WHAT IS BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY?
Photographs capture important events in our lives. Moments that we want to remember, huge achievements and celebrations. We are accustomed to photographing weddings, a celebration of the beginning of a new phase of life. I place photographing births in the same camp. A new beginning and a huge achievement - for some even a once in a lifetime experience. A moment that will flood you with emotion each time you look at those images for years and years to come.
WHAT DO YOU CAPTURE?
I like to tell your birth story. From the moment I arrive I’ll start pulling together all those visual details which will paint the picture of your birth experience. The weather on the day, the time of day or night I arrive at the hospital, the clock as the day progresses, your labour, the people supporting you.
I realise that some people feel confronted by images of the actual birth itself. And that’s perfectly OK. Your birth can be captured as modestly as you like. Some moms want only shots taken near her head while others want images of their baby crowning; it is completely up to you. We can chat more about this when we meet.
WHY HIRE A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER?
You may only give birth once in your life, for some you may have the experience several times. However many times, it’s a rare and special moment which doesn’t happen every day - I think that is worth celebrating.
The first thing to go when your body is managing pain or influenced by drugs is your memory!
Some incredible moments happen between couples during birth as they share joy, relief, pride, love. It’s these moments I seek out and it’s these moments that you want to be able to look back on for years to come.
Childbirth is not easy. You should be proud as hell of what you’ve achieved. Many women feel proud and empowered by seeing themselves get through labour and delivery. Celebrate your strength and how incredible your body is.
Hiring a birth photographer allows your partner to be in moment together with you, by your side supporting you. It means they are participating in the creation of these precious memories, not experiencing the moment through the lens of a camera.
Photographing conditions in the birthing rooms are not easy! These spaces are often dark and things move quickly. Sure you can have a go at taking some images yourself but hiring a birth photographer will ensure that the images of this unique moment are sharp, in focus and well exposed.
WHEN SHOULD WE BOOK?
As early as possible! Due to the nature of the business, I have limited spaces each month and these book up FAST. So get in touch as soon as you have made your decision.
HOW DO WE BOOK?
Booking is simple. Get in touch thought the online booking form here. I’ll get to you complete some online paperwork (a questionnaire and contract) and pay your 20% deposit - all done online in a nice user friendly system. After that you can relax and enjoy your pregnancy. I’ll be in touch around the 34 week mark to chat with you about your birth plans.
WHAT IF YOU ARE BOOKED ON OR AROUND MY DUE DATE?
Because women can deliver any time between 37 and 42 weeks I don’t use exact due dates to schedule bookings. To avoid any clashes I only schedule 2 births each month. It is highly uncommon for 2 women to birth at the same time.
BIRTH IS SUCH A PRIVATE MOMENT, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THAT?
Birth is indeed a private and intimate moment and I am complete conscious and respectful of that. I take a fly on the wall approach to documenting your birth. I’ll be unobtrusive and as discreet as possible. I’ll never ask you to pose or intrude on any intimate moments. Prior to your birth we will chat about your preferences for interacting with you during the birth and make sure we are on the same page.
WHAT ARE YOUR PACKAGES AND PRICING?
I have three different birth pages available. Click here to view the details of each package.
WHAT PAYMENT OPTIONS DO YOU HAVE?
I require a 20% non-refundable deposit to secure your booking. After that, you are most welcome to make payments on your invoice in a series of instalments throughout your pregnancy. The final balance of your invoice is dues at 36 weeks.
HOW LONG DO THE PHOTOS TAKE?
Birth shoots produce LOTS of photos and going through them all and editing the final collection takes time. I try and get this done as quickly as possible for you. It usually takes between two and four weeks (depending on the time of year). Once your photos are ready I will send you a link and password for your own private viewing gallery where you can view and download your images.
HOW MANY PHOTOS DO YOU PRODUCE?
The amount of images from a birth shoot often depends highly on how the birth plays out. For example how long I am with you and how long I stay post-birth. I always guarantee to create a minimum of 150 photos from your birth, however there are often more images.
DO YOU SHARE PHOTOS PUBLICLY?
I do like to use a select number of images from birth sessions to market my services. As my business is built on imagery, it is important for me to be able to share my work publically. I am however always mindful about the private and sensitive nature of birth images and I will consult with you before publicly sharing any of your photos. This is something that we will chat about in more depth at your pre-birth consultation.
WHEN DO WE CONTACT YOU ON THE DAY?
I ask that you contact me at the first sign of labour. I understand false alarms happen and that is part of the birth and you should never feel silly about not knowing for sure. Call me, text me, email me – whatever works for you but keep me posted. The more notice you can give me, the better prepared I can be and the better the chances that I will be there in time for the birth.
I aim to be with you when contractions are approximately 3-5 minutes apart. However, things go slow or fast for different women, so just stay in communication with me and we can gauge the situation on the day. I understand that babies are born at all times of the day – so even if you go into labour at 1am, ring me, and I’ll be there.
HOW LONG DO YOU STAY?
Once I’m with you I will stay until you deliver and for 2-3 hours post-birth. This could be 4 hours, 14 hours or 24 hours. So long as things are progressing and your baby’s arrival is pending, I’ll be there.
WHAT IF YOU HAVE TWO MUMS IN LABOUR AT THE SAME TIME?
No worries. If available, I will always be the primary photographer. However, if for some reason I’m not able to attend I have a number of backup photographers who will attend and document your birth until I can arrive.
DO YOU USE FLASH? WHAT IF I WANT MY BIRTH DARK?
Each birth is completely different and it depends on what light is in the room. For the most-part I don’t like to use a flash. My professional equipment and expertise means that we have other means with which to manage low light during the labour. However, I sometimes prefer to turn on flash during the pushing and delivery stages because things can move very quickly at this point and without enough light, we risk missing photos.
Flash is used subtly – not only is it on the lowest brightness setting but it is aimed away from you at either the roof or the walls behind us. You do have the option to opt out of having flash used however, this can mean that photos are missed or that they are dark, blurry and grainy.
WHAT IF I NEED SPACE?
That’s fine. I’m most happy to step out of the room at any point during the labour and post-birth if you wish. Just let me know what you need.
WHAT IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY?
Unfortunately emergency situations happen. If a situation occurs I may or may not continue to photograph. A lot of it depends on what is happening in the room and the nature of the emergency. I refuse to get in the way of the medical staff’s ability to do their job. Your lives and health are always more important than photos. If I stop shooting, I will begin again once the emergency situation has settled. These situations are always case by case and I follow my professional judgement and the instructions of medical staff.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU MISS THE BIRTH?
Birth can happen very quickly so communication is key to not missing the birth. However it can and does happen. If I miss the birth, I will still come in afterwards. There is always lots to capture after your baby arrives, such as bonding and your first moments together as a family. Depending on the situation I may offer you a newborn or family shoot after the day. I definitely want you to get value for your investment.
WHAT IF I HAVE TO HAVE A CAESAREAN-SECTION?
If you end up needing a caesarean-section, I will work with you to seek approval from your OB and hospital before the day. If you end up requiring an emergency caesarean section on the day, I will work with you to get access to theatre. However, it is never a guarantee and sometimes I am refused access. In the end, you as the patient have the power and need to fight for us to be in theatre with you. Even if I am not allowed in the operating room, I will be there waiting as soon as you are in a postpartum room. Be sure to check your hospital’s policy on who is allowed in the OR.
DO I NEED APPROVAL FROM THE HOSPITAL?
You do not need “approval” per se because as the patient you have a right to have photos from the day. However, it is professional courtesy to let the hospital and any private medical staff know that you will be having a photographer and including this in your birth plan is a great start.