Birth Photography Facts
Why hire a birth photographer?
There are a lot of ways to answer this question, and if you're asking it, I would love to just sit down for a cup of coffee to talk more. But essentially for me photography is about celebrating life. What is more incredible and worth celebrating than the birth of a child? It the actual moment that new life is brought earth side. It's raw, beautiful and chaotic in every way. It's often such a hazy time for both mother and partner that looking back through photos is an incredible and emotional moment, seeing that you grew life and brought it into the world.
There are also just certain moments that only birth stories can produce. Like the first time you see your child, the moment they are placed on your chest and you let out the most intense sigh of relief and joy. Or the connection and support demonstrated by your partner. It's such a crazy time often mothers lose sight of the love shown to them by their partner. I love being able to give them photos that only strengthen their bond, they have done this together.
Birth is a journey and one not to be afraid of but to experience. Every cry of pain or push of just wanting to give up, is beautiful and apart of telling the story of life. Knowing that you are a woman among a history of women who have continued to bring life into this world is a power and strength beyond much else. You are fierce and brave and birth photography can be the evidence of that for you if you let it.
When do you arrive?
I arrive at the hospital or home when you are in active labor. There are a lot ways to tell whether this the case but usually I wait for word from either your nurse, doula or midwife. I arrive anywhere from 5cm-7cm and stay as long as I need to after that. This is where communication is really key, the more I know from you the more prepared I can be.
How long do you stay?
I offer two different collections. The first includes up to 1 hour after delivery. This is the perfect amount of time to capture those first moments, first latch and even some sweet peaceful snuggling. Then I leave my couples to enjoy their first hours alone with baby.
The second collections includes up to 3 hours after delivery. This insures that I am present to capture everything from first exams, daddy skin to skin and even some first meeting with grandparents or siblings if time of day permits.
Some mom's want a chance to shower, change clothes and get some rest before greeting guests or having their other children meet their newest little one. That's why I also offer Fresh 48 sessions as an add on to your Birth Story. This means I'll come back usually the next morning or afternoon to capture 1 hour of sweet first meetings with the whole family and other beautiful Fresh moments. This includes hospital basinet photos, a swaddled up little baby and even more sweet family snuggles.
How do I know if my Dr, Hospital, Center or Midwife allows birth photography?
The best way to know is to ask your care provider flat out. But in most cases they leave that decision up to you. They want you to be able to create the birthing space you envision and thanks to a lot of incredible birth photographers all over the world this form of art is becoming more and more normalized everyday. A few great birth spaces that love and allow birth photography are as follows, Duke Hospital, Duke Regional, Wake Med, Baby Co. and Women's Birth and Wellness Center. (this does not include all hospitals that allow birth photography, if your hospital is not featured on this list feel free to reach out and ask me or your care provider for clarification)
In case of Caesarean or emergency caesarean it may end up being something you need to request with you care provider. Depending on the hospital they may have a no photography policy or only 1 person in the room policy. If you'd like that to be me than I'd love to be there. This can be determined by hospital or by doctor so it's important to ask before hand.
What happens if you miss the birth?
Birth is impossible to schedule and very unpredictable. It's really important to be in contact during the last weeks of pregnancy (starting at 38 weeks) and I do my best to be there with plenty of time to capture your labor, birth and first hours together. In the rare case that your birth moves very fast and I'm unable to get there in time, I still come to tell the story. I stay for as long as I need to (usually 3-4 hours) to capture enough of the story to deliver the same number of quality photos as I would if you're birth had been longer.
For all birth stories even when I'm on call I do have a back up photographer just in case an emergency arises that could keep me from being there.
Do we meet before hand?
Absolutely! I want to meet you and your partner, answer questions in person and calm any fears you might have. I offer a complimentary meeting prior to you making any decision. Let me get you a cup off coffee or tea and let's meet. I live in Durham, NC right near Guglhupf and the new Cocoa Cinnamon, I would love to sit down for a chat. I think it's really important to meet beforehand. I want to add to the peace of every birth story I tell and I think turning me from stranger to friend really can help create the best birthing environment. I also just love coffee and talking birth.
Do you share every birth on social media?
I do not share every birth on social media. I want to respect you and your level of comfortability for sharing these vulnerable moments. My passion is obviously to get the word out about the beauty and power of birth photography. Allowing me to share your photos goes into the education of mothers everywhere that teaches this is a beautiful and inspiring part of life.
I do encourage all of my couples to think about what level of privacy they would like to have. With every gallery I include a section called Social Media or Blog Post that includes all the beautiful moments that I loved and would love to share. You can decide which photos are ok to share and which ones you'd like to keep private. I will always respect your decision and request to keep some pieces of your story private.
When can we expect our photos after birth?
I make it my mission after every birth story to send you a few sneak peek photos within the first couple hours after I've left. This way you can use a professionally taken photo for your announcement to the world of your new arrival. I also encourage you to share them however you'd like and only use those approved photos for my own social media before delivering your full gallery.
Your full gallery is delivered anywhere between 4-6 weeks after birth. I love moving quick to fully edit and deliver your story to you but in different seasons I may have more or less time to get them finished.
What is the pricing for Birth Stories?
Inquire here to get the most accurate and up to date pricing. I do offer payment plans and partial and full gift certificates for you to put on your baby registry or gift to a mom you know may love to have photography in their birthing space.
While birth photography can feel like an investment, it's definitely worth every penny.
How far will you travel for birth?
I am local to the Raleigh/ Durham, NC area so it's easy for me to capture births in any of the surrounding areas; Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Apex, Cary, Morrisville ect. I'm also down to travel as far as Greensboro, Fayetteville or Winston-Salem with the understanding that I'll need to add an hour to my arrival time after first contact. If you're even further than that and would still want me to travel to you I'm absolutely down. I've photographed births in Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee and have a plan in place to be there for your birth, so don't hesitate to Inquire