth photography is $800 ($900 if delivering over 35 miles from 51239). A retainer of $400 is due at booking and the remaining $400($500 for over 35 miles) is due 1 month prior to your due date. If for some reason I am not able to be there for the birth, you will be refunded a portion of the total and I would arrive as soon as possible.
How far will you travel?
I travel within approx. 1 hour of Hull, IA. This includes smaller community hospitals as well as larger hospitals in Sioux Falls, SD and Sioux City, IA.
I hope this FAQ helps to answer any questions you may have regarding birth photography and the importance of it. If you are ready to book or have other questions regarding birth photography please complete the form on the contact page.