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...
  • A Black and White Spring Breeze Farm Senior Session
    Inspiration: One of my senior models, Catie, rides horse and competes in competitions. While my first visual was her riding through a field of wildflowers, with a flowing gown floating in the air, I dug a little deeper and wanted to explore what a day in her life was actually like. We decided to meet […]
  • 5 Tips for Photographing Your Child’s First Day of School
    Becoming a mother was a life changing experience for me. And not just the everyday changes like no longer being able to EVER sleep in again, or finding the time to do anything that didn’t involve my child. It was more than that. It was deeper … Just when I thought I had mastered the […]
  • 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 […]
  • An Adorable Family Session in a Meadow
    Inspiration – I relocated to the Oregon last July and we had one of the worst winters in 75 years! You’d not think of Oregon this way because it’s very uncommon. Once spring hit, I was out searching for magical areas around my new home. I found Camassia Nature Preserve and thought what fun it […]
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
  • 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 […]

  • July Inspired Magazine: Featuring Ute-Christin Cowan!

    Click here to read our July magazine featuring Ute-Christin Cowan! 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

  • June Inspired Magazine: Featuring the First Half 2017 Image Competition Winners!

    Click here to read our June magazine featuring the winners of our First Half 2017 Image Competition as well as the 25 semifinalists for the 2017 Best New Emerging Child Photographer Contest! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients.   […]

  • Summer Birthday Pack: Printables, DIYs and so much more!

    Summer is officially upon us folks! Time to soak up some sun, enjoy the longer days and hunker down for the wave of birthday invites to soon flood your inbox. But fear not! If you have been tasked with planning an epic summer fling, it just so happens that we have an equally epic birthday kit perfect for […]

Categories