1. What does your on-call time look like?
Being on-call is part of the life of a full-time birth photographer. You want a photographer who is dedicated to capturing your story. I am on-call from 38 weeks until 41 weeks gestation. This means, when you book me, I block off 4 weeks surrounding your due date and turn down invitations to travel or attend events that are more than an hour away. I have my bags packed and ready so I can fly out the door at a moment's notice. If you call me on Christmas morning, I leave my family to photograph yours. If you call me in the middle of putting my toddler to bed, I leave her with my husband or take her to her grandparents' for the night. My life revolves around you and your baby so this once-in-a-lifetime birth story will be captured.
2. Do you have backup equipment?
This is a non-negotiable in birth photography. This niche is a lot like wedding photography, in that it only happens once and there are no do-overs. If a camera or SD card malfunctions, a professional photographer will know exactly what to do without missing a beat. I bring 2 cameras, 2 lenses, and extra memory cards and batteries so I don't miss anything! I also have a dual memory card system in my camera, so every photo is recorded twice! These moments are so important .
3. What happens if my labor stalls or lasts a really long time?
Mamas, y'all know that these babies run the show and do their own things! They don't take direction from anyone. This is why birth photography is an investment. Whether your labor lasts 2 hours or 24, I'm there. I may try to catch a nap if labor stalls, but from active labor until 2 hours postpartum, I'm yours. I'm supporting you during this time by doing much more than taking photos. If you need a hand to squeeze or some ice chips, I'm your girl. If you are laboring quietly and need to be left alone, I will give you space and let you focus on your body and your baby. You need to know that your photographer will drop everything to be with you during this time. It's worth every penny to have someone there you can trust!
4. What happens if you are at another birth when I go into labor?
A professional birth photographer won't even flinch at this question. It is common practice to have backups for births. Life happens. Photographers get sick, cars break down, and sometimes (although it's never happened to me) clients go into labor on the same day. Having a backup, (or two or three) means that, in the unlikely chance this happens, none of my clients have to forfeit having their stories documented. I am very careful when choosing a backup because my clients are like family. I want to know that you will be treated as such if I can't be there.
5. What if I don't want graphic/nude photos posted online?
You're inviting someone with a camera into one of the most vulnerable times of your life. I get that. There is definitely a level of trust that comes with allowing me into your birth space. I will always respect your wishes when it comes to posting photos. I do request clients sign model releases so I can share aspects of their beautiful stories with my followers, but I also understand some people value their privacy and wish to keep those moments off social media. Regardless of whether you agree to a model release or not, I will always ask permission before sharing anything of a graphic nature. It is so important to me that you feel respected and safe during this time.
6. How many births have you attended?
While I do not think there is a certain number you need to look for here, it is important to ask about expertise in the birthing space. I have photographed several births in hospitals and at home and am on my way to becoming certified in birth photography. I will be able to professionally navigate any circumstances that arise during your labor so you can tell the story of your baby's birthday for years to come.
7. What is your plan if there is very little light?
Lighting varies so much between hospitals and homes. There are no two situations exactly alike and a great photographer is going to be confident in any lighting scenario. It is very common for birth photographers to use flash (think: soft flash that isn't distracting, not the kind that's in your eyes) to create gorgeous images. This is something we will discuss beforehand so I can be aware of what you're sensitive to during birth. Be sure you select a photographer that knows how to make the most of the light that's available and still get timeless photos!
8. What is your plan for hospital restrictions due to COVID?
If you're delivering in a hospital that has COVID restrictions, don't worry! I have a plan in place to be sure you still have beautiful photos! There are a couple of ways I'm working with families that are currently impacted by these rules. Here are a few things we can discuss:
- I can be your designated support person.
- I can send my camera with your support person and edit the photos as usual.
- We can schedule a Coming Home session and tell the story of your baby meeting siblings or other family members.