Birth Photography — Frequently Asked Questions
+ What if I don't want my images shared publicly?
Birth is intimate and sacred. Many of my clients choose to keep their photos completely private, and I totally respect that. While I love getting to share the beautiful pictures I take, thats not why I do this work. I want you to be able to curl up with your child and tell them the story of how they were welcomed into this world. I want you to look back on the love between you and your partner and your baby -- to relive your transformations and beautiful divine moment. I am with you to document your story - FOR YOU. Period. When we sign our contract, you will decide in writing what kinds of things you give me permission to share. Whether that is everything, or nothing at all - I respect my clients first and forever.
+ Are you a doula or just a photographer?
I am not just a photographer. I have been trained and certified by some of the best birth photographers in the world, and I know my professional grade cameras and birth - inside and out. From the physiology of the process, the various funky lighting situations... to all the sweet details of a birth story that "just some photographer" might not notice. Most importantly though - I am also a certified Birth & Bereavement doula. I hold the safety and sacred space of my clients with the highest compassion and professionalism. I know when I might need to put my camera down, and how to stay out of the way of your medical team. I keep my cool if the
shit meconium hits the fan.. and will hold a calm space for you while you focus and rock your birth - however it unfolds. Lets talk more about what kind's of support you will need.
+ Do you photograph the entire birth process?
I will arrive once you are in active labor, when contractions are about "3-1-1". Approximately 3 minutes apart, lasting for about a minute for an hour or longer. I will stay to document your entire birth story until 1-2 hours postpartum.
+ I really want a birth photographer, but my budget is limited. Do you offer payment plans?
YES! I do have several payment options. We can work out weekly or monthly or semi-monthly payments. I also offer Gift Registries! Instead of a push present or baby shower swag, you can ask friends and family to contribute to your birth photography package! The memories of your baby's birth are PRICELESS, and the hours after your baby's birth will fly faster than you could ever imagine. Registries allow your loved ones to contribute to a truly meaningful gift you will treasure for generations.
+ What if my labor starts before 38 weeks, or lasts a really long time?
When you hire me to be a member of your birth team, I go on call for you from 37 weeks until you deliver. This means that I limit my travel to within a 1 hour radius of your birth location, I stay within cell phone service, with my phone by my side - ringer on - at all times. If you go into labor before 37 weeks, Call me! Most of the time, I am available to attend your birth though I might need some extra time to prepare my things and get to you. Regardless, I have professional backup birth photographers who are able to attend your birth in the unlikely event that I am not able to photograph part of, or all of, your baby's birth.
If you have an exceptionally long labor and I need to leave, I do have a team of back up birth photographers that I can call on if absolutely necessary. The wonderful ladies I work with share my professional philosophies and respect for your birth space.
+ What if I have a C-section?
If you have a cesarean delivery, I may still be able to photograph your baby's birth in the Operating room! It's important that you discuss this with your medical provider. Let them know these pictures mean the world to you, that I am trained to respect the sterile field, and I will safely document your story without getting in the way. You will need to get clerance with your surgeon and anesthesiologist before I can go back in theatre with you.
In some circumstances, I may not be allowed back. If that is the case, I will document as much of your story as possible until you go through the OR doors. I will either meet with you again in recovery, or come back and do a Fresh 48 session when you are ready.
+ When is the best time to hire a birth photographer?
Honestly, the earlier you get in contact with me, the better! I absolutely love being a birth photographer, but I can only take a limited number of births a month and my calendar fills up very quickly. That said, I have had inquiries from full term mamas/birthing people and been able ot make things happen! So if you're unsure please ask.
+ How do you handle dark spaces/what gear do you use?
Both of my professional cameras handle low light photography and videography extremely well. In super dark situations, I will find ambient light sources to gradually allow my camera to see... without disturbing you. I can turn my shutter sound off, and during the moment of birth I may use a technique called "bounced flash" Basically, it reflects a millisecond of light off the ceiling or wall - NEVER directly at anyone's face. This is not flash photography like at weddings or in a portrait studio, and most people in the room have no idea that flash was even used at all. There will be no continuous shooting, posing or strobe lighting in the birth space - YIKES!!
It is worth noting that I have invested in two of every piece of equpiment that I use at births. If my battery dies, lens fails, or my camera malfunctions for ANY reason at all - I have a quality back up with me at all times. When you are paying good money to professionally have these once in a lifetime moments preserved, its nice to know there is that extra measure of protection. There are NO do-overs.
+ How do I know if we are a good fit?
I am glad you are asking this question! Any person who steps foot into a birth space brings a certain energy and presence right along with them... How you feel about the people and things surrounding you really does make a difference in labor. When you are hiring your birth team, its so important to make sure you trust who's around you. Hopefully you get a sense of my vibe within these words. I really like to chat on the phone and eventually meet in person so we can go over your questions. Please send me a message!
+ Can you recommend any Home Birth midwives?
I have a blog post that serves as a directory for all kinds of awesome professionals and resources for women and families in Northern Colorado. There you can find a current list of Home birth midwives that are trusted in our community.
+ How far do you travel for births?
I document births at home, birth centers or hospitals in Northern Colorado. The cities I serve include Wyoming, Wellington, Fort Collins, Estes Park, Allenspark, Nederland, Windsor, Johnstown, Timnath, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Thornton, Denver and Aspen, CO.