Thank you for the opportunity to capture your baby’s birth day. I have no doubt it will be a beautiful, love-filled day with many amazing moments.
This guide is mostly a collection of suggestions. Birth is a mysterious force and it often has a mind of its own. Don’t worry: as your birth photographer, I’m able to adjust and adapt to whatever course your birth will take.
My hope is that this guide will prepare you for what it’s like to have a birth photographer in your birth space and give you the tools to best plan for what will certainly be a memorable day.
When should I contact you?
Please send me a text when you feel like labor is beginning. This allows me to think about the next few days with your birth in mind. I won’t get in my car, but I will make sure that my bag is packed and ready by the door.
Once contractions have intensified and you’ve decided it’s time to call your midwife or head to the hospital, please send me a message or give me a call. My goal is to arrive when you are in active labor. This ensures that my presence won’t distract you or prevent your labor from advancing. If you aren’t sure if you’re in active labor, your care provider will be the best gauge. Below are a few rough guides that can hint at active labor (but remember, active labor looks different for each woman!)
Contractions are 3-4 minutes apart, for one hour
Contractions are too intense to walk or talk through
Contractions are accompanied with rectal pressure
Dilated to at least 6 centimeters
Remember, I need at least one hour's notice. Please don’t hesitate to contact me once you feel like active labor has begun.
What About Lighting?
Many women like to give birth in a dark environment. My camera is equipped to handle low light situations. That being said, I do need SOME light to capture those incredible moments. If I feel like there isn’t enough light in your birth space, I may make some small adjustments. If these bother you, please let me know.
During birth, I may bounce my flash off the ceiling so I can capture the quick and fleeting moments of birth. My external flash is very different from the flashes that most people are accustomed to. The flash will never be directed near or towards your face and most of my clients aren’t even aware that I’m using it.
What Should I Wear?
Wear whatever is comfortable for you! Many of my clients opt to wear their own gown or robe and most will wear a bra during labor and birth because they want to be able to share some of the images publicly. Black nursing or sports bras are a great choice. If you feel the urge to take off your bra during birth, don’t worry. I’m often able to get creative with angles and still capture moments that you can share with family or friends. If you're planning to labor or deliver in water, consider bringing an extra bra or two to change into. It can be uncomfortable to wear a wet top if you've decided to labor out of the tub for a while.
Many clients will bring meaningful items or jewelry. These will not only provide amazing stories for you to tell your children in the years to come, but they can make your photographs really pop. If you are giving birth in the water, consider bringing a towel with special significance. If you are giving birth in the hospital, consider bringing your own swaddling blankets or baby hats.
If you have a birth partner in the room with you, they should also wear comfortable clothing. Solid colors are often preferable as loud patterns or logos can distract the eye from the beautiful moments that are unfolding in your family. Some of my favorite choices are solid color t-shirts. Comfortable but also great to photograph.
I encourage both you and your partner to pick out a separate set of clothes that can be worn after birth. Giving birth can be messy, and you may want to change out of what you’ve been wearing. Many of my clients will purchase a pretty robe that coordinates with something their partner or other children will wear. Those first family photos can be priceless. But at the end of it all, remember that what you wear matters far less than what you experience. Don’t stress too much about clothing!
When can I expect my images?
All of my birth packages include sneak-peek images that I process and edit within 24 hours of birth. These images are specifically sized for the web so that you can easily and beautifully announce the birth of your baby via email or text.
The rest of your images will be edited within 2-3 weeks. You’ll receive a link to your private gallery where you’ll be able to view all your images and purchase prints.
Video takes a bit longer. How long depends on how long your birth was (and how much footage I took), how challenging the lighting was, and my workload. 6 weeks is a good bet.
Where should I get them printed?
All of my birth packages include a copyright release, which allows you to print photos for personal use. You may print your images through my gallery site or download them and print them through your favorite printer.
What will you share on social media?
I will only share images that I have permission to share.