Here's a lot of common questions we get asked regarding birth photography.
I’m sure you have a lot of other questions. Please feel free to contact us and ask any. We'll be happy to answer them. We are also happy to schedule a face to face consultation where we can really sit and chat about what you are expecting or what you could expect from birth photography and how we could help with that experience.
I really do/do not want graphic images. Is that OK?
Absolutely! We are there to tell the story the best we can however you want us to. If you really do not want any graphic images, we will not take them. We will be sure to position ourself so that we can capture your special moments in a very discreet way. If you are the type you really wants those images for you (we don’t share those), we are completely comfortable capturing your births with a little more details than usual. There are times when we may not be able to capture something you wanted though due to the position you are in, or the position we are stuck because of the rest of the birth team, but we will try our hardest to get what you want (or don’t get what you want).
Will you be shooting the entire time? My husband is worried the camera will distract us.
The answer to this depends on the circumstances of the birth. If I get there and things are very slow and steady and you are happy and chatty, I will often get my things out but not necessarily start shooting right away. I like for everyone to get used to me being there when that’s possible. If things are a little slower and you are feeling really chatty still, I may just take a few images here and there to tell that part of your story, but I don’t wan tot burn you out on taking too many if it looks like it may be a while until we see a baby. Same with if you are sleeping or resting in one position for a while. If you are laying down in bed or relaxing in the tub for several hours and nothing is really changing (position and things like that), I will often just take a few every now and then just to tell that part of your story, but then sit back and let you rest/labor. I think sometimes people imagine it will be like the paparazzi and the camera going off every single contraction, but I try not to do that especially if things are slow and steady. If I get there and things are really moving and you are progressing quickly, I will work a little more quickly trying to capture all that is going on. If things are moving quickly, you will often not even realize what I am doing (or care).
I also begin to take more as labor progresses and you get closer to transition and birth, and again, most mamas and daddies do not even notice what I’m doing because they are focused on what they are doing. I try really hard to mold into your particular birth and get a feeling of what you need me to do (or not do). If things are really hard for you, I may sit back a little more and give you space you need but staying close enough that I could quickly capture something I think you would want.
What if my birth progresses too quickly for you to make it?
That does happen sometimes but is not common. Usually when that happens, I am already on my way but the baby decides to come quicker than I can get there. I still come and document as much as I can. Most of the time when this scenario happens, I walk in moments after the baby has arrived so I’m still able to get some sweet first moments such as first bath/herbal bath, newborn exam, family/friends meeting baby. His/Her story is that she/he was in a hurry, so that is what I document. I don’t turn around and go home if I think I won’t make it. I still come and I will often stay a little longer to get a little extra since we didn’t get labor images (if you want me to).
What if I need a C-Section?
Many hospitals will allow me to go into the OR with you and I have experience doing so. It is important that you request that when we get there if you’d like for me to go back. If I’m not allowed back, I will try to stay until after the C-Section and you are in recovery. There are rare instances where they will not allow me to go back to recovery and tell me that we won’t be allowed to see you for many hours. If that happens, (or your baby is in NICU and I can’t go in), I will often talk to you about coming back either later that day or the next day to complete your birth story with some images with the baby. Unless I’m asked to leave by a hospital (again, never happened), I won’t leave your birth without discussing it with you and/or your partner.
What if my birth is very long or I am transferred from Home/Birth Center to a Hospital? Do you stay and/or go to the hospital with us?
Yes! Some births are very quick and I may be done within 4 hours. Some are long and I’ve been there as long as 40. If your birth slows for a while and is close to my home. I will discuss the best plan with you. That may be me staying, or it may be me going home for a while to rest while you rest (so you don’t feel like a watched pot), and then keeping in touch with you and coming back as soon as you are ready for me to come back. It is very, very rare that I leave births (like ever), but I have left for a little while when things were very slow and mama was planning to rest for a few hours and I lived close enough to do that. If your labor is progressing, but is just longer than you expected, I still stay until your baby is born unless there was some kind of emergency that prevented me from staying. In this case, I would call in a back up to fill in (that scenario has never happened, but I do have a plan for it). It is important to me that your birth story is complete and that you are always aware of my plans, so we will always discuss things if there were any kind of special circumstances. If I can follow you to the hospital during a transfer, I will and I will stay until your baby is born.
How will I know to call you and when do you come to the birth?
As we get closer to your due date, we’ll be in touch more often. I may send you a little text asking how you’re doing or letting you know if I plan to be a little further than usual that day running errands or perhaps spending time with my family. That way you at least know that I am out and about and may need a little extra time. I also ask that yous end me any kind of updates even if it’s just “I’m feeling a little crampy today.” Even if you don’t think you are in active labor, sometimes little clues can help me prepare my day/week so that I am able to get to you faster when the time comes that you are ready for me. It’s not often that we don’t have any kind of warning that you will need me that day/night but I know it happens and I do my best to get there as quickly as possible and usually that is still in plenty of time.
What happens if you are sick or at another birth when I need you?
I have a couple of experienced and wonderful back up photographers that I keep posted if I am at a birth and have another mama who could possibly need me or if I am ill and on call. If I needed I back up, I would call them and they would take my place at the birth. They would later give me all the images they took and I would complete your editing and slideshow. It would not cost you anything additional and you have peace of mind knowing that I have reliable back up and you’ll still get the same editing/packages that you were expecting. It is very rare that I need a back up, but I do have them just in case. I also make sure my mamas know that if I become available before their baby born, I will absolutely still come and take over shooting and let my back up go home and then just get what they captured before I got there.