What You Should Know When Considering Birth Photography
Birth Photography is quickly becoming a sought-after service for moms-to-be and their partners. Parents that choose to hire a birth photographer do so because they want to have the birth of their child captured by someone who is not directly involved in the labour and delivery of the child. The sole purpose of the photographer is to capture the images. He or she doesn’t have to act as a midwife, doula, doctor or nurse and is able to perform his/her task without distraction.
Parents who choose to hire a birth photographer do not necessarily fit into any particular category. Although many parents who hire photographers tend to have midwife-assisted births at home, many also choose to deliver at the hospital. Parents who choose birth photography have the mindset that they want the birth documented, and that’s what motivates them to hire a photographer. It is important that both parents-to-be are completely open to the idea of having the birth photographed, otherwise, it can cause tension during the labour and delivery time. If the birth is occurring at a hospital, the parents must find out the photography policies of the hospital and/or doctor prior to hiring a professional birth photographer. This will avoid any tension during the labour and delivery.
If you are considering hiring a photographer, start researching when you are around 20 weeks pregnant, and be sure to thoroughly research the photographers in your area. Because birth photography is a intimate time in your lives, you want to make sure that the photographer you hire shares the same beliefs and values that you do, as well as make sure that they properly registered and insured as a business. Prepare a list of questions to ask during your initial consultation meeting.
These questions should include:
– How many births have you photographed?
– How many years have you been in business?
– What is your backup plan should you become ill when I go into labour?
– Are you registered as a business, and do you have liability insurance?
– Are you a member of any professional organizations?
– Do you have daycare arrangements for your own children when it’s time to have my baby?
– What happens if you miss my birth?
– What happens if I end up having a c-section?
– How much do your services cost?
I suggest interviewing at least two photographers before deciding which photographer to hire. Make sure you review not only their birth portfolio, but their overall portfolio also.
Look for the following:
– Image quality – are the images in focus? Do the colours look right? Do the black and white images look good?
– Types of images – does the photographer’s portfolio appeal to you?
– Presentation of images – does the photographer present the images in a slideshow or in another way?
I also think it’s important for the photographer you are interviewing to know why they chose to photograph births. For me, I chose to add birth photography to my services because I knew that deep in my heart, this is something I was meant to do. I photographed my first birth in August 2011. I cried along with the family when Aveline emerged out of the water of her mother’s birthing pool. I photographed, in awe, as Dawn met her new daughter for the first time, and everyone screaming with excitement when Dawn’s eldest daughter, Bella, announced it was a girl.
I left Dawn’s house completely enamored by what I had witnessed and felt so completely blessed that I had been allowed to document this beautiful miracle.
When I am contacted by a potential client, we have a consultation meeting 6-8 weeks prior to the expected due date. At this meeting we outline all the expectations we have of each other and discuss when I should be notified that labour has begun.
When a client calls to say “it’s time”, I head off to their place of birth and quickly sink into the shadows as the labour and delivery unfolds. If I sense that the laboring mother wants some privacy, I leave the room and return when she’s given the ok. After the baby has been born, I stay for an hour or two (take a look here), to capture the first moments with mom, dad and any siblings. This all goes into a carefully created slideshow that will become a keepsake for mom and dad for years to come.
The birth of a child is an extremely intimate time in the lives of a new mother and her partner. Documenting the birth of a child, regardless if you hire a professional photographer or not, is an act of love. The memories of the labour and delivery may diminish over time, but photographs help keep those moments alive in our hearts, forever.
napcp contributor meet Jennifer Gilbert
About the Contributor: Jennifer is a child and family photographer who focuses on the loving relationships between parents and their children. Her passion for documentary photography has helped propelled her to the forefront of birth photography in the Toronto area.
Registration is NOW OPEN!! NAPCP Educational SummitHey, NAPCP! We hope you’re feeling refreshed and energized. We hopped right outta bed this morning because we’ve been looking forward to this day all weekend! Join us and our 6 amazing speakers, in Atlanta, Georgia, for the NAPCP Educational Summit! January 23, 2019 In one day you’ll learn about how being “discovered” is the […]
October 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Inspired Gallery Event Winners!NAPCP’s October 2018 issue of Inspired Magazine features our Inspired Gallery Event winners. Dive in and see what holiday items are available in the NAPCP shop, learn more from our most recent Marketing Mondays and much more! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save
We’re Obsessed With This Session + You Will Be, TooRya Duncklee, of Rya Duncklee Studios, photographs fellow NAPCP member, and 2017 NAPCP Photographer of the Year, Ashley Berrie … Inspiration – When Ashley reached out to me to document portraits of her family enjoying time in one of their favorite places, of course I knew I wanted to do the best job I possibly […]
We’re Loving This Underwater Maternity SessionInspiration It’s no secret that I love underwater photography, especially when it involves photographing maternity clients. I feel that it’s an incredible time in a woman’s life, and something to truly celebrate. Underwater always adds such a poetic element to any sessions and a special something that not many other sessions do. When Kathryn Langley, […]
We are so delighted that you are here. The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is an association whose mission is to promote and support the artistry and integrity of professional child photographers. To accomplish this mission, NAPCP provides the most comprehensive resources for its members, bringing together a community of passionate artists committed to growth in their skills, their artistry, and their businesses.
NAPCP.com (formally pronounced "NAP-C-P") is a place where professional child photographers can come and connect, learn, teach, aspire and grow. It is also a valuable resource for parents who are looking for a professional child photographer in their area, and want to be inspired and educated about our specialized industry.
Registration is NOW OPEN!! NAPCP Educational Summit
Hey, NAPCP! We hope you’re feeling refreshed and energized. We hopped right outta bed this morning because we’ve been looking forward to this day all weekend! Join us and our 6 amazing speakers, in Atlanta, Georgia, for the NAPCP Educational Summit! January 23, 2019 In one day you’ll learn about how being “discovered” is the […]
October 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Inspired Gallery Event Winners!
NAPCP’s October 2018 issue of Inspired Magazine features our Inspired Gallery Event winners. Dive in and see what holiday items are available in the NAPCP shop, learn more from our most recent Marketing Mondays and much more! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save
September 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Jaye McLaughlin!
Our September issue of Inspired features Jaye McLaughlin of The Life in Your Years Photography! Read her exclusive interview, download your free motivational desktop wallpaper, access helpful resources and learn how to manage your time better in the busy season. Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family […]
Announcing the Inspired Gallery Event & Print Competition Winners!
Hello friends! After much excitement and anticipation, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the winners of our Inspired by NAPCP Gallery Event. In contrast to our annual International Image Competition, the NAPCP Inspired Gallery Event was creative in nature and gave both members and non-members the chance to place in one of three categories — […]
The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com