Jul 19, 2012

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?
– What is your privacy policy regarding images being posted online?

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.

share this post:

TweetShare on FacebookEmail

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.

 

comment on this post

Leave comment

Sarah Boccolucci Great article! I think it do important to know why someone decides to specialize in birth. It might seem like the "new" thing but it is truly a labor of love (no pun intended).

Marilyn Haner This was excellent. Beautiful. The way that it should be.

liked this post? img you might also like...
  • New in the NAPCP Store – Holiday Postcard Pack
    We’re hustlin’ for the holidays and having the BEST time with our seasonal marketing, with these holiday marketing postcard pack designs! There’s a lot of love in the NAPCP Member Community for these beautiful Artifact Uprising postcards. We feel it, and it is so special to see this community come together to share their ideas […]
  • A Colorful Family Session at Coney Island
    Inspiration I’m always inspired by the real stories of my families, and my images are an attempt to showcase their unique connection and genuine beauty. This family has chosen adventure to be a central quality of their life together, and are embracing travel with their young daughter and sharing their experiences at dearestdays.com. They wanted […]
  • What’s in Her Bag: Marisa McDonald
    Tell us a little about what’s inside your bag. I love my Jo Totes Missy Mint bag! It has custom dividers so I can create perfectly sized sections for my camera and lenses, external pockets, and even a laptop sleeve! My bag pretty much always has a camera (lately, my new Mark IV!), my Sigma […]
  • #NAPCPColors Round-Up
    We rounded up a few of our favorite #NAPCPColors Instagram submissions to kick off our week with a colorful bang! We’re so happy all of our Instagram followers and friends had such a wonderful time participating in this new project, on one of our favorite social media platforms. Julie Campbell Photography Paul Douglas Studio Sandi […]
img find a photographer
in your area
img

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.

img award winning photos click here to view

img most recent issue
img vendors we love
napcp supporters



 
img helpful articles napcp resources
  • September Inspired Magazine: Featuring K.C. Crow!

    Click here to read our September magazine featuring K.C. Crow! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save Save Save

  • Announcing Our Second Half 2017 NAPCP International Image Competition Winners!

    Hello friends! After much excitement and anticipation, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the winners of our Second Half 2017 NAPCP International Image Competition. Uniquely focused on child photography, the NAPCP International Image Competition features a range of image categories, including Babies, Newborn, Children, Family, Maternity, Siblings, Toddlers, and Seniors. Thank you to our amazing […]

  • August Inspired Magazine: Featuring Amy Tripple!

    Click here to read our August magazine featuring Amy Tripple! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save Save

  • Free Custom Wallpaper: Shoot. Edit. Share. Repeat.

    Free Custom Wallpaper — Competition season is here and today we want to share this free custom wallpaper with you, to download! Download and use this wallpaper for your own personal use. Set it as your device wallpaper or share it via social media. Scroll down for clickable download buttons at the bottom of this […]

Categories