Why should I hire a birth photographer? My family can take the photos.
Outside the birth of your baby, your wedding was probably the biggest day of your life. You probably had a professional photographer, or even two, to cover that event. Why didn’t you have a family member take your wedding photos? I imagine because you needed to trust the final product and because you wanted all those important family and friends to be IN your photos and not behind the camera.
Having an experienced birth photographer there will ensure the story of your baby’s birth is told through photos. It will give you the details that you might miss. It allows your family and friends to support you and not to worry about taking pictures. It ensures the little details are captured that a friend might not think to photograph. It allows your partner to hold your hand and be in the photos. The hours of labor and delivery will pass just as quickly as the hours of your wedding day but your birth photographer will make sure you have the details of the day captured to relive for years to come.
Do I need to talk to my doctor to see if he/she will allow a photographer?
YES! It is your responsibility to make sure your doctor and hospital will allow photography during your labor and delivery. You may be limited to the number of “support” people allowed with you. Please verify the official policies with your doctor and hospital, which might differ. We will need to discuss this at the time of your booking. If you are scheduled to have a c-section, you will probably only be allowed ONE support person during the surgery but please talk to your doctor in advance to see if an exception can be made for ONE support person AND your photographer. More and more hospitals and doctors are seeing the value of birth photography and photographers are increasingly being allowed in. It might not happen, but ask. We’ll talk about this at our meeting. If I am not allowed in the OR, I will stay close by the doors to photograph your partner and baby being brought out and meeting family and will follow your baby to capture all of those firsts that you will miss from the OR and recovery.
If your doctor or facility restricts photography specifically during the actual delivery (pushing, crowning, delivery), verify with your doctor the ability for me to take photos before the actual delivery, as well as photos immediately after the baby is delivered. Even if the actual birth itself is restricted, I will still be able to get important shots of everything else that day.
Please note that if any unforeseen event occurs that requires treatment or urgent medical attention for you or your baby, or causes the planned delivery method to change (i.e., C-section), I might be required to leave the delivery room for the remaining duration of your labor and delivery. I will still be close by to capture photos of your family and friends waiting for your new arrival, and will return to shooting as the medical staff allows. Keep in mind that the most important thing is that you have a safe delivery, and ultimately your doctor and nurse’s job is more important than mine.
What about COVID-19?
During these trying times, most hospitals are limiting people in your delivery room to just one person while others are allowing one person and a doula. I am currently working on my doula certification and expect to be fully certified by the cummer of 2021. I am documenting home births and birth centers around Los Angeles at the current time.
What if I go in to labor at 2 am? Will you be there?
Yes, barring any unforeseen circumstance. Babies don’t work on a set schedule so neither do I. I fully anticipate middle-of-the-night phone calls. You do need to keep me updated as early as you think labor might be starting. You will let me know when you think labor is beginning at home (even if it ends up being false!), then again when you are heading to the hospital or calling your midwife. My goal is to get to the hospital, birth center or your home when you are in active labor and have progressed to about 6-7cm dilated, day or night. Since it may take up to two hours to situate things at my own home and have time to travel to your birth space, it is important to keep in touch with me EARLY as labor begins and progresses so I get to you in time.
How long will you be at my birth?
There is no set time limit due to the unpredictable nature of births. I aim to get to your birth space when you are in active labor and will stay up to 2 hours after your baby arrives to capture many of the first moments.
What if I know I am having a C-section?
Regardless of how your baby enters the world, it is worth capturing. More and more hospitals and doctors are seeing the value of birth photography and photographers are increasingly being allowed in. Even if a photographer is not allowed in the operating room, there are still many moments I will capture outside the operating room with your waiting family and friends. I’ll be there when your support person comes to share the good news and I’ll follow the baby, if allowed, and capture the firsts. Having me there for a C-section is even more important since you will be missing so much while in the OR and recovery. I’ll be your eyes to get the moments you miss.
What if my baby(ies) go to the NICU, what happens then?
Depending on the hospital’s policies, I will do everything in my power to capture all those memories as well. I will take as many photos in the delivery room before your baby(ies) are taken to NICU as long as it doesn’t interfere with the medical staff. If the hospital and medical staff allow, I will follow your partner to the NICU and take as many photos as I can. Of course, I will respect your wishes for NICU coverage. If there is a time that I can’t be near your baby(ies), I will still document the activities outside the NICU with your family and friends.
What is included in the birth photography package?
There is one package with several add-on options. Whether you only want the one package or the package with all the add-ons, it’s entirely up to you. Please see the pricing section for more details
Do I receive every digital image?
I take many images during your session and only use those that truly show your story in the most authentic, yet beautiful way. I don’t have a set number of images I deliver since every birth is different. I assure you, nobody has ever complained about a lack of images.
How long will it take to receive the images?
I will email you 5 – 8 low-resolution, watermarked images within 24-48 hours of the birth (often in less time) so you can share them with family and friends through email or social media. With your permission, I would be happy to announce the birth on the Birth and Beauty Facebook page and start posting a few sneak peeks of the baby so you can share with family and friends awaiting the news. The images and slideshow will be ready between 1 and 3 weeks and will be delivered on your custom USB flash drive and 100 prints in your keepsake box. If you are ordering an album as an add-on, the gallery in which to choose your images for your Artbook will be up in 1-3 weeks. Once you select the images for your Artbook , I will send you page samples for your approval. Once approved you can choose the colors and patterns of your book and any text you would like on the front. The time this takes depends on the time it takes you to make these decisions. I will make it as quick and painless as possible and will give you ideas as I know your focus is on your new little family. Once your order is placed, expect 2 weeks for delivery of your Artbook.
What forms of payment do you accept?
I use PayPal for credit cards or Debit cards. I also accept cash or Zelle.
What about payment plans?
I work with you to create a payment plan that works for you. There is an initial, “save-the-date” retainer of 50% with the balance paid by 36 weeks of your pregnancy.
What if I lose the USB flash drive with my images or it is damaged?
Upon delivery of the USB flash drive, it is your responsibility to make additional back-up copies. I do keep your images up to one year. I cannot stress enough the importance of copying/backing up the images upon receipt, and in multiple places!! Be sure to keep up with technology as it changes over the years as well.
I’m worried about “too much” being photographed.
Unless specifically requested by you, and with the approval of your doctor, I don’t take photos from the “doctor’s point-of-view” during the delivery. I usually photograph from near your shoulder or by your hip. We will spend time getting to know each other at our consultation and we’ll review what you want and don’t want and I’ll do my best to make that happen. Put your trust in me to take the photos that I feel you will love, but remember, it is always easy to delete a photo you don’t like. No one will see the photos unless you share it with them or give me permission to.
Can friends and family take photos too?
Your friends and family attending the birth are welcome to take pictures, but I ask that they give me priority so I can do what you’ve hired me to do. Please talk to guests beforehand so they are aware that you have asked me to be there. I cannot be responsible for missing shots because of family or friends interference.
I feel so bloated and swollen now. Why would I want photographs of me in labor?
I completely understand! I have “been there, done that”. My feet were the size of dinner plates and my legs a hair smaller than tree trunks, BUT, this is another perfect reason to have a photographer who understands these concerns. I want you to love your photos and I do my best to photograph at angles that showcase everything beautiful of this day. I want you to look your best and love your photos. Also remember that your photos will focus on your baby and all the firsts. It will also highlight your support team and family and friends there with you. Pregnant women are beautiful by default! I promise you don’t look nearly as bad as you might feel.
Do you offer any other types of photography like fresh 48 or maternity sessions?
Is there a chance you won’t make it to the birth?
In a nutshell, yes, there is always a chance. However, I do have a network of birth photographers I can call to come in my place should I fall ill or I am otherwise indisposed. There is always a chance that two babies could arrive at the same time at different birth spaces and I cannot get to you in time. Due of the on-call nature of birth photography, I only book a limited number of births each month to minimize conflicts, but it could happen. Again, I will always have a backup birth photographer seasoned in birth work. In the event I cannot make your delivery for whatever reason that is not your fault, and you have kept me updated on your labor as it progressed, and a backup cannot get there, you will be given a full refund of any fees you paid to date. I, and Birth and beauty, am only liable for the amount paid in fees for your session.
On the flip side, it is your responsibility to call me as soon as you think labor is starting, even if it ends up being false labor, and keep me posted of your progress. Since it may take up to two hours for me to situate things at home and travel to your birth space, I need a “heads up” as soon as possible. If you do not call to let me know you are in labor early on and I miss the actual birth, the session fee is non-refundable but I will still come as soon as I can and have an extended “post-delivery” session to capture many of your baby’s “firsts” and family bonding.
When do you start being “on call” for me?
I am on call from week 38 until your child arrives. This means, I do not go out of town and nothing is planned in my personal life that cannot be rearranged. This is your time and I am ready to go any time, day or night.
What if I change my mind at the last minute and don’t want pictures?
No problem at all. If you decide to forgo birth pictures for whatever reason, I completely understand; however, you do forfeit the non-refundable hold the date retainer, but you will not be liable for any more payments. You can use that amount you have paid toward a different photography session, such as a fresh 48 or family session.
How far will you drive?
While I am primarily located in Burbank to service my Eastside families, I also have a space in Huntington Beach to serve those more Southern and Westside families.
How far in advance should we book our birth session with you?
Due to the ‘on call’ nature of birth photography, I take a limited number of births each month. If you choose Birth and Beauty to capture this day, please reserve your due date as early as you can. A non-refundable hold-the-date retainer is required to be added to my calendar.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!