Why hire a professional birth photographer?
Hiring a professional birth photographer can seem like an unnecessary and strange thing to those who have never experienced this before, especially for the dads. The truth is, your birth support team (husband, mom, doula, etc) should be focused on supporting you during the labor and delivery of your baby. Sometimes that means they need to give you a massage, sometimes that means they need to hold your hand or even your leg during push time. It also means, they will be totally focused on supporting and helping you and won’t have free hands to pick up a camera to document the whole process.
I became a birth photographer after the birth of our 4th child (in 2012). We just barely made it to the hospital and when they finally said I could push he flew out. The whole ordeal was a mere 3 1/2 hours and would have been shorter if my water had broke! My mom was at home watching our other three children and my husband was woozy from all the adrenaline.
No one was there to take pictures!
Professional birth photographers also have the right equipment for the job and have experience with working in tricky lighting situations.
How much does birth photography cost?
My base package is $2699 with the option to add on other products such as beautiful linen albums, wood memory boxes with prints or wall art.
This fee also includes an optional, next morning Fresh 48 session if you deliver you baby in the middle of the night. I find my clients who have other children coming to meet baby like to use this option.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes! I require a $899 retainer due at the signing of our birth photography agreement. This is usually taken care of at our consultation or within a few days after the consultation via online invoice. This covers my on-call fee. If you know that you would like the complete digital package and/or other products at this time we can set up a payment plan so you can space the full amount out over time. Final amount will be due by 36 weeks of pregnancy.
How far will you travel to photograph a birth?
I will travel 30 miles within zip code 90638 for a birth and 15 miles for a consultation.
When should I book with you?
The sooner the better! Usually expecting mamas book me around 16 weeks of pregnancy but I have had a few book as late as 37 weeks, fortunately I was available.
How graphic will my photos be?
Each and every birth story is different and sometimes I am limited with my angles by the equipment, room set up, doctors, nurses or midwives. My goal is to capture the whole story and not just focus on the big push. I do make a “family friendly” slideshow for you to share with people like your father in law without any awkward feelings. The full gallery will be there for you to download and share at your own discretion.
Do you use flash during the birthing process?
I do not usually use flash but I bring it with me just in case. If the room is super dark, I will adjust my camera to compensate for that, just know the images will be a little more grainy. I might ask about turning up some lights if I feel the images will look better but ultimately I do not want to disrupt the birthing space.
When should I call you if I go into labor?
It is best to give me a heads up with any type of change or update. If you’ve lost your mucus plug, if you’re dilated, if you’re feeling a lot of pressure, etc. It’s helpful for me to know these things so I can make sure that child care is ready for my 6 children at a moments notice.
It is a good idea to have a support person stay in contact with me. I like to join when you are around 5-6 cm dilated but if you’re not being checked you’ll just have to listen to your body and let me know when you think I should join you, or that support person can make the call too. My husband was usually the one that said “I think we should head to the hospital now” or “You should probably call the midwife now”. Sometimes you just need that outside opinion or more the voice of reason.
Will you be interacting with us during labor?
It really depends on when I arrive and how close you are to delivering your baby. If you’re up for a conversation then I certainly will not ignore you or your husband. My job is to document the story and sometimes immersing myself into the moment is the best way for me to tell it.
What if my birth takes a really long time?
I make arrangements for situations like this. I do not charge overtime or any extra fees for a long labor. Just know that I might excuse myself to get a bite to eat or get some sleep if labor has stalled or progression is slow.
How long do you stay after delivery?
Typically 2 hours. Usually after the 2 hour mark mama and baby are ready for a nap and that is when I give my hugs and make my exit.
What if I require a Cesarean birth?
You will need to make sure that you talk this over with your care provider and advocate to have me in the operating room with you. Having your birth documented during a cesarean a lot of times helps with bonding and emotional healing.
If I am not allowed in the OR I will document from the moment you go in to the moment you, your husband and your baby come out.
What if I schedule a Cesarean birth?
Again, you will need to make sure that you talk this over with your care provider and request to have me in the operating room. It is ultimately up to the Doctor and anesthesiologist but your request will hold more weight than mine.
What if something goes “wrong” during labor &/or delivery?
This is something we will discuss during our in person meeting and you can let me know any concerns you might have. I will continue to document the moments and if something traumatic happens I will put those images in a separate folder so you can view them (or not) when you are emotionally ready.
What if you get sick or can’t make it to the birth for some reason?
I believe the birthing space should be as germ free as possible so if for some reason I end up with a fever, vomiting or sore throat or new cough, I will call on one of my back up professional birth photographers. If I am recovering and don’t believe I’m at all contagious I will voluntarily wear a face mask.
What happens if a back up photographer has to attend my birth?
I make sure that I have a backup photographer who is within a close proximity to your birthing location that’s available and ready if I need them to cover for me. If a backup has to document your birth they would give me the images and I would edit them and finish everything from there.
Will my photographs be in color or black & white?
They will be a mix of color and black and white and I retain the creative right to pick and choose how the images or edited. The photographs you see on my website and social medial give you a realistic image of my editing style.
How many photographs can I expect to receive?
Approximately 100-150 depending how long I am with you before you birth your baby.
Are you going to post my photos on the internet?
Only modest photos will be posted online. All clients have the opportunity to receive a discount when a model release is signed which allows me to post your photos online.
Do you offer gift certificates?
Most definitely! And what an amazing gift to have a professional birth photographer! Please email me about gift certificate options.
Do you offer maternity, newborn or family sessions?
I do! These sessions are generally more lifestyle in nature so there is a little posing involved but I do bring back the documentary portion of it by capturing real interactions.
Newborn sessions are documented in your home. You can see more information about that here, In Home Newborn Sessions.
And you can read about the Family Storytelling Sessions HERE.
Do you have recommendations for midwives, doulas or lactation consultants?
I have a few I recommend and you’ll receive that list in your Welcome Package once I’m officially your birth photographer.
*Prices subject to change without notice*
Los Angeles Birth Photographer and Orange County Birth Photographer